Friday, January 20, 2017

Presidential Championships

TigerBlog would talk about almost anything else here before he'd touch the Presidential election of 2016.

Perhaps you noticed that it was somewhat polarizing, no? Let's just leave it at that.

Today, of course, is Inauguration Day for Donald Trump. Whatever your own personal feelings about the new President, there is one undeniable truth about him: He went to Penn.

Whatever your own personal feelings about the outgoing President, there is one undeniable truth about him: He went to Columbia undergrad and Harvard Law School.

TigerBlog can keep writing that same sentence for awhile.

George W. Bush? Yale undergrad and Harvard Business School.

Bill Clinton? Yale Law School.

George H.W. Bush? Yale undergrad.

You have to go back to Ronald Reagan to find a President with no Ivy League connection. Reagan went to Eureka College.

If you're looking for Princeton connections, there have been two - Woodrow Wilson and James Madison. It's been awhile, though Bill Bradley (in 2000) and Ted Cruz (this past year) have made serious runs.

Don't fret, Princetonians. You can brag that three current Supreme Court Justices - Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Samuel Alito - did their undergrads at Princeton. And if Princeton had a law school, then it surely would have had more than two Presidents.

Princeton women's basketball player Leslie Robinson, the niece of Barack Obama, had a big final weekend for her uncle's time in office, with back-to-back double-doubles and averages of 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

TigerBlog has a game program from the 1906 Princeton-Yale football game that has pictures in it of three U.S. Presidents - Teddy Roosevelt, who was the President at the time, and then-Princeton president Wilson and then-Yale president William Howard Taft. 

Princeton's athletic program has won 454 Ivy League championships all time. That would be 51 more than Harvard, who is second, and 231 more (or more than twice as many) as third-place Cornell's 223.

The first academic year of official Ivy League play was 1956-57. Quick - who was the President of the United States then?

Correct, it was Dwight Eisenhower. He was not an Ivy League grad, by the way. Ike went to West Point. He did, though, have an Ivy connection? Do you know what it was? TigerBlog will give you a few paragraphs.

Princeton won four Ivy League championships in 1956-57 - in tennis, squash, lacrosse and lightweight rowing. That would all be men's sports, by the way; Princeton didn't have women yet.

So which U.S. President was in office for the most Ivy League championships for Princeton?

Before TigerBlog gets to that, he'll answer his question from above. In between World War II and when he became President of the United States, Eisenhower was the president of Columbia University.

Ike, as President, was in office for 13 Princeton Ivy League championships. The lowest number belongs to Kennedy, whose term in office was cut short in one of the great tragedies in this country's history. Kennedy, before his assassination, was in office for 10 Princeton championships.

LBJ served more than four years, and used that time to set the record to that point, with 17 titles. 

Nixon was the President from January 1969 through August of 1974. Ford, who took office when Nixon resigned, served from then until January of 1977, or less then half the time of Nixon, but Princeton won the same number - 13 - under each.

You can insert your own punchline.

The first women's Ivy championship was won in 1973-74, by Radcliffe in women's rowing. Princeton's first came the next year, in women's basketball, won by the Tigers as Watergate was just about to end the Nixon administration.

Carter won 33 championships, or at least Princeton did in his four years in office. That was actually more than any two of his predecessors combined.

Carter is also the answer to this trivia question - whose is the only Presidential library that TigerBlog has visited? That was an easy one. It's in Atlanta, where MotherBlog lived before she passed away.

Reagan, as the first President to serve two full terms after women started to compete for Ivy titles, shattered the record, with 64. George H.W. Bush, who would not win re-election, won just 31.

Ah, but then came the Bill Clinton years. Princeton would win 92 Ivy League championships in his eight years as President, the most under any administration. TigerBlog doubts that the fact that the Clinton family already owns the record will be of any consolation for Mrs. Clinton today.

As for George W. Bush, he's second with 85. Mr. Obama checks out with 83 on his resume.

If you're a pure partisan, that's 235 for Democrats and 219 for Republicans, though the GOP figures to regain the lead sometime in the next two or three years.

Anyway, that's as political as TigerBlog is willing to get.

He will say that he hopes to see a former Princeton athlete win the White House one day.

Oh, and this has nothing to do with Presidential championships, but it is interesting. Of the first seven U.S. Presidents, four served two full terms - Washington, Jefferson, Monroe and Jackson. Of the most recent six, four have served two full terms - Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton and Reagan.

In between, only six served two full terms (or more, in the case of FDR): Grant, Cleveland (though not consecutively), Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Eisenhower.

So that's four of the first seven, six of the next 31 and then four of the last six.

How is this explained?

And that's enough politics.

Now let's talk religion ... 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When listing two-term presidents, don't forget our boy Jimmy Madison 1771. He was the middle president in the first two-term three-peat (Jefferson, Madison and Monroe) which was not repeated until Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama. At 2-0 in two-term presidents, Princeton leads the undefeated alma maters of US commanders-in-chief.