Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Free Association

TigerBlog was driving TigerBlog Jr. somewhere Sunday when he got a text with the final score of the women's basketball game. Princeton 94, Columbia 35.

How much did Princeton win by, TB asked TBJ, who answered 59.

TB then followed that by saying "are you sure?" To that, TBJ fumbled, as if he'd gotten the original question wrong.

Before he could come back with a different answer, TB told him he was right the first time and that he shouldn't let TB talk him out of the right answer.

It was a flashback for TB, back to a time in high school when a teacher gave the class a test and then, before grading it, gave it back to everyone the next day and told them they could change any answers they wanted. It was all part of an experiment to see what would happen, and the result was that a high number of correct answers were changed to incorrect.

Later that year, the same teacher gave a true/false test in which every question was true (and relatively obviously so), only to learn that the students were largely afraid to put down "true" for every answer. TB caught on, as he recalls, and went "true" with every answer, even the very few he wasn't sure were correct.

TB was never a fan of true/false tests. He much preferred essay tests, which he viewed as tests of what he knew, rather than true/false or multiple choice, which he viewed as tests of what he didn't know.

At one point, TB was a high school baseball umpire, and to do so required passing a test that consisted of 50 true/false questions. TB got one wrong, and he knew the rule itself.

The rulebook, at least at the time, said that medical alert bracelets could be worn if they were taped to the player's chest, rather than simply as a bracelet.

On the test, there was a question that asked "are medical alert bracelets permitted?" Well, yes and no. So TB said true, only they were looking for false, since they couldn't be worn as bracelets.

Fortunately, TB knew the other rules, like three strikes and you're out and stuff like that.

So where were we? Free-associating? Okay, well, then:

* the 59-point Princeton women's basketball win over Columbia is, TB believes, the largest margin of victory by a Princeton team (men's or women's) ever at Jadwin Gym.

* when you're watching a game on TV and they come up with a stat like this one: "In their history, the Houston Texans have only won one game when they trailed by 14 points or more in the first quarter," how do they know that so quickly? TB wishes he had some mechanism like that at his disposal here, so he wouldn't have to look up every basketball game ever played at Jadwin Gym.

* that was a pretty big win in men's squash for Princeton over Harvard the other day, especially since No. 1 player and defending individual champ Todd Harrity lost his match. Princeton's win gives it a huge leg up in the league (though Yale among others is still out there), and there is always the brass ring of college squash, the chance to beat Trinity, preferably in the national finals Feb. 17-19 at Jadwin Gym.

* TB was playing squash Monday at Jadwin when the lights went out on D level, plunging court nine in total darkness. A let was played.

* BrotherBlog lives in Seattle, which means it snowed on him the last two days. Better him than TB.

* TB has only worn his heavy Princeton Athletics winter coat twice this winter to date, which is good. He's mostly been wearing his women's basketball jacket, which is more orange than black or white. It's very comfortable, but it's unlikely that TB would wear it if he didn't work at Princeton.

* Trivia quiz - Ian Hummer, who has 967 career points, has scored in double figures in every Princeton game this year. If he can maintain that for the rest of the season, he would become the first Princeton player since who to be in double figures in every game. Answer below.

* TB read a story that said that a researcher in England concluded that the third Monday in January (yesterday) is the most depressing day of the year, because of a combination of time elapsed from Christmas, failed New Year's resolutions, debt and weather. TB wasn't depressed at all yesterday. If TB had to guess the most depressing day of the year, it's the one when the clocks get turned back in the fall, when it first gets dark around 5.

* One thing TB wishes he could have looked up easily was the last time Princeton had two players score at least 25 points in game (Hummer and Douglas Davis did so against Florida State) and the last time before Hummer in that game that a Princeton player had at least 25 points and 15 rebounds.

* Did you see that Florida State beat North Carolina by 33? And the great quote from Roy Williams afterwards: "Princeton's defense must be a hell of a lot better than ours. They can hold them to 10 points in a half and we give up 8,000."

* Like Ian Hummer, Niveen Rasheed is closing in on 1,000, as she heads into exam break with 931 points. She would have about 1,250 or so had she not torn her ACL a year ago and missed 19 games, and that injury might cost her the all-time record of 1,683, held by Sandi Bittler.

* Niveen has been named the Ivy League Player of the Week this past week. It's her fourth honor of the season and seventh in her career, along with nine Rookie of the Year honors freshman year.

* If Niveen Rasheed isn't the Ivy League Player of the Year, something's wrong. And it has nothing to do with how many points she or anyone else scores. There's nothing she can't do on the basketball court (except dunk, TB presumes).

* Why have instant replay in sports if clearly obvious plays like the fumble by Greg Jennings in the Giants-Packers game aren't overturned? There is no point to the replay rule, which has deteriorated into a 50-50 guess that has no rhyme or reason and only serves to cause officials to be uncertain about calls and to disrupt the flow of the game.

