Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fictional Rory, Real-Life Lorelei And Ivy Men's Basketball

It's been awhile since TigerBlog has started out with anything other than Princeton Athletics.

Yeah, he mentioned the Super Bowl. And there was BrotherBlog's report from Australia.

Mostly it's been all Princeton, all the time. Hey, it's a busy time of year, and there's a lot to write about in Princeton Athletics.

And he'll get to it today. First, though, let's talk television.

TB can't even remember the last time he talked about a TV show. Was it the last episode of "Homeland?"

The new season of "House of Cards" is coming to Netflix soon. Like next week soon. Season 4 starts on March 4.

This might be a problem for TigerBlog, who is currently 28% of his way through his current - and most ambitious - binge-watching attempt.

Guess what he's watching now? His first binge-watch was Season 1 of "Homeland," but that was just one season. Since then, he's had to watch each of the remaining seasons one episode per week.

He had to play catch-up on "House of Cards," "Orange is the New Black," "Lilyhammer" and "Wentworth," four of the great Netflix shows. For those, though, he went through the first few seasons and then had to wait for the subsequent season to launch.

His best efforts so far in watching an entire series start to finish have been "Breaking Bad," for which he watched all 62 episodes, and "Parenthood," for which he watched all 103.

Those two combined are only slightly more than the 153 episodes of "Gilmore Girls." The show, which ran for seven seasons beginning in 2000, is Miss TigerBlog's all-tie favorite, and it was recently announced that another season is being released. TB decided to see what the fuss is, and now he's sort of hooked.

It's not that radically different than "Parenthood," at least with Lauren Graham in the "mother-as-friend" role. "Parenthood" definitely took on some deeper issues, but they can both best described wholesome. Or at least wholesome-ish.

TigerBlog's objection to "Gilmore Girls" is the endless banter from the main character. It's funny for awhile. Then it becomes tedious. Oh, and they eat breakfast and dinner every night at Luke's diner, eating pancakes in the morning and burgers at night, and yet they're both rail thin.

Other than that, it's a fine 43-minute diversion.

TigerBlog is 43 episodes in, leaving 110 to go. Every now and then Miss TigerBlog ruins an upcoming plot twist for him, like telling him that Christopher's new girlfriend gets pregnant right after he looks like he's getting back together with Lorelei.

And the show does have one of TB's all-time favorites, the recently deceased Edward Hermann, who always played the same character - stodgy, old-money, bowtie, sophisticate.

Rory, Lorelei's daughter, wants to go to Harvard. Through the first two seasons she is at Chilton school, a fictional ritzy Connecticut prep school somewhere near Hartford, which makes TB think that she has gone to Rein's Deli in Vernon more than once. Maybe she even got the Boston Harbor sandwich that TB loves - whitefish salad, lox, onions, tomato.

There is one episode where Rory and Lorelei take a visit to Harvard's campus. TB is pretty sure that it wasn't really filmed at Harvard. As he understands it, Harvard has not allowed anyone to film on its campus since "Love Story."

Miss TigerBlog has already told her dad that Rory ends up at Yale, not Harvard. And Lorelei, in real life (as in Lauren Graham), is a Columbia grad.

And so between fictional Rory, real life Lorelei and TigerBlog, you have the Ivy League men's basketball race.

Perhaps Lauren Graham will be checking in to see how her alma mater does in men's basketball Friday night, when it takes on Princeton in Jadwin Gym in the latest huge game in the Ivy race. Hmm. That's sort of an interesting question.

TigerBlog has wondered this before, back in 2009. Do famous people check out Maybe Lauren Graham is really invested in Columbia basketball. If she is, she already knows how big this weekend is.

Right now you have Yale at 9-1, Princeton at 8-1 and Columbia at 8-2. All three know this: win out and earn at least a share of the championship.

None of those three has lost a game to the other five teams to date, and the race has been defined so far by the head-to-head meetings between the three. So far, Princeton is the only one to have won on another's home court, having beaten Columbia in New York City two weeks ago.

Columbia is home with Yale on March 5, the final night of the regular season for both.

As TB said, each of the three gets at least a share of the title by winning out. Columbia would get to 12-2 by doing so and in the process deal Princeton and Yale another loss, giving them at least two each. It'll be a three-way tie at 12-2 if Columbia wins out and Princeton and Yale win the rest of their games other than Columbia.

There are a million permutations right now. Well, not a million, but a bunch. There's even one for a four-way tie: Penn goes 5-0 to get to 9-5, Yale goes 0-4 to get to 9-5, Columbia goes 1-3 the rest of the way to get to 9-5  and Princeton goes 1-4 the rest of the way to get to 9-5. Likely? No. But possible. The other four teams, by the way, are all mathematically eliminated.

But still important to determining the champion.

Between them, Princeton, Columbia and Yale have nine games remaining against the other five teams. Not one of those games is going to be easy, and each will impact the league race.

In the next two weekends Princeton has to go to Harvard and Dartmouth and play Cornell here Saturday. Columbia has to play at Penn. Yale has Harvard and Dartmouth at home.

And that doesn't even take into account how much joy Penn would take in derailing Princeton on March 8 here at Jadwin. Remember when Princeton did it to Penn a few years ago?

Of course, the biggest game of any year is always the next one. And in this case, that's even truer.

Princeton hosts Columbia Friday night. You don't have to be a math genius to understand the impact  a Princeton win or a Columbia win will have on the race.

The Princeton men's basketball team has been exciting to watch from Day 1 this year. The Tigers are stalking the school record for points per game in a season. They have players who push the ball and play at a fast tempo and are exciting to watch.

And they're playing for a championship.

You can't ask for much more for the final weekend in February at Jadwin Gym.

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