What to write about? What to write about?
it's obvious. Other days it's a struggle. TigerBlog liked that one
rambling blog he did a few months ago. He'll have to do another one of
those one day. Soon, probably.
There are times when
TigerBlog is going through his daily life and sees things that would for
great blogs. Then, when it comes time to actually write about them, he
This happened over the weekend, when he saw, well, he can't remember what he saw.
times, there are things that would be great to write about, but they're
hard to relate back to Princeton Athletics, which is supposedly the
point of all this. He can include those in his book one day.
now and then, someone makes a suggestion for something that might be
interesting, or even volunteers to write it for TigerBlog.
then there's yesterday, when TigerBlog experienced a first. It was came
in the form of a challenge, worded this way: "Take that on, TB."
challenger is an all-time TB favorite named Brett Hoover, who once upon
a time was the communications director at the Ivy League office. He was
a little before his time, since Brett would have been a natural in the
social media era. That would really have played to his strengths.
TigerBlog can remember many, many conversations with Brett about where
athletic communications was going, what the future looked like, what was
Brett took over the communications role from Chuck
Yrigoyen, another TB favorite, who is now the
commissioner of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Chuck,
before going to the Ivy office, had worked here in the Office of
Athletic Communications. When TB was still in the newspaper business, it
was Chuck who played a pretty strong role in helping with the
transformation from "Penn grad" to "Princetonian."
as the lunchtime basketball games continue to go along in Jadwin, there
still hasn't been anyone who could knock down a mid-range jump shot the
way Chuck could when he got on a roll. Or, more impressively, yell "I
am the worst basketball player ever" as he let the shot go when he
wasn't on a roll.
Ah, those were the days.
hasn't seen Chuck or Brett much in the last few years, but it's always
good to hear from them. And yesterday, suddenly there was an email from
TigerBlog isn't exactly sure what Brett is doing
these days, but Brett is definitely into track and field. TB isn't sure
how much of the Heps Track website Brett does, but he's pretty sure
he's the one who started it.
Anyway, the first sentence
of his email was this: "I don't know where anyone would begin with
determining the most dominant athlete in Ivy League history."
he hit TigerBlog with a stat that 1) is ridiculous and 2) TigerBlog
believes, because this isn't something that Brett would get wrong.
premise is that any discussion of the most dominant athlete in league
history has to include Princeton women's hammer thrower Julia Ratcliffe.
Then he made his case to back it up.
Brett Hoover, how many of the top hammer throws in Ivy women's history
have come from Julia Ratcliffe. TigerBlog will give you a few seconds to
think about it.
Keep in mind, Ratcliffe was the NCAA
hammer champion as a sophomore and runner-up as a junior. She then took
off last year to train for the Olympic Games, hoping to represent her
home country of New Zealand. Now she's back as a senior.
keep in mind that Bill Bradley still, more than 50 years later, has the
11 top scoring games in Princeton basketball history. So that's a
Okay, so what's the answer?
How about 112.
Yup. According to Brett, Julia Ratcliffe has the 112 best hammer throws in Ivy women's history. That, friends, is nuts.
Think about that conversation:
"Hi. Only one person ever threw the hammer further than I did in the history of the Ivy League?"
"Yeah. And my best throw ranks 113th all-time in the Ivy League."
that make her the most dominant athlete in Ivy history? Brett offered
up a few names, like Bradley, Ed Marinaro from Cornell football (and
"Hill Street Blues"), Ken Dryden from Cornell hockey and Abby D'Agostino
from Dartmouth track and field.
TB supposes it depends
on your perspective. You can make a case that Julia Ratcliffe deserves
that title. You'd certainly have 112 reasons to do so.
can also make a case that she's not even the most dominant female
athlete in her class at Princeton, if you want to say Ashleigh Johnson
is. In fact, the current senior class of women's athletes at Princeton
No matter what, Julia Ratcliffe is
one of the greatest athletes in Ivy history. She still has the rest of
this outdoor season, and then beyond that, an international career.
Also no matter what, it was good to hear from Brett. Always is.