Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thoughts For Late August, er, April

A guy named Vinnie used to work here in the Office of Athletic Communications, and no, this isn't a joke.

Anyway, the OAC didn't used to have working air conditioning, and during one particularly brutal summer stretch, Vinnie called OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Heath Administration) to complain that it was about a million degrees here. When they suggested starting with his department head, Vinnie replied: "I'd ask him, but I can't chisel the ice off his door from his room air conditioner."

Times have changed since then. Here it is in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave for April, and the air conditioning has been turned on here on the balcony level of Jadwin Gym. This wasn't the case yesterday or over the weekend, which made the OAC and the other offices on the balcony oppressively hot. By contrast, today is an extraordinarily pleasant one here.

Ah, but as the temperatures soar above 90, it's important to remember that it's still the spring here. Spring sports are reaching the end of their schedules, though some have a chance to make their springs roll closer to summer:

* the baseball team is at Cornell tomorrow in a one-game playoff for the Gehrig Division championship. In a deja vu deal, the Tigers were just there Sunday for two games, and they came agonizingly close to winning it until a two-run eighth for the Big Red forced the one-game playoff. So, back on the buses the Tigers go, heading back to Ithaca for nine more innings. For the winner there is a trip to Hanover for the weekend to take on Dartmouth in the best-of-three Ivy League Championship Series. The Big Green went 16-4 in the league in the regular season to win the Rolfe Division by a game over Brown at 15-5, while Princeton and Cornell tied at 10-10 each. Dartmouth went 4-0 against Cornell/Princeton during a weekend earlier this month, winning each game by at least three runs. The winner of tomorrow's game, though, will have some momentum, as well as rested pitchers, for the ILCS. The team with the better regular-season record doesn't always win the ILCS.

* speaking of Gehrig and Rolfe, have many players on Princeton, Cornell and Dartmouth can identify who Gehrig and Rolfe were? The divisions were named for Lou Gehrig, who played at Columbia before becoming one of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history with the Yankees, and Red Rolfe, Gehrig's Yankee teammate who played at Dartmouth and then returned to Dartmouth as athletic director after his Major League playing and managing career. Ask any current college baseball player who the "Pride of the Yankees" was, and they're likely to say Derek Jeter. As long as they don't say A-Rod, then it's probably okay.

* the women's tennis team find out its NCAA tournament assignment today. Selections are on ESPNEWS at 5:20 this afternoon.

* the women's lacrosse team is headed to the NCAA tournament, but first there is the last home regular season game tomorrow night against Loyola followed by a game at Maryland Saturday. NCAA women's lacrosse selections are Sunday evening at 8. The first-round will be on Mothers' Day.

* the men's lacrosse team plays its Ivy League "co-championship" game Saturday against Brown at Class of 1952 Stadium at 1 as the winner will share the league title with Cornell. Should Brown win, it would earn the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament; should Princeton win, Cornell would get the automatic bid. Even without the bid, it's likely that all three Ivy schools will be in the field of 16 when it is announced Sunday at 9 on ESPNU. This is a contrast to last year, when Princeton and Brown played a "co-championship" game in Providence that saw the Bears win, the final goal of the game scored by Princeton goalie Alex Hewit and neither team make the NCAA tournament.

* the Ivy League championships in men's and women's track and field will be decided at Heps on May 9-10 at Penn. The Ivy League championships for men's rowing will be decided at Eastern Sprints on May 10 in Worcester, while women's open Ivy rowing will be decided on May 17 in Camden.

* finally, a story about sportsmanship that has nothing to do with Princeton. TigerBlog Jr. was playing lacrosse (5/6 grade level) last Saturday in a tournament, and after the first game, which TBJ's team won 4-2, the players were going through the handshake line. The best player on the other team was No. 10, a big attackman. No. 10 had a difficult time against TBJ's team's best defender (a big kid named Matt Anderson). As the two reached each other in a line that otherwise included the requisite "good game, good game, good game" pounding of gloves, No. 10 suddenly stopped and said to Matt: "You are really good." Matt said to him: "You are a tough player." Then they shook hands, as opposed to just bumping gloves against each other. Hopefully these 11- or 12-year-old kids won't give in to the constant barrage of images of chest-pounding me-ism that surrounds them.

No comments: