Friday, September 3, 2010

Earl-y Games

Hurricane Earl, as TigerBlog sits down to write, is centered about 150 miles to the southeast. Looking out his window, TB can see from the trees that there isn't the slightest bit of wind right now in Princeton.

After a week or so of "bracing" for Earl, it appears that the storm is going to miss New Jersey. The forecast for heavy rain has been replaced by a 30% chance of rain this morning or early afternoon, with clear skies in Central Jersey tonight at 7.

As for the weekend, the forecast couldn't be better, with temperatures in the 70s Saturday and Sunday and the low 80s Monday with no chance of precipitation any of those days.

All of this is great news for those who make their livings at the Jersey Shore, who were probably figuring on a lost Labor Day weekend due to Earl. Though the stakes weren't quite as high for Princeton athletics, it is nice to know that the opening weekend of events for 2010-11 will be played in great weather.

Today is Opening Day for Princeton, with the women's soccer team at Rutgers at 7 and the women's volleyball team at Lafayette for the Leopard's tournament today and tomorrow. The men's soccer team plays tomorrow at 7 at FDU, and the first home events are Sunday, when the field hockey team hosts Bucknell and the women's soccer team hosts Seton Hall, both at 1 (and both free, for that matter).

As an aside, the Seton Hall women's soccer coaching staff includes Esmeralda Negron, the all-time leading scorer in Princeton soccer history (men's and women's).

As TB mentioned the other day, there are 60 athletic events for Princeton teams in the month of September alone and more than 600 for the coming year.

The start of the new year got TB to thinking about the summer that is ending.

TB is often asked if the people in the athletic department work in the summer, the answer to which is clearly yes. The pace may be slower because there are no games, but there is definitely work to be done.

The compliance staff, for instance, goes through the time-consuming NCAA clearinghouse procedure during the summer. There are all kinds of meetings, from strategic planning to ticketing/marketing to television and corporate sponsorship and other fundraising.

Here in the OAC, the pace certainly wasn't what it'll be now that games are starting, but the big fear at the beginning of the summer is always that the information on the website is going to get stale.

Instead, from June 1st until yesterday, there were 172 stories posted to, an average of more than 2.5 stories per work day.

TB thought it'd be interesting to go back to some of those stories and see exactly what there was to write about all that time. Consider July 28-30, which had these fairly random headlines:

2010 Football Tickets Now Available To Be Ordered Online
Rachel Dawson Joins Princeton Field Hockey Staff
Men's Track Earns Five Places on All-Academic Team
Michibata to Receive Rogers Cup Hall of Fame Invite
Five Tigers Named to Track & Field All-Academic Team
One on One with Judson Wallace '05
Start Times For All 2010 Football Games Now Available Online
Kendrick Saunders Named Director of Men's Basketball Operations
Tiger Rowers Win Seven Medals At U23 World Championships
Women's Lacrosse Assistant Altig Takes Job at Penn State

As for TigerBlog, as was the case in the summer of 2009, every business day was accounted for with something.

This summer alone, TB subjects included:
* the World Cup (a lot)
* Lindsey Lohan
* LeBron James
* Abbott and Costello
* South Pacific
* youth lacrosse
* the guy who played the manager in Major League
* that marathon tennis match from Wimbledon
* the election of Tony Mack as mayor of Trenton
* Cash Cab
* the TV show "The White Shadow"
* Lou Pinella
* The Sure Thing

Of course, all of these topics (and many others) related back to Princeton athletics.

The point is that yes, Princeton athletics does work in the summer. Apparently, a lot of work.

But the main reason that people work in college athletics is to work with the athletes and, of course, for the games.

And they start today.

Hurricane Earl has chosen not to attend the opening weekend. You, on the other hand, are cordially invited.

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