I started as a freshman at San Diego State in 2006.
Growing up two hours north, the extent of my familiarity with San Diego State sports was: “Hey, that’s where Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila went!” At that time in my life I was a Packers fan who really didn’t care about anything other than NFL or NBA, so I’m not only pandering to the editorial staff that was kind enough to welcome me here.
But I was excited to immerse myself in college sports.
Aztecs men’s basketball was coming off arguably its greatest season ever, coach Tony Gwynn was poised to take the baseball team to new heights and the football team had made a great hire in hotshot young coach Chuck Long. Little did I know we were entering the FISHER HAS PLATEAUED!!!1!11!! era, Stephen Strasburg was still years away and Chuck Long was less swaggy wunderkind and more harbinger of doom prophesied to rise from the deepest trenches of hell to unleash despair upon the souls of the damned.
At my first football game against UTEP there was much enthusiasm among my fellow first-year undergrads. Then quarterback Kevin O’Connell got hurt. We fell behind by 17. And suddenly, the 4,000-ish students were down to me and about 11 others. Our backup QB and future wide receiver led a furious comeback that came up just short and the rest was history.
Thankfully, that all changed in 2009. In fact you can trace back the moment SDSU sports started this incredible upward turn. It was the summer before the ’09-10 school year started, my senior year. And who decides to show up to the shitty backyard pool party we were having that day? A few select members of the basketball team, including Billy White and future NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, who had just turned 18 a few days prior.
So my buddy and I end up playing Billy and Kawhi in a game that involved ping pong balls, red cups and absolutely no beer of any kind. Go ahead and take a second to imagine what a ping pong ball looks like in the hand of The Klaw. It’s like a mortal human holding a pea. He also appeared to be playing this game for the first time in his life. Billy, on the other hand, was no stranger to the game’s rules and intricacies.
The game went to overtime but eventually we handed Kawhi the first defeat of his post-high school career. And what happened after that? Brady Hoke began the football program’s turnaround, the basketball team made it back to The Dance and Stras-mania reached its apex. Basically, you can thank me for all the success of the past seven years.
Why else should you care about me? For context, I used to tweet for The Show. Back in the double-underscore days. Remember #TonyBlanding and #BurnItDownOnTheWayOut? That was all me. In fact, all the good tweets you’ve ever seen from The Show came from me and only me. Except for that one tweet. Or any others you didn’t like.
I’ve been to 10 football road games in the past six years, where I’ve compiled a robust 2-8 record. (How Tom Ables has done it for 400 years and kept his will to live is a mystery to both science and religion.)
On the hierarchy of SDSU fans, I’m somewhere above the guys who wrote angry letters about Zuma but below the dude who made those t-shirts about Jimmer Fredette’s girlfriend. And I’m happy to be here.