Monday, May 19, 2014

An Amazing Race

The season finale of "The Amazing Race" was on last night.

It's not a show TigerBlog watches a lot. He just happened to stumble on the show last night.

If he were to watch any reality show, though, he'd probably settle on that one. From what little he's seen of it through the years, it comes across as something fun, as opposed to dripping with the phoniness and narcissism of most reality shows.

"The Amazing Race" offers a pretty interesting concept.

The two-person teams go through a series of challenges and adventures, all while risking being eliminated for getting to that week's end destination last. Apparently the most recent season covered 23,000 miles, 22 cities and nine countries before ending in Las Vegas.

The winning team was a father and son combination who appeared to be nice enough, or at least worth rooting for along the way. TigerBlog was okay with having them win as opposed to the annoying team that came in third.

It was a man and woman, as opposed to the two women who finished second, and TB isn't sure what it was about the man and woman team that he didn't like. Maybe it was the sequins. He just knows he didn't like them.

The last scene was pretty good.

The season ended with a skydive from a helicopter to the Las Vegas Speedway, and it was filmed from above, with a great view of the lights of the city below. It made for a great piece of video.

There was the requisite commercial break before the viewers could see which team was ahead, and it turned out to be the father of the father/son team. After he landed in the infield, he had to make the short run over to the finish line, where he was informed that he and his son had won the big prize.

Then it was time for the season finale of "The Good Wife." TigerBlog had no interest in that. Alicia is so pretentious and condescending.

Anyway, the team that won "The Amazing Race" won a prize of $1 million. TigerBlog wondered what the runner-up team got, and he learned that they got nothing.

That's a pretty big drop-off from winning to coming in second. Think about it. The distance between first and second over those 23,000 miles was a few seconds, and yet one team got the $1 million and everyone else got nothing.

TigerBlog assumes that if he won the $1 million, he'd do something for the teams that didn't win. Get them a gift card or something. Maybe, oh, go as high as $100 each.

The gap between the winning team on "The Amazing Race" and the runner-up was only slightly greater than the gap between first and second on another amazing race Sunday.

This one was the Ivy League women's rowing championship.

Brown was the No. 1-ranked team in the country prior to the event. The story on started out this way:
Preparing for the top-ranked team in the country, the Princeton open rowing team believed it had gained enough speed to make for a dramatic 2000-meter showdown in the Ivy League championships. The Tigers were wrong. They gained so much speed that all of the drama was behind them.

TigerBlog liked that. He didn't write it. Craig Sachson did. That's pretty good stuff, no? 

It's a far cry from the legendary release of years and years ago that began with "the boats were even at at the start." TigerBlog doesn't remember who wrote that one, or even what school wrote that.

TigerBlog won't pretend that he knows much about rowing, other than you have to be in sick shape to be good at it. And he liked the all-access video from the webpage on the heavyweight men's rowing team. 

He does know that the Princeton women's open rowing team put on quite a show yesterday. The Tigers clearly weren't the favorites, but they led wire-to-wire, building a formidable lead after 500 meters and rolling from there.

By the time the race was over, Princeton had set a Cooper River course record of 6:15.412, for a 4.3-second win over Brown. In rowing terms, that's an astonishing winning margin.

For Princeton that's two straight championships and three in four years.

For head coach Lori Dauphiny, it was her sixth Ivy League championship.

Up next will be the NCAA championships in Indianapolis May 30 through June 1. Princeton gets the Ivy League's automatic bid, and Brown figures to get in as well.

In fact, since the NCAA championships originated in 1997, Princeton, Brown and Washington are the only three schools that have qualified each year.

Once in Indiana, Princeton again won't be the favorite.

Of course, after Sunday's amazing race, don't count the Tigers out.

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