Friday, June 19, 2015

And The Answer Is ...

So yes, the answer to yesterday's question was the men's basketball game at the Palestra between Princeton and Penn back in 1999.

You know the one. Princeton scored first on a Brian Earl three-pointer. Then Penn scored 29 straight. Then Penn led 33-9 at the half. Then it got to be 40-13 with 15 minutes left.

Then Princeton won, 50-49.

It was a wild game, obviously. TigerBlog has heard from many people who say they saw the score during the first half and turned it off, missing the epic comeback.

TigerBlog will never forget the atmosphere in the building that night. While it was going well for Penn, the Quaker faithful sensed the moment and rose to a level of harshness that TigerBlog has never seen there on any other night. And then? It was eerie, a palpable uneasiness that gave way to a feeling that it would still be okay because the hole was just too deep to a "what just happened" incredulity at the end.

Princeton improved to 7-0 in the league with the win. Penn fell to 6-1. Historical context? None. Penn ended up running the table the rest of the way. Princeton lost to Harvard and Yale. Penn won the league and went to the NCAA tournament, though Princeton did make a nice run to the NIT quarterfinals.

The answer was too obvious for it to have been any other game.

TigerBlog did forget the Princeton-Rutgers men's lacrosse from 2011, a game that was completely insane and yet had no historical context, a game that was referenced in a comment yesterday. It definitely fit on the list TB had yesterday.

So that was fun. At some point in the near future, TB will tackle Question No. 2 - Happiest moments you've experienced due to Princeton sports.

He's not sure where to start on that one. He'll figure it out though.

Changing the subject, TigerBlog found himself at the Phillies-Orioles game yesterday. He was invited by two Princeton Office of Athletic alums, longtime pals David Rosenfeld and Manish Mehta.

TigerBlog hasn't been to too many Major League Baseball games in the last few years. The last time he went to one was in 2013, when he went to see the Mariners and Twins in Seattle.

TigerBlog hasn't paid that close attention to the current Major League Baseball season, so he didn't realize the Phils had the worst record in baseball.

TB and Mehta met Rosenfeld at the game, and it was TB's fault that the three missed the first two batters of the game. By then, it was 1-0 Orioles, after Manny Machado's lead-off home run. Who knew that the O's would not score again?

The Phillies won the game 2-1, with both runs coming in the seventh on a two-run home run from Ryan Howard, which came with two outs and runner on third. The amiable man sitting next to TB (in Row 18 behind the O's dugout) was yelling at the runner on third to steal home, because he had no faith in Howard's ability to get him in. Steal home, he yelled three or four times. Then Howard drove the ball into the right field seats.

Princeton has four players on Major League rosters right now.

David Hale is pitching for the Colorado Rockies. Ross Ohlendorf is pitching for the Texas Rangers, though he just went on the disabled list with a groin injury. Will Venable is hitting .258 with five home runs and 13 RBIs for the San Diego Padres.

And then there's Chris Young, who is pitching for the Kansas City Royals. Young is off to a 6-2 start with a 1.98 ERA. He also has given up 38 hits and 16 walks in 59 innings.

It's pretty stunning to see that Young is in his 11th season in the Major Leagues and that he has thrown 1,115 Major League innings.

To TigerBlog, Young will always be a basketball player first and then a baseball player, because that's what he was at Princeton. And TigerBlog will always be left, as will tons of Princeton fans, to wonder what Young might have done had he been able to play his last two basketball seasons at Princeton, instead of having his eligibility end when he signed a pro baseball contract.

By the way, remember who scored the winning basket in the 50-49 in over Penn in 1999?

Another cliffhanger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wasn't at the Palestra, but sat in front of two insufferable Harvard grads for three quarters at Princeton Stadium before they went wonderfully mute in the fourth I think I understand how it felt at that bball game.

These events are current-day Greek plays. Education Through Athletics, indeed!