The Sun Devils capped off a great Friday, defeating the Missouri Tigers 37-30 in an overtime thriller. Keyed by Aaron Pflugrad, Colin Parker and Brock Osweiler, ASU overcame sloppy penalties and blowing a 14-point lead to give the Devils their first victory over a ranked opponent since Cal in 2007.
This wasn't just another game for the Sun Devils, their fans, ASU or the city of Tempe. Friday had a special flair to it, from the national television coverage on ESPN to the blacked out Sun Devil Stadium.
I spent my Friday afternoon cavorting with the fanbases of both schools, bouncing from venue to venue on Mill Avenue, making a few stops at tailgates before finally settling into my seats in section 236 to cheer on my alma mater.
Missouri fans traveled well, taking over Blondies and the Tavern on Mill. Both bars were packed with black and gold-wearing Tigers fans, highlighting how seriously they take their football.
Not to be outdone, Devils fans were everywhere as gametime approached, and black was the color of choice. Lot 59 was reminiscent of spring break in Rocky Point or a Country Thunder, as trucks sporting American flags with music blasting out the speakers were surrounded by throngs of students drinking liquid out of red cups.
I had a lot of great conversations with Mizzou fans, some of which will be transcribed at SB Nation Arizona later today. Their fans are congenial, well-mannered and knowledgeable about Missouri football history.
I ran into Harry Plumer of the Columbia Missourian as he was collecting interviews for his Mill Avenue article, and you can read his angle on the (early day) festivities here. His estimation of 50 Tigers fans in Blondies was accurate at around 1:30, but by 3:00 the bar was packed to the gills with Mizzou fans.
The Sun Devils earned a lot more than a victory on Friday night -- they earned some tradition, some happiness for their fans, and a lot of goodwill for future home games. By every possible measure, the Blackout was a big success.
Check back here later for more coverage, and go to House Of Sparky to talk with Devils fans.