Friday, August 26, 2011

Like A Hurricane

Bob Dylan and Neil Young both sang about hurricanes, though in vastly different contexts.

Dylan sang about the "story of the Hurricane, the man the authorities came to blame, for something that he'd never done." His song was about Rubin (Hurricane) Carter, a middleweight boxer who was falsely imprisoned for a triple homicide from 1967-85. Now 74, Carter has spent his time since being freed - along with a man named John Artis - working to clear other innocent people from jail.

As for Young, well, his song starts out similarly, in a "crowded, hazy bar," though it goes in a completely different direction. Young is singing about a woman, one who apparently is a bit cold to him.

As he points out, "you are like a hurricane; there's calm in your eye. And I'm getting blown away, somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away."

Bob Dylan and Neil Young are very similar performers. They are both better songwriters than singers, but their weakness as vocalists actually led both to distinctly unique sounds. That, coupled with the power of their lyrics and guitars, makes both among the greatest ever in American music.

Neither song really applies to what is currently bearing down on Princeton, and that is Hurricane Irene.

In fact, the map of the projected path of the Hurricane appears to go right over Jadwin Gym sometime Sunday night. Apparently, more than 10 inches of rain are forecast for a 48-hour period, with winds approaching 90-100 miles per hour.

TigerBlog heard one weather expert on the radio saying that the models for this hurricane season suggest that this won't be the Northeast's only brush with a major storm this fall.

The hurricane will follow a few days after an earthquake hit this area, with reverberations from the epicenter in Virginia felt clearly in Princeton and all over the Northeast.

Since the news of Irene has broken, the requisite number of "what's next, a tornado?" comments have been flying around.

The coming storm means that this is unlikely to be a beach or pool or barbeque weekend. This is the last weekend of August, the last before Labor Day weekend, for many kids the last before school starts.

For most people, the weekend is just that - a weekend. The work week goes Monday through Friday, leaving Saturday and Sunday for some forms of recreation and fun.

In the world of college athletics, it doesn't quite work that way.

In fact, at Princeton, this is the last weekend of sorts until after Memorial Day, with a few exceptions mixed in.

Beginning next weekend, there are almost no weekends in the academic year that won't have a Princeton sporting event. Whether home or on the road, any number of staff members in any number of departments have to work.

It's the nature of the business. Nobody has a right to complain, since, as TB often says about any number of things, it's the same principle as people who buy houses near airports and then complain about the noise.

It's a weird adjustment going from working six or seven days a week during the school year to having weekends off all summer and then back to working on the weekends.

During the academic year, the work week builds to the games on Saturday, and being at the games is one of the best parts of working in college sports.

Still, other than a few weekends in December around the holidays and the two weekends during first semester exams in January, every weekend is booked between the beginning of September into June.

TigerBlog has never known anything different, with his career having been first in newspapers and now in college athletics.

TB has seen so many people who have left the business because of the hours, because of the need to work on weekends.

It's never bothered TigerBlog, perhaps because social likes aren't quite, uh, standard-issue.

In fact, when TB looks back on the weekends of his life, it's the games that stand out more than anything else.

Of course, maybe he'd like to have looked back on the last weekend of the summer of 2011 as a time spent outdoors, in the water somewhere. The water from the pool or the ocean, that is, not the water from Irene.

No comments: