Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Year In Review

The last athletic event of the 2013-14 athletic year was the last event of the NCAA track and field championships, which were June 14.

The triple jump, to be exact.

Using that as a starting point, there would be 83 days between the end of 2013-14 and the start of 2014-15, which would make the halfway point Day 42, or July 26, which is Saturday.

Because this is still the first half of the summer break, TigerBlog can still look back to the year that just happened, as opposed to fully ahead for the coming year. And that, of course, means the 2013-14 Year in Review.

TigerBlog loves the calendar on his phone. And the fact that it can be used instead of a watch.

Anyway, TigerBlog is always fascinated by the Year in Review, which he used to write for inclusion in a bunch of places, most notably the media guides that are no longer printed.

These days, it turns up in the annual report, a compilation of mostly statistical information with some text mixed in. It’s also in the Unified Appeal, which is sent out to Friends’ Groups and some others.

What fascinates TB about it is that at the beginning of an academic year, there is no way to know where he will be starting when it comes time to write the year in review.

A year ago, for instance, he wrote about four NCAA championships. Who would have guessed that when 2012-13 began?

This year? Where would you start?

You’re a Princeton fan. Where would you have started when it came to writing the year in review?

TigerBlog will give you a second to think about it. In the meantime, he’ll talk about what else fascinates him about his phone.

TB has never been a huge fan of wearing jewelry. He used to have a watch – actually a few – all of which he got from basketball tournaments, either the NCAA, NIT or Christmas tournaments.

His favorite was the one from the Rainbow Classic, which he got in 1998 in Hawaii. It was very colorful, like, you know, a rainbow.

Mostly he’d keep the watch in his pocket and then look at it when he wanted to know what time it was. Eventually, the need for the watch faded away as he got a cell phone.

Think about everything that a phone has wiped out. TigerBlog no longer needs a watch, a calendar, a camera, an alarm clock, a map, a GPS – even a home phone for that matter. Or a hairbrush, but that has nothing to do with his phone.

Okay, come up with what you would write about?

TigerBlog started with Julia Ratcliffe and the NCAA hammer throw championship that she won. After all, it was Princeton’s last chance to preserve a decades-long streak of having at least one team or individual national champion, something that had eluded the Tigers for the entire athletic year to that point.

And then Ratcliffe ripped off the three best throws and won the title that she was the favorite to win. And in doing so, she extended Princeton’s remarkable streak to 43 straight years.

Think about that what it takes to have a national champion for 43 straight years. And think about the pressure that Ratcliffe had knowing she was the last chance to keep that streak going.

Yes, she was a big favorite. And yes, she had a lot of margin for error. But still, that’s some unnecessary extra pressure. TB wonders how much of it she felt, if any.

So that was where TigerBlog started. It doesn’t mean it’s the right starting point. This one is subjective.

For instance, TigerBlog would understand if you started with the football team.

Princeton, if you’ve forgotten, went 1-9, 1-9 and 5-5 under Bob Surace and his current staff prior to last season and then exploded into an offensive force that set Ivy records for points and yards in a season. Actually, Princeton set those records before its last game even began.

The Tigers also went 8-2 and earned the first Ivy League championship for the team since 2006, not to mention a second-straight bonfire for sweeping Harvard and Yale.

The next biggest team story from 2013-14 largely flew under the radar, and that was the women’s tennis team’s Ivy title, NCAA tournament win over Arizona State and then near-miss against No. 2 Alabama – all without a senior in the lineup.

Of course, you could also start with an event that wasn’t an event at all. Maybe the changing of the guard for the Ford Family Director of Athletics was the biggest story of 2013-14.

As of Sunday, it’ll be time to look ahead. A new year. A new year in review to be written in slightly less than a year’s time.

Where will TB start on that one?

Your guess is as good as his.

1 comment:

Glenn Adams '63 said...

Could you please post the breakdown of the points total of the various 8 Ivy schools for all sports within the 2013-2014 school year? And could you please provide the number of Ivy Championships for each school? As the recent issue of the PAW pointed out, Princeton's laudable 27-year streak of winning the Ivy's unofficial All-Sports Championship ended this year as Harvard topped Princeton for the lead this past year. Thanks, Glenn Adams '63