Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Do You Want To Talk About?

As Princeton University rolls into the heart of first semester exams, there are no athletic events on the horizon.

So what would you like to talk about?

How about "Homeland?" TigerBlog has "Homeland" - a show about how a small group from the CIA tries to stay one step ahead of the baddest of the bad guys - as one of the top six shows he's ever seen.

Why not top 5? Because there are six: "Homeland," "Breaking Bad," "The Odd Couple," "Gilmore Girls," "Hill Street Blues" and "The Sopranos."

Why get rid of one just because it pushes the number to six? Remember John Nolan, a Syracuse grad who did some broadcasting here before moving on to do the Fort Wayne TipCaps in Minor League Baseball and Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne basketball? He used to wonder about America's obsession with round numbers, and for some reason, that stuck with TigerBlog.

Anyway, Season 6 of "Homeland" started this past weekend. To get ready, TigerBlog rewatched Seasons 1, 2 and 3, and it brought back for him why he thought the show was so great originally.

The show that has so many great characters - Saul, Quinn, Dar, Dana among them. The best character by far, though, is the central character, Carrie Matheson, who is brilliantly played by Claire Danes and is one of the greatest characters in TV history. Carrie is a genius (and a Princeton grad, by the way), but she's also wildly flawed. The balance of the two and the way they intersect are fascinating.

TB came away from watching Season 3 the first time thinking that they lingered with the whole Brody thing way too long. This time, watching it again, he disagreed with himself. It was actually better than he remembered.

The show makes you really think about the bigger picture of terrorism and especially terrorists. Much like Tony Soprano, the terrorists are made human, with motivations that are perfectly justifiable to them, and it forces viewers in both cases to remember what it is these people are actually doing.

And what really makes the show special is that there really are people like this, on both sides, who live their lives like this every day. The CIA people live in a shadowy world, where the line between right and wrong gets blurred and where there is so much riding on the outcome of what they do.

The first episode of Season 6 was definitely attention-grabbing, and it sets an interesting tone for the rest of the season. As with every other season of "Homeland," it's hard to judge where the show is going by the first few episodes, and it won't be until much later on that everything from Episode 1 comes into focus.

One thing TB did not like at all about the first episode is what they've done to Quinn. At the same time, TB is relatively sure that by Episode 12, Quinn will have taken out at least one bad guy.

TigerBlog wanted to immediately be able to watch Episodes 2 through 11, but sadly he cannot, since this is not on Netflix. This is one of those antiquated notions of one show per week for 12 weeks. How old-fashioned.

What else do you want to talk about?

Well, colleague Andrew Borders is the only San Diego Chargers fan that TB knows. Or former fan.

Now that the Chargers have moved to Los Angeles, Andrew has, like many fans, disavowed any knowledge of the team. He used to have some Chargers stuff in his office, like a newspaper from when the team last reached the Super Bowl, but that's all gone now. From now on, Andrew is on the Eagles bandwagon.

Why wouldn't he just stay with the Los Angeles Chargers? It would be the same, he said, as if his beloved Eagles moved to Long Island.

When TigerBlog saw that the Chargers were going to be playing in a 30,000 seat stadium next year, he figured that it would essentially the same as having an NFL team play here on Powers Field at Princeton Stadium.

So that's Andrew and his ex-team.

Speaking of the NFL, TigerBlog picked an Atlanta-New England Super Bowl before the playoffs began. He'll stay with that heading into the conference championship games. 

Colton Phinney went over the 3,000-save mark last weekend for the Princeton men's hockey team. It's a first in school history.

Not all saves are created equal, of course. Phinney was honored by the NCAA with its No. 2 Play of the Week for one of his saves last weekend. Actually, for three of his saves, in one flurry, though the third was definitely the best of them.

You can see all five of them HERE.

TigerBlog, by the way, would have ranked the plays in a different order. No. 3 would have been No. 5. No. 1 would have been No. 4 (it looked way harder than it was). No. 4 would have been No. 3. No. 2 would have stayed the same. No. 5 would have been No. 1.

Up next? Annie Tarakchian.

Annie is a former Princeton women's basketball player who plays professionally in Switzerland. She was in attendance at the women's games this weekend at Jadwin, and loyalty to the program runs very, very strong among alums, especially those from the last seven years or so.

You can see a video with Annie HERE.

Tarakchian, by the way, is one of those names that it takes a few times to learn to spell. Princeton has a freshman lacrosse player named Arman Medghalchi, and it took TB a few times to get that one right as well. The same is true of Greg Paczkowski, another of TB's colleagues here.

Lastly for today, there is Myles Stephens. His name isn't hard to spell per se, once you figure out it's "Stephens" and not "Stevens."

If you've been listening to TigerBlog on the radio at all this basketball season (and of course, TB appreciates it), you know that TB has predicted that at some point of his career, Stephens will be an All-Ivy League player. If he keeps playing the way he has been, it'll be this year.

Stephens was named Ivy Player of the Week after his monster weekend against Brown and Yale, one that saw him have 37 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 16 for 23 and playing outstanding defense as the Tigers won twice. Stephens was the third straight Tiger to be honored, after Devin Cannady and Steven Cook.

Stephens scored 18 against Brown to tie his career high and then broke that the next night with 19 against Yale. He was completely unstoppable in both games.

So what else can TigerBlog tell you today? Just shake your head yes, and that's enough for now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you haven't checked out The Americans on FX, by all means do. But go back to the start of the series.