Thursday, April 11, 2013

"I Don't Want Any Trouble"

The commercial where the guy goes into the convenience store wearing the ski mask over his face is a great one.

The implication, of course, is that he's there to rob the place, and the man behind the counter says "I don't want any trouble," implying that he's cooperating with the "thief," who replies, perfectly, "I don't want any trouble either."

Then the ski-mask guy leaves and drives away with his friends, who are also in ski masks and are apparently on their way to, well, ski. And one of them says "you know you forgot to take your mask off."

That's a great commercial. Really, really clever. Really, really well-produced.

Yesterday, TigerBlog was at one of TigerBlog Jr.'s games when one of the parents there mentioned that commercial. TB asked him the same questions he always asks when someone loves a commercial, and that is this: What is the product?

In this case, the answer was "uh, not sure, maybe Doritos."

Nope. It's a Volkswagen commercial. And that's often the problem with great commercials. The production and creativity are what you remember, not the product itself.

When the game ended, TB and TBJ rushed back to watch the Cornell-Syracuse men's lacrosse game on ESPNU.

Cornell-Syracuse began at 6, and it would be until nearly 7 before TB and TBJ were in front of the TV, on which the game was being DVRd. This led to the dilemma of whether or not the two should watch the game from the start, or pick it up where it happened to be at that moment.

The choice was to see it live, and so TB only saw it from the third quarter on.

TB, in case you didn't notice, is a big lacrosse fan, and this is a great time to be a big lacrosse fan, since the sport is exploding on television.

It used to be that when there was a game on TV, the reaction was "wow." Now when there's a game that's not on, the reaction is more of "hmmm, why not?"

Lacrosse, of course, has a long way to go until it's like college football and basketball, where oversaturation of the sport on TV becomes an issue. For now, it's a lacrosse fan's paradise.

Syracuse's last two games have been on ESPNU, and both were 13-12 wins. One was last night against Cornell. One was Saturday against Princeton, who followed that loss with a 13-8 win over Rutgers Tuesday night.

Princeton is 7-3, with all three losses by one excruciating goal, all in games in which Princeton had the lead in the fourth quarter. That's how close Princeton is to being 10-0.

Princeton is also scoring goals at an exciting pace, having reached double figures in each of its first 10 games, something only the 1951 team had ever done before to start a season.

Cornell is even closer, if it's possible, to being undefeated than Princeton. The Big Red have two one-goal losses, one in the snow to Bucknell (much like Princeton's loss at Penn) and the one last night, which ended when Connor English hit the crossbar from point-blank range, or else that one would have been headed to overtime.

TB isn't a fan of comparative scores, but the fact that Syracuse beat Cornell and Princeton by identical 13-12 scores in a four-day span must say something about how close all three are.

Princeton and Cornell meet April 27 at the Meadowlands on the final day of the regular season. For Princeton, that game might as well be 100 years from now, since there are two huge games to play between now and then.

Cornell is off from last night until April 20, when it is at Brown.

Princeton is at Dartmouth Saturday and then home against Harvard next Friday, April 19 (another ESPNU game). Should the Tigers win both, then that April 27th game will be either for the outright Ivy title or a share of the Ivy title, and the winner would host the Ivy tournament.

If Princeton loses either of those games? Well, a lot changes. Hey, Princeton could still not even reach the Ivy tournament, let alone host it.

 In other words, there's no looking past either Dartmouth or Harvard. 

Cornell is unbeaten in the league, and Princeton has one loss. Penn, Yale, Brown and Harvard all have two league losses.

The Ivy tournament is in its fourth year. Each of the first three years have had wild finishes to fill out the field. The tournament has completely rejuvenated the league regular season (in a way a basketball tournament wouldn't, since it would make the regular season completely meaningless, rather than meaningful, unless it was a similar format where not every team made it).

In the three years of the Ivy tournament, no team with three or more league wins has failed to make the field and no team with two or fewer league wins has made the field. Going back 25 years before that, only three times would a team have gotten to three wins and not made a four-team tournament field had one existed.

Princeton has two so far. With three games to go. It's possible mathematically that the three-win threshold this year might not hold up; TB hasn't figured out all the possibilities yet.

Getting into the Ivy tournament is the first goal of the year.

It's not the last one.

It should be a wild few weeks of lacrosse around here.

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