Tuesday, February 9, 2016

83 Times Two

Yeah, so as far as the recently played Super Bowl goes:

1) it was really dull. In fact, it might have been the worst Super Bowl ever

2) the introduction of the Super Bowl MVPs was cool

3) it went about as poorly as it could have for Cam Newton, who played poorly, didn't go after a fumble because presumably he didn't want to get hit again and then bailed immaturely on the postgame press conference after eating up every possible press opportunity before the game

4) the commercials were nothing special. The halftime show went poorly for Coldplay, at least if Twitter is to be believed. Did the Super Bowl really need three big-name acts at one time? Can something involved with the game be toned down a little?

5) what was Peyton Manning thinking with the Budweiser plug? Was he really going home to drink beer, in which case, what kind of message does that send to young fans? Or was he merely endorsing Bud in some fashion, in which case, what kind of message does that send to young fans? It seemed wildly out of character for someone who comes across as very concerned about his image

6) and while the subject is Manning, hopefully he doesn't play again. He clearly has nothing left as a player. In fact, TigerBlog can't imagine that Manning gave Denver the best chance to win, as opposed to Brock Osweiler, who could actually move and throw. It's actually sort of shocking that a team would be willing to lose a Super Bowl because of someone's name, rather than his ability. And TB is a Manning fan

7) can someone get through to today's athletes that this is the Super Bowl and as a result it might not be the time to get personal fouls for unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness? The state of modern professional sports could best be summed up by the one situation where the Denver player got a first down, stuck the ball in the face of one of the Panthers' players, did a "look at me" dance and then was rewarded with 15 more yards when the Panthers' player slapped the ball away. Whatever happened to giving the ball to the ref and then going back to the huddle? Yes, the Carolina player shouldn't have slapped the ball away, but the Denver player provoked the whole thing

And that's it.

TigerBlog wasn't really into the Super Bowl anyway. His friend Eddie Timanus of the USA Today was tweeting only in Haiku for the entire day, and TB reached out to Timanus with this contribution:
Kick off already
Super Bowl, yeah, whatever
Lacrosse has started

The Super Bowl was Sunday obviously. Today is the New Hampshire Primary.

TigerBlog meant to ask his colleague from Dartmouth Rick Bender what it's been like to be in New Hampshire the last few weeks. TB has been to Dartmouth in enough election years to know it's wall-to-wall politicians there until the primary - and then it's over in a day, and on to the next states.

TigerBlog saw Bender at Jadwin Gym Saturday night, when Dartmouth was here for men's basketball. TB saw both games this weekend, against Harvard and Dartmouth, both of which were big Princeton wins.

It took 7:33 of the game against Harvard for Princeton to build a double figure lead, and the Crimson would never get within 10 the rest of the way. Princeton then needed just 3:30 to get a double figure lead against Dartmouth and 9:44 to make it a 20-point lead.

Princeton would beat Harvard 83-62 and Dartmouth 83-70, meaning Princeton did something this weekend that hadn't been done by a Princeton team since 1974, which is 42 years ago.

Back on Feb. 1 and 2 in 1974, Princeton defeated Columbia 90-47 and Cornell 92-56. Prior to this weekend, that's the last time Princeton reached at least 80 points in both games in an Ivy League weekend.

The Ivy League season has not yet reached its mid-point, but it's looking very much like a three-team race right now.

Yale is currently unbeaten at 6-0, followed by Columbia at 5-1 and Princeton at 4-1. Penn is next at 2-3. Everyone else is either 2-4 or 1-5.

So yes, barring a big run by Penn, it's looking like it's three teams. For Princeton, every game is huge, but there are some, well, "huger" ones on the near horizon.

The Tigers will be on the road this weekend, at Cornell Friday and Columbia Saturday. Then, the following Friday, it's Yale at home. That's at Columbia and home with Yale in consecutive games, six days apart, after a tough game at a Cornell team that pushes the tempo and then the long bus ride back to New York City.

Princeton was very impressive this past weekend. Steven Cook, especially, lit it up, with 21 against Harvard and then 27 more against Dartmouth.

Princeton shot better than 50% in both games, and it was 25 for 53 from three-point range for the weekend. TigerBlog hasn't looked that up yet, but he's guessing that 25 threes in one weekend might be a record.

There's more. Princeton had 31 assists and 19 turnovers, outrebounded both opponents and had no player go more than 32 minutes in either game.

Yale beat Columbia Friday, meaning Yale has beaten both Princeton and Columbia - on its home court. The race doesn't really have a favorite until one of the three loses at home, TB supposes.

The first two of six Ivy weekends have gone by. The next two definitely have those, you know, huger games.

Will the last two? TigerBlog suspects they will.

It makes for an exciting few weeks of Princeton men's basketball.


Anonymous said...

Yes, the quarterbacks looked sloppy and there wasn't much scoring, but that doesn't mean it was a bad game. It could mean that the defense was excellent-- and it was. I enjoy defensive contests because it shows how an effective defense can take down even the best offenses.

TigerBlog said...

TigerBlog loves a good defensive game. This wasn't that. This was one team who knew its quarterback had nothing left and once it got the lead had an offensive philosophy of "don't make mistakes," which Manning nonetheless did. Also, Carolina's offense wasn't good or creative, which made it a sitting duck for Denver.

Steven Feldman '68 said...

In addition to the February 6 men's record track and field performances, junior Allison Harris broke the Ivy League pole vault record with a vault of 13 feet 9 and 1/4 inches and senior Taylor Morgan broke the Princeton University pentathlon record with 4050 points. Both records were set on February 6 at the Sykes & Sabock Cup meet at University Park, Pa.

Steven Feldman '68 said...

It might be nice to mention that two Princeton men had superior performances at the Villanova Invitational track meet on Staten Island on February 6. Freshman Charles Volker broke his own Princeton record with a time of 6.79 in the 60 meter dash. Also, senior Adam Bragg, competing unattached (for some reason), cleared 18 feet 2 and 1/2 inches in the pole vault which is also a Princeton record.