Friday, April 19, 2013


TigerBlog awoke to text alerts of an MIT police officer killed, of mass transit in Boston shut down and of a massive manhunt for the bombers from Patriots' Day and the Boston Marathon.

By the time he was able to turn the TV on, one of the two suspects had been killed and the other was on the run, which continues to be the case as TB writes this.

There was video of a middle-of-the-night shootout, with the sounds of gunfire that sounded like something out of a battlefield scene on the Military channel. There are scenes of armored vehicles on the streets of Watertown, complete with very heavily armed law enforcement officials with very big guns.

TigerBlog has gotten lost in Watertown, which is next to Newton, right outside of Boston. When Princeton plays at Harvard, the teams often stay at either the Newton Marriott or the more frequently, the Crowne Plaza Newton, which sits directly above the Mass Pike and used to be a Sheraton.

TB has wandered into Watertown many times, usually to get gas. It's a quiet place with quiet streets, which have now been invaded by the realities of the world today.

Now it's the entire city of Boston and its nearest suburbs, all on lockdown, with hundreds of thousands of people in their homes, uncertain of what will happen next. A week ago, they were looking forward to a weekend and then Patriots' Day, one of the great days of the year in one of the great cities on Earth.

And now it turns out that the suspect still at large as TB writes is a 2011 graduate of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, the same school where Patrick Ewing went, the same school where Matt Damon and Ben Affleck went. There is a report on one network that he was a lifeguard at Harvard at one point.

TB is sitting in basically stunned shock as he watches all this. He assumes that basically everyone else is as well.

Boston is a vibrant place, a beautiful city, a city that seems to create a fierce loyalty among its residents and natives. TB knows a ton of people who didn't grown up near Boston but went to school there; he doesn't know a single one who didn't fall in love with the place.

And now it looks like a war zone. Now its streets are empty.

TB is flipping back and forth between several news channels, and he continues to be amazed by how much information is put out there in the name of being first, rather than being correct. It makes it hard to believe what is true and what isn't - and for that matter, hard to believe in the contemporary media in the first place.

As TB watches this, there is so much he can't understand.

Why were these two brothers still in the area, as opposed to on the first plane out of Boston? What does that say?

How could the one that's still on the loose ever gotten away when his brother was killed? And what could have happened to a 19-year-old, who two years ago was a high school wrestler, to turn him into someone who could put a bomb down on a street and kill three innocent people, including an eight year old, and seriously hurt nearly 200 others?

And what does this mean for this country in the future?

Princeton hosts Harvard tonight in men's lacrosse.

TigerBlog was also greeted this morning by emails wondering if Harvard had gotten here, and the Crimson team did, traveling yesterday. What must be going through their minds now, as they sit in a hotel in New Jersey and watch the news from their backyard.

TB has spent his life taking shelter from the realities of his world - his small, personal world - in whatever the next game he was to attend. They've always provided diversion, if only for an hour or two, and they've given him a chance to clear his head, step away from whatever the issue was and focus on something else.

The next game he has to attend is the men's lacrosse game today.

It'll be both another welcome respite and a reminder that today, he cannot simply hide from the world at another game. Not today. Not when the visitors are from Boston, a city that has had an awful week and which is now essentially completely shut down, all while the authorities chase after a 19 year old, one who along with his 26-year-old brother have brought such terror to such a beautiful city.

And now if you'll excuse TB, he has to go get ready for a big lacrosse game.

The first order of business is to finish the moment of silence to be read before the face-off.

Today, it appears that no diversion will be strong enough to shut out reality.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'And what does this mean for this country in the future?'

Very suprised that you TB living in the midst of our country's finest young adults think the future is no longer bright because of the actions of a few individuals. You should stop writing so much about on-the-field accomplishments and instead focus on what the undergraduates are accomplishing off of it. In the end, it does not matter if our students win the National Championship or place last in the Ivy. The things they do (and will continue to do) in the community will define Princeton athletes. Or perhaps you have seen enough already of our next generation to know we all are doomed.

Let Holmes-Winn give you a pep talk! You seem like you need a pick-me-up or two.