Friday, April 25, 2014

Getting Excited

TigerBlog took his new car for his first oil change yesterday, which meant that he had to take his old car, the on that TigerBlog Jr. has been driving, to work.

It was sort of like spending the day with an old friend. Or something like that. Anyway, the one thing TB forgot was the hang tag that allows him to park in the part of Lot 21 closest to Jadwin, so he had to park all the way down at the other end.

By the time he made it close to the building, he saw Yariv Amir pull in and unload his cargo, which consisted of his two young daughters, Morgan and Alie.

The occasion was Take Your Kids To Work Day, and Morgan and Alie were excited. As TB, the Amirs and Peter Farrell - the women's track and field coach who happened to arrive at the same time - walked to the building, TB couldn't help but notice just how excited Morgan and Alie were.

Yariv noticed too. When TB mentioned that he wished he could get that excited about something, Yariv said how his sister said something the line of how she wished she could get as excited about something as her kids get about bubbles.

Take Your Kids To Work Day is a big deal, especially for those who have not reached double figures yet. The program is held in Dillon, so TB isn't 100% sure what the kids do all day.

He does know it involves three things that every kid would love - pizza, the tiger and the pool in Dillon. 

Anyway, it was about four hours later when Maddie Sachson and her dad Craig came back to Jadwin, followed shortly thereafter by the Amir girls. Unlike when they headed to Dillon, they were fairly wiped out by the time they got back to Jadwin - though not so wiped out that the three (all under the age of six) couldn't muster up the energy for some quality coloring.

Kids that age are great. They aren't babies or toddlers, which means that they have a certain level of independence but still need constant supervision. What they have a ton of is innocence, coupled with the ability to see humor in everything. They smile and laugh at every question that they are asked, whether it's how old they are, how they spell their name, if that guy standing there is their daddy.

And they get excited. Wildly excited.

TigerBlog and Farrell are a little past the wildly excited phase that the kids are in, but that doesn't mean there aren't things that still get them fired up.

Farrell, for instance, was wildly excited about the start of the Penn Relays yesterday. By the time Day 1 ended, Julia Ratcliffe won the women's hammer throw with a the third-best throw in the history of the Penn Relays.

They go back a long way, by the way.

Ratcliffe has been on a roll of late, with throws each week that stamp her among the favorites, if not as the favorite, for the NCAA meet in June. That'll get Farrell excited.

As for TigerBlog, he's pretty excited about tomorrow's Princeton-Cornell men's lacrosse game.
Princeton-Penn men's basketball used to be TB's favorite annual sporting event. That has been replaced by Princeton-Cornell men's lacrosse for the last few years.

This year's game won't be played in Ithaca or Princeton - or in an NFL stadium, as it was last year. Nope, this time it's at a high school, Bethpage High School, on Long Island.

The event is called "The Battle of Bethpage," and it's the regular-season finale for both. Cornell knows that it is in next weekend's Ivy League tournament; Princeton knows it is not.

The four teams for the men's tournament are set, as it'll be Cornell, Harvard, Yale and Penn. If Harvard beats Yale, then the tournament is at Harvard. If Yale beats Harvard, then it's at Cornell.

Just because Princeton is not in the Ivy tournament does not mean there's nothing to play for. Far from it, actually.

Princeton is very much in the mix for an at-large NCAA tournament bid, and a win over Cornell would certainly enhance the Tigers' chances. Princeton isn't a sure thing by any stretch of the imagination, but the Tigers do have a strong RPI and some very good quality wins, including the ones over Penn and Hofstra, who are both currently Top 10 RPI teams.

Beyond that, it's Princeton-Cornell.

Princeton has won 26 Ivy titles. Cornell has won 27. Nobody else has won more than the seven that Brown has won.

A year ago, Cornell thumped Princeton at the Meadowlands in the Big City Classic and then saw Princeton come back six days later in the Ivy semifinals with a 14-13 overtime win on Kip Orban's goal.

Both teams can score, and it's possible that this game will be like both of last year's - with both teams in double figures. In the first 73 meetings between the two, that happened once. Then it happened in the 74th and 75th meetings.

If there's not going to be an NCAA tournament for Princeton, then a win tomorrow would be a great ending to the season. Then again, if it's a win, then the season might not be ending tomorrow.

In other words, there's still a lot to play for. And on top of that, it's Princeton-Cornell.

It's exciting, right? TB is ready anyway.

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