Lt. Gen. Goodman gives ASU a 3-star salute
The Arizona State alum and former NFL player offers up some inspiration to the Sun Devils
Arizona State might have practiced just a little bit harder than normal yesterday for a special guest at Aloha Stadium.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Who: Arizona State vs. Hawaii
Where: Aloha Stadium
When: Sunday, 3 p.m. (Stadium gates open at noon)
Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM
Parking: $5. Lot gates open at 10 a.m. Alternate parking at Leeward Community College (free, $2 shuttle), Kam Drive-In ($5, free shuttle). Occupants of first 500 vehicles at Leeward and Kam Drive-In receive a certificate (one per vehicle) for two 32 oz. soft drinks in the stadium. Parking also at Radford High School ($3, no shuttle). No tailgating at alternate parking sites.
Stadium security: Fanny packs, purses and backpacks and handbags will be permitted subject to check. No illegal contraband, weapons, fireworks, coolers, cans, bottles, air horns, noisemakers, umbrellas, outside food and or beverages are allowed inside the stadium gates.
Tickets: Adults, $15-$45; North end zone general admission child, $10. Call (808) 548-2695.
The Sun Devils got a surprise visit from Lt. Gen. John Goodman, the Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces in the Pacific. He came to offer encouragement and support as ASU warmed up for its Sheraton Hawaii Bowl workout.
The three-star general is also a former NFL player and Arizona State quarterback.
Players gathered on the field under clear skies and took a knee to listen to Goodman, who played for the Devils in 1964, '65, and '66.
He congratulated the team for its progress this season and advised the players to treasure their trip. He also couldn't resist sneaking in praise for ASU's win over rival Arizona last month.
"(You being here), it's an extraordinary experience," he said.
Goodman shared some of his experiences in football and the military.
He hadn't addressed an ASU team since the last game of his college career, when he quarterbacked the Sun Devils against Arizona. Goodman drew a parallel between playing football and serving in the military.
"You have to take care of your teammates," he said. "It's all about trust. I had the same trust (with my fellow Marines) as I did with my teammates (at ASU)."
He called football "meaningful" and "about character" while interjecting stories of battle in Vietnam.
His listeners paid attention, and ASU coach Dirk Koetter said his team took the message to heart.
"Absolutely, absolutely. It's humbling, and it's sobering, and yeah, I think it's the kind of thing they'll go home and tell their families about," Koetter said.
Koetter, fired on Nov. 26 but coaching in the Hawaii Bowl out of respect for his players, agreed with Goodman's message.
"(There are parallels), especially as it relates to character," Koetter said. "We can't (always) relate football and the military. Football's a game and military's life or death, (but) character is one of the pillars that stand the test of time."
The general received loud applause from the players after speaking for several minutes. Koetter, meanwhile, took the opportunity to tell his players to raise their intensity from Wednesday's practice.
Goodman, who played with the New Orleans Saints prior to entering the U.S. Marine Corps in 1971, stayed to watch the rest of practice.
"It shows us a lot," sophomore quarterback Rudy Carpenter said of Goodman's speech. "He played here at ASU and shows we all have opportunities after football."
Carpenter may have felt Goodman's presence more than the rest, as his locker back in Tempe, Ariz., bears the name of -- who else -- John F. Goodman.
"We have people who donate money for our locker room and they get their names on lockers," Carpenter said. "I appreciate that. We have a nice locker room."
One of Goodman's fondest memories was making the game-winning touchdown throw against Arizona in the last game of his senior year in 1966. It was the last pass of his Sun Devils career.
"I couldn't see what happened -- I got hammered," Goodman said of the play that resulted in the 20-17 win. "But I heard the crowd roar and I knew something very good or very bad happened."
He had also completed the first pass of his first game for a touchdown on a screen play in 1964, book-ending his career with TD strikes.
Goodman served as Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces in Korea from June 2004 until June 2005, when he came to Hawaii for his current position. He's logged more than 4,000 hours in tactical jet aircraft.
"I think guys on our team like to hear from people like that," Carpenter said. "It makes us feel good and it's encouraging for us."