The big news of the day from Arizona State head football coach Todd Graham was the announcement that the football team intends to return to Camp Tontozona for preseason work. The talk was of tradition, something that long time Sun Devil fans will pay attention.
Todd Graham keeps saying the right things. He talks about character in his players. He talks about speaking victory. He speaks about winning the recruiting battle starting in the Phoenix area and building a tradition of Sun Devil Football.
He has everyone's attention.
After an announcement of plans for a renovated Sun Devil Stadium, the program builds new momentum with the plan to go back to Tontozona. ASU stopped going there in 2008 under Dennis Erickson.
There are all sorts of memories there. But it isn't the memories or the north country that helps the football team.
Yes, when you have a week of absolutely nothing but football and teammates -- no girls, no city, no other distractions, it builds up team chemistry. It is the sort of thing that football teams need to have along with execution of X's and O's. But going back there is more than for the football team.
It is about the fans.
The ASU football program has instill little excitement in its fan base for years. Mediocrity with the hope of a flashy year now and again has been acceptable. Then in 2008, the tradition of Camp T was taken away.
Now, upon returning, the program is calling upon nostalgia to drum up some fan support. People who have followed the Devils know that Tontozona is part of ASU football. Going back there will help the older generation of fans feel appreciated and excited. That in turn will drum up more donor money.
The younger fans will be excited about the idea of tradition and can then start taking the trip up for the yearly scrimmage. That support will make memories.
In the end, there is no downside to going back. It is a beautiful part of the state, it creates that camp isolation to dedicate to football and it unites fans in tradition, and may even increase donations to the program.
There is also the silly notion that ASU's football troubles are the result of a curse from Tontozona. Going back even takes that away because either they will start winning and the curse is over or the keep losing and the idea of teh curse disappears.
So, all good, no bad?
Todd Graham and the ASU football program made the only choice that makes sense.