Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ring Bearers

TigerBlog was in the mail room yesterday when he noticed something rather interesting. And fairly random.

It was a cross, made of milk chocolate.

Apparently it's the last survivor of a collection of chocolate, including those great chocolate Easter Bunnies that everyone loves. Okay, it's not quite a Dove bar or M&Ms. Still, who doesn't love a good chocolate Easter Bunny.

When TB saw the chocolate cross, it reminded him of a scene from Mel Brooks' "Two Thousand Year Old Man," the one where Brooks' business of making Stars of David by having six men ram into each other was wiped out by a cross, which required only two. "It was so simple," Brooks says. "Who knew?"

Anyway, the chocolate cross left TigerBlog wondering what the etiquette would be for eating it. Would it be disrespectful of one of TB's people to eat a chocolate cross? Or would it be worse for a Christian?

 TB has seen all kinds of chocolate in his time. He can't remember a chocolate cross.

Anyway, TB passed on it. He thinks it's still there.

The chocolate cross wasn't the only reasonably random thing that TB saw in Jadwin yesterday.

For one thing, he found a Seder plate on his bookcase. An actual Seder plate, not a chocolate one.

And then he walked into the business office in the afternoon and saw, of all things, the Ivy League football trophy. It also had a note on it, one that said that it was being picked up by Eion Hu on May 1.

TigerBlog recognized the name immediately as one of Harvard's all-time great running backs. He's not quite sure what Hu's connection to this area is, but it's obvious that he's coming to take the trophy to Cambridge.

In the case of the trophy, because there was a co-championship, it spends half the year at one school and half at the other. TigerBlog was taken aback immediately by the fact that it's been basically half a year since Princeton won the Ivy League football championship. Or its share of it, anyway.

Today is May 1. Six months ago was Nov. 1, which was both the Friday before Princeton took on Cornell and six days after Princeton's epic win over Harvard.

As time goes by, the details of the season blur. Mostly what TB remembers is that Princeton was picked sixth but then put together the greatest offensive season in league history.

Princeton reached at least 50 points five times in 10 games, including against both Harvard and Cornell. The offensive engine was driven by Quinn Epperly, who set a ton of Princeton records, with some Ivy and NCAA records tossed in.

Princeton's win over Harvard was a 51-48 thriller that ended for the second year in a row with a game-winning TD pass from Epperly to Roman Wilson. Epperly's numbers that day? How about 37 for 50 for 321 yards and six touchdowns. He also added 86 rushing yards just for fun.

The next week? Princeton 53, Cornell 20. And Epperly? He was 32 for 35 for 325 yards and three touchdowns, along with three rushing touchdowns. He completed his first 29 passes - an NCAA record.

Remember those games? Remember the season?

Princeton lost its opener to Lehigh and then won eight straight before falling in a blizzard at Dartmouth. Had the Tigers won that last one, the trophy would be staying in Princeton for the full 12 months.

Still, 2013 was a breakthrough year for Princeton, accomplished by a senior class that went 1-9 and 1-9 its first two years. If you forgot the details of the season, then maybe you saw the recent story about the Ivy League championship rings.

Or the many tweets from, among others, defensive coordinator Jim Salgado, who has sent out numerous pictures of his ring.

It's something at once tangible and symbolic, a representation of a truly great season, one that ended in a championship.

Princeton earned its share of the title with a 59-23 win over Yale on a perfect November day at Princeton Stadium. Epperly put up four touchdowns in that game, three passing and one rushing.

The details from the season may no longer be fresh, even if it's only been half a year.

The result was a championship.

If case you needed a reminder, it was on more than 100 fingers. And in the business office.

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