Monday, December 21, 2009

Let It Snow

TigerBlog hates snow. He much prefers the beach, with a chair, a book, some sunscreen and a few snacks to bundling up and heading out to shovel snow.

Is there anything worse than shoveling snow? Seriously. Laundry? No problem. Supermarket? Dishes? Fine. Shoveling snow? No way.

As a kid, TigerBlog would shovel the driveway to basically the width of MotherBlog's car and no more. He remembers one time when he was in high school and it snowed, and for some reason TB wasn't able to shovel (those details are fuzzy). MotherBlog had to pay a kid who lived down the street to shovel, and he dug out the entire driveway, which included a little extra part that went off at a 45 degree angle. His own house? Shoveled to the width of the family car.

Of course, the mere mention of snow sends people into a panic over basics such as milk, which leads to jammed supermarkets, like the McCaffery's was Saturday.

TigerBlog has also never understood the logic of "I love to ski" when talking about how much they like snow. How does the fact that it snowed here help anyone ski? As an aside, TigerBlog has gone skiing once in his life, and that was enough for him.

And snow here it did over the weekend, more than a foot in the town of Princeton. And shovel TigerBlog did, all the while being aware of the fact in a few days, the beautiful white scene around the area will be replaced by slush and mud that will bring more of a brown Christmas than a white Christmas to most.

So, as the region continues to dig out from a snowfall that was about 10 times last winter's total combined, a few thoughts:

* The snow forced the men's basketball team to turn around from Phiadelphia Airport and postponed yesterday's game at Maine, a game that will be rescheduled. The last time Princeton had a basketball game snowed out was in 1994, when the Friday night/Saturday night trip to Yale/Brown became a Saturday/Sunday trip to Brown/Yale. TigerBlog was on the bus for that trip, which was memorable mostly because of how long it took to crawl up 95 after the blizzard. TigerBlog also remembers taking a box score from the Penn-Yale game to Pete Carril's hotel room, knocking on the door that was clearly labeled "no smoking" and getting bowled over by the cigar smoke when Carril answered the door.

* TigerBlog has always hated to use lacrosse pictures that have snow visible on the sideline in the background.

* TigerBlog watched some of the Rutgers bowl game Saturday night, and the whole system of postseason FBS football is bizarre. There's one game that has been designated as the championship game and there are another 30+ that mean nothing. There is, of course, no possible justification for designated Alabama and Texas as more deserving than TCU or Boise State or especially Cincinnati to play for the national title, other than subjectivity. The fact that the regular season means so much is good (as opposed to college basketball, where it means next to nothin), but it's a system so obviously flawed that everyone knows it. On the flip side is Ivy League football, which TigerBlog loves. 10 weeks. 10 games. No off weeks. It has such a great rhythm to it.

* It's easy to root for Richmond in basketball, and it was great to see the Spiders knock off Florida Saturday night. Richmond's coach is Chris Mooney, about whom TigerBlog once wrote a feature story that began with this line: "Is Chris Mooney too good to be true?" Mooney, a 1994 Princeton grad, started every game of his career and finished with 1,071 career points in 107 career games. He reached 1,000 one night at Yale in what happened to be the 100th game of his career, and TB sort of got used to the idea that Mooney would score exactly 10 points every game. Mooney is an extraordinarily soft-spoken man, but he has a deep, burning competitive fire; his team is now 8-3.

* TigerBlog didn't realize that women's basketball had its own bracketology on TB doesn't really like bracketology as a concept, because there's no accountability for the picks. Still, TB does acknowledge that people love to read the updates each week, and in many ways, it confirms that people are much more interested in what comes next rather than a story about the last game. Anyway, the current women's basketball picks have Princeton as a No. 14 seed taking on No. 3 LSU in the first round, and that was before Princeton won at Houston yesterday. Yes, there is a long, long way to go between now and the women's selections, and Princeton has never played in the NCAA women's tournament. Still, it was nice to see some recognition for the big early season success the Tigers have had. And Niveen Rasheed (24 points, 14 rebounds against Houston) seems to be the real deal.

* Mike Colley won the Doyle Smith Award as the person who has done the most to promote the sport of lacrosse, and the honor was presented at the USILA convention last week. Sadly, it was presented to Colley's mother and not to Colley, who passed away last summer at the age of 46. Colley was the lacrosse sport information contact at Virginia, and he actually replaced Smith, for whom the award is named, when Smith passed away several years ago after a long battle with Parkinson's. Smith was the first person to write the rules of keeping stats for lacrosse many years ago, and TigerBlog knew Smith well. There have been few kinder, more caring people who have ever lived than Doyle Smith. TB was part of a committee two summers ago to update Smith's work, and Colley was part of that group. Sports like lacrosse have their own small, close-knit groups that work together all the time, and TB worked closely with Colley for a long time as well, and he was another kind, caring person. It's hard to imagine a coming lacrosse season without him. Hopefully the award, voted on by the college coaches, was a sign to his mother about what the lacrosse world thought of her son.

* TigerBlog first met Corey Zucker in the third grade, he recalls. One of five kids (four brothers and a sister) who have been a second family to TigerBlog, Corey has been by TB every step of the way since, oh, 1970 or so. TigerBlog could write volumes on the Zucker family (and maybe will some day), but for now, the focus is on the next generation of Zuckers. TigerBlog remembers clearly the day Jonathan Zucker (Corey's oldest son) was born (Princeton played Yale in basketball that day as well). Last week came the news that Jonathan had been accepted early decision to Cornell, which disappointed TigerBlog, as he is now a huge archrival of Princeton's. Still, TB can't help but say congratulations to the whole family Zucker family and wish Jonathan the best in Ithaca. Just not during lacrosse season - or any time the Big Red plays Princeton.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is it about snow storms that make people stock up on milk, eggs and bread ... just because it is going to snow, does everyone have the sudden urge to eat french toast?