Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Selection Day

Today, as you may have heard, is Election Day.

TigerBlog will endorse ... voting. He'll simply say that a lot of people have died throughout this country's history to give you that particular right.

And he'll leave it at that.

TigerBlog also wanted to say one more thing about his Portugal trip. His packing was great. He was away for eight days, and he wore everything he brought except one pair of socks and two shirts. That's pretty good.

Lisbon, if you remember, was where the plane went in the movie "Casablanca," with passage to America from there. Lisbon was also renowned for its World War II spies, and there are those who credit the Allies success on D-Day to the misinformation that was spread in the city.

And that, friends, is the last TigerBlog will mention of Portugal for awhile.

Wait. Wait. Not so fast.

TB found that one of the best ways to get information out during the trip was through Instagram. This was something completely different than on his previous international trips with men's lacrosse, to Spain and Ireland in 2008 and Costa Rica in 2012.

TigerBlog posted some short videos to the Princetonlax Instagram feed, and then he would be amazed by the number of views they would get.

He posted one from one of the practices, a play that ended with a goal by Drew O'Connell, and it got more than 3,000 views. This was topped by a video from a drill from the joint practice with the English team; it had nearly 5,000.

TB isn't sure if Instagram offers better exposure than Twitter or if it just counts views easier. Either way, he used Twitter as well, largely for short videos.

One of the better ones was the one of assistant coaches Jesse Bernhardt and Justin Tuma as they interviewed the tour guide, Francisco. That one reached 2,000 on the lacrosse account and then got 700 more on the regular athletic account when TB reposted.

He didn't want to repost - using the app "Repost," by the way - everything, so he just picked a few.

Halftime of the game against England Sunday morning was about 9:15 in Lisbon, which made it 4:15 in the eastern United States. TigerBlog posted a picture on Twitter and gave the halftime score. It had retweets in no time.

TB still wrote a story and blog each day. And the blog got big numbers (thanks, everyone). But the social media piece is the real difference-maker, he thinks.

There's another Instagram video that TigerBlog couldn't help but like. It was of the field hockey team as it watched the NCAA selections the other night.

That one was just pure, undeniable joy.

Princeton didn't win the Ivy League championship this season, but that didn't keep the team out of the NCAA tournament. Princeton earned an at-large bid and will travel Saturday to take on No. 6 Penn State.

The Tigers are regulars in the NCAA tournament and will be there for the 12th straight time and 21st time overall. Princeton has made 14 quarterfinal appearances and reached four Final Fours. The 2012 team won the NCAA title.

Princeton was on the bubble this time. That didn't matter when the show came on and the team saw its name called, and the result is obvious on the Instagram video.

All selection show has drama with them. Even if you have an automatic bid, there are still the great unknowns of where and whom.

When you're the bubble team? Then you react like Princeton did.

Princeton has played Penn State 10 times already in the NCAA tournament. That's the most Princeton has played against any opponent.

It's also the first year for head coach Carla Tagliente, and it's great to see her continue the team's tradition of playing in the postseason.

This is a good cross-over weekend, with the end of men's soccer season, the second-to-last football game, the NCAA cross country regionals and the end of women's volleyball's regular season with women's basketball's opener and men's and women's hockey.

And so what was already a busy weekend for Princeton Athletics has added another event. A big one.

And you can watch the celebration for yourself on Instagram.

Insta. Like Instant. Like "see for yourself in an instant."

It's part of the new world in athletic communications. TigerBlog couldn't have imagined it 10 years ago.

Or actually four years ago, when he was in Costa Rica.

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