Friday, August 21, 2015


Today is BrotherBlog's birthday.

TigerBlog bought him a really nice card in plenty of time to get it to Seattle in time. The only problem, really, is that it's still sitting here in TB's desk drawer.

Yeah, TigerBlog is starting to doubt that the card will make it to BB by the end of the day. So, uh, yeah, sorry about that one.

To make it up to him, TigerBlog will formally wish his brother happy birthday in this spot.

BrotherBlog is two years older than TigerBlog. They do have some commonalities, such as the fact that their first names actually rhyme. And they both love musical theater.

Beyond that, they don't really have much in common, other than a fraternal bond that will last forever.

BrotherBlog is a lawyer, something that TigerBlog once considered becoming, only to be derailed more than 30 years ago, when his friend Jack McCaffery - then a sportswriter for the Trenton Times - said "hey, you want to cover some high school football games?"

BrotherBlog is also a first-class cook, a frequent world traveler - with a trip to Australia on the horizon - a multi-lingual speaker and a generally adventurous sort.

He and his brother used to share a bedroom back in their old house, until TB was 14. TigerBlog has lived his entire life within a 50-mile radius of that room. BrotherBlog left there long ago and has never lived anywhere near there since.

At various parts of his life he has lived in Washington, D.C., Cape Cod and even China. He settled in Seattle long ago, in a city that has welcomed more than one nomadic soul and given them a permanent home. For BrotherBlog, these days that means teaching at the University of Washington Law School.

Today BB is another year older. TigerBlog wishes him happy birthday - and apologizes for forgetting to mail the card. On the bright side, TB already has a card for him for next year.

So that's BB.

Then there's WBB, as in women's basketball. This season will be "year after" for the Princeton women's basketball team.

In case you forgot:

* the Tigers went 30-0 in the regular season a year ago
* there was the first NCAA win in program history, with a win over Wisconsin-Green Bay in the opening round
* Princeton ended up ranked 13th, the highest ranking in Ivy League women's basketball history
* the 31-1 record was the best in Ivy League men's or women's history
* Princeton was the only undefeated team in Division I women's basketball during the regular season; Kentucky was the only undefeated men's team

There were all kinds of other accomplishments last season. And now that's over.

On the other hand, this coming season isn't devoid of reason for optimism, even with the graduation of Ivy Player of the Year Blake Dietrick. Princeton returns four starters from last year, as well as some of its top reserves, and what looks like a pretty strong recruiting class enters the mix.

The schedule for 2015-16 is up on, and there are seven non-league home games, along with the seven league games. Princeton drew at least 1,500 for its last three home games last year, including nearly 2,100 for the last game.

There's a four-game homestand over an eight-day stretch beginning Dec. 6, as Michigan, Monmouth, Pitt and Fordham all come to Jadwin Gym. TigerBlog can never remember a Princeton basketball team that played four home games in eight days.

The Dec. 6 game is especially special, and not just because Michigan assistant coach Melanie Moore used to be an assistant coach at Princeton.

Nope, that game is also special because it'll be on ESPN2.

It's a very big moment for the Princeton women's basketball program. A year ago, Princeton defeated Michigan by 30 in Ann Arbor, and you know Michigan will clearly remember that.

And it'll be on ESPN2. Princeton's ESPN contract has had games almost exclusively on ESPNU, but this one is on ESPN2.

It shows how serious ESPN is about women's basketball and how hot an entity Princeton is right now.

Even though the first Princeton athletic event has yet to be played (though it will be a week from today), it'll be basketball season soon enough. The opener for the women is Nov. 13, at home against American. That's less than three months from now.

TigerBlog's cousin Janet's birthday is a few days after the women's basketball opener, and TB is pretty sure he'll forget to send her a card too.

As for BrotherBlog, have a happy birthday.

TB and his brother have gone down completely different paths, and yet they remain invested in each other's lives.

As TigerBlog thinks about it, that's something pretty nice.

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