Monday, January 7, 2013

Full House

Tonight's sort of "championship game" in college football is the worst type for TigerBlog, in that he struggles to root for either team.

And he doesn't want to concede the legitimacy of this as a championship game, for that matter, though that's an old issue.

Alabama, on the one hand, is coached by Nick Saban, who sort of makes it hard to root for him.

Notre Dame is coached by Brian Kelly, who sort of makes it hard to root for him.

TB bases this on watching games on TV and reading about the two coaches. In Kelly's case, it's especially true from watching him on TV, since he comes across horribly to the casual viewer.

Speaking of casual viewers, TB will be one of those tonight. If he watches, he watches. If he doesn't, he doesn't. Maybe he'll watch some of the "Two And A Half Men" reruns he's been DVRing in an attempt to catch up on the entire history of a series that somehow he missed out on all these years.

And honestly, it's hard to make a case that Notre Dame and Alabama aren't the two most deserving teams in the country. Notre Dame's schedule was really tough, and the Irish have wins over Oklahoma, Stanford, Michigan, USC and BYU, among others. Maybe Oregon could have been selected over Alabama, but somebody had to be the other team.

And with the coming of a four-team playoff, at least there's an admission that the current system isn't working, so that's a good thing.

So why is TB ambivalent about the Alabama-Notre Dame game?

Well, for starters, he again thinks that bowl season should start with the BCS title game, not end with it. That way, the teams could play somewhere sooner than seven weeks after they last did.

Then there is the whole bowl season. Seriously, is there anything more boring than the bowls? And then the championship game comes up, and it's like an extension of all the others.

And maybe it's the fact that the NFL playoffs just finished one weekend and have another coming up, so gearing up for a big game tonight isn't that big a deal.

Or maybe it's just the coaches.

Either way, TB sticks with his ambivalence.

He's ambivalent about the return of the NHL as well.

Honestly, TigerBlog probably wouldn't have watched any hockey to this point of the year, other than the winter classic, which would have been cool as always. Beyond that, he wasn't exactly scrambling for something to do because there was no Devils-Islanders game on TV.

He's also amazed that a hockey strike happened at all. Short of the federal government, it's hard to imagine a complete mismanagement of a situation coupled with a total misunderstanding of public sentiment.

So the NHL is coming back. That's good, TB supposes.

Unless it affects Princeton men's hockey.

Princeton hockey has drawn amazing crowds all season at Baker Rink, including for this past weekend's sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth, a result that vaulted the Tigers into second place in the ECAC hockey standings.

Princeton has another home weekend this weekend, as RPI and Union are at Baker. Then it's two full weekends off, while the rest of the league has a chance to catch up in the number of games played. Right now Princeton has played 10 league games; other than travel partner Quinnipiac, every other school has played either seven or eight.

Still, Princeton is in good shape to compete for a top four spot and first round playoff bye, or at least home ice in the first round by finishing fifth through eighth.

And home ice? It's been crowded there this year.

To date, Princeton is averaging 2,145 fans at Baker. Last year, Princeton averaged 1,858.

Can the increase be attributed to anything but the fact that the NHL hasn't been playing all this time?

Maybe there is. Maybe it's the fan-friendliness of Baker Rink. Or Skate With the Tigers. Or how great it is for kids to see games there.

On the other hand, all those things were true last year as well.

Maybe the fact that the NHL was locked out is the reason.

If so, does that mean that now that the NHL is back, Princeton's attendance will suffer?

There are seven home dates remaining. Let's see what the average attendance for those will be.

Oh, and TigerBlog thinks Alabama wins big. 

Not that he'll be watching.

No comments: