Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Whatever your politics are, there is no getting around one true, undeniable, non-fake-news, non-alternative-fact fact.

Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, has a son who will be playing lacrosse at Sacred Heart University this coming year. The son, also named Anthony, will be a freshman longstick midfielder.

In all of the stories that TigerBlog read about the addition to the White House staff, none of them mentioned that Sacred Heart returns its top longstick midfielder, Nick Albanese, but graduated its two best close defensemen, Ryan O'Donoghue and Chase Godfrey.

Sacred Heart led Division I in caused turnovers per game this past year. OD, as he is known, was second individually, and Godfrey was 19th. Is it possible that Sacred Heart would move Albanese to close D, the same as the Pios did a year earlier, after O'Donoghue had played LSM for three years?

Where was any of this in all of the coverage last week? You call that analysis?

By the way, Albanese is a great athlete who is tremendous at picking up ground balls and in transition. In fact, he was 34th in Division I last year in ground balls per game.

If you took the number of ground balls that Albanese had last year and added the number of ground balls that Charlie Erdmann of Vermont, who was one spot ahead of Albanese in 33rd, you get 133 ground balls. That's just three more than Zach Currier had all by himself.

Currier has always been known as a great all-around player, one who could do everything on a lacrosse field and usually would during any given game. What you don't think of him as is a feeder, but he has completely elevated that piece of his game in the last year.

Currier had 35 assists in his first three years at Princeton. Then he had 34 more this year alone, the most in Division I by a midfielder.

Now in his first season in Major League Lacrosse, Currier, with the Denver Outlaws, is currently 14th in the league in assists, with 13, in just seven games. He had four Sunday night in Denver's game against Ohio, which the Machine won 13-12.

Of the 25 goals scored in that game, nine were either scored or assisted by Princeton alums. Currier had his four assists. Tom Schreiber, who is second in the league in assists, had two goals for Ohio. Ryan Ambler, who is starting to make a mark for himself in the league, had three more for Denver.

The Machine and Outlaws are tied for first in the league at 8-4 with two weeks left in the regular season. TigerBlog would be fine with a rematch in the MLL championship game next month.

TigerBlog is sure that, just like he was, you were watching the Denver-Ohio game on Twitter Sunday night. It's the future, after all.

When it works, that is.

Major League Lacrosse ran into a nightmare scenario, as the Twitter feed froze with just over two minutes left and the Outlaws up 12-11. The telecast would never resume.

It actually started during a commercial break, buffering as someone drank a Powerade. It buffered for so long that TigerBlog can confirm it was blue Powerade.

Then it resumed just long enough to show the Machine clear it, turn it over and get it right back. Then it would go back to that clear. The color commentator said "you have to shoot it" each time it started, because of the Denver turnover . It was like hearing "I Got You Babe" in "Groundhog Day."

Then there was the clear, the bad pass and then the ground ball to get possession back.

To make matters worse for Major League Lacrosse, the live (now buffered feed) was on one side of the screen and a list of Tweets was on the other, all of which were excoriating the league for having its feed fail at the worst time.

TB is pretty sure the best one was the one that said "Pretty sure the Denver players finished the game, did the autograph session and are the way home by now."

The buffering caused viewers to miss the two late Ohio goals, the ones that gave the Machine the huge win. Had Denver won, it would have been two games up on the Machine and would have clinched at least a tie for the regular season championship.

TigerBlog could relate to the problem that MLL was having.

When people tune into the videostream, they want to see a product that rivals what they see on television. It's just how it is. People are used to watching sports that way. They've been doing it for decades.

Now the mechanism to receive the broadcast continues to evolve. As it does, the level of expectation of that quality doesn't change.

TB had been to ESPN's massive campus in Bristol, Conn. It appears they have more equipment to work with than, say, Princeton.

TigerBlog gives the MLL credit for thinking a little differently and putting some games on Twitter. Part of that is taking the hit when it doesn't go right.

Princeton finds itself in the same situation all the time. The Ivy League Network offers live streaming that ranges from multiple cameras and graphics and a large production staff to single camera, hope nothing goes wrong productions.

The expectation for all of them is the same.

TigerBlog never wants to have anything go wrong with any of these streams, but something does every now and then. About 95 percent of the time it's something small and easily fixable. The rest of the time, it becomes a bit more problematic.

When it happens, though, it doesn't mean that nobody is trying to fix it or that the school/league/whoever is okay with it.

As TB watched the guy not finish the blue Powerade and then saw that 15 seconds of play repeat itself, he felt the same frustration everyone else did about missing out on the end of an exciting game.

Unlike most of them, he could also feel for the people at MLL.

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