Meet the ASU superfan who ushers in every season with a superb hype video
For one Arizona State superfan, college football season truly is the "hap-happiest season of all."
Rob Reyes, commonly known on social media as "Jedi ASU," ushers in every college football season with a hype video for ASU football set to the tune of the Christmas jingle, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year."
He debuted his latest edition on Thursday morning, the fourth he has done in a project he said continues to become more and more worthwhile each season. After first coming up with the idea in 2012, he debuted his first video on the eve of the 2013 season opener against Sacramento State. The Sun Devils won, 55–0, so he decided stick with the tradition.
The process starts the Sunday night before the start of the season, as he re-watches games from the previous season (even with how painful last season's 6–7 mark was) and notes the plays that will trigger nostalgia and get fans to salivate for the new season. Reyes didn't finish his note-taking until three days later, then began putting together the pieces of his video. Some elements stay the same, from the team running out onto the field in the opening to the team celebrating at the end, but he always looks for a focal point from each season to serve as his "anchor." Then, like the game Tetris, the rest of the video falls into place. He finished his video at 4 a.m. Thursday, the day the college football season's first games would be played.
"I shed a tear of joy because I knew it was done, and every single piece fit together, and it was just—it was the absolute best I could put forth, like every year," Reyes said. "I think like most of us, we work best under pressure."
Reyes' Twitter account, @JediASU, has nearly 5,000 followers and routinely blends Reyes' passion for the Sun Devils with his curiosity to stay connected with the world around him. He routinely interacts with fans from other conferences, creating a network of college football fans that otherwise would have never met.
"It's a niche where you can find like-minded people that are equally passionate and you can interact with them very easily," he said. "The engagement just allows you to be that much more informed, but also just that much more connected."
The annual hype videos aren't Reyes' only forays into the medium, as his personal YouTube account has turned him into a video historian of sorts when it comes to the history of Sun Devil football. Reyes, who dove into fandom after attending ASU's stunning 19–0 upset of then-No. 1 Nebraska in 1996, took his curiosity of the program's history and quickly found himself asking around for old game tapes. The curiosity quickly has turned into a hobby, as his page is home to several notable highlights throughout the years.
"There are a lot of people out there that have VHS tapes and DVDs out there that are just collecting dust or are in a box in a closet someplace," Reyes said. "They have these fantastic games from the past… My goal is to reach out to those fans and engage them and convert them to an online format so we all can see Jeff Van Raaphorst in the Rose Bowl."
Fabian Ardaya is SI's campus correspondent from Arizona State University. Follow him on Twitter.