While they were growing up, Joey and Jordan Leal were exposed to a lot of blue and red.
“My parents both graduated from the University of Arizona and we grew up watching UofA football and basketball games,” Joey Leal explained. “We’re definitely fans.”
But these days both are wearing the Mountain Pointe football maroon and gold uniforms that are an unabashed copy of UofA rival Arizona State University.
“It’s weird,” Joey said. “I love maroon and gold, but I think of it as Mountain Pointe colors not ASU colors. When we wear the maroon jerseys and gold bottom we do look exactly like ASU though.”
Joey, a senior, and Jordan, a sophomore, are both primarily linebackers for the Pride, but are also back-up fullbacks.
“I prefer to play defense,” Jordan said, “and it’s really fun to play defense with my brother.”
There is a two-year age difference between them.
“It’s pretty cool and I never thought it would happen,” Joey added. “We never played on the same team when we were growing up. I knew he’d be playing up here, but I didn’t know when. It’s pretty exciting.”
Joey played on the varsity team last year and Jordan made the jump from freshman to the varsity this season in time for both of them to savior the season of playing together.
“We’ll only get a chance to do this for one year,” Jordan added, “so we want to make the most of it. In a couple of years we’ll probably realize what we’ve done more than now, but our parents are pretty excited about it.”
Rather than a sibling rivalry there is more of cooperation in playing the same position at the same time.
“It’s more like when I do something wrong he’s there to correct me and help me,” Jordan added. “There isn’t any rivalry and there never has been.”
Earlier this season Jordan had an interception and Joey was there to lead the blocking for his brother.
They’re both also shot putters on the Pride track and field team.
As close as they are on and off the field, there are cases when they each see jersey numbers rather than relate to kinship.
“Most of the time, when I’m in the moment I’ll just see a number,” Jordan explained. “Then, if he tells me I did something wrong I see through that.”
Joey is the same.
“In the middle of a game, with helmets on, I just see a teammate,” Joey said. “I just see a No. 41 and that’s it. Later, on the bench, we’re brothers again.”
And Wildcat fans.