Monday, July 18, 2016

Dream Baby Dream

TigerBlog's friend Charlie - he's from Penn, but you can still like him - used to say that he liked the song "Hey Jude" because the words were easy to remember.

You know. "Na-na-na-na-na-na-na. Na-na-na-na. Hey Jude."

TigerBlog is pretty sure that he read somewhere that when the Beatles wrote that sang, they put the "na na na na" part in as a place-holder, figuring they'd go back and add lyrics later, only to find out that they liked the way it sounded.

Maybe that's really how it went.

TigerBlog heard a relatively obscure Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band song over the weekend called "Dream Baby Dream." Perhaps you've heard it.

Anyway, each verse of the song is basically one line repeated three times. Why wouldn't there have been different lyrics in each verse, with possibly fewer verses?

What is the reason? What is the meaning?

Maybe it's because he liked the way it sounded. Or maybe it's because he couldn't think of anything else to write. Or maybe he was just being lazy. So many theories. So many complexities.

Or maybe it's simpler.

Take the line "I just want to see you smile." It's actually sung three times in a verse and then repeated two other times, for a total of nine times in the song where the Boss sings that he just wants to "see you smile."


Maybe it's simple. Maybe he just wants to see someone smile, and in doing so, all of the problems in that moment seem a little more distant, a little more solvable.

It's the same with "c'mon and open up your heart," which he sings 12 times.

Maybe with those lines, one of which is seven words and the other of which is six, he figures he's saying everything that needs to be said.

Sometimes what appears to be complex is actually simple.

So yeah, "Dream Baby Dream." It's a pretty good song.

The start of the gold medal game at the U-19 men's lacrosse World Championships Saturday night was more of a nightmare than a dream for the U.S. team.

The Americans had zoomed through the tournament, beginning with a 12-5 win over Canada and then hammering everyone, including Australia 23-1 in the semifinal.

When the tournament started, as with most international tournaments, the pre-determined final seemed to be the U.S. and Canada, which is part of the problem with international lacrosse. The game continues to grow, and more and more countries are fielding teams, but the gap to the Canadians and Americans is huge (as for the U-19 championships, the Americans had won each of the seven tournaments).

The only team that can even pretend to compete is the Iroquois team, which is loaded with Division players, but the U.S. still defeated that team 17-3 in pool play. The Canadians had a tougher time with the Iroquois but still won 12-9 in the round robin game and 14-11 in the other semifinal.

The Iroquois then beat Australia 20-8 for the bronze. If you're curious, the other placement game saw England beat Israel 10-7 for fifth, Ireland beat Germany 16-12 for seventh, China beat Scotland 15-9 for ninth, Hong Kong beat South Korea 13-4 for 11th and Mexico beat Taiwan 9-4 for 13th.

And so that left the U.S. and Canada for the gold.

The U.S. may have had a relatively easy win over Canada - the host, as the tournament was being played in British Columbia - but the Canadians had defeated the U.S. 14-13 in overtime in an exhibition game last winter.

Any thought that this game might be easy for the U.S. was erased when Canada scored the first six. And it was 8-2 Canadians at the half.

Back, though, the Americans would come, eventually tying it at 12-12 and then winning it 13-12 with 8.5 seconds to play. It would be the only lead the U.S. would have in the game.

Princeton men's lacrosse played a big role in the championship.

Austin Sims, who was an All-Ivy League midfielder for the Tigers last spring, was the U.S. team co-captain. Sims scored 23 goals last year for Princeton, and he will be the team's second-leading returning goal-scorer next year (Gavin McBride had 26).

Sims played much more of a defensive role for the U.S. team, which is what he did as a freshman at Princeton. He also played a huge leadership role, which was something that was mentioned often during the tournament.

The other Princeton player on the team hasn't yet suited up for the Tigers, and that would be incoming freshman Michael Sowers. A recent graduate of Upper Dublin High School outside of Philadelphia, Sowers had 402 career assists in high school, which is believed to be the national high school record - by 95, over the next-best total, which was the 307 that current Yale attackman Ben Reeves had.

Sowers made the All-World team on attack after having 11 goals and 11 assists in the tournament, including a goal and two assists - all in the third quarter as the U.S. made its run - in the championship game.

Sowers was the only U.S. player in double figures in both goals and assists.

Princeton men's lacrosse will be starting over this year, as Matt Madalon will begin his first full season as head coach. Obviously the return of Sims and the addition of Sowers will be huge pieces for the Tigers, especially after their international experience.

The first gold medals of the summer have been won, not in Rio, but in Canada, by the U.S. men's U-19 team. In highly dramatic fashion.

With a nightmare start that quickly turned into a dream finish.


Anonymous said...

What about Zach Currier playing for Team Canada?

TigerBlog said...

He was too old. He actually played four years ago for the Canadians.