The Princeton football team was picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll that was released Tuesday on Ivy League football media day.
TigerBlog struggles to call that media day. Ivy football media day used to be one of the highlights of TB's annual calendar, along with Ivy League athletic communications meetings, which would be the day before.
Those were the days. Meet at Yale, passionately discussing things that long ago became obsolete, often butting heads with the late Kathy Slattery of Dartmouth, all under the guise of her mantra that she repeated before each meeting: "For the good of the clan."
Then it would be dinner with his colleagues around the league. And then it would be football media day the next day. Followed by golf.
TigerBlog last played golf at one of the Ivy media days, at Yale. He isn't a very good golfer, and actually would play once a year. On the 17th hole on a very humid day, he hit his tee shot to the green on a par 3 but had his 8-iron slip out of his hands and helicopter majestically - into a lake.
He didn't finish the hole, and he hasn't hit a golf ball since.
Oh, and Ivy football media day provided a bit of stress each year to make sure the football media guide was done in time and in Connecticut before the first reporter showed up. This usually came down to the wire.
Nobody liked the media guides more than TB's friend Bruce Wood of Big Green Alert, by the way.
Princeton long ago abandoned printing media guides, and printing most things, for that matter. It took TB a few years to figure out how to speak "printing," with the different paper that could be used, what a "bleed" was, how best to bind things, how the ink worked, all of it. He doesn't miss producing guides, which he thought were outdated a few years before they stopped being produced, but he does miss the whole printing process.
Anyway, Princeton was picked to finish fifth. TigerBlog supposes that's a good thing. The last time Princeton won the championship, it was picked to finish sixth, as TB remembers it.
Still, it's hard to think football right now. Maybe when the Olympics are over, which they most certainly are not.
Today is a huge day for Princeton in Rio.
There are five Princeton rowers who will be competing as they get closer to the finals. Kat Holmes fences for a team medal. Ashleigh Johnson is back for her second water polo match, and the U.S. field hockey team - with three Princeton alums - has a quick turnaround as it continues to establish itself as a legitimate medal threat.
Added up, and that's 10 Princeton athletes who will be competing today. The only ones who aren't in action are Diana Matheson, who will play in the quarterfinals with Canada in women's soccer Friday, and Donn Cabral, whose 3,000-meter steeplechase first round is Monday, and Gevvie Stone, who would have rowed today but had it pushed back until tomorrow by the weather.
The full Olympic schedule and results for Princeton's 13 athletes can be found HERE.
Also, of the 10 Princeton athletes today, almost all of them will be finished by lunch time. Only the field hockey game, against India at 6:30, is later than 12:10.
The rowing and fencing will be streamed live.
You can watch Johnson on NBC at 10:40. The field hockey game will be on NBCSN, with Mike Corey again on for the play-by-play as he continues to master the sport. All announcers should be like Corey, who isn't yelling but is instead calmly telling the story of the game. And he's educating those who don't know field hockey that well either with his knowledge of the rules and the game.
The U.S. will be playing for the second time in two days and fourth time this week. The Americans are now 3-0, and Katie Reinprecht had her second goal of the tournament in the 6-1 win over Japan yesterday. She is one of three Princeton alums, along with Julia Reinprecht and Kat Sharkey (who had two assists yesterday), on the U.S. team.
Princeton has gotten great press out of the field hockey tournament. Even former coach Kristen Holmes-Winn and current coach Carla Tagliente were mentioned on yesterday's broadcast.
The U.S. finished last - 12th out of 12 teams - in London four years ago. Clearly this time is different.
In fact, the U.S. has already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals. So has Great Britain, whom the U.S. will play Saturday in the final group game.
The quarterfinals will be Sunday, where the U.S. is likely to play either China or New Zealand. If they can get through that game, then it'll be playing for medals.
First, though, there is today against India.
Only Kat Holmes can win a medal today. The rest of the Princeton group is not in the finals of any other event - yet.
But it's still a huge day, an exciting one.
Make sure you're watching at work.
Have your boss call TigerBlog; he'll make sure it's okay.