TigerBlog's hope of going through the entire winter without having to break out the super heavy "Princeton Athletics" coat vanished yesterday.
It actually should have vanished Monday, except TB was too stubborn to actually wear it, so he went with just a sweatshirt as the temperature plummeted for the first time. TigerBlog is pretty sure the low for the month of December around here never made it to 32, and it was actually warm for most of the last, well, while.
All that changed Monday, when it was a high of 30 and a low of 12. What did TB wear? A sweatshirt. No coat. No hat. No gloves.
Stubborn. Or optimistic.
The temperature when TigerBlog got into his car Tuesday was 9. As much as he wanted to pretend it wasn't, yeah, it was winter. This time, TB couldn't fight it, so he went with the super heavy coat, and a hat and gloves. Actually, it was his new Princeton hat, the ugly sweater hat. He likes it.
It was 14 when he got into his car yesterday morning, but the high was supposed to be 39, so TB went back to the sweatshirt.
Hey, maybe if he pretends it's not cold then it'll continue to be an okay winter. And the 10-day forecast? Not a snowflake to be found. If true, then Princeton will have made it to mid-January snow-free.
The walk from Lot 21 to Jadwin Gym is a short one, but it can be brutal in the winter, especially when the wind rips through. Still, it's better to tough it out in a sweatshirt than to admit it's freezing.
But hey, it is early January. Today is the seventh, actually, which means only one thing.
Princeton's first semester exams are coming.
One of the unique parts of Princeton Athletics is the break that comes up in January for exams. Students returned from break Monday for this week's reading period, and that will be followed by two weeks of exams.
During final exams there will be no athletic events. It's been like this since TigerBlog first came around, and probably for long before that.
Actually, it makes TigerBlog wonder if this is how it always has been. Hmmm. How best to check this?
Well, there is the men's basketball year-by-year results, which lists dates of games. Way, way back when, there were games in mid-December and early- to mid-January, but nothing in between.
TigerBlog is talking early 1900s here. Interestingly, the entire 21-game 1908-09 season was played between Dec. 5 and Jan. 22.
It wasn't until the 1939-40 season that Princeton had a big gap in its schedule at this time of year. During that season, Princeton played Syracuse on Dec. 22 and Duke on Jan. 6 and then didn't play again until it played Army on Jan. 24.
There were big January gaps in the next three seasons as well, before the schedule went back to having games all through January for two years, until 1946-47, when there was a two-week break starting Jan. 18.
There has been such a break every year since. So there's that.
This year's break starts after this weekend's events, of which there are a lot of them, including a basketball doubleheader at the Palestra. In all, there are 15 events between today and Sunday, featuring 10 different teams: men's squash, women's squash, men's hockey, women's hockey, men's basketball, women's basketball, wrestling, men's volleyball, men's indoor track and field, women's indoor track and field.
The women's hockey team is at Union tomorrow and RPI Saturday. The Tigers are currently in second-place in the ECAC with 15 points, five behind Quinnipiac and four ahead of Harvard.
Of course, the other teams will have the next two weekends to play catch up, so it's this one is important for the Tigers. RPI and Union are a combined 3-10-3 in the league and 5-24-8 overall, but no game is a gimme, especially on the road.
These two games won't count in the Ivy standings, where Princeton is in first place with 12 points, seven ahead of Dartmouth. On the other hand, Princeton has played seven league games; no other league team has played more than four.
As for the men, Princeton is playing a rare Thursday/Friday weekend, with games tonight against RPI and Union tomorrow at Baker Rink. For tickets, click HERE.
Princeton is playing Thursday/Friday because its travel partner, Quinnipiac, is playing Harvard at Madison Square Garden Saturday, which has resulted in a split of the travel partner weekend, as the Bobcats plays Union tonight and then RPI Jan. 21.
Princeton is 4-12-0 but starting to make serious progress in Year 2 under Ron Fogarty. The Tigers are also 3-7-0 in the ECAC, which has them tied for seventh and in the running for a home playoff series, though again, the two weeks off gives everyone else a chance to move up.
RPI is 4-1-3 in the league and 7-6-0 out of it. Union is 2-5-1 in the ECAC but 7-1-3 out of it.
After this, Princeton's next men's hockey game is Tuesday the 26th, at home against AIC. The women play a night earlier at UConn.
Hopefully it won't snow between now and then.