Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Good Game

TigerBlog was walking down the stairs back to E level yesterday in the middle of the day when all of the sudden he felt like he was on a postgame handshake line.

You know. It's one of those where the players on one team say "good game, good game, good game, good game" as they high-five the members of the other team, who counter with "good game, good game, good game, good game."

This almost always applies regardless of how the good the game actually was, by the way.

As for TigerBlog yesterday, it wasn't so much "good game, good game, good game, good game" as it was "excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me."

TB was walking down as the Maryland field hockey team was walking up. As they came up the stairs, he paused on the landing in between D level and E level, to a chorus of "excuse me" after "excuse me" as they all walked by pleasantly.

This happened presumably after the Terps went through a walk-through in the pit prior to last night's game against Princeton. At least that's what TB surmised.

Apparently, it rained pretty heavily yesterday during the day. TigerBlog didn't see a drop of it, since his office has no windows. By the time he went upstairs later, it was nice out.

As for the game, well, this one really was a good game. Princeton would end up falling 5-4 in the second overtime, after the Terps tied it with just 15 seconds left in regulation.

Even though No. 5 Princeton didn't get the outcome it would have hoped for, this was definitely a game that screamed what it was - a matchup of two of the top five teams in the country. Princeton has bitten off a really tough schedule, as always, and the Tigers have come through it with some huge wins, as well as one-goal losses to No. 1 North Carolina and now No. 3 Maryland.

For their part, Maryland stayed unbeaten, by the slimmest of margins.

The Princeton field hockey 11 lost to Maryland last night. The Princeton football 11, or more than 11 but you get the point, host Monmouth Saturday in the home opener. Kickoff is at 4:30.

When TB finally made it back to the office after all of the "excuse mes" from the Maryland field hockey players and staff, he listened to the "Original 11" podcast, which his colleague Craig Sachson does each week during football season. The current episode can be heard HERE.

There are actually two football podcasts available each week, with the "Original 11" and "The Bob Surace Show." If you live in the Princeton area and want to go to the head coach's show, you can see it at the Alchemist & Barrister in town, each Thursday at 6.

The "Original 11" features a discussion with Sachson and Princeton radio play-by-play man Cody Chrusciel to start out and then an interview with a player. This week, that player is offensive tackle Reily Radosevich, a second-team All-Ivy League selection a year ago.

If you're a Princeton football fan, it's certainly worth your 15 minutes to listen. The title refers, of course, to Princeton's place of having played in the first-ever football game, against Rutgers, back i n1869.

It was Sachson who introduced podcasting to Princeton Athletics a few years ago. Now the lineup has grown to include various weekly episodes during each season, and coming next week will be the second edition of "A Few Minutes With Mollie" - featuring Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan.

TigerBlog would like to continue to expand the podcast offerings, since they have been so successful. Certainly the numbers suggest that, at the least.

As for the football team, the game against Monmouth is the first of six home games. Princeton opens its Ivy season next Friday at Columbia on ESPNU, and then after that, there are only two more away games for the remainder of the season.

Those, by the way, are at Harvard and at Yale.

First, though, is Monmouth, who is 2-1 with two straight wins, over Hampton and Lafayette. Monmouth reached the NCAA playoffs last year.

In short, this should be a good game. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Top 10, Again

Oh, one more thing from the Princeton-Butler football game.

You know who else was staying in the same hotel as the Tigers in Indianapolis? Taylor Swift. How about that.

TigerBlog is guessing that Swift didn't go down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast or anything.

What do you do when you see someone famous? Ask for an autograph or to take a picture? Or just ignore them?

TigerBlog's old friend Mark Eckel spent more than 30 years writing for the Trenton Times. No, Mark isn't the celebrity in this story by the way.

He spent a lot of time covering Princeton stuff, but his main beat was the Philadelphia Eagles. Way back when the newspaper was at its most vibrant, he covered every Super Bowl, and he told TB the story of one time when he was on the media bus with none other than O.J. Simpson. This of course was well before the events of 1994.

Mark said that people kept coming up to Simpson and telling him he was great in this game or great in that game. Mark? He told him he was great in "Capricorn One."

If you don't get the reference, read THIS.

