Friday, September 2, 2011

Freshmen Year at College

By Keith Antigiovanni

Twenty years ago today (September 2, 1991) I was was a freshman at the University of San Diego. I still remember my parents helping me move into my dorm room at Maher Hall. Maher Hall was the freshmen men's dorm until it became co-ed recently.

Many things have changed in the world, the country, the state and the city since then. Our President was George Bush the elder. President Bush was serving the third year of his term while his Vice President was Dan Quayle from the overhyped potato spelling story.

California's Governor was former San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson. Wilson had just been elected Governor during the 1990 election and was sworn in on January 7th, 1991. Our Mayor was Maureen O'Connor, probably the last of San Diego's successful and respected mayors to date.

Our sports teams included the San Diego Chargers, San Diego Padres, San Diego Sockers, San Diego Gulls and of course SDSU, USD, UCSD. Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk was a Sophomore at SDSU.

The Soviet Union was on the verge of extinction despite a coup by Communist hard-liners to take over the government the end of the Cold War was near and NAFTA was just a bad idea instead of a trade agreement.

I still remember the day before on sunday when the Dallas Cowboys coached by Jimmy Johnson and their young quarterback third-year player out of UCLA Troy Aikman defeated the Cleveland Browns 26-14 in Bill Belichick's Head Coaching debut with the Browns. The Cowboys would go on to an 11-5 record, make the playoffs for the first time since 1985 and enjoy their first taste of post-Tom Landry success that season en route to becoming a football dynasty and the "Team of the 1990's" with 3 Super Bowl championships (1992, 1993, 1995).

Speaking of football, it used to be so easy to follow it on sundays. CBS had the NFC games, NBC had the AFC games. CBS's top announcing team was Pat Summerall and the verbose John Madden while NBC had current Padres' annoucer Dick Enberg and Bill Walsh. Sunday night games became common the year before and were split by TNT and ESPN and of course Monday Night Football was on ABC (where it should be) with Frank Gifford, Al Michaels and Dan Dierdorf.

There was no internet, no fantasy reports, no scoring graphics during the game, just the game itself.

Major League Baseball was on CBS during saturday afternoons although not every saturday which made it hard to follow with Jack Buck (Joe's daddy) and John Madden's MLB counterpart, the equally verbose Tim McCarver.

That season is known as the rise to power for the Atlanta Braves in the 1990's and 2000s which began in the 1991 season as the Braves beat the Dodgers in the NL West, defeated the Pirates in the NLCS and played in what is one of the greatest World Series I've ever seen against the Minnesota Twins. I still remember trying to watch the game in my dorm room which only had 3 channels (KGTV, KFMB, KPBS) and couldnt believe I was watching two teams who had been in last place for the 1990 season playing each other in the 1991 World Series.

After a few weeks in my dorm room with a couple of friendly, laid back Orange County surfers we agreed that maybe I could find a better room since my roomates loved to stay up late and party (and I did not). A trade was worked out when I moved down the hall in exchange for a surfer to be named later. The new room was located near Father Mike McKay's room and the washing machine.

My new roomate was the exact opposite of the surfer guys who knew seem to know around at USD after only a few weeks. In fact the new roomie was so quiet that no one at Maher knew him or recognized him. An interesting note is that when I mentioned earlier about their not being an internet I may have been fibbing because my new roomie was always on the computer. One day I asked him why he's always working on the computer and he told me he was talking to people on there.

Of course my first reaction is that he was joking but he claimed his computer was hooked up to a moden which allowed him to talk to people. At the time I thought it was interesting but thought he might have been bored and like to make up stories.

As an avid TV viewer that first semester was very frustrating because of the limited channels but I remember trying to watch a new family program with this this fellow named Tim Allen who had his own show named "Tool Time". Because of the reception I had trouble trying to figure out what the show was about and thought it would never last. Of course it lasted until 1999 and the show was called "Home Improvement".

Incoming freshmen, in between you getting homesick, partying, studying, etc remember whats going on around you today as you begin your freshmen year at college because 20 years later (in 2031) you might be typing about what was it was like 20 years ago in the year 2011!

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