Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Year In Review

The annual report - or as it used to be known, the President's Report - is pretty much what you think it would be.

It's a recap of the previous academic year, a record of everything that happened that particular year with Princeton Athletics.

It includes pretty much everything, stuff like workout permits sold and number of varsity athletes certified. And the competitive record.

That last part is where TigerBlog and his Office of Athletic Communications colleagues come in. It's their job to piece together things like Princeton's record against all Ivy opponents, Princeton's overall record, the team-by-team records, those sorts of things.

It's due sometime next week.

TB has this information going back for years and years. It's a valuable tool to refer back to when necessary.

In fact, TB's friend Big Green Alert blog man would love it. Actual facts put down on actual paper.

Most of what TB contributes to the annual report is data driven. There is one big text piece, and that's the Princeton Athletics year in review.

As of now, TB hasn't written it yet. He will get to it before the end of next week. Don't worry.

Most years, there is a fairly obvious starting point for the year in review. One team. One athlete. Somebody always rises to be worthy of the top spot.

At least in TB's eyes. Perhaps if someone else wrote the year in review that year, he or she would come up with a different lead.

It's one of the great things about Princeton Athletics. There are 38 varsity teams, and they can all be treated evenly in something like a year in review.

The recently completed 2014-15 athletic year, though, really offers no gray area.

TB is pretty sure that if he gathered up 100 Princeton fans and asked them to name the top story here for the 2014-15 academic year, they'd all come up with the same answer.

The women's basketball team.

Princeton went 31-1 this past year. The regular season was 30-0, making Princeton the only women's basketball team in the country to go unbeaten in the regular season.

It still annoys TigerBlog that Princeton was given an eight seed in the NCAA tournament, instead of, well, basically anything else. The result was a first-round win over ninth-seeded Wisconsin-Green Bay and then, sadly, top-seeded Maryland in the second round, where the 31-game winning streak ended.

None of this is new to a Princeton fan.

Yes, there were some other great accomplishments by Princeton teams and athletes this year. Hey, 12 of them won league championships (11 Ivy titles and the women's water polo league title). There was also a lot of postseason success by a bunch of teams.

And again, TigerBlog learned a long time ago how to judge different sports on their merits, without factoring in things like how much national attention one sport gets against another. 

But really. This year the big story was women's basketball.

As TB looked back at the accomplishments of the women's basketball team, he began to think of it not in terms of this year but in the larger context of all of Princeton Athletics history. Where does it rank there?

For that matter what's the greatest single accomplishment in Princeton history?

As someone who majored in history, these are the kind of questions that really appeals to TB.

Princeton Athletic history is long, dating back 151 years. And it's filled with great accomplishments and great athletes, decade after decade since.

It's really impossible to pick the one that tops them all, right?

Even if TigerBlog narrows it down to the last 25 years, he still off the top of his head can think of at least 10 events that would be in contention.

Now that TigerBlog is thinking about it, maybe he should actually put together a list and all. Not today, mind you. But one of these summer days.

And oh yeah, he still has four more of those questions to answer, the ones from that comment last month. He'll get to those too.

For now, he'll say that what the women's basketball team accomplished this past year is way way up on the list of great Princeton moments.

And it's definitely the lead of the athletic year in review. 

You know, the one TigerBlog hasn't written yet.

1 comment:

BGA said...

Having produced media guides in the past, I can understand why it's a relief not to do them anymore and to be able to update information whenever. I recall one time when an error at the printer resulted in a senior accidentally being left out of the football press guide, much to the horror of Dartmouth SID Kathy Slattery. I seem to recall the printer made good with a very small run of corrected guides, but Slats was still beside herself. In her own inimitable style she told her troops that until he graduated: "Every time (Player X) farts I want a hometown press release on it."