Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Three Things

1) Games when Chris Young pitches for the San Diego Padres almost always start at 10 pm, so nobody short of Princeton baseball coach Scott Bradley is actually watching him. If you're like most Princeton fans, you check the Web the next day to see how he did. To find out, you have to access a site such as or so and then scroll all the way down to the last scores of the night. If it's a night like last night, when the score says the Padres defeated the Dodgers 4-2, you have to go to the box score and find out if Young got the win or not (in this case, he did). So why do all this? Easy. It's TigerBlog's contention that Chris Young is the most beloved Princeton athlete of the last 20 years (at least). There are many reasons for this. He's literally larger than life. He's about as good a person as you'll ever talk to. He's never forgotten his Princeton roots. He has something of a "tragic hero" mystique because of what he might have done had he played his junior and senior years. And he's ultra-successful, which has a way of attracting people.

2) Transactions in this morning's paper offered two items with Princeton ties. First, South Carolina guard Devan Downey announced he was declaring for the NBA draft. Princeton fans remember Downey for the 22 points he scored in South Carolina's win at Jadwin Gym earlier this year. Also, the Washington Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse announced that they were placing Christian Cook on waivers. TigerBlog remembers standing on Finney Field when Cook was a freshman reserve for Princeton and watching him run off the field after a change of possession. Afterwards, TB mentioned to BT (Princeton coach Bill Tierney) how fast Cook was; Tierney's casual response was that Cook was definitely going to be a first-team All-America at some point. Tierney turned out to be right, as Cook became first-team All-America as a senior in 1998. Cook's lacrosse career includes three NCAA titles, as well as aWorld Championship with Team USA and an MLL championship with the Bayhawks. Cook, always with his horn-rimmed glasses, is also one of the nicest players to come through the program.

3) TigerBlog was back in Franklin Field Tuesday night for Princeton's 10-9 overtime win over Penn in a game that turned out to be shockingly close. Perhaps Princeton was looking past Penn to Harvard and Cornell or was still celebrating its win over Syracuse from last Saturday. Perhaps some letdown was natural, and that, coupled with how perfectly Penn executed its game plan of winning face-offs and taking the air out of the ball, resulted in a tense game that ended with Tommy Davis' fourth goal of the night. The winning goal was actually the result of a great feed from Jack McBride, who is much more of a finisher than playmaker. Going into Franklin Field for lacrosse always takes TB back to the first lacrosse game he ever saw, a Penn-Brown game in the early ’80s. The Penn coach then was Tony Seaman, whose son Greg is a senior tri-captain on this year's team (and just took TigerCam to Giants Stadium and came back with this video). And, of course, TigerBlog will be much, much older before he forgets the 2007 visit to Franklin Field for men's lacrosse, when two raccoons joined him in the radio booth.

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