Wednesday, September 9, 2015


TigerBlog is testing Fred Samara right now.

The longtime Princeton men's track and field coach and former Olympic decathlete was asked yesterday if he'd read the blog, and he responded that he only reads it when he's in it. How, TigerBlog asked him, does he know if he's in it if he doesn't read it?

It's a good question.

Anyway, he's in it today. Fred Samara. Fred Samara. Fred Samara.

There. He has a few mentions.

Fred was sitting in TigerBlog's office. He was wearing a white polo shirt, or is it a golf shirt?

TigerBlog has never really been able to keep those two straight. He's talking about a pullover shirt with a color and two or three buttons. Is that a polo shirt or golf shirt? Or are they the same thing?

Anyway, Fred's said "Princeton Track and Field" on it. There was a black pattern under the arms down the side.

And there was the most recognizable logo in the world, the Nike swoosh. Nike, as everyone knows, was the Greek goddess of victory, and the "swoosh" represents Nike's wing.

At least that's what is says on Wikipedia.

It also says that the woman who created the "swoosh" was named Carolyn Davidson, and she was originally paid $35 for her work. Eventually, Nike founder Phil Knight gave her an undisclosed amount of Nike stock; TigerBlog is guessing the value added a few zeros to the end of the $35.

Fred's shirt gave him a strong, solid, professional look. That's what happens when you partner with an international leader like Nike.

TigerBlog has said this before, and it's just as true now: The effect off the Nike deal on all of Princeton Athletics has been nothing short of extraordinary. What started out as a bit of a perk has turned into the single best element of what has come to be know around here as "overt pride," something that stretches across every coach, athlete and staff member of the department - and even outside the department.

Actually, TigerBog literally said that five years ago yesterday. He stands by it today.

If you don't feel like going back to the blog of five years and a day ago, TigerBlog can hit the highlights for you now.

His first piece of Princeton gear was a Princeton basketball sweatshirt that former women's basketball coach Joan Kowalik gave to him. During his earliest days around Princeton Athletics, there was little rhyme or reason to one team's gear versus another team's. The logos were different. The oranges rarely matched.

Since Princeton connected with Nike, all that has changed.

Now, Princeton's athletes, coaches and staff all have a first-class look to them, one that goes well beyond just the athletic facilities. This goes throughout the campus, where it used to be a total guessing game as to what anyone would be wearing.

What this led to was something that always tortured TigerBlog, and that was the site of a Princeton athlete in another school's gear. Not a league rival or anything, but something like "North Carolina basketball" or "Notre Dame football." Not here.

When TigerBlog Jr. left for college, TigerBlog ensured that he take nothing with him that said "Princeton" on it. You don't wear someone else's stuff on your campus.

With Nike, Princeton doesn't need to worry about that.

This is no small thing. Do not underestimate the importance of all of this.

When you look good, you feel good. When you look uniform, you feel a part of something. When you see a thousand athletes and a coaching staff and administrative staff all dressed like you are, you realize that you're not here alone. And you realize you can be proud of being an athlete on this campus.

Before Nike, that wasn't always the case. TigerBlog is not making this up or exaggerating.

So on behalf of Princeton Athletics, TigerBlog would like to thank Nike, who has been a great partner for the Tigers.

Every day Princeton athletes walk past TB's office wearing their Nike stuff. Proudly.

As for TigerBlog, he has a ton of Nike stuff. Even his non-Princeton stuff is primarily Nike - with the lone exception some Sacred Heart stuff, which is understandable.

His NCAA lacrosse stuff? It's all Nike. The NFL Films shirt that Jim Barlow's brother Chris gave him? Nike.

He wouldn't wear it otherwise.

Not around here. That's for sure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the Nike stuff is great, but I still have fond memories of the classic Adidas track suits from the 1980s. They were made for Orange and Black colors. These Nike designs are good, I guess. They're probably what the current generation favors. But any child of the 70s and 80s must miss the great Adidas look.