Posted by Tom Fornelli
Last week Arizona State unveiled it's new football uniforms and school logo. As is always the case when a school or professional team comes out with a new uniform, some people liked it, and others didn't. I fell in the group that liked the new look of the Sun Devils' threads. However, that opinion is not shared by a fellow member of the city I call home, Chicago. It seems that there is one police officer in Chicago, Sergeant Kenneth Epich, who is more worried about how popular the new logo of his alma mater may become with area gangs.
And [Epich]'s convinced that it is a matter of time before what he described as a "large, violent, mostly Hispanic Chicago street gang" called Satan's Disciples adopts ASU's new athletic gear because of the new trident logo.
"The gangs adopt sports teams and wear their gear," Epich said. "The S.D.'s are going to adopt the (ASU) hat as their hat of choice just as soon as they see the first person wearing one."
Epich has been a member of Chicago's Area One Gang Enforcement unit for 25 years, and odds are, he's totally correct. The Satan's Disciples probably will adopt the pitchfork logo as one of their own, seeing that it already fits a pitchfork they use in their current insignia, and that Sun Devils share the same initials as Satan's Disciples. That's just the way life works with gangs, who often adopt the merchandise of sports teams to their gangs. Whether it's because of a logo, initials or colors.
That isn't going to change. Still, the best advice I can give to Sgt. Epich is to just shut up and deal with it. To make the claim that kids walking around Chicago with an Arizona State hat on just because they like it are going to get beaten up or killed is just misinformed and purposely misleading. I grew up as a Chicago White Sox fan in this city, and when the White Sox made the change to the current colors and logo they have now, their merchandise became a big hit amongst gangs as well.
Guess how many times I've been beaten up for wearing a Sox hat in this city? None. Neither will any other kid who is wearing a Sun Devils hat because odds are that little Johnny Suburbs isn't going to be walking through the neighborhoods where he might actually be confused for a rival gang member.
Really, what this all comes down to is the fact that Epich went to Arizona State and he doesn't like the idea of seeing gang members, the ones he's tasked with arresting every day, wearing clothes with Arizona State's logo on it. That's it. He's not worried about public safety, he's worried about his own image of his alma mater.
Had this been Duke adopting a similar logo, Epich would have never given it a second thought.