* Princeton coach Courtney Banghart asked Little Miss TigerBlog who her favorite player was after Friday night's win over Cornell. LMTB said "No. 24." That's Rasheed.

* LMTB was there with her friend Wiki, and they met up with Dani, who plays on LMTB's basketball team, and another friend of Dani's. TB is pretty sure that Dani is in the top two or three on the basketball team in rebounds, despite the fact that she is the shortest player on the team - and probably the shortest player the team has seen all year.

* Not that it's easy to remember now, but the Giants lost their opener badly to the Redskins after a preseason in which there was a great deal of criticism for a lack of aggressive moves. It just shows that in the NFL, very few players are actual legitimate difference-makers. It's more important to have the right mix.

* Trivia question hint - it's not Bill Bradley. Or Brian Taylor. In fact, it's been in the last 25 years.

* TigerBlog has always thought Eli Manning was a top quarterback who played his best in big situations. Now he's starting to think he might be a Hall-of-Fame quarterback.

* The last time the Giants played the 49ers in the NFC championship game, TB watched the game at his friend Corey's house back when he was living in Woodbridge. TB is pretty sure that Corey's son Jonathan, now a Cornell sophomore, wasn't born yet. He also remembers that when he would go there after Jonathan was born, Corey would play with the baby toys and say "one day you'll understand."

* Speaking of the Hall of Fame, Trevor Tierney was one of three people with Princeton connections inducted into the New Jersey lacrosse Hall of Fame Sunday night, along with Peter Cordrey (goalie who graduated in 1982 and who was honored for his work in youth lacrosse in Summit) and head women's coach Chris Sailer (who is in the New England and Pennsylvania Halls of Fame, as well as the national Hall of Fame). TB thinks that Trevor has a pretty good shot at the national Hall of Fame as well - not too many have won NCAA, Major League Lacrosse and World Championships while also being named the top player at their position in a World Championship. He also has worked in youth lacrosse and has helped Denver to the NCAA Final Four as an assistant coach.

* Trevor also writes a blog. Interesting stuff: scroll down.

* Congratulations to Corporal Paul Deppi of the Newtown (Pa.) Police Department on his recent promotion. Deppi, known as Coach Deppi to hundreds of Lower Bucks Lacrosse players through the years, is the perfect youth coach for the average 3rd to 6th grader. His rate of getting former players to never forget him and to learn from him is about 100%.

* Princeton enters the 2012 men's lacrosse season with three players who were drafted in the MLL draft: Tyler Fiorito (seventh pick), Chad Wiedmaier (10th), John Cunningham (46th). TB, for one, cannot wait for the season, which starts five weeks from Saturday for the Tigers - and way earlier for some others in Division I.

* The men's hockey team had itself an outstanding weekend, going 1-0-1 against nationally ranked Colgate and Cornell. Princeton beat Colgate 6-2 Friday and then in what certainly felt like a win tied Cornell 3-3 after trailing 3-0 entering the third period.

* Didn't watch the Golden Globes. Won't watch the Oscars. Used to never miss the Oscars, except when it'd go head-to-head with the NCAA men's basketball championship game.

* Princeton is in fifth place in the ECAC men's hockey standings off that big weekend, though it has played more games than any other team. With the top 11 in the 12-team league separated by seven points, the goal is to be home in the first round (if a top four finish and first round bye doesn't happen).

* Do we think that the Packers would have won the game had they not rested Aaron Rodgers in Week 17? TB doesn't.

* TB saw "A Game of Honor" over the weekend, the documentary about Army and Navy football. Watch it, if you get the chance. Those people are amazing.

* TB tweeted during some of the recent women's basketball games. He's not really into it, though he gets it. For him, 140 characters is a little limiting. On the other hand, it's definitely replaced the concept of getting a quote from someone.

* On second thought, maybe he could get into Twitter. It certainly affords the opportunity to be creative. His problem with it is that it's all part of the culture of celebrity that is sort of destroying American society. Beyond that, it could be fun.

* Trivia answer? Alan Williams, in 1986-87. You didn't get it, did you?

Hey, this was fun.

TB will have to do it again sometime.


George Clark said...

Trivia question: I did not get it. Great question. If Hummer continues to score at his current pace for the rest of his career (assuming a 30 game schedule next year and no post season) he will move into third place on the All-Time list, unless DD scores at HIS average for the rest of this year. He will then be third and Hummer fourth. Pretty impressive production from two very special players.

hanan #24 mom said...

just sending you love from california ... your my favorite Blogger as well... not only that Niveen's love for the game drives her to do well ,,, also the beautiful souls like you she is Among at princeton, from her coaches ,her team mates her fans ,her friends and her teachers . every one she has met in the past 3 years at princeton has been such an inspiration for her and all of us ...
God Bless you! Hanan #24 Mom