Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dreaming Of A White Month After Christmas

For those in the greater Princeton area who were dreaming of a white Christmas, well, you were disappointed.

For those hoping to have a day since Christmas without snow on the ground, you too are similarly disappointed.

Today marks exactly one month since the first snowfall of this winter in Central Jersey. Back on Dec. 26, more than a foot of snow was dropped on the area, and since that day, there has not been a day where snow has not been on the ground.

The snow that made this morning's commute a disaster is the seventh of the season, and this one could be the worst. It's supposed to snow for much of the day before turning first to ice and freezing rain and then back to snow for an additional five to eight inches.

This year's awful winter comes on the heels of last year's, when there were four separate storms of at least a foot of snow. This year hasn't had that many huge downfalls, as the average has been about six inches or so.

Of course, this year also has featured much colder overall temperatures. Last weekend, for instance, it never got above 20 degrees, and the lows were around five.

TigerBlog much prefers warm to cold, summer to winter, dry to snow. He's been skiing once and didn't like it; he's been to the beach hundreds of times and loves it.

Of course, there was a least one ray of sunshine today, one glimmer of hope that the end of winter is at least on the horizon.

Today marked Opening Day for the first spring sport.

Okay, Princeton-Rutgers women's tennis on E level of Jadwin on a snowy, icy day isn't quite sitting on the hill at Clarke Field or at Class of 1952 Stadium on the first sunny and 70 degree day of April, but at least it's a spring sport.

Megan Bradley, the women's tennis coach, learned a year ago in her first season - when she led the Tigers to a 7-0 Ivy mark and the league title - that the best way to boost attendance for her team's matches in Jadwin was to feed the audience.

As such, there was a sign inviting everyone down to E level to watch the match and enjoy bagels, coffee and orange juice. And, at 10, as the teams were warming up, sure enough there was a parade to the courts, to see a little tennis and get some free food.

As TB reached for a plain along with a few others, Bradley walked by and said to the group "now you have to stay and watch for awhile."

Bradley was dressed in black sweatpants and an orange "Princeton tennis" sweatshirt, and it got TB to thinking about the wide disparity of ways in which coaches dress for their events.

For instance, men's hockey coach Guy Gadowsky and men's basketball coach Sydney Johnson are always in suit and tie for their games. Courtney Banghart gets dressed up for her women's basketball games as well.

The football staff, all of it, wears the same exact thing, with their Princeton football shirt and khaki pants.

Men's lacrosse does basically the same, substituting Princeton lacrosse gear for football; women's lacrosse tends to be a bit more casual, with sweatpants and Princeton lacrosse tops.

Scott Bradley and the baseball staff wear, of course, baseball uniforms, honoring a long-standing tradition that includes every baseball manager in the last 100 years except for Connie Mack, who famously wore a jacket and tie.

Trina Salcido and the softball staff, on the other hand, wear sweats and Princeton softball gear.

The field hockey coaches dress up. The soccer coaches dress, for the most part, as if they're about to put themselves in the game, with soccer shorts and dri-fit shirts in reasonable weather and then winter stuff when it gets cold.

Beyond those groups, there are also the coaches who dress in what could basically be called business casual, usually in an orange and black scheme. TB's sense is that some of these coaches have their lucky shirts and sweaters and such.

TB isn't sure why basketball and hockey coaches began to dress up for games, while most coaches tend to be as casual as possible. Perhaps it is because those sports are indoors or because the coaches are so easily seen by the fans in the arena.

These days, all of these different dressing styles are part of the different cultures of each sport, and to deviate from them really stands out. TB used to like to see football coaches who wore suits on the sideline, but now they just look odd.

The same would be true if Chris Bates showed up for the first men's lacrosse game of the season with the same kind of suit that his hockey or basketball colleagues wear.

Of course, that first men's lacrosse game is a mere four weeks from Saturday.

By then, it'll probably have snowed five more times.


CAZ said...

What, no cinnamon raisin with a schmear???

Anonymous said...

Too bad hoops coaches don't follow the lead of baseball coaches. Oh to have seen Petey in shorts and a basketball shirt!