Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sit On It

TigerBlog got a new chair for his office.

As it turns out, this is actually a bigger deal than you'd think. His old chair lasted somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 years.

His old chair was red, with a high back and two arm rests. It was no frills, and it was fine.

When Kurt Kehl left Princeton to go work for the Washington Capitals, TigerBlog brought his chair with him from his old desk. Kurt's chair was one of those really old ones, one that didn't look like it was all that comfortable even when it was new.

Through the years, TB never thought about getting a new chair, even as everyone else did. Maybe it was his selfless side coming out. Maybe he just never really thought about his own comfort.

Anyway, two weeks ago or so, he finally broke down and ordered a new one. And it arrived Monday.

It came in a giant box, but it was just two pieces of chair that snapped together. Except TB tried snapping the top part into a part of the bottom that it wasn't meant to go into, which left him scratching his head over why the top kept falling off.

There are old beat up red chairs in TB's office that were left over from Kurt. A few years back, TB trashed two of the four that he had and instead got a futon, which he put together with some help from the business office's Ryan Yurko. By "some," TB means Yurko did it and TB watched.

As TB couldn't figure out why the chair kept falling, he heard Yurko in the mail room, so he enlisted his help again. Yurko came in and immediately snapped the top to the bottom, leaving TB to wonder why he couldn't figure it out.

Then it was time for TB to take it for a test drive, as it were. And he sat down in it for the first time - and it was somewhat heavenly.

It was sort of like what it must feel like when the new monarch first takes to the throne, though those thrones always seem fairly uncomfortable, with the really high backs and no cushions.

There is no algorithm that can accurately capture how much more comfortable his new chair is than his old one. In fact, he sat down in his old one today and was appalled by it - and by himself, for not getting rid of it sooner. No offense to his old chair or anything.

His new chair has something of a new car smell right now, which is good, because the new car smell is fading from TB's new car.

Actually it's hardly new anymore. It's a nice car, and it has something his old one didn't, a temperature gauge on his dashboard that shows the outside temperature.

And what did TB see yesterday? It was 42 degrees.

That's right. It was 42. And raining. On April 29, when the average high temperature in Princeton is supposed to be in the high 60s.

TigerBlog was in the mailroom at one point today, heating up his lunch, he believes, when he ran into softball assistant coach Jen Lapicki, who said the same thing every other spring coach says, that it's amazing how fast the season goes by.

The softball season started for Princeton on Feb. 28 and ended Saturday. That's two days short of two months.

The men's lacrosse team started its season Feb. 22 and played its final regular-season game Saturday, which was two months and four days later.

Those are total sprints.

Even in the fall, the seasons last longer. Football is played over 10 weeks. Soccer and field hockey start in late August or the very, very beginning of September and go into November, which goes a little longer than the fall ones.

Then there's the winter.

Women's hockey opened its season Oct. 25 (exhibitions actually started three weeks earlier) and played until March 1. That's more than four months.

Men's basketball? Nov. 10 through March 24, or one day longer than women's basketball, which started on the same day.

And none of that factors in cross country/track and field or tennis and golf, which go for awhile. 

The challenges are completely different for the two situations.

When your season is so condensed, there isn't really much time for mental fatigue. On the other hand, there's not much time to heal physically if something comes up. A high ankle sprain that costs three or four weeks is not a huge deal to the basketball player in November but disrupts everything for a lacrosse player in March.

TigerBlog remembers sitting at Sherrerd Field watching the men's lacrosse team scrimmage Stevens, a week before the opener against Hofstra. Now the regular season has flown by.

He gets that feeling every year. The feeling he's just seen a sprint.

A two-month sprint, but a sprint nonetheless.

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