RIVALRY

Arizona-Arizona State Football: Writer gets Territorial

Former UA student pens book on 'nasty' Cats-Devils rivalry
2013-07-13T00:00:00Z 2013-08-23T01:15:18Z Arizona-Arizona State Football: Writer gets TerritorialZack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 13, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Shane Dale grew up in ASU territory and, like a lot of kids from the Phoenix valley, attended the UA.

But he's beyond the "Scum Devils" and "Mildcats" stuff.

"I was one of those rare people that just liked both teams," Dale said. "I didn't have an allegiance for either one."

Dale's familiarity with - and passion for - the UA-ASU football rivalry has led to a book. "Territorial: The History of the Duel in the Desert" is the first effort from the 32-year-old writer. It went on sale this week; by Friday afternoon, it was the third-best-selling football book on Amazon.com.

Dale was stuck in what he calls "freelance purgatory" when he decided to pen a comprehensive history of the Territorial Cup rivalry. Two years and 150-plus interviews later, Dale self-published a 360-page look at Arizona's classic rivalry.

"I saw this as an opportunity to promote a rivalry that not the rest of the country knows about," Dale said.

The rivalry "I think, happens to be one of the best in the country as far as being nasty and unpredictable," he added. "I really wanted to honor the players and coaches who have come before and deserve to have their story told."

The rivalry is certainly historic.

The Territorial Cup itself has been around since 1899, making it the oldest existing rivalry trophy in the country.

"It's like a hidden treasure - like from one of those National Treasure movies with Nicolas Cage," he said.

It's no secret just how close the annual matchup is.

The Sun Devils claimed victory in 2012 at Arizona Stadium, winning 41-34, but the Wildcats lead the overall series with a 47-38-1 record.

And Dale enlisted the help of former Wildcats and Sun Devils coaches and players to help tell the story: Arizona's Rich Rodriguez, Mike Stoops, Nick Foles and Chuck Cecil along with ASU's Todd Graham, Dennis Erickson, Jake Plummer and Brock Osweiler all talked to Dale for his book.

Former UA great Ricky Hunley wrote the foreword in "Territorial."

Dale says longtime ASU broadcaster Tim Healey captured the spirit of the state's most bitter football feud.

"To echo Tim Healey, the voice of ASU for a long time: In order to have a great rivalry, both teams have to have a reasonable expectation to win," Dale said. "That's what makes this one so special."

Click the links for excerpts from "Territorial: The History of the Duel in the Desert."

Buy Dale's book here.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 South football standings

Team W L T PCT
Arizona 5 1 0 0.833
Utah 5 1 0 0.833
USC 5 2 0 0.714
ASU 5 1 0 0.833
UCLA 5 2 0 0.714
Colorado 3 4 0 0.429

Pac-12 North football standings

Team W L T PCT
Oregon 6 1 0 0.857
Oregon State 4 2 0 0.667
Stanford 4 3 0 0.571
Washington 5 2 0 0.714
Cal 4 3 0 0.571
Washington State 2 5 0 0.286
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