Friday, August 15, 2014

Falling Forward

TigerBlog opened the door this morning and was greeted by a preview of autumn.

The temperature was below 60, actually all the way down to 55, according to his phone. It was crystal clear, with almost no humidity.

You call this August in New Jersey? It felt more like late September, maybe even early October.

This has been a rare summer in these parts, in that it's never really gotten to be oppressively hot and humid or anything like that. Only three times this summer has the temperature reached 90 degrees, and the high for the season has only been 91.

Contrast that with last summer, when there were about a million days when it was at least 90, with accompanying humidity of course. TigerBlog is used to that, since he's basically had that for every summer of his life.

This one has been different though.

It's been mostly in the low 80s during the days and into the 60s at night. It's been, well, pleasant.

TigerBlog read a story about all this last week, though he can't remember where. It said that there is unlikely to be a heat wave - defined as three consecutive days with temps in the 90s - this summer, which would mark the first time in a decade that there would be no heat wave in this area.

As for August, it's half over already, which, given what TB wrote two weeks ago, would suggest that August flies by, rather than crawls, especially when the weather is like this.

If you're looking for other signs of fall, they're everywhere. Well, almost everywhere.

Miss TigerBlog is one full week into high school field hockey practice - TB can report that she made the team. When TB goes to either pick her up or drop her off, he sees every other fall team at the school in its first week of practice as well.

Beyond that, every park that TB drives by seems to have Pop Warner football practice, or soccer or something else.

The preseason has begun in the NFL - Caraun Reid had two tackles for loss last week for Detroit - and TV is also dominated by talk of the soon-to-arrive college football season.

Ah, but at Princeton? Not quite yet.

There is still a calmness on campus. The last of the summer camps has been wrapping up, and the wave of fall athletes has yet to arrive.

That all changes within a week. By next Friday, Princeton's campus will be flooded with athletes, team and practices. And it'll be the surest sign that fall is right around the corner.

TigerBlog has been counting down the weeks until the first day of competition for the 2014-15 academic year.

Today that countdown stands at three weeks. Just three short weeks between now and the first athletic events of 2014-15.

Coming up on Sept. 5 - 21 days from today - there will be field hockey at Duke, men's soccer at FDU, women's volleyball at Temple's tournament against Charlotte and Holy Cross and the first home event of the year, a women's soccer game against Rutgers.

Actually, that will be the fourth game of the year for the Scarlet Knights, who open their season one week from today against Stony Brook. RU also plays Vanderbilt and Seton Hall at home before its game here against the Tigers.

There are nine more events scheduled between Saturday, Sept. 6, and Wednesday, Sept. 10, including another home women's soccer game (Seton Hall) and a home men's soccer game (St. John's). There's also the men's water polo team's Princeton Invitational.

All of these teams report next week and start practicing. The football team and sprint football team also begin shortly, with opening day of the football season five weeks and three time zones away.

So what does all this mean?

It means that the weeks continue to zoom by. Can it really be Friday again? Can August really be half over? It just began. 

It also means that today is the last Friday of the summer here before the athletic department roars back to life. And it's a perfect Friday at that, another completely pleasant day, one that is going to start another completely pleasant weekend.

So go outside. If nothing else, go for a nice walk somewhere. Anywhere.

You owe it to yourself.

After all, summer won't last forever. Especially this one.

It might as well be fall already. It's started in most places.

It comes to Princeton Athletics within the week.

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