Friday, February 22, 2013

Red Phone, Black And White TV

TigerBlog wanted to watch Georgetown-DePaul the other day, only it wasn't on TV.

St. John's-South Florida was on the channel that TB thought Georgetown would be on.

So he did the next best thing. He watched it on his phone. At least for a little while, until Georgetown started to blow DePaul out.

As he did this, TB thought back to his room as kid.

TigerBlog grew up in a house where when you walked in the front door you either had to go up or down. For most of the time he lived there, his room was upstairs, until he moved downstairs as a high school junior.

When he was downstairs, his room looked up onto the front porch. One morning, just as the sun was coming up, TigerBlog opened his eyes and saw two eyes peering down at him from that porch - something that caused TB to scream, as he remembers.

As it turned out, the eyes belonged to the cat from the family next door. That particular family had five kids, all girls, and the second-oldest - Suzanne Zywicki - would be on the track and field team at Princeton. Her coach, Peter Farrell, is still Princeton's coach.

Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah, upstairs in TB's old room.

That room had a telephone, a red one. And a TV, a black-and-white one.

The telephone was mounted into the wall and could only be removed by the telephone company, a monopoly that actually owned the phone. This was before there were jacks in the wall, and so the phone cord actually went into the wall itself.

The phone was actually a touch-tone phone, which was something unique back then. The television was small, and it had a dial on it that TB actually had to walk over to and turn to go to the different channels.

And how many channels were there?

Well, there were the network channels, 2, 4 and 7 from New York and 3, 6 and 10 from Philly. And there were a few independent ones, like channel 5, 9, 11, 17, 29 and 48. And PBS, which was channel 12 and 13. And NJN on channel 23.

And that was it.

TB would not in a kabillion years have ever dreamed that one day he'd be watching a basketball game on his small mobile phone. Or that he'd be a bit annoyed that the "Watch ESPN" app was taking a few extra seconds to load.

This weekend, Princeton will be videostreaming 11 events.

Okay, some of them aren't Princeton's; they're originating with the other school and are being shared with us.

Still, 11 events that can be watched on the computer? TB didn't exactly see that coming either when he was a kid.

To have 11 streamed events shows that it's a fairly busy weekend here at the U.

It's the start of serious overlap time, with events like Heps Indoor Track and Field (at Harvard) at the same time as the men's (at Hofstra) and women's (home with Villanova) lacrosse openers.

The men's squash national champion will be crowned this weekend at Yale, where Princeton is the No. 2 seed and where four teams (No. 1 Trinity, No. 2 Princeton, No. 3 Harvard and No. 4 Yale) all have a legitimate chance and even No. 5 Cornell cannot be discounted.

This is also a huge weekend in basketball and hockey.

If you want to go on the assumption that no more than three league losses will be good enough in men's basketball, then the race is between Harvard (7-1), Princeton (5-2) and Cornell (5-3). If you think two losses is the max, then 1) that means Cornell is out and 2) means Princeton better do some winning this weekend.

The perfect world for the Tigers has a sweep at Columbia and Cornell while either Brown or Yale knocks off Harvard. That would mean both teams would have two league losses heading into next Friday's game at Jadwin.

The worst-case scenario for Princeton is that it finds itself two games back of Harvard a week from tonight.

On the women's side, Princeton is 7-0, Penn is 5-2, Harvard and Dartmouth are 4-3. Princeton has already beaten every team in the league one, all by double figures and five by at least 30. TB leaves you to draw your own conclusions as the Tigers host Columbia and Cornell.

On the hockey side, this is the final weekend of the regular season for the women, who need to be in the top eight to reach the ECAC playoffs. Right now Princeton is in eighth after beating seventh-ranked Clarkson last weekend, and the Tigers head into the final two games with a one-point lead over Colgate and a two-point lead over Brown. RPI is in seventh but cannot be caught.

Princeton is at Brown tonight and Yale tomorrow; obviously the Brown game is huge. Yale is in 11th with nine points and is still mathematically alive.

For the men, there is Brown home tonight, Yale home tomorrow night and a trip next weekend to Harvard and Dartmouth.

Princeton can mathematically at least be anywhere from second to 12th when it's all over. Right now, the team is tied for seventh but with so many different possibilities that it doesn't really make sense to say anything other than the fact that the top four get a first-round bye and home ice in the quarterfinals, the next four get home ice in the first round and the last four get to go on the road in the first round.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

New Jersey Network used to televise many Princeton basketball games in the late 70's and early 80's. (for free!). Those were the days!