Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jukebox Heroes

TigerBlog found himself in an art deco diner in, of all random places, Richmond last weekend.

He had the Philadelphia omelette, which was tremendous. It was a like a cheesesteak omelette. He could go for one right now, actually.

He debated between the omelette and one of those breakfast specials that included eggs, two meats, potatoes and pancakes. He bets that would have been great too.

Miss TigerBlog was there with him. She had a different omelette.

After they ordered, MTB pointed to the object near the window and asked simply "what's that?" This is what she pointed at:
That, TigerBlog told his nearly 17-year-old daughter, is called a "jukebox." Then he added: "it's like an old-fashioned iPod."

TB had to explain to her that way, way, way back when, these were at every table in every diner - at least every good diner. You'd put a coin in the slot and pick a song, or a few songs, and they would play at your table. After all, there had to be something to do at a restaurant while everyone waited for the smart phone to be invented. 

This particular jukebox didn't accept money. Instead, you pushed the buttons for the song you wanted and then it went into the queue for the entire restaurant, playing softly over the speakers.

TigerBlog counted up, and if he's correct, the jukebox had 310 songs, pretty much all of which would have been on the diner jukebox when TB was in high school. MTB randomly pressed "L3," which turned out to be "Mrs. Robinson," by Simon and Garfunkel. She selected on purpose "Dancing Queen," by ABBA.

The purpose of the trip, of course, was summer lacrosse. What else do people do in their summers?

While at that particular tournament, TigerBlog saw a few people with Princeton connections. For instance, he was walking across a parking lot when he instantly recognized one of the greatest female athletes in school history - Theresa Sherry.

There aren't many athletes out there who scored goals in two NCAA tournaments in two different sports, but Theresa Sherry did - in lacrosse and soccer (Matt Striebel did the same, by the way, for the men). Sherry played in eight NCAA tournaments in her four years at Princeton, and the two teams she played for went a combined 119-25-6 during that time.

She was a three-time first-team All-America in lacrosse, and she - along with men's players Andy Moe, Kevin Lowe, Jesse Hubbard and B.J. Prager - can say that she scored the game-winning goal in overtime in an NCAA championship game (in her case 2003).

Theresa at one time was the head women's lacrosse coach at the University of California. Now she's coaching on the club level. She's also one of the nicer people you'll ever meet in your life, so it was really nice to see her.

TB also saw Penn State head coach Missy Doherty, a former assistant to Chris Sailer here at Princeton. Doherty has taken the Nittany Lions to the Final Four each of the last two years.

The conversation with Missy included, of course, the recent hiring of Jeff Kampersal as Penn State's women's hockey coach, a few years after Guy Gadowsky became the men's head coach.

A few hours later, TB saw Doherty as she pushed a baby stroller. No, this wasn't her own third child. This was the first child of Brianne Tierney and Dylan Sheridan, a really, really little baby. Dylan is a former assistant men's lacrosse coach at Princeton and the head coach at Cleveland State.

Brianne is the head coach at Kent State, which will be starting a team in 2019. She's also the daughter of former Princeton head coach Bill Tierney. TB had seen her a few minutes earlier, when Brianne told her that Missy was pushing the baby somewhere while she watched games.

As TB watched MTB play, he met a group of parents from a team from just outside of Washington, D.C. As he usually is at these tournaments, TB happened to be wearing something that said "Princeton," in this case, his new, really comfortable "Princeton Lacrosse" shirt. This is not to be confused with his other 50 Princeton lacrosse shirts.

Anyway, as usually happens, the parents asked if he was a Princeton coach. He explained what he does, which is followed, as usual, by a request to help get their kids into Princeton.

One of the parents then asked him if he knew who Tyler Lussi was, and he said that of course he did. It turns out that they're close friends of the Lussi's.

TigerBlog has been in this situation a lot. It's a small world, apparently, this world of club sports.

TB pointed out that Tyler Lussi graduated as the all-time leading scorer in Princeton soccer history, for men or women. In fact, she scored 53 goals, the most by an Ivy League player in the last 35 years.

That's an incredible stat. The most in 35 years? Actually, that would give her the most goals since TigerBlog last saw a jukebox, he supposes.

Lussi is one of the bigger graduation losses any Princeton team will have heading into 2017-18. She's a lot like Olivia Hompe, the all-time leading scorer in Princeton lacrosse history - men's or women's.

It's the nature of college sports. You get four years - sometimes five - and that's it. The program moves on, hoping to find the one who comes along to break your record.

Of course, it makes you appreciate when you have the Tyler Lussi's who come through there in your uniform. 

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