Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bella Ball

There's still a home phone line in TigerBlog's house, even though he never uses it.

Almost never, that is.

It was Sunday afternoon that the home phone rang. When the phone rings, the caller ID comes up on the TV, and this time, it was said "Quinnipiac University."

TigerBlog remembers when call waiting and caller ID first came out. This was long before cell phones.

Call waiting was basically the end of the busy signal. When TB was a kid, if you called someone on the phone and that person was already talking to someone else, you got what was prehistorically known as "the busy signal." This would be a beeping sound, one that indicated that the person was, well, busy.

You could, of course, call back as often as you wanted. As long as the person was still on the phone, you'd still get the busy signal. And, as hard as this is for young people to understand, there was no way the person on the other end would know that you were trying to reach them.

If you were trying to get in touch with someone for something important, the busy signal was highly frustrating. It would beep and beep at you, no matter how many times you called back. Finally, you'd hear the phone ring, which would cause you to say to yourself "about time" as the phone rang.

Then, along came call waiting. Instead of a busy signal, the phone would ring, and the person on the other end would get a beeping sound, which would make the immediately cut off the first conversation because, hey, it might be someone more important on the other line.

As for caller ID, TigerBlog told a friend of his in college that once that caught on, nobody would ever pick up his calls. It's possible that TB was right.

Yeah, the simple act of talking on the phone has changed radically through the years. For that matter, TB wonders how many text messages he sends for every phone call he makes. He may have to track that one day, but it's probably in the neighborhood of 100 to one or so.

Anyway, when TB saw "Quinnipiac," he narrowed it down to two things.

Either someone wanted to talk to him about the upcoming Princeton-Quinnipiac men's lacrosse game, which, by the way, is March 7, or less than two months from now. It's also Princeton's fifth game of the season, and the last of five straight home games to start the year.

And there's your men's lacrosse talk for today.

So yeah, it was unlikely that that was why Quinnipiac came up on his caller ID. The more likely reason was that someone was conducting a poll.

TigerBlog answered the phone, and as it turned out, he was right. It was a poll. About the current state of American politics.

TB's big objection to the poll was that the choices were limited. Do you agree or disagree or do you not have enough information? Well, TB has plenty of information, but he doesn't agree or disagree. He's somewhere in the middle. The man doing the survey wasn't interested in that answer.

The first question TB was asked was what he considers himself politically. TB answered "cynical."

The pollster did not laugh at that. It didn't seem like he had much of a sense of humor. On the other hand, it was a Sunday afternoon during the NFL playoffs, and he was calling randomly generated numbers and asking them 10 minutes worth of political questions.

Speaking of the NFL playoffs, the Giants lost. Just knowing that you were rooting for them because of TigerBlog more than makes up for the fact that 1) they lost badly and 2) their best player does everything he can to make you not want to root for him.

You want someone easy to root for? Try Bella Alarie of the women's basketball team, and not just because she shares a first name with TB's paternal grandmother, who was the shorter of TB's two grandmothers.

TigerBlog will give you two season stat lines:

Player A - 12.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, 35 assists to 20 turnovers, 41 percent shooting
Player B - 12.0 points per game, 9.9 rebounds per game, 28 assists to 20 turnovers,  41 percent shooting

Those are pretty even lines, right? Player A has made 18 three-pointers, while Player B hasn't made one yet, which is part of the reason that Player A doesn't have a better shooting percentage.

But those numbers are eerily similar, right?

Player A is Alarie. Player B is Penn's Sydney Stipanovich. Alarie is a freshman who has played 14 college games. Stipanovich is a senior who was the Ivy League Player of the Year a year ago and is one of the most dominant inside players Ivy League women's basketball has seen in a long time.

Clearly, Alarie is making an immediate impact.

For all of the great players Princeton has had through this run of six NCAA tournaments in seven years, there has not been a player like Alarie. At 6-4, she is tied for the tallest player Courtney Banghart has played - and about 18 inches taller than TB's grandmother. On the other hand, she has the offensive skills of a guard (that she isn't primarily a low-post player probably explains the rebounding differential between Alarie and Stipanovich). She can shoot three-pointers or drive to the basket from outside the three-point line as the shot clock winds down and do both with ease.

If you wanted to see it all on display, then there was Saturday night's game against Penn, which the Tigers lost 62-57. it was 58-53 Penn with a little more than a minute to go when Alarie scored, came down the other end and blocked the shot of another first-team All-Ivy player, Penn's Michelle Nwokedi, and then drove to the basket to score to make it 58-57 with 26 seconds left.

Alarie finished the game with 17 points, more than any other player on either team. She earned Ivy Rookie of the Week honors for the fifth time this year, and she already has two Ivy Player of the Week honors as well.

Alarie is the subject of a current video feature on goprincetontigers.com. You can see it HERE.

And you can see Alarie and the Tigers at home this weekend, against Brown Friday night and Yale Saturday night. Actually, it's late afternoon, with 5:30 tips for both games.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rubber Soul - "You Won't See Me":

"When I call you up, your line's engaged"

Harkens to a less technological and somewhat more civil day. Multitasking and its equivalents are instruments of the devil (unless you're speaking of Cousy, Pistol and Magic with no-looks).