For a couple of decades, Northwestern alumnus Pete Shaw could fairly be termed as an interested bystander of the Wildcats’ football program.
A standout defensive back at Northwestern whose NFL career included five seasons (1977-81) with the San Diego Chargers, Shaw saw games on TV when he could and attended the 1996 Rose Bowl — a 41-32 loss to USC in the Wildcats’ first appearance in the game since 1949.
There was just not a lot to be excited about, with Northwestern posing as fodder for the Big Ten’s big guns.
Then came the phone call in 2012 while Shaw, who lives in North County’s San Elijo Hills, was playing a round of golf at Aviara. He didn’t recognize the number, but answered it anyway.