Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Catapano On The Sack

Since TigerBlog's pronouncement yesterday that "Homeland" is the greatest TV show of all time, he's read a few reviews of the most recent episode and heard from a few people directly.

Basically, the only criticism of the show is that some of the situations that arise are completely implausible. To this, TB says this: So what? If you want completely realistic, watch the news.

If you're going to sit there and nitpick about whether or not Brody would be able to get into the Vice President's office undetected, then you're missing the point. And the beauty of the show, especially the scenes where there is interaction between two characters, whether it be Carrie and Brody, Carrie and Saul, Saul and David, Brody and his wife, Brody and Mike, Dana and Finn and now especially Carrie and Abu Nazir.

So don't worry about whether or not Abu Nazir would actually have been able to get into the country. Just watch it for the drama.

Oh, and TB also got one other piece of feedback, one that said that Nicholas Brody (played by Damien Lewis) and Princeton sophomore quarterback Quinn Epperly are lookalikes.

Check it out for yourself here and here and draw your own conclusion.

TigerBlog spent 15 years either covering the Princeton football team or serving as the football team contact here, and he got to know most of the players in that time.

In his current role as public address announcer, he doesn't have the kind of interaction that he used to with the players, and so he hasn't gotten to know too many of them in the last decade or so. The same is true with men's basketball.

One of the best parts of working as a team sport contact is the opportunity to get to know such outstanding young people, and it's one part of the evolution of TB's career here that he hasn't liked.

As a result, TB has never met Epperly. In fact, he wouldn't know him unless he walked in here wearing a Princeton football uniform with the No. 4 on it.


So forgive TB for not having immediately recognized for himself that yes, Epperly does bear a striking resemblance to the man who just killed the Vice President - or at least the actor who plays him.

TigerBlog did spend much of his time as the PA announcer this fall saying things like "tackle by Catapano" or "sack by Catapano" or "Catapano on the stop; it'll bring up fourth down."

And yesterday was a big day for Catapano, who was honored in New York City as the Ivy League's Defensive Player of the Year.

The award was presented through a partnership the National Football Foundation at a reception at the Waldorf Astoria, which isn't exactly slumming it. At the very least, it's a huge step up from the old way of simply releasing the name of the winner along with the All-Ivy League team.

This was Year 2 of the Ivy League's new format of choosing an offensive and defensive winner and announcing those winners at the Waldorf.

TB was wondering if Catapano would have won the Bushnell Cup under the old rules, which simply had one winner (or two if there happened to be a tie in the voting).

History suggests that the offensive winner, Colton Chapple of Harvard, would have had a huge advantage had there only been one winner, as a running back (18 times) or quarterback (15 times) has been honored more than twice as many times as a defensive player (seven times).

The award has gone to a wide receiver four times, including once to Brown's Sean Morey, who now works in the Princeton Department of Athletics. Princeton offensive coordinator James Perry also won the award when he was a Brown quarterback.

No offensive lineman has ever won the award.

Dave Patterson, a linebacker on the 1995 Ivy League championship team, is the only Princeton defensive player who ever won the Bushnell Cup in the era when only one award was given. Jeff Terrell, who quarterbacked Princeton to the 2006 Ivy title, was the last winner prior to Catapano.

As for the new format, it's a nice way of doing it. There are two nominees on offense and two on defense (Brown's A.J. Cruz was the other on defense; Cornell's Jeff Matthews was the other on offense) and then the winners are announced.

TB had a hunch that Chapple would win, given the fact that the same coaches who voted him first-team All-Ivy and Matthews second-team All-Ivy also were voting on the player of the year award.

As for Catapano, it's not easy to compare a D lineman to a defensive back. On the other hand, only one defensive back - Penn's Tim Chambers in 1984 - ever won the Bushnell Cup.

Catapano was very gracious in his acceptance speech, which was a nice finishing touch to the event.

And both Catapano and Princeton head coach Bob Surace spoke about how the Tigers had begun their turnaround this year.

As TB has said often, a 5-5 season and winning Ivy record was a huge step forward for the Tigers.

Catapano's award was a nice cap to that, one last way in which the 2012 football season at Princeton was a special one.


Anonymous said...

so true on the Brody and Quinn thing OMG

Anonymous said...

According to the Homeland wiki site, former CIA operations officer Carrie Mathison graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 1999 with an AB in Arabic Languages and Literatures. Never mind that we call the department Near Eastern Studies, if Carrie Mathison '99 is to expose or assassinate Nick Brody, at least she had the good sense to wait until Brody completed the game-winning pass to Roman Wilson '14 to beat Harvard. That's school loyalty.