For his part, when TigerBlog meets someone who is relatively famous, he usually asks them for their name. This really, really bothers famous people, who always give a look that says, "But don't you know who I am? How can you not know my name."

Ah, TB cracks himself up sometimes.

You know who is achieving some fame these days? The Princeton field hockey team.

The Tigers have now done what might be a first. They have made two appearances on SportsCenter's top 10 plays of the day. That's pretty impressive, no?

In fact, field hockey on the countdown at all is a rarity. To have one team now have done it twice in the same season is even rarer. TigerBlog wonders if that's happened before, or how many times field hockey has been on SportsCenter at all this year. A lot? Not a lot?

The main point, of course, is that both Princeton goals that were featured were spectacular.

The first time was with MaryKate Neff's bat-the-ball-up, bat-it-in-the-goal in the win over Duke 10 days ago. Then there was the game against Monmouth this past Friday.

This time it was Emma Street's turn, with her assist to Sophia Tornetta:
TigerBlog was at the game and didn't even notice that the pass was something of a no-look, backwards, between the legs feed. It's even more impressive when you look at the slow motion version, and it didn't hurt that Tornetta's goal was a backhanded rocket.

Princeton won that game 4-1 Friday and then came back Sunday to defeat Delaware 4-2. The Blue Hens were ranked 13th, and they also are two years removed from winning the NCAA championship.

Princeton is off to a 5-2 start, which is even more impressive considering that six of the seven games have come against ranked teams. Princeton owns wins over Top 10 teams Duke and Penn State, to go along with the wins over Wake Forest and Delaware.

The challenges continue for the Tigers, who host Maryland tonight on Bedford Field (game starts at 6). Princeton is currently ranked fifth, while the Terps are ranked third.

Princeton and Maryland have met every year since 1997. The Terps lead the series 22-9-1, but one of the Tiger wins came a year ago, 2-1 in College Park.

Maryland has outscored its opponents 34-11 en route to an 8-0 start. Linnea Gonzalez and Nike Lorenz have combined for 15 of those goals, meaning they've outscored the Terps opponents by themselves.

The teams have two common opponents - Duke and Delaware. Maryland also has a 3-1 win over Harvard, who is currently 5-1.

The game against Maryland is the last before the start of the Ivy season, which begins against Dartmouth at home Saturday at noon and then continues at Yale a week from Friday.

Princeton has reached the NCAA Final Four and quarterfinals in Carla Tagliente's first two years as head coach. This team has already shown that it is capable of making another such run.

And of coming up with the spectacular finish.

Just ask the folks at the SportsCenter assignment desk. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

For Openers

Did you see the non-fair catch touchdown on the punt return in the North Texas-Arkansas game?

Here it is:

TigerBlog has all kinds of problems with this. First of all, he concedes that it was masterfully planned and executed, and the acting of the return man was perfect.

Here's the problem TB has with it: There are only two outcomes of that play. One is what happened - everyone is fooled and he scores an off-the-charts unique touchdown.

The other?

Well, considering he has purposely made himself defenseless, the other outcome isn't as good. The Arkansas players were well within their rights to tackle him, and, as often happens on punt returns, they could have tackled him violently. As a result, the risk of injury was off the charts too.

And that is not good at all. Safety of the athletes in all sports has to be paramount, and especially so in football.

And what if an Arkansas player had drilled him? Then what? It would have been a penalty against Arkansas for unnecessary roughness in all probability.

However well executed the play was, TigerBlog thinks it was a bad, bad idea. North Texas won 44-17, by the way.

TB also watched the end of the Purdue-Missouri game Saturday night. He has decided to keep his allegiance to Purdue that began when he attended a men's basketball game there last winter.

The Purdue-Missouri game featured one of the most maddening things that TB ever sees in football games. The game was tied at 37-37 with little more than a minute to play when Missouri threw a 25-yard pass to set up a first-and-10 at the Purdue 14.

The Boilermakers had two timeouts left. There was about 1:30 to play. About the best case scenario at that point would be to hold Missouri without a first down and use the two timeouts. This would have set up at worst a 31-yard field goal with about 25 seconds to go.

That was the best-case. The worst case is what happened. Missouri got a first down. Purdue spent its two timeouts. Missouri took it down to four seconds and then kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired.

