Wednesday, March 22, 2017

All The Gin Joints In All The Towns In All The World

Your favorite part of "Casablanca" is probably when Rick tells Ilsa that they'll always have Paris.

Actually, it's probably his whole speech at the end. The best moment of that scene is when Louis points out to Rick that he was lying the whole time and that Ilsa knew it too.

It's possible that "Casablanca" is TigerBlog's favorite movie of all-time. If it isn't, it's in the top three, or maybe just two, along with another story of tragic romance - "The Godfather."

TigerBlog has a million favorite lines from "Casablanca." Maybe the best is the toast Rick makes - "Here's looking at you kid." Or when he tells Ilsa exactly what TigerBlog would have said in that situation: "I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray. You wore blue."

Or when Laszlo calls Rick out for his attempted cynicism, when he says "You know how you sound, Mr. Blaine? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart."

There are others, including, of course, "Play it. Play it Sam." Not "Play it again, Sam," which Rick never says.

You know the end of "Casablanca," when the plane takes off, Rick takes care of outstanding business and then he and Louis walk off into the fog, talking about how this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

If you've never seen it, then TB probably just ruined some of it for you, for which he apologizes. On the other had, the movie was from 1942, and if you haven't seen it yet, then you're probably not going to.

One thing that TB always thinks is interesting is when he sees movies about World War II that were filmed before the war ended. "Casablanca" is one of them.

When the movie was filmed, the Germans were at their peak of European control, and the outcome of the war - and especially the future of France - were very much unknown. Signor Ferrari - played by the great Sydney Greenstreet - sums up what many people at the time were thinking when he says to Victor: "It would take a miracle to get you out of Casablanca, and the Germans have outlawed miracles."

Was the movie meant to help spur the war effort? Was it a sign that all was not lost? It's easy to look at it in the context of the end of the war. At the time? Who knew what was going to happen.

Here's a question for you: You saw the plane take off in Casablanca, but where was it going to land?

This one is easy. Lisbon. That was the route. To Lisbon, and then to America.

It was much easier for the Princeton men's soccer team to get to Lisbon than it was for Ilsa and Victor.

The Tigers are in the middle of their spring break trip to Portugal. The Tigers are staying in Lisbon for the entire time, playing a few games against local clubs, practicing, doing some community service and seeing a professional game and a World Cup qualifier Saturday between Portugal and Hungary.

TigerBlog can relate to this in two ways.

First, when he was with the Princeton men's lacrosse team in Costa Rica in 2012, he saw a World Cup qualifier between Los Ticos and El Salvador, and he can say that he has never been to anything quite like it. Second, last fall he spent a week with the men's lacrosse team in, of course, Portugal.

The trips were a little different. The first half of the lacrosse trip was in the South of the country, where, among other things, TB got to zipline from Spain back into Portugal. It wasn't until midweek that Princeton drove up to Lisbon for the rest of the tour, which included three games against the English national team.

The men's soccer team is staying in the same hotel that the men's lacrosse team did. It's outside of Lisbon, across the river, and it's on a hill above the beach.

When TB found out that the soccer team was going to Portugal, he had one recommendation for head coach Jim Barlow. It's the same recommendation that the entire men's lacrosse staff made - get Francisco to be your guide while you're there. And that's what he did.

TigerBlog wrote this about Francisco last fall:
To pull off a trip like the one Princeton is currently on, you need someone who can keep everyone organized and on schedule and most importantly who can read his audience. You need someone who laughs and makes the group laugh. You need someone who can teach you about the country without making it seem like you're in a classroom. Francisco is great at all of that. He's low-key. Nothing seems to bother him. He's just a nice guy.

Barlow would second all of that now. Actually he did, when he texted TigerBlog the other day to say that Francisco said hi and that Francisco was great.

TigerBlog had a great experience in Portugal. He's assuming the men's soccer team is as well.

The Tigers played their first game on their trip yesterday, tying the Sporting U-20 team 2-2. TigerBlog wondered if they played American college rules or international rules, or perhaps some hybrid.

Of all of the experiences that teams have at Princeton, the opportunity to travel internationally is way up there. It's not something any of them should take for granted, but it is something that they'll remember forever - a week in a foreign country, with their teammates and best friends.

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