Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Thank You And Farewell To Anne And G

TigerBlog had a meeting with Patrick McCarthy yesterday morning.

You remember Patrick. He's the oldest child of Tom McCarthy - Boog, as he's known - the former Princeton football and men's basketball play-by-play man who now does the Philadelphia Phillies, the NCAA basketball tournament and the NFL, among other things.

Patrick did some radio for Princeton last year, on football and men's basketball broadcasts. He's spending his summer working with the Reading Fightin' Phils, and the conversation yesterday was about possibly having Patrick back to do more announcing.

That part lasted about five minutes. The rest of the time was just hanging out, with Patrick and with Cody Chrusciel, one of the Office of Athletic Communications video stars.

At one point, TigerBlog wanted to show Patrick two pictures he has on his computer, both of a very young TigerBlog Jr. with Patrick's dad. He found one them easily - it was TBJ and Boog at the scorer's table at Jadwin Gym, both wearing headsets, as Boog did what was then "The Tom McCarthy Show" on ESPN radio. It's a classic.

The other one was at a Lafayette football game. Again, they're both wearing headsets, and Boog is towering over him, in the broadcast booth in Easton.

That one TB couldn't find. He found others. Lots of others. He seems to have a lot of pictures that were taken on a beach, interesting enough. Some really great ones too.

One of those is of TBJ and Miss TigerBlog, maybe a year or two later, standing on the beach. They're both holding lacrosse sticks, one a plastic one and the other an old wooden one.

They've come a long way since then in the sport, and they've had a lot of support from a lot of people along the way.

Two of the ones who've done more than they probably realize are now leaving Princeton's Department of Athletics.

Anne Murray came here more than a decade ago from Pittsburgh to play on the women's lacrosse team. She has stayed after graduation as an assistant coach, and last week she announced that she was leaving to pursue the next phase of her career.

TigerBlog can't remember one time since he met Anne where he'd say she was in a bad mood. She's always upbeat, always smiling, always bringing energy to the situation. Even when she wasn't happy about something, she would give one of those "are you serious?" type of smiles.

Somewhere along the line, Anne coached MTB at one of Princeton's summer camps. She stayed invested in her progress along the way, even stringing sticks for her. She was always asking how she was doing.

For a kid like MTB, having someone like Anne was invaluable in her development as a player. Just hearing that Anne had asked about her made her play harder.

As for TigerBlog Jr., well, he owes a lot to Gary Mosley. And he's not the only one.

Mosley - "G," as countless Princeton athletes and coaches have known him during his time as assistant equipment manager - is also leaving Princeton. He's entitled. After all, it's only been 41 years with the athletic department for him.

As far as TBJ is concerned, Mosley outfitted him from Day 1 of his lacrosse career and helped him with anything and everything, all the way through to, well, the present. TigerBlog has no idea the number of times G cut one of TBJ's sticks to the right length or attached and reattached his throat protector to his helmets.

And, just like Anne, he was always asking how TBJ was doing.

As far as Princeton's athletes are concerned? Well, TigerBlog will say it this way: Gary Mosley has been a no-nonsense guy around some young people who desperately needed that kind of influence.

G worked with a lot of different teams at Princeton, including men's soccer and track and field. TigerBlog can tell you he was a bedrock of the men's lacrosse program.

In fact, Bill Tierney had this to say about him: "G was a constant for me, just knowing how much the players and I could count on him. It was just a given that if I needed anything at all, he would be there."

Gary Mosley was more than just the equipment manager for the men's lacrosse team. He was part of their accountability to the program and the school. During his decades here, he was not the kind of person you wanted to let down. You did not want to have him have to tell you why and how you let him down.

He was famous for his brief, but, uh, to the point, halftime addresses to the team, before the coaches came into the locker room. He was a presence on the sideline during games.

Tierney was right when he said he could count of him. That's just what his nature has been all these years.

There was a going-away event for Gary the other day. He was asked to say a few words, and he did at the end. They were, as TigerBlog could have guessed, very brief.

All he basically said was that he tried to do a good job and he tried to help the athletes with whom he worked. It was all about them, he said.

It's how he operated for all those years. Need him? He's there. Need someone to have your back? He's your man. Need someone to push you away from bad habits? You want him for that too.

When TigerBlog found out that G was retiring, he had sent him a short note of congrats and, of course, to thank him for everything he'd done for TBJ. This was the response he got:
If I had any hand in helping your son out it was a pleasure. It's great to see how he developed in this game we both love. Thanks again.

That was perfect. Not too many words. Right to the point. No nonsense. Encouragement. Honesty.And a touch of emotion.

That's Gary Mosley in a nutshell.

He'll be missed. So will Anne Murray.

They gave a lot to this department. TigerBlog wishes them the best.

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