Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12, 1,970 And 2,071

Today is 12/12/12.

When TigerBlog did a search of "12/12/12 meaning," he found a story that quoted a Las Vegas numerologist as saying this:

"Other-dimensional energy abounds; the veil between this everyday world and the spiritual dimensions is more easily pierced," he said. "The window to the higher planes is opened temporarily, more so on some dates and times than on others."

TigerBlog has no idea what that means. And he went to college and everything.

Then there's the story about the boy in Alabama who was born at 12:12 pm on 12/12/00, which means that he'll turn exactly 12 at 12:12 this afternoon, or 12 at 12:12 on 12/12/12.

Today's "12/12/12" follows by a  year, a month and a day the equally other-dimensional date of 11/11/11, another day on which nothing especially significant happened.

The next time the month, day and year will all be the same will be 10/10/10 - as in Oct. 10, 2110. Or possibly Jan. 1, 2101, which will be 01/01/01, though nobody writes it that way.

Either way, TB figures he probably won't be around for either one.

Of course, the world is supposed to end in nine days, on 12/21/12, which is the last day of the 5,000-year Mayan calendar. TB figures that ancient Mayans just assumed that it would start over again, if they gave it any thought at all, and so he's assuming that come 12/22, the world will still be here - and Princeton will play Bucknell in men's basketball.

As an aside, TigerBlog Jr.'s best friend is Matthew, whose younger brother is William, whose birthday is 12/21. William is concerned that because the world is supposed to end on his birthday, nobody is going to bother buying him presents.

Anyway, the numbers that TB is interested in today are not 12/12/12 or 12/21/12 or any of those.

Nope, they're 1,970 and 2,071.

Those were the attendance figures for men's basketball and men's hockey this past Saturday here at Princeton. The 1,970 for men's basketball meant that Jadwin Gym was about 1/3 full; the 2,071 for men's hockey meant that Baker Rink was close to sold out.

The men's basketball game was a 2:00 start against Drexel. The men's hockey game was a 4:00 start against Quinnipiac.

So what do the numbers say? Again, TB isn't sure what to think.

At the same time, he'd say all of these are worth discussing:

* Saturday afternoon during mid-December is tough, with holiday shopping, birthday parties, holiday parties, movies and a ton of sports on TV

* has the NHL strike helped attendance for Princeton hockey at all?

* how many people went to both games?

* would attendance have been higher had the two games been on separate days? In other words did roughly 4,000 people decide to attend one game on that day and would there have been greater overlap had they been on different days?

* is 2:00 the best time for the men's basketball game, better than say 6 or 7? TigerBlog thinks it is.

* is Princeton doing all it can to maximize the game-day experience for its fans?

* Lastly, is 1,970 a good attendance number for a non-league men's basketball game in early December?

The last one is a point that TB will expand on.

As he has said so many times, the general consensus is that attendance should always be higher. Maybe it should be, but what is the investment that schools should be willing to make to try to achieve that - or for that matter, what impact would greater investment actually have.

When Princeton tipped with Drexel the other day, there were four million college basketball games on TV, in addition to every other activity that one of Princeton's primary target audiences - families with younger children - had available.

So getting roughly 2,000 to come to Jadwin for that game? TB thinks that that's about what could be expected.

The other point is that a 1/3 full Jadwin looks much different than a full Baker, which begs this question: What if Princeton played one early-season men's basketball game in Dillon Gym and did everything it could to get as many students there as possible? Would there be attainable momentum from that moving forward to the rest of the schedule?

Again, TB has asked these questions for years and years. And, with no easy answers, he figures he'll keep asking them for years to come.

Unless the world ends next week, of course.

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