Is Phil Mickelson the second greatest Sun Devil ever? The answer is surprisingly easy. Yes. Pat Tillman is and will always be the greatest Sun Devil ever. Pac 10-Player of the Year, ferocious and fearless linebacker who helped lead us to a Rose Bowl and if steroid testing was prevalent in college sports (David Boston) a national title. That leaves us with the question, who is #2?
If we stick with the student athletes, the list starts and ends with two names. Reggie Jackson and Barry Bonds. Two of the top 10 players in major league history has some serious cache. Originally recruited by Frank Kush, himself a Top 10 Sundevil legend, Reggie Jackson was a two sport star. His pro career spanned a remarkable 24-years where he earned the legendary and deserved title ‘Mr. October’ which is probably the best nickname by any former Devil save for ‘Lefty’. In a team sport, he had too much help during his career playing on teams that were stacked. The opposite can be said of Barry Bonds who won a remarkable 7-MVP awards with limited support from teammates, is the all-time major league home run leader and possibly during his prime the best all-around player ever with his blazing speed, strong arm and lethal bat. If Barry had not had his late career performance enhancing drug issues, Barry just might be #2.
A whole host of other student athletes are worthy of Top 20 consideration such as Jake Plummer, inspirational story Anthony Robles who is our 1-legged wrestling champion and even Mark Malone who I had to throw in there simply for his great mustache.
If we were to look at the entertainment industry, there are a number of famous Devil alumni. Linda Carter is a contender for hottest, but not greatest. David Spade is simply too weasly to be considered. Back in his days at SAE on fraternity row, upperclassman would mock him into doing standup and than boo him off stage. How about Jimmy Kimmel? Jimmy has made the most out of his talents more than anyone else on this list but he is not even in the Top 30.
Even blending the two, entertainment and sports you would find legendary sportscaster Al Michaels. Michaels made the signature call in United States history with the Miracle on Ice and might be the greatest sportscaster over the past 50-years but falls short of Phil. How about Wes from Real World? Now it’s getting out of hand. Carl Hayden? Impressive. Graduated while ASU was still Tempe Normal in 1896 and became a Senator for the great state of Arizona. But could he hit an 8-iron into the wind on #12 at Pebble Beach and score an eagle? I doubt it.
The point is, Phil with 40-US tour victories, 4-majors and the title of greatest left handed golfer in history is the second best Sun Devil ever. Phil is an ASU legend. Phil won three individual titles while at ASU and was an All American all four years while enjoying all that Palm Walk and ASU campus has to offer. He even won on the tour while in college! He has done all of this dominating in an individual sport that requires a tremendous amount of focus and skill. Let’s hope that our current administration continues to engage Phil. Having legends on ASU football sidelines will only help build an atmosphere of winning, a strong culture built on success that will in turn help ASU recruit better players to our teams and students to our school! Phil is #2.
Posted By Devil Russ