Starting with his introductory press conference at Arizona State, Todd Graham has been adamant about involving the crowd, specifically the student body, at football games come fall.
In a recent interview with StatePress.com, Graham provides details of some of those plans including a sideline signal for the games, music cue’d up for certain game situations, and even letting the student body pick the uniform combinations for game day.
“One of the things I want to do is I want to get our students involved in game day. When we’re on defense, one of the things we used to do is signal. A fist is the signal for fourth down, so before third down we want the crowd to get loud and I would step out on the sideline, give a fist in the air and get them going crazy. We want them to be loud and proud.”
“Our kickoff team, we want to call them the ‘Wild Bunch,’ so it cranks up ‘Wild Thing’ and our students would know that’s something we are going to do every time we kick the ball off. On third down a lot of places I’ve been they play ‘Hell’s Bells.’ When our defense took the field, which is tough, physical and all that stuff, we would play ‘We Will Rock You.’ When our punt team goes on the field, we call them the ‘sharks,’ they will play the ‘Jaws’ theme, so trying to make it fun like that.”
“I want to do things that no one else is doing. That’s one of the great strengths we have. There are 70,000 students on four campuses or something like that. We’ve got power in numbers. This has got to be a place that’s difficult to play in. I know we had 10 or 11 thousand students at the games last year, I want that to double.”
While talking with the Dean of Engineering on campus, Graham got the idea of letting the student body have input on the uniform combinations for both home and away games. With, or course, some consideration from Nike as well.
“What I’d say is if it’s going to be a blackout, you have flags all over campus, you raise the flags and everybody knows it’s going to be a blackout, that’s what we’re doing. Maroon, everyone is wearing maroon so we’re all sequenced according to what we’re doing.”