Hey, Purdue - and everyone else who's listening. When they get inside the 15 there, let them score on the next play. Yes, you need a TD, but you have two timeouts and about 1:15 or so, not to mention a quarterback who had thrown for a school-record 572 yards already.

Instead, play it out the way you do and you're almost surely going to lose, which is what happened. In fact, had Purdue let Missouri score, Missouri should have made sure it didn't, but hey, make them make that decision.

The game that TB was most interested in was Princeton-Butler. TigerBlog was at the men's soccer game, a 1-0 win over Boston University that would have been 5-0 or so had it not been for an amazing effort by BU goalie Mike Bernardi, who made 14 saves, many of them spectacular.

The first time TigerBlog checked Twitter for a football score, it was 14-0 Princeton. By the time he got to his car and turned on the radio, it was 24-7. It was 30-7 by the time he turned it on his computer. The final was 50-7.

Prior to the game, the fact that Butler had beaten Youngstown State and was playing its third game to Princeton's first was attention-grabbing. As it turned out, this game was over quickly.

John Lovett, playing his first game since collecting the 2016 Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League's Offensive Player of the Year, picked up where he left off, with two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns.

Charlie Volker ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns of his own, and then there was Jesper Horsted. The senior wide receiver/baseball outfielder caught seven passes for 140 yards and two more touchdowns.

Princeton had a 326-66 edge in rushing yards and a 540-259 edge in total offense. What does it all mean?

Well, there are always takeaways.

One, it was good to get out there and play. The Tigers were playing for the first time ever in the state of Indiana and had a rare flight to a game. All of the buildup of training camp and then the travel finally gave way to actually playing.

Second, it was important for Lovett to reassert himself. He definitely did that.

Third, it appears that the Ivy League will be very interesting this season, at least based on the first weekend.

There's a long way to go, of course. Princeton next hosts Monmouth Saturday at 4:30 in the home opener. Monmouth is 2-1, with wins over Hampton and Lafayette after an opening loss against Eastern Michigan.

After that will be the Ivy opener at Columbia. It'll all happen very quickly, the way the season always unfolds.

For now, though, there's the obvious satisfaction with how the opener went. And with good reason.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Off To Indiana

The third installment of the "Beyond The Stripes" video series was released yesterday.

The goal of the series is storytelling, in this case in-depth video storytelling. There will be one feature per week, released on Thursdays.

The first two featured football player John Lovett and women's volleyball player Nnenna Ibe.

The current edition features Mark Fossati, a linebacker on the football team. You can see it HERE.

Fossati, whom TB has never met, comes across as the kind of guy you can't help but like. Even when he talks about his season-ending broken leg a year ago, he makes the story funny.

And that doesn't even take into account his performance in the green screen videos. Trust TB on this one. It's worth watching.

Fossati and Lovett are coming back from injuries that pretty much derailed the 2017 season for the Tigers. Princeton is in a good position heading into this fall, with a deep, experienced team that doesn't have the target on its back.

The Tigers are heading out to Indianapolis this morning for their long-awaited opening day game. This one is at Butler, who will be playing its third game.

The Bulldogs are 2-0 on the young season, with wins over Youngstown State and Taylor. The first one, by a 23-21 score, is the more eye-catching, since Youngstown State is only two seasons removed from an NCAA championship game appearance.

This is the first meeting between Princeton and Butler. It's also the second time in 10 months that a Princeton team has opened its season at Butler, something the men's basketball team did last November.

That game was played in the venerable Hinkle Fieldhouse. This game will be played just east of that, at the Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl.

The facility, which was the Butler Bowl from the time it opened in 1928 through last year, has a capacity of just short of 6,000. It had 36,000 seats when it was first built, and it was actually able to be expanded to 72,000 at one time.

According to Wikipedia, among the great players who have competed there are Red Grange from Illinois and Notre Dame's famed "Four Horsemen." According to Butler's website, the field didn't open until 1928.

Draw your own conclusions.

Princeton played in the first football game, back in 1869. How long after that did Butler play its first game?

If you said 1887, then you would be correct. Any guesses on the first opponent? It was a 45-5 win over Purdue, of all teams.

