Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Old Alum & the Freshman Return!

(For their first two conversations, check here and here.)

The Freshman: Hey! I'm about to start my second year here at Columbia, why am I still called, "The Freshman?"

The Old Alum: Don't knock it kid... try being dead for 12 years on for size. Believe me, don't rush the aging thing.

The Freshman: I'm kind of excited about the upcoming football season, should I take it down a notch and be cool?

The Old Alum: To tell you the truth I always get excited around this time of year, and not just because this is when Angie Dickenson tries on her new swimsuits. A new football season is almost upon us, and that's always a time for optimism kid.

The Freshman: Could this be Columbia's year? I mean I was thinking of taking a special Saturday language lab this coming semester, but maybe now I'll keep that day open so I can go to the games.

The Old Alum: Let's get one thing straight kid, if I hear one more word out of you about classes or even heavy studying on Saturdays, I'm going to pull your pants up over your head and push you out in the middle of Broadway.

Absolutely you should get to all the football games this season... and get there early. Not only is it a nice change of pace from campus life... but have you seen some of the young ladies who go to the games and even do work-study at Baker Field? We've got to get you more than just one date this semester.

The Freshman: Do you think I should ask a girl to a game? It could be like a casual date, right?

The Old Alum: You're learning kid! Yes, taking a lady to a game is a much better choice than a movie or just dinner. You can talk more, you're outdoors, and you can do gentlemanly things like helping her up the stadium stairs and getting her one of those reasonably priced sodas at the concession stands. (I can't believe I just endorsed the purchase of soft drinks).

But seriously kid, what are your other options these days. Spending an afternoon "texting" a girl or trying to put silly messages on her Facebook page? I'm all for new technology, but not when it cuts down on real face time with the ladies.

The Freshman: I've been watching that new show "Greek" on ABC this summer. It's pretty good. Do you think I should rush a frat this fall?

The Old Alum: Well, if you know the guys already and you like them, it's a great idea. We formed the "Rat Pack" just to make things official and it sure helped when we needed to book more than three adjourning suites at The Desert Inn.

But speaking of summer TV viewing, how about that AMC series "Madmen?" It's right up my alley, set in 1960 with lots of office drinking and a side order of hanky panky. Now THAT'S a show.

The Freshman: I'm almost done with my super-important internship at Globex Inc. I really learned a lot and now I'm sure they'll give me a job after I graduate.

The Old Alum: This unpaid internship thing is definitely not my bag. If I wanted to work for free, I would've signed up to be one of Frank Sinatra's wives. Next summer, why don't you go out and make a few bucks and give your parents a break on that $45k they're paying to send you to school?

The Freshman: I heard they picked us to come in 6th in the league. I'm a little bummed about that.

The Old Alum: Don't be bummed. Most years, the media would pick Columbia 9th out of eight teams if they could. A 6th-place prediction from those guys means they see a MAJOR difference in this program and the possibility of contending for the title. It's "tough love"... kind of like the way I treated Jerry Lewis once in a while when he got out line. I smacked him around a little, and then it was usually okay.

The Freshman: So, you think this team is going to be good?

The Old Alum: Absolutely. The defense will be about as good or better than it was last year, and the offense will get better. It's a simple equation that will result in another win or two over last season.

The Freshman: But Yale looks so strong, and Penn got a transfer from BC who might eat our guys alive!

The Old Alum: Grab this paper bag and start breathing into it son.

Okay, I want you to remember something: it's okay to feel almost any emotion in this league, but fear isn't one of them. No Ivy team is invincible, and nobody's going to embarrass you unless you let them.

But yeah, Yale and Penn and a lot of the other teams will be tough. But that's what makes this a great league. We're going to see a lot of close games again this year... just make sure you're ready to watch some good football and leave that laptop in your room this year!

The Freshman: Coach Wilson seems like he's taking an understated approach to the season. I'm a little bummed he's not pumping everyone up.

The Old Alum: Easy kid. I remember Sammy and I were headlining at the Copa one night and some idiot from the club was out on the street barking at people to buy tickets. Well it gave Sammy such a swelled head, I needed to give him an extra few shots of Dewars just to calm him down enough to go onstage. Then he kept missing his cues, and the show was a disaster.

It's best to keep all the players motivated. They're all excited enough, and the fans will get into it if the local and campus media do their jobs.

The Freshman: What about that campus media? Will the Spec do a better job this year?

The Old Alum: I almost guarantee it. They took some hard knocks last season, but the returning writers are learning every day. But don't believe everything you read... anywhere.

The Freshman: What's your take on the Mannhatanville expansion? Some of the "campus leaders" are organizing some more protests this year. But I heard we might get a new gym out of it. I'm conflicted, because I know we should always fight any kind of commercial enterprise, but that new gym could be the answer for my sagging pecs.

The Old Alum: I don't know where to start... Okay, let's begin with the "campus leaders." I'll give you 9-to-1 odds that most of them are basically rich kids looking to get back at daddy for taking his new wife to Switzerland last Christmas instead of buying them a Chanel bag.

And don't feel conflicted about commercial enterprises. You're going to have to become a part of one in a few years after you graduate anyway. If you want to feel conflicted, think about my lousy agent going off the GW Bridge... in my '65 Maserati!

Manhattanville has been a wasteland for a few generations now... and the few people who do actually live there will be making out REALLY good in this deal. Most of the signs protesting the expansion have been plastered on abandoned warehouses. And if you're thinking that only an insane person would favor abandoned blight over Columbia's plans, then I think maybe your mind isn't as full of mush as I thought.

See you at the stadium kid!

Rocholl's Moment

I interviewed his parents a few months ago, but the Columbia website does a quickie "On the Prowl" feature with kicker/punter Jon Rocholl. There are some funny comments there.


At Thu Aug 09, 02:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screw the "campus leaders". As a recent alum, I can say that they definitely don't speak for me. I would also bet that most undergrads don't agree with them either. Columbia's student body should not let these malcontents speak for everyone and try to ruin an important project like this

At Thu Aug 09, 02:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The alumni and students of Columbia should demand a new gym to be built on the new campus in Manhattanville. It is long past time for such a facility, and there is no rational reason for the new campus to exclude athletics. This would benefit both student athletes and regular students, faculty, staff, etc. The current facilities for non-athletes are a joke and a major negative for the university in trying to recruit talented professors, administrators, and students. Let's turn this weakness into a strength!


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