Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Game Ends Tonight

If you watched the Michigan State-Alabama game on New Year's Eve, then you probably came away with some of the same thoughts as TigerBlog.

You know. Like nobody wants to watch Alabama play for the national title again. And like Michigan State was flat-out awful.

And the main one, the one where you wondered if Michigan State was breaking any rules by having its men's basketball team in attendance.

The game was technically the Cotton Bowl, which was in the Dallas area. And yet there was the Spartans men's basketball team, fresh off a game two days earlier at Iowa with another one two days later at Minnesota.

So what's the deal? Rule breaking at its most obvious?

TigerBlog is no expert on the NCAA rule book, though he does find it fascinating reading. In this case, he was reasonably sure that unless each member of the team paid his own way to the game, it would be considered an extra benefit.

Ah, but there is another rule that he didn't know, until he asked Anthony Archbald, Princeton's Executive Director of Athletics who has spent much of his career in compliance, when he saw Anthony at the women's hockey game against Yale.

Apparently it's permissible to have a practice off campus, basically anywhere you want. And can afford. Michigan State basketball? It can afford to fly its team to Texas to practice.

Meanwhile, it's Alabama and Clemson for the national title. TigerBlog is rooting for Clemson, grudgingly.

TB can sum up the entire bowl season, by the way. Every game was awful, except for the second half and OT of TCU-Oregon, when the Horned Frogs - with their back-up quarterback - won 47-41 after being down 31-0 at the half.

And why was the backup playing? Was the starter injured? Nope, he punched out a cop in San Antonio after getting into it with some hecklers in a bar, well after midnight.

The best thing TB saw about this whole situation was a tweet that referred to how Trevone Boykin was suspended from the Alamo Bowl for "violating team rules" and asked if the team rule he violated was the one punching out cops.

The best college football viewing has not been the rest of the bowl games. But for the month of January, it might be tonight's debut of "When The Game Ends."

What is "When The Game Ends?" It's a documentary produced by Princeton's John Bullis, and it's the first in what hopefully will become an annual event for Princeton Athletics.

Where is "When The Game Ends?" It's in Taylor Auditorium in the Frick Chemistry Building, next to Jadwin Gym.

When is "When The Game Ends?" It starts with a reception at 7 and then the movie at 7:30. There will also be a Q&A at the conclusion featuring Bullis and his subject.

And that brings us to Who is "When The Game Ends?" Or at least who is the subject?

The documentary tells the story of Chuck Dibilio, from his days as a high school football star in Nazareth, Pa., through his remarkable freshman football season at Princeton and then his shocking stroke and recovery.

You remember Chuck. He was the one around whom the rebuilding of Princeton football was going to center. And he was the perfect piece to the puzzle, a running back who could also catch passes, one who could force defenses to have to respect the traditional aspects of an offense while the two and three quarterbacks on the field did their thing.

It never worked out that way for Dibilio.

His one year at Princeton would be his only year. As a football player, that is.

Fortunately for Chuck, he didn't define himself just by how many rushing yards he could accumulate. Maybe he did for a little while, but he found out so much about himself that he probably never knew was there as a freshman.

Now he's a senior, readying for his last semester at Princeton before he graduates. It hasn't quite gone the way he would have wanted, and certainly nobody would ever want to go through what he has.

But if you have to go through it, you need to go through it like Chuck Dibilio.

Come see the movie tonight. You'll be glad you did.

If you can't make it tonight, it'll be on goprincetontigers.com tomorrow morning.

But it's better in person.

Chuck will be there. The football game may have ended for him, but he's certainly turned what looked like a loss into a big win.

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