Thursday, September 17, 2015

Picture This

The Princeton football season starts in two days.

Too bad the play of the year has already happened. And so has the best picture of the year.

It'll be hard for anyone to beat Sam Huffman, who made a ridiculous one-handed, falling backwards interception in the end zone of the team's scrimmage, or Bill Corso, who took a great picture of it.

If you haven't seen the clip, it's the last one on THIS VIDEO.

If you haven't seen the picture, here it is:

This is a ridiculous picture, right?

Imagine if Huffman had made this play at the end of a big Ivy League game. It would instantly become part of Princeton legend.

It would be one of the greatest plays in Princeton football history.

It's certainly one of the best Princeton Athletics pictures TigerBlog has ever seen. It's not the best one.

This would be the best one:

Of course, this one has a lot of advantages to it.

One, it came in the NCAA basketball tournament. Two, it came at the end of one of the greatest first-round games ever played, Princeton's 43-41 win over UCLA.

Three, it tells the whole story in one picture.

The look on the face of Toby Bailey (the UCLA player) tells you not just that he lost. It tells you he's completely frustrated, that he cannot for the life of him figure out how his team lost.

Oh, and Bailey isn't just some player. He scored 26 points in the NCAA championship game a year, when UCLA won the national title. He would play in the NBA. And he just airballed a turnaround jump shot that would have tied it at the buzzer.

Then there are the two Princeton players. The one in the background is off to celebrate. The one in the foreground is captured in a split-second moment of glory and euphoria.

Oh, and they happen to be the two most recent Princeton head coaches, former coach Sydney Johnson and current coach Mitch Henderson.

You've probably seen the picture a million times. It always fascinates TigerBlog when he sees the replay itself just how little time Mitch spends in his jump.

From the video, it gives the sense of just how perfectly timed the picture is and how great a job the photographer did.

It's an Associated Press photo.

When TigerBlog got back from Indianapolis after the NCAA tournament that year, he reached out to the AP to see about getting a copy of the picture. Originally, he was told it would be $1,200 for a single usage.

TB's response? He could fly Mitch, Sydney and Bailey back to Indianapolis and recreate the picture for that much money.

Eventually he was able to talk the AP people down to the price he'd pay, which was $300, for unlimited internal use. It's among the best $300 of Princeton's money that he's spent.

Mitch emailed TigerBlog earlier this week with a great picture, one that seems almost Photoshopped.

Here it is:

Now this is also a ridiculous picture.

It's the New York Knicks at Jadwin Gym. And not just any Knicks. It's a team with the greatest Knicks ever - Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Dave DeBusschere and of course Princeton's Bill Bradley. And head coach Red Holtzman.

Oh, and the great Milt Williams. This has to be the 1970-71 Knicks, which would be one year after winning the NBA title and two years before winning it again. The 1970-71 season was the only year Williams was on the team.

TigerBlog hasn't been able to figure out what this game was, but he assumes it's an exhibition game. He has never heard of the Knicks' playing a regular season game at Jadwin.

Here's the best picture that TigerBlog saw last year from Princeton Athletics:

This is Sam Bonafede, who was a freshman a year ago. He took 232 of Princeton's 392 face-offs in the 2015 season.

This game was played in the snow on Sherrerd Field. The game was the second of a doubleheader, one that began on a cloudy, cold day with a women's game against Loyola, one that featured snowflakes in the second half.

By the time the men's game started, the flakes had turned to a near-blizzard, and there was probably four inches of snow on the field by the time it ended.

The game left TigerBlog with great pictures, like the one with Bonafede. And a bunch of others.

The only problem is, what should TB do with them? It's not like he can use them all year long. They were great for a week, but after that, nobody wanted to see lacrosse in the snow pictures.

Oh well.

The best snow picture at Princeton that TigerBlog has seen was from the 1993 Princeton-Dartmouth football game. Unfortunately, he can't find it, except for on the cover of the 1995 football media guide.

It's a picture of David Patterson, one of TB's favorite Princeton athletes. Patterson was undersized for a linebacker, but he was dominant.

The 1993 Princeton-Dartmouth game started out in sunshine. By the end of the first quarter, it was snowing. By the middle of the second quarter, the field was covered in snow. By halftime, the snow stopped. By the end of the third quarter, the snow was gone.

The picture was tremendous. Patterson was covered in snow and and mud and dirt, like players were when they used to play on real dirt and grass. It's what's missing from FieldTurf.

TigerBlog saved it for two years to use on the cover of the media guide Patterson's senior year. It looked great. Too bad he can't find it.

So that's a few of the best pictures that TigerBlog has seen here.

What will be the greatest picture of 2016-17? That was in wide open.

The winner for 2015-16? That ones seems to be sewn up - even before the first kickoff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Knicks played a preseason game at Jadwin a couple of years, including 1973-74 against (iirc) the Hawks (pre-Armond). Then they'd head down to Baltimore/Washington for the next night.