The site you’re on right now evolved out of “DelGrads,” which first went live on MySpace(!) in early 2006 – you can check out the cadaverous remains of it right here – and by the end of that year, thousands of UD alumni (as well as then current students) had joined the page, and thousands of anecdotes had piled up, remembering almost every aspect of University of Delaware life since the mid '80s...
...DelGrads on MySpace was then adapted and expanded into the 463 page book Glory Days at Delaware, first published in November 2007. In the Fall of 2013, the momentous decision was then made to put the entire book online, completely free to read, with regular updates. You’re like, welcome, or something.
About the site's name, "Mug Night,” well, if you attended the University of Delaware and ever drank on a Thursday night at the Stone Balloon (or in more recent years, the Deer Park Tavern and Kate’s), no explanation necessary...you GET the reference!
Oh, and MugNight.com / Glory Days at Delaware is compiled, maintained, designed, and all that stuff by Darren Kane, UD '95...he's also known as "Digger" by his Delaware friends! If you’d like to contribute to the site or just drop him a note, he’s at delgrads(at)gmail.com.
Yo dude, I’m Darren.
I think I was born to be nostalgic, it’s simply the way I was wired. When I was just six weeks old, I said to my parents, “Yo, remember that time I made doodee in my diaper? That was cool.”
Just my quickie pre-college bio, I don’t want to bore you to death; born in 1973, and raised in beautiful Bergen County, NJ. I loved suburbia, had a happy childhood, and was a good student…though at times, way lazy. Played soccer and baseball at first, and then later tennis and (indoor) volleyball. Throughout the '80s, I consumed considerable amounts of television, video games, comic books, and Ring Dings…
…and also developed a particular affinity for wise-ass sarcasm. My comedy hero shortlist early on was David Letterman, Howard Stern, Bill Murray, Alex P. Keaton, and Han Solo.
In 1991, I started college at the University of Delaware.
Yo dude, I’m Digger.
I’ll often -- and quite obnoxiously -- refer to myself on this site in the third person, using my college nickname, “Digger.”
If someone calls me "Digger," they almost certainly know me from UD. Here's the derivation: My freshman year most people called me Darren -- yes, what my parents gave me -- but you know how when you start college, sometimes you still wear your varsity jacket and stuff from high school? I had this jacket from my high school boys volleyball team, where we had our positions embroidered(!) on the front. I was best known for my passing ability (bumping) and “digging,” so "Digger" was on my jacket...
...my good friend and Dickinson C next door neighbor Scott first grafted onto me the Digger nickname (having seen it on my jacket), which of course caught on. Nobody ever called me Digger in high school. But by my junior year of college, that's what virtually everybody called me. The Review even included me in a piece they did on college nicknames, which ran in February '94. Oh, by the way, Scott was assigned the nickname “Chubbs,” though the guy was never fat. Maybe a little bit freshman year, as Chubbs and I certainly pounded down a lot of cheesesteaks. My metabolism at the time was able to burn that stuff off.
Say you graduated UD in 2007, and you’re at the Deer Park during Alumni Weekend. You and your college buddies -- now somewhat beaten down by the “real world” -- are reminiscing about your good ole’ days at Delaware. “Remember that time when…” and all that stuff. The beer definitely helps conjure up the memories.
One table over, there’s a group who graduated in 2001. They overhear what you’re talking about, and have something to add, “You know, when we were going to school here, that was…”
And then me and my ancient friends who graduated in 1995 overhear what you’re talking about as well, and chime in. Loose conversation…about a campus, town, and college experience that meant a lot to us all.
Pure entertainment, that’s all this is meant to be; humorous stories about, and memories of, our beloved alma mater. And when it can’t be funny, it’s meant to be interesting.
Glory Days at Delaware is UD nostalgia as related by (mostly) two to three decades worth of UD students. What follows below is some overly detailed history on how this came about…
Okay, I’ve lived and worked in NYC since 1998, and I’m pretty sure it was 2000 when I was bored at my (then) day job, and just randomly looking stuff up on the Internet. Mind you, this was pre-Wikipedia, and before “Googling” was part of the lexicon. Did a search (probably on Yahoo!) for “Wilburfest.” One of the few search results yielded was Jeff K’s WilburStreet.com.
Jeff started WilburStreet.com in 1999, soon after he graduated UD. Way before social media existed, he set up the page as a way of archiving and sharing memories of his group of college friends, who lived on (or hung out on) Wilbur Street, during the second half of the '90s. I’d like to give Jeff due credit, in having the first substantial web page (that I know of) that featured nostalgic “unofficial” UD content.
