Monday, December 26, 2016

And The Award For Best Picture Goes To ...

It was a little before 11 Saturday night, and so TigerBlog did what he does every Christmas Eve at that time.

He teared up.

Why? By now, you know why.

It's because "It's A Wonderful Life" was ending. George had already realized he was never getting out of Bedford Falls. He already figured out that the money was gone. He was ready to jump off the bridge - until Clarence appeared at just the right time, just to show him what would have happened had he never been born.

And so, reborn in a sense, George skipped happily through the snow-covered streets of his hometown, knowing that there wasn't good news waiting for him in his old drafty house. Only this time, he was the one that everyone else helped. Suddenly the money wasn't an issue. Suddenly he wasn't going to jail. Instead, it was a celebration of George Bailey, complete with Christmas caroling, laughter and the whole town.

And wine. And with the win came a toast. And who better to make it than Harry Bailey, who flew up from New York City all the way in a blizzard.

And even though TigerBlog knew what the toast was going to be, he still couldn't help but having the same reaction he always does.

"To my big brother George - the richest man in town."

It gets TigerBlog every single time.

Maybe it's because the whole scene is so perfectly done. Here's a man who has spent his entire life helping everyone else in the town, and now the roles were reversed. George was a proud man, and he would the last one who would ever ask for help. It probably never dawned on him that the whole thing could have been taken care of with one phone call to Sam Wainwright.

His wife, in an act of desperation, went to a few people in the town, and it all just grew from there. Eventually, George had to realize how much they all loved him and that Bedford Falls was more than just the town in which he lived. He was the town's heart and soul, and they all knew it.

His brother merely pointed out the obvious. George was the richest man in town.

TigerBlog hopes everyone had a good Christmas or that Hanukkah got off to a good start. For all of the Christmas music he listened to and all the Christmas lights he saw on houses everywhere, it still never felt like Christmas to TB.

Now it's come and gone. And as it does at this time every year, it begins the sprint from Christmas to New Year's.

Now everything goes from the religious and cultural to the pure celebratory that comes with New Year's Eve, and the hope and promise of a new year on the horizon.

Oh, and the look back on the year that is ending.

In college sports, years happen in academic terms, not calendar terms, so this is basically the middle of a year, 2016-17. Still, that doesn't stop people in college athletics from reviewing what has happened in the soon-to-be-over calendar year.

At the end of this week, TigerBlog will have, as he does every other year, the top moments in Princeton Athletics from the year 2016.

In addition, there will also be the top plays of the year, a video that will be up this week.

And also this week, there will be the 10 best pictures of the year. They're not pictures of the top moments. They're the best pictures themselves.

TigerBlog will be posting two of them per day, each day this week, counting down from 10 to one. They'll be on the Princeton Athletics Twitter and Instagram feeds.

Of course, the best picture of anything to do with Princeton Athletics in 2016 was the one of TigerBlog as he neared the end of the zipline from Spain to Portugal. You remember that picture, right?

No? You can see it HERE.

Okay, okay. Maybe it wasn't the best picture of Princeton Athletics.

When TigerBlog first started at Princeton, the goal was to get one or two pictures of each athlete during the course of a year, mostly to use in the following year's media guide. That meant getting a game or two during an entire season photographed.

These days, there's a need for pictures from as many games as possible. Actually, it would good to have one of every event, which is more than 600 each year.

It made for a fun project, to pick the best ones. The first two, Nos. 10 and 9, will be up today, and the rest will be up the rest of the week.

By the way, "It's A Wonderful Life" was nominated for six Academy Awards and won one, for the technical achievement of simulating snow fall, as in when George ran through the streets at the end. It lost four of those awards - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Editing - to "The Best Years of Our Lives," another all-time TigerBlog favorite, though not one that makes TB cry.

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