Friday, March 4, 2011

Showing Up

TigerBlog was driving in this morning when the Pink Floyd song "Comfortably Numb" came on the radio, and TB immediately flashed back to yesterday afternoon, when the same song was playing on his I-tunes.

TB was half-singing when another member of the office came in and remarked that he had no idea what song that was. How, TigerBlog thought, could somebody not know "Comfortably Numb?"

Of course, TB often forgets that he's not quite a kid anymore, and incidents like that serve as harsh reminders. It's like the time a few years ago that TB found out that nobody he worked with realized that there had been a TV show called "Get Smart."

"Comfortably Numb" was a 1979 song on the album "The Wall," and it and the album are among the greatest in the history of rock music. TigerBlog is no huge Pink Floyd fan, but he has known since the first time he heard the song that it was something special.

Once it was determined that, aside from TB, only one other person in the office had even the vaguest knowledge of the song, there was a quick search that revealed that Rolling Stone magazine had ranked the song as the 314th best all-time, a number a bit higher than TB would have guessed.

No. 1, as an aside, was "Like a Rolling Stone," by Bob Dylan. There were only two Bruce Springsteen songs in the top 100, "Born To Run" at No. 21 and "Thunder Road" at No. 86; on the "TigerBlog Top 500," they rank 1-2.

Shortly after the whole "Comfortably Numb" situation drifted away, Director of Athletics Gary Walters walked into the office.

Walters was out sick for most of the week, but he seemed to be in good spirits on his return. TB, who started here at Princeton on the same day that Walters did, couldn't remember a time when the AD had been out sick before, and so he asked him about it.

Walters said that they were indeed his first sick days, which led to the inevitable comment about how Woody Allen said that 80 percent of life is about showing up.

If showing up is indeed 80 percent of it, then Princeton Athletics is 80 percent there of late.

Princeton may be setting some sort of record for the number of teams on the road in a four-day stretch, which for the one that starts today totals 14. The total number of Princeton teams who will be competing is 17, as men's hockey, women's water polo and men's tennis are at home.

To put that in some perspective, former Princeton executive associate athletic director Michael Cross is now the AD at Bradley, which has 13 sports total. Rutgers, in the Big East, has 22 for its entire program, or only five more than Princeton has playing this weekend alone.

Some teams are opening their seasons, like the softball team at UMBC's tournament and the baseball team at LSU.

Speaking of the baseball team, the Tigers waiting for Princeton's Tigers in Louisiana are currently 9-0 and ranked near the Top 10. And Princeton? Well, the weather did break just enough to get some outdoor batting practice in a few times; otherwise, practice has been confined to the pit on E level of Jadwin.

Some other teams are playing huge non-league games in their early season, like the men's lacrosse team at Johns Hopkins and the women's lacrosse team at Duke.

Still others are at the most crucial juncture of their seasons.

The men's and women's squash individual national championships are being held at Dartmouth, where the Princeton men have the No. 1 (Todd Harrity) and No. 2 (David Letourneau) seeds.

The men's swimming and diving championships began yesterday and continue through tomorrow at Harvard, where it figures to be between the home team and the Tigers and also figures to be close the whole way.

The men's hockey team is home in the first round of the ECAC playoffs against St. Lawrence tonight at 7, tomorrow at 4 and then Sunday at 4 if necessary. While it would have been great to get the first-round bye, the up side is the chance to gain some momentum heading into the later rounds - if you can get that far.

And, of course, the men's and women's basketball teams are playing for Ivy League championships of their own this weekend and then possibly Tuesday and even next weekend if a playoff is necessary.

If that's not enough, there's men's track and field, women's track and field, women's tennis, men's volleyball and wrestling on the road and men's tennis and women's water polo at home.

That's 17 teams who are 80 percent there. The other 20 percent should be pretty interesting.


Anonymous said...

Born To Run and Thunder Road speak for themselves as among the absolute greatest rock songs of all time, but they're not even the best song on that album.

Anonymous said...

Women's basketball is home this weekend also!!

TigerBlog said...

TigerBlog mentioned that women's basketball was home. He referred to the other teams because he hadn't mentioned them yet.

TigerBlog said...

TB would guess that you're referring to Jungleland, though it could be Backstreets.

William said...

is there a way to watch the basketball game liveon laptop other then subscription.

marc said...

comfortably numb is a great song. although until i listened to it now on iTunes I had no idea that was the name of the song or that it was by Pink Floyd. so maybe thats what you are running into...