Even before I stumbled across WilburStreet.com, I was looking to do something similar to what Jeff did, for my own group of Delaware friends. Obviously, even though I didn’t personally know Jeff, I was able to relate to the stories and memories on his page, simply because I attended UD as well…though, during the first half of the '90s.
Soon after I found Wilburstreet.com in 2000, I emailed Jeff, let him know I was a fan of his site, and that I was planning on doing a site for my crew as well. We agreed that when my site went live, cross-linking would be a no-brainer. And because I graduated in '95 and Jeff graduated in '99, we’d have a decent collection between us of UD anecdotes covering that decade. (Ironically, Jeff’s site was light on Wilburfest material…hey, not Jeff’s fault that Wilburfest was dormant during his years at Delaware. Read all about it right here!)
Anyway, I think I originally only registered the domain name Delaware95.com…and then did nothing with it, for five years. I could say that I was “busy” with other projects, and the constant battle to pay my NYC rent, but the real reason was my (then) unfamiliarity with web design and programming. I knew what I wanted to do, just didn’t have the skills to actually do it. But then MySpace came along.
MySpace came to my attention via the comedy subculture -- I’d been running around the NYC stand-up comedy scene since '99. At first I was doing a lot of stand-up, but then a short-lived MTV deal around 2002 (based on a college-themed game show pitch I’d written) convinced me to focus more on the writing end. Even though I was no longer aggressively looking for “stage time,” I often hung out -- and still do -- at the New York comedy clubs. Most regularly at The Comic Strip, which is up the street from me on the Upper East Side.
Late 2005, a lot of stand-ups were buzzing about this thing called MySpace, which was growing at an astronomic rate -- many comics were jumping on it to hopefully increase their following. So, I jumped on MySpace with my own name, Darren Kane, because I thought, “Well, why not? Everyone else is doing it,” and maybe to post some humor writing pieces. No intention to market myself as a stand-up, or to hit on chicks. (My philosophy on the latter may or may not have changed...)
So, I then also thought, “Why not join MySpace with a second profile, specifically to serve as the UD web page thing I’d been wanting to do for years?” The MySpace page could just be sort of a placeholder until I finally got the official Delaware95.com up-and-running, and I could possibly find other '95 graduates that I lost touch with…or never knew.
Okay, I’ll say that I was smart, in that I didn’t join MySpace with a “Delaware95” profile -- I knew that it was simply too narrow, going after that one year’s worth of UD graduates. At the time, there weren’t that many UD '95 kids on MySpace (at least, that could be found with a standard search), and really, what was I gonna do? Lock out UD grads from '94 or '96, who found the page and wanted to join? 1999 grads? 2003 grads? Local Newark, DE bands? For what I was looking to do, I couldn’t just confine it to my personal graduation year.
After about thirty-seconds worth of thought, I came up with the generic sounding “DelGrads” name; nice and simple, can blanket cover anyone who graduated (or who will graduate) from the University of Delaware, and if you went to UD you could infer what the name meant. Meaning, if this mysterious DelGrads person “friend requested” you on MySpace, you (hopefully) wouldn’t be creeped-out.
Real quick: Facebook had just started to heat up, but wasn’t a viable option. Remember, this was 2005-ish. At the time Facebook was pretty much an exclusive “college thing” -- a college email address was required to join, and I was ten years removed from UD. Any udel.edu address I had was long expired, and if it was that difficult for me to join Facebook at the time, how could I expect other UD graduates to be on it? I didn’t want those limitations. (Of course, we know what’s happened with MySpace and Facebook since then.)
Okay, DelGrads on MySpace went up in February 2006. The intention at the time was still for it to be just a placeholder site, and utilize it to farm stories and information from other UD graduates, for eventual use on a DelGrads.com site. The theory was that we’d jog each other’s memories, and share “then and now” type stuff…posted by UD graduates whose college years overlapped in such a way, that entire decades could be seamlessly accounted for.
The MySpace page took off. And by “took off,” I mean as much as a niche page could take off, before “liking” and “sharing” existed. Within a few weeks, I crossed the 500 friends mark, and then blew past 1000, then 3000, and so on. I think we peaked out at about 6000. That was a lot at the time. All of the page’s friends were past or current UD students, or at least had something to do with the town of Newark, Delaware. In addition, there were potentially thousands of other eyeballs on the site that I couldn’t track.
After just a few months of launching DelGrads on MySpace, there were already hundreds of blog comments piling up, posted by friends of the page. Stories, anecdotes, one-liners. Hilarious stuff. And it became apparent that the site could adapt into a book. That became the print incarnation of Glory Days at Delaware, which has now evolved back into the original intention, a massive nostalgia site. Which you’re now reading.
MugNight.com, Glory Days at Delaware, and DelGrads are © 2006 – 2015 the guy who made this site. Website designed by Digger Designs.