Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Gotta Love It

For Valentine's Day, here's a question to start things off:

Why do you love someone with all your heart? How was it that the heart beat out all of the other organs to be the symbol of love?

TigerBlog looked in a few different places for an answer, and actually he found a few. It either dates to ancient Greece or Egypt or Europe in the 1250s, and there are also a few different explanations about why the familiar heart-shaped symbol of love emerged, as opposed to the actual shape of a human heart.

It probably wouldn't have made as much sense to say that you love someone with all of your brain. The brain is the center of logic, and love isn't always logical. Maybe it's rarely logical.

The heart seems more of a natural. It is much less logical and much more mystical, with the flow of blood in and then sent back out, to touch every cell of the body. The brain may have a mind of its own; the entire body will always follow the heart.

Maybe that's it. That's pretty good. Maybe TB should be in the greeting card business.

As for the holiday itself, it's apparently named after a pair of third-century AD Roman priests, who later became saints and were honored with a religious holiday, though there is nothing that suggests either priest was heavily invested in promoting love. It wasn't until Chaucer in the 14th century that there were romantic poems about "Valentines."

At least that's what it says on Wikipedia.

Somewhere along the line, Valentine's Day evolved to what it is today, a slightly over-commercialized holiday loved mostly by greeting card companies, chocolatiers, stuffed animal designer, florists and restaurants.

You know. A day for love.

Whether you're a romantic like TigerBlog or a cynic like, uh, TigerBlog, if you're a Princeton fan, you had to love a few things from this past weekend.

First, there was the performance of the fencing teams at the Ivy League championships, where the women won outright and the men finished in a three-way tie for first. If you want to see happy people, click HERE to see the recap on goprincetontigers.com.

Once you're there, scroll down to see the video of the winning point from Katharine Holmes.

The Ivy fencing championships bring all of the men's and women's teams together for head-to-head matches over two days. It's actually a great idea, though there aren't too many other sports in which it would work.

Columbia came into the event ranked No. 1 in both men's and women's fencing. That's in the country, not just the Ivy League.

The Princeton men had wrapped up at least a share of the league title after Penn beat Columbia and Princeton beat Penn. The Lions made it a three-way championship with a 15-12 win over Princeton.

The women's side was more dramatic. Princeton and Columbia were both undefeated heading into their match, the final one of the day. Then that match came down to the last individual match, where Princeton just happened to have Holmes, a 2016 Olympian.

Holmes won that one and every other one she fenced, going a perfect 18-0 individually. The championship was Princeton's seventh in the last eight years in women's fencing.

The wrestling team didn't win an Ivy League title, falling to Cornell in Ithaca Saturday in a matchup of league unbeatens on the final day of the regular season. Still, if you don't understand where Princeton wrestling was and what Chris Ayres and his staff have done to bring the program to where it is, you're missing the big picture.

Ayres has done as good a rebuilding job of a program as any coach Princeton has ever had. Ever. One day, that championship will be his.

The women's basketball team swept Cornell and Columbia, improving to 5-2 in the league and pretty much solidifying itself in the Ivy tournament race. Right now, the standings are this: Penn 7-0, Harvard 6-2, Princeton 5-2, Brown 5-3, Cornell in fifth at 3-5.

There are all kinds of things that can happen still, obviously, but it's looking like the divide between the top four and the fifth place team is taking shape.

Interestingly for Princeton, it has a game at the Palestra against Penn on Tuesday, March 7, a few days before the start of the Ivy tournament. It's possible that game could be mean nothing for both, something for one and nothing for the other, or something for both.

Lastly, there is the men's hockey team. If Chris Ayres has done a great rebuilding job for wrestling, Ron Fogarty is trying to do likewise with men's hockey - and is probably ahead of schedule.

TigerBlog will revisit that tomorrow.

For now, Happy Valentine's Day. Make sure you get the flowers/candy/stuffed animal/etc. today.

And make sure you tell them you love them tomorrow too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TB, I would encourage you to take and post more video of Princeton players and teams just at the moment of victory. Today's video of the women's team exalting after Katharine Holmes' winning touch, especially the wry smile from Coach Dudas, was precious. I wish the video ran a few seconds longer as it felt as if the viewer was leaving a party just as it got going.

It is a warm feeling to see all the hard work from our student-athletes pay off. Their smiles, laughs, jumps and shouts are the best manifestation of that. I was never a college athlete so I don't know what it's like to compete at that level but, when I watch these videos, it briefly takes me back to my own sports triumphs at lower levels, when for a moment all is well with the world and you feel only pure undiluted joy. That is one of the best feelings a person can experience.