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

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."