Friday, April 18, 2014

105 Plus 94 Does Not Equal 200

TigerBlog started to get an uneasy feeling just as soon as the words came out of Bill Bromberg's mouth and the fans at Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium had stopped applauding.

Did he need two or three?

TigerBlog thought it was three, and then he thought it was two. And then he told Bromberg that it was two, so Bromberg made his announcement.

And TB was wrong. As much as he'd like to blame it on Bromberg, it was TigerBlog's error.

Bromberg's announcement last Saturday that Tom Schreiber had become the fifth Princeton men's lacrosse player to reach 200 career points came in the first quarter, and it was a really nice moment. Even the Dartmouth fans gave him a loud ovation.

The only problem was that Schreiber only had 199 at the time.

TigerBlog knew it almost in an instant, that Schreiber had 105 goals and 94 assists. That's 199, not 200.

So now what? Let it go? Make a correction? Hope nobody noticed?

TB figured that Schreiber would get another point in the game, rendering the announcement a little premature but ultimately not that big a deal. Schreiber already had two assists, and there were still four minutes left in the first quarter.

And besides, Schreiber always got at least three points in a game. He'd done so against Virginia in the 2012 NCAA tournament, and then every game in 2013 and every game in 2014. That was a streak of 26 straight games with at least three points, which is nuts, by the way, especially for a middie.

Ryan Boyle, one of the greatest players in lacrosse history, never had a streak like that when he played at Princeton. When Boyle did the Princeton-Lehigh game on ESPNU last week, he mentioned how casually that streak was noted and yet how absurd it is to think that a midfielder would get at least three points in 26 straight games.

Anyway, possibly because TB jinxed it all with the announcement one point too soon, Schreiber didn't get another point against Dartmouth. He didn't need to, as Princeton won 13-10, and he came close, with several passes that would have been assists had it not been for a pipe or big save by the goaile. And don't get TB started on Schreiber's own disallowed goal early in the fourth quarter.

So that streak ended. On the other hand, he has at least two points in 28 straight games and at least one in 43 straight games.

But he doesn't have 200, which is what the announcement said.

Schreiber has at least two games to get his one more point, something TB is confident will happen.

Of course, as a wiser-than-his-years John Nolan - radio voice of, among other things, Fort Wayne's minor league baseball team and many Princeton sports on the Ivy League Digital Network and radio - pointed out, the obsession with round numbers is a bit odd. So Schreiber is the fifth player to get to 199? Same thing as 200, no?

The four players in Princeton history with at least 200 are Kevin Lowe (247), Boyle (233), Jon Hess (215) and Jesse Hubbard (211).

Schreiber is also getting close to two other huge accomplishments. He needs six assists to reach 100 goals and 100 assists for his career, something only three other Ivy players - none from Princeton - have ever done. He needs one goal and nine assists to get to 30 goals and 30 assists for the year, something only one other Princeton player - David Tickner with 34G, 32A in 1976 - has ever done.

Getting those may take more than two games.

Princeton is at Harvard tomorrow and then on Long Island next Saturday to take on Cornell. Wins in both of those puts Princeton in the Ivy tournament, possibly on its home field. A split means that the Tigers need some help.

In the complex world of NCAA selections, Princeton could make the NCAA tournament without making the Ivy tournament. The easiest way to to sum that up would be this: root for Hofstra to win the CAA, Lehigh to reach the Patriot final but lose to Loyola and Penn if Princeton isn't in the Ivy tournament.

Princeton has won three straight since its excruciating back-to-back one-goal losses at Yale and Brown. Harvard and Cornell are both 3-1 in the league, so winning those games won't be easy. They're both pretty much toss-ups.

As for TigerBlog, the fact that Schreiber didn't have 200 points yet was probably lost on most people who heard the announcement.

It left TB to wonder if he should just give Schreiber an extra assist in his stats this week and take it away next week after he got there. TB quickly dismissed that idea.

It's standard for people to either say "it's not my fault" or to run away from a mistake when it happens. But hey, mistakes will happen. And when you're in the public information business, those mistakes are made, well, in public.

TB owns up to it. This one has his fault.

He saw Schreiber at Gary Walters' farewell event a few hours after the Dartmouth game, and TB told Schreiber that he had messed up. Schreiber said he knew it but was okay with it.

He'll get his one point to reach 200. And he'd trade that in a heartbeat for the two wins that would let his team reach the postseason.

Of course, TigerBlog would love to see him get both.

No comments: