The official Princeton travel party, including coaches, staff, administrators, family members and a group of very excited players, has made its way to Charleston, S.C. The Citadel is not the typical opponent for Princeton, and it certainly wasn't the typical way to travel.
Since Princeton usually plays its first road game at either Lehigh or Lafayette, the team doesn't leave campus until Saturday. This year, it was time to say goodbye on Thursday. The travel party met at Caldwell Field House at 3:45, picked up a bagged lunch and followed a police escort -- yes, a police escort -- to the Philadelphia Airport.
The team arrived in a parking lot next to the airport, where only one plane could be seen. The charter flight, aboard Miami Airlines, was waiting for the travel party. After an ID and bag check, the party was loaded and ready to go.
Unfortunately, about 18 planes ahead of Princeton's were also ready to go. The 2008 Tigers waited three long weeks as most other schools began their football seasons. What's 45 more minutes?
After a smooth flight, the team headed to a nearby Sheraton, found their rooms and met in one of the ballrooms for dinner. By the time dinner was over, it was 10:00 and, after players hung out with their families for a bit, it was time to call it an evening.
Friday's schedule begins with carriage tours of Charleston for both players and members of the travel party. After that, the players will move their focus fully to the tough No. 22 Citadel football team. There will be a reception for the travel party and any local alumni at the Gibbes Museum of Art at 6:30 p.m.