If ever a day deserved to be New Year's Day, it's the Tuesday after Labor Day.
That would be yesterday, by the way.
Think about it. For the most part, yesterday was Day 1 of school in a lot of places. It was the first day of the holiday weekend that unofficially marks the end of summer. Pretty much all vacations have ended.
It also feels a little different than last week, like the page has been completely turned on one year and a new one has just started. You know, like New Year's Day.
Maybe it's more the nature of working in college athletics. Maybe if you work someplace where your fiscal year ends on June 30 or if there is no change in seasons, then your version of New Year's Day is something different.
No other time feels more like the start of a new year to TigerBlog than this time. Hey, maybe it's because his people have their New Year at this time of year. He just thought of that.
The first day of the New Year featured the first event meeting of the 2016-17 academic year.
Ah, the event meeting. It's every Tuesday, and has been every Tuesday for as long as TigerBlog has been working here.
In fact, he told this story back in 2009, in an entry about how he was confused as to why networks insist on showing Jerry Jones so much during Cowboys games. In fact, TigerBlog still doesn't get it.
You can read it HERE. It's not bad.
The part that TB wants to quote is this:
TB remembers one his first meetings, when Hank Towns, the longtime
equipment manager, was complaining that Pete Carril's practices were
running long. It led to this exchange:
Hank: "Pete's practices are running forever, almost until 8."
Administrator: "That late? Where are the players eating dinner. The clubs stop serving before that."
Hank: "Who cares about their dinner? Let them eat at McDonald's. I'm worried about my dinner."
Way back when, the event meeting was in the conference room on the Jadwin balcony. It would be problematic to hold it there these days, because 1) there are way more people at the event meeting now and 2) the conference room on the balcony was turned in office space more than 20 years ago. While TB understood the need for the new offices, that conference room was the best lunch room Jadwn has ever known.
Actually, one of the first or second event meetings TB attended in his time here featured this exchange, about game programs at a women's soccer game at Lourie-Love Field. The issue was that there was no place to actually put the programs, which were left in a small box on the wooden bleachers:
Gary Walters: I couldn't find a program at the women's soccer game.
Someone else: Yeah, I couldn't find one either.
Pretty much everyone else: Yeah, I couldn't find one either.
One last person: Yeah, and there weren't enough of them.
Finally, TigerBlog spoke. "If," he said, "nobody could find them, how did you know there weren't enough?"
Think about it.
The first event meeting of 2016-17 was memorable mostly for how hot it was in the D level conference room, which has hosted the meeting for years now.
If New Year's Day was yesterday, then instead of college football TigerBlog watched seven of the eight episodes of "The Night Of" on HBO (he watched the finale last night). It was okay. Pretty good idea for a story. Just didn't need to be eight episodes. It would have made a really good two-hour movie, actually.
As for New Year's Eve, TigerBlog was at the Princeton field hockey game, where the Tigers defeated Bucknell 5-2 to give Carla Tagliente her first win as Princeton head coach. She's now 65-44 in her head coaching career after coming to Princeton from UMass.
Princeton had five goals from five different players, which is always a good sign. The Tigers dominated the game, outshooting Bucknell 24-6, and only a 17-save effort from Emily Finn kept the game as close as it was.
If you've never seen Princeton field hockey, you should. It's an extremely fast game.
You'll have plenty of chances in the next few weeks to see the Tigers, who are ranked 16th this week after the win over Bucknell and a 2-1 loss to North Carolina, who reached the NCAA final a year ago.
Starting Friday, Princeton will play four games in 11 days, all four of which are against teams currently ranked ahead of the Tigers, with three of the four at home.
It starts with a game against No. 12 Albany Friday at 4 on Bedford Field. Then it's home with No. 10 Delaware Sunday at 1, at No. 11 Virginia the following Friday and then home with No. 7 Maryland on Sept. 20.
After that it's the Ivy opener against Dartmouth. Princeton has won an astonishing 20 of the last 21 Ivy League championships.
Finally, TigerBlog would like to wish a happy birthday to his Office of Athletic Communications colleague Craig Sachson, who is the big Four-Oh today.
If you read this blog, then odds are strong that you've also read a lot of stuff that Craig has written on goprincetontigers.com. Or seen his videos or listened to his podcasts.
There can't be too many people in this business who produce more content by themselves. And it's high quality content.
Maybe more than anyone, Craig buys into what Princeton Athletics are all about, with the equal emphasis of all sports and the equal mix of on-field success and the off-field educational impact that playing sports here has. Don't believe TB? Ask any of the coaches with whom Craig works.
Or, if you like, you can ask the starting quarterback on the football team and the No. 8 player on the squash teams. Craig values their experiences equally.
So happy birthday to Craig.
Hey, he's been doing this for more than one-third of his life now.