Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nine For Oregon

TigerBlog was reading a comparison on, of all places, laxpower about, of all things, which movie is funnier, "Stripes" or "Animal House."

TB will now give his two cents.

"Stripes" is one of the funniest movies he's ever seen. If you've never seen it, go watch it. Bill Murray plays John Winger, a complete failure who is reaching his 30s and has no idea what to do with his life, until he sees a commercial about the Army.

On a whim, he signs up, along with his equally frustrated friend Russell Ziskey, played by Harold Ramis. As the two go through basic training under the encouraging eye of Sgt. Hulka, they meet all kinds of characters, including a not-so-lean, mean fighting machine named Dewey Oxberger, in John Candy's best performance.

The movie is one hilarious moment after another, right up until the end, where our heroes save America from the Russians, or something like that, all with the help of one "heavily armed recreation vehicle."

TB saw it on the day it came out in 1981, at the theater on Route 9 in Freehold. Not the one at Pond Road. The other one. Since then, he's seen it probably, oh, a million times, and there hasn't been a week that's gone by where he hasn't quoted at least one line from the movie.

It's in the top five of funniest movies he's ever seen.

It's not "Animal House."

For TB's money, "Animal House" is the funniest movie ever made. It's also the first R-rated movie he ever saw in the movies, also in Freehold, but at the theater that was across the street from the car wash, in the same strip mall as an Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips.

"Animal House" is a perfect spoof of college life, complete with perfect characters who accomplish something difficult, and that is to approach being caricatures without ever crossing the line and therefore remaining human - and hysterical.

TB has also seen this movie a million times, and it's funny every single time he sees it again. Also like "Striples," "Animal House" has been quoted by TB on a weekly basis.

In much the same way as it's impossible to do for "Stripes," it's also impossible for TB to pick his single favorite line, because there are just too many great ones.

TB always knew that "Animal House" was filmed at the University of Oregon.

What he didn't realize is that a bunch of other colleges passed on the opportunity to have it filmed there because of the crudeness of the movie. Oregon's president at the time, William Beaty Boyd, had been at another college in California that wouldn't allow "The Graduate" to be filmed there, and he felt like he had missed out on a chance to be part of something special.

At least that's what Wikipedia says.

And so it came to be that the University of Oregon was the host for the filming of the funniest movie ever made. That's what the school is known for.

Well, that and crazy football uniforms.

And track and field.

It's hard to argue against Oregon as being the one place to see a track meet. Beginning next Wednesday, nine Princeton athletes will get to see a meet at Oregon from the inside out, as they will compete at the NCAA championships.

Princeton will be sending six men and three women to compete at legendary Hayward Field, the host for the championships.

There were some big performances and big heartaches at the qualifying round last weekend, and the group of nine that advances is thought to be the most Princeton has ever sent to the finals.

Their events are pretty varied, from the 400 hurdles (Austin Hollimon) to two in the 10K (Chris Bendtsen and Michael Franklin) to a hammer thrower (Julia Ratcliffe) to a triple jumper (Imani Oliver).

Princeton's 4x400 men's relay team qualified, with Dinkins, Hollimon, Tom Hopkins and Daniel McCord. Greta Feldman will run the 1,500.

A year ago, Princeton sent six athletes to the championships and came back with an individual winner, as Donn Cabral won the steeplechase.

This year there is no Princeton athlete who is a clear favorite to win, though that was also the case in the winter, when Princeton won the distance medley relay NCAA championship.

And, beyond winning, Princeton does figure to come back with multiple All-Americas.

The Princeton track and field programs have had overwhelming success in the last few years, and this year has been no different.

The Tigers, one could say, are on quite a run.

And now that run takes them all the way to Hayward Field, for the biggest meet on the most famous stage.

Yes. Quite a run.

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