ASU officials, including Athletic Director Steve Patterson, announced the change at a press conference last Friday.
Arizona State collaborated with Disney Corporation on the new-look Sparky, which they hope will appeal to younger audiences in many ways, including “comic books, children’s books and animated productions.”
Not since Frank Kush was unseated as Sun Devil head football coach has this much angst been felt on the Tempe campus.
To say fans have had a “mixed reaction” to the Sparky redeux is an understatement. News of the mascot change elicited responses ranging from “Where do I sign a boycott petition?” to “I like him—he’s kind of cute, but a little scary.”
Rather than take an official position on the Great Sparky Debate, Devils in Detail decided to present a sampling of fan comments from across the blogosphere.
We should point out that public opinion (at least in the media) appears to lean against the redesign.
Decide for yourselves:
“He’s very buff and reminds me a little of Buzz Lightyear.”
“I guarantee you if you surveyed 100 kids, the majority of them would say the old one looks friendlier than the new one.”
“Looks fine…Sparky has changed a lot over the years.”
“New Sparky seems more like a character from the movie ‘Bees.’”
“I bet new Sparky could manhandle any other mascot that crossed his path.”
“Updating the team would have made more sense!”
“More athletic…had to get him out of the jumpsuit.”
“Old Sparky was way better than new Sparky. The old one poked fun at Walt Disney himself.”
“It’s grown on me.”
“ASU has got to be kidding…right?”
“Eh, it’s kind of goofy looking. But it’s just a mascot.”
“It’s a devil. How do you remake him to appeal to kids?”
“Cute. My kids will probably love him.”
“Maybe it’s just me, but the new mask reminds me of ‘V for Vendetta.’”
“It kind of makes Sparky less ‘mischievous’ and more ‘villainous.’”
“Whatever. Is it football season yet?”