Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Bunch Of Stuff

TigerBlog couldn't think of anything to write about for today.

There was the first day of the NCAA track and field championships, during which Princeton produced two All-Americas.

The first was freshman Adam Kelly, who finished 14th in the hammer throw to become a second-team selection. The last Princeton freshman All-America in men's track and field was Tom Hopkins in 2011.

The other was pole vaulter Adam Bragg, who finished tied for seventh to earn first-team All-America honors.

That leaves Cecilia Barowski as the last Princeton athlete who will be competing for this academic year. She will run the 800 semifinal later today and then hope to reach the final Saturday.

TigerBlog will predict that she makes it three All-Americas in three events for Princeton in Eugene.

There are some other things that TB has wanted to talk about but hasn't gotten around to.

One is the NCAA men's lacrosse final from 10 days ago. Actually, he wants to talk about the Final Four. Not for long.

Jim Barlow, the men's soccer coach at Princeton, told TB that he was writing too much about lacrosse lately. Maybe a little.

Here's an idea for Coach Barlow - how about a Guest TB on the big soccer tournament that's going on in this country now? What does it mean? What does the winner get? That sort of thing.

You can let TB know when it's done.

Anyway, just two quick points about lacrosse.

First, TigerBlog is positive that Brown would have won it all had Dylan Molloy been 100% for the Final Four. In fact, TB doesn't think it would have been all that competitive.

Second, Lincoln Financial Field is a great spot for the Final Four. It was there the last two years, and now it goes back to Foxboro, Mass., for the next two years. TigerBlog has actually liked when it's been there in the past, even if it is somewhat out of the way. Maybe Lincoln Financial Field would make a good permanent home?

Oh, and Muhammad Ali? You've probably read and heard all kinds of things about him since his passing.

If you're younger than 40 or so, then you probably don't realize how big boxing was in this country when Ali was in his prime. And he was, without question, the most charismatic - and polarizing - athlete TigerBlog has ever seen.

He also changed the landscape of sports all by himself. He was the first real trash-talker, sometimes in ways that divided an entire country. Yes, that's how big he was. He could divide a country.

Keep in mind, there was none of that kind of stuff back then. There was, in a word that has long since been forgotten, "sportsmanship." Ali changed that to "showmanship."

Yeah, sometimes it was funny. Like when he said that Sonny Liston was too ugly to be the champ and that he was a "pretty man." Or any of his interviews with Howard Cosell, especially the one where Cosell called him "truculent."

And sometimes it was just vicious. And it could break his opponents' dignity as much as any punch he could throw, especially Joe Frazier's. It made Ali loved by some and hated by more.

Today there is no boxer who could ever be what Ali was. It's just not what it was back then. There was no athlete in the world bigger than Ali, and when he fought, it was bigger than the Super Bowl.

What else?

Tyler Lussi scored a goal for the U.S. women's national U-23 team in a four-nation event in England. Lussi will be a senior this year, and assuming she stays healthy, she figures to destroy the record book.

Lussi will enter her senior year with 43 goals. The only player in Princeton soccer history - male or female - with more goals is Esmeralda Negron, who scored 47 before graduating in 2005 - and leading the Tigers to the 2004 NCAA semifinals.

Lussi has scored 10, 18 and 15 goals in her first three seasons. She has the potential to put some serious distance between her and anyone else who has ever played at Princeton - and then she can see if her record holds up once Mimi Asom, who scored 12 last year as a freshman, gets through with her career.

The combination of Lussi and Asom is daunting. Princeton went undefeated in the Ivy League last year with the two of them, and they're both back.

They make women's soccer games must-see events. TigerBlog hasn't looked at the schedule yet, since it's still early June, meaning there's a long time until the Tigers play.

He can tell you there are 99 days until the football season opens. That's because he saw a tweet yesterday saying there were 100 days until kickoff.

Those days will zoom by. They always do. Summer hasn't even started yet, but it'll be over before you know it.

As he does every year at this time, TB wonders what he'll come up with for an entire summer. As with every other year, he'll think of something every day.

Or, if he can't, there can be another day or two like this one. You know, with a bunch of stuff.

In the meantime, he can wait for Jim Barlow to write about the soccer tourament. What's it called? 


Anonymous said...

TB, now that it's summer and you're searching for topics, how about a discussion of the new graphic designs on Powers Field? It's not exactly like ending global hunger or curing a disease, but it is a noticeable part of the campus landscape. After all, as others have noted, any university's athletic program is the public face of the school. If that's the case, then the football stadium is the college's living room and the logos on the field are how the room is decorated.

Before being replaced a couple weeks ago, Princeton had one of the cleanest, most elegant designs in all of college football. The fifty-yard line sported the university's simple, symmetric shield and each end zone said only "TIGERS" complemented with a tiger head in silhouette. For many years, Princeton and Notre Dame had the only football fields in all of Division I whose designs did not include either the school's name or initial. (For 2015, Notre Dame installed new FieldTurf which had the "ND" monogram at centerfield.) Princeton's field design was like a graceful and fashionable office building marked without a loud corporate name shouting from the cornice piece, but rather an understated street number next to the door. It was where the hard work being done by the tenant inside spoke with more impact than a sign outside.

The new design just installed goes in completely the opposite direction. The "P" logo on the fifty is fine, but a step down from the classic university shield. The black, white and orange end zones are where we really begin to deviate from a stylish clean look to something more garish, like the end zones at Penn, Cornell and Ohio State. But it's the alternating five-yard bands of dark and light green which take the cake. Seriously, who thinks that a football field, which is already striped every five yards, needs to have flashing bands of differential color to further make that point?

I don't know who designed our latest look, but the guy or gal who did the previous field is rolling his or her eyes in response. And while we're on the topic of aesthetics, can we at least go back to wearing black helmets with orange wings and stripes? The current orange helmets with black wings and stripes look like pumpkins which have been left out in the autumn sun for too long. If we go to matte black, even better. Look at how awesome our matte black lacrosse helmets and baseball/softball batting helmets have looked in previous years. I guarantee you, a defensive player wearing a matte black helmet just *wants* to go out and hit somebody -- with proper technique and head up to avoid a concussion, naturally.

Nassau83 said...

I don't know how many athletes - current and past - we have competing in Olympic trials but at the end of June, there will be at least twelve Tiger swimmers at Olympic trials. None are favored to earn a spot on the US team, but they are training hard right now in DeNunzio Pool and at a local outdoor pool. Unlike many other competitors, who choose to represent their home clubs, most of our swimmers will be wearing their orange and black PU athletics gear at Trials. Go Tiger swimmers and all current and past Princeton athletes seeking spots on the US team!

Anonymous said...

talking about Princeton athletic fields: The baseball field "dugouts" are constructed to the point where they obstruct the view of the field from both the first and third base lines.