The Bulldogs went 3-0 that year (beating Purdue, Franklin and Hanover) and then took the 1888 season off.

Since then? Butler has had a team every year except for the World War II years of 1944 and 1945.

The coach with the most wins in Princeton history is Bill Roper, with 89. The Butler record is 165, held by Tony Hinkle, for whom the basketball arena is named.

And with good reason. Hinkle coached football, men's basketball and baseball (not always as the head coach) at Butler from the 1920s through the 1970s while also being an athletic administrator.

As for the game itself, it's the first time the teams have ever met. It's the third time this century Princeton has flown to a game, with the other two at Butler's Pioneer League-rival San Diego. The second meeting in this series will be next Sept. 21 on Powers Field in Princeton Stadium, by the way.

Princeton has never played a game in the state of Indiana. It has played two games against Notre Dame, both in the 1920s and both in Palmer Stadium.

If there's anything about Butler's stats through two games that jump out at you, it's that both the Bulldogs and their two opponents have exactly 770 total yards of offense. What that means for tomorrow's game is negligible.

Butler also is pretty evenly split between throwing and running through two games.

The big story for Princeton is that it is in what has to be the incredibly unique - if it's ever happened before - position of having graduated the league's Offensive Player of the Year from the previous year and having his replacement be the league's Offensive Player of the Year from the year before that.

Has that ever happened before?

Princeton graduated quarterback Chad Kanoff, who is now with the Arizona Cardinals after shattering about a million Princeton and Ivy passing records last year while winning the Bushnell Cup. His replacement is Lovett, the 2016 Bushnell Cup winner after his own ridiculous record-setting year, followed by a year away due to injury.

There are other Princeton stories as well, and more that will be known after this weekend.

For now, it's Opening Day 2018, against a first-time foe who is in its third game and is 2-0.

Oh, and the kickoff is at 6.

You can see it on Facebook Live or listen on the TuneInn app or on WPRB FM 103.3.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Sherrerd Soccer

TigerBlog had a lunch meeting yesterday with Dan Day, the University's Assistant VP for Communications.

To show you how reliant TB is on his phone for information, his weather app told him it wasn't going to rain until 3, which would have been after their lunch had ended. Because of that, TB didn't take his umbrella. And, because of that, he got wet when it actually started raining earlier than his phone has said.

Dan is one of TB's favorite people on this campus. He and TB are both old newspaper guys, and they have had and continue to have interesting conversations on the evolution of information and how it is consumed these days.

TigerBlog long ago gave up reading actual daily newspapers, and even Dan has finally done the same, he said.

News consumption these days comes largely from social media, even more so than online publications. This is good and bad, and that's a subject for another day.

It made for a somewhat funny discussion of the merits of Instagram, for instance. It's not quite what TB imagined back when he first started writing stories on his old Radio Shack TRS 80.

Meanwhile, back at the rain, it's done that every day since Saturday around here, and it's going to continue today it seems. TB remembers the last time the sun was shining, which was at the field hockey game against Duke last Friday, which Princeton won 3-2 and which got MaryKate Neff on SportsCenter.

Tomorrow, by the way, marks the second straight Friday where there is a home field hockey game at 4. This one is against Monmouth.

It's been nothing but gray of late, which stinks because September is usually the best weather month of the year in this area.

The weather is supposed to get better over the weekend, which is good. It's been awhile since there has been sun.

It's hard for TB to complain about the weather though. Not with what's going on in the Carolinas with the looming landfall of Hurricane Florence.

TB knows a few people who live down there, and they are taking things very seriously. His friend Mark lives in Myrtle Beach, and he has relocated inland, along with thousands of others. Hopefully it's not as bad as it seems it's going to be.

All of the rain here has forced the four home soccer games this week to be moved from Myslik Field to Sherrerd Field, the usual home of the lacrosse teams. Game 1 of the four games was last night, as the Tigers hosted Temple in the first actual soccer game to be played on the field.

Princeton would win the game 2-1 in overtime. Temple's goalkeeper, Simon Lefebvre, stands 6-9 by the way, which may make him the tallest soccer player in the world.

The women's team defeated Hofstra 2-1 Sunday night in a downpour. That game was played on Plummer Field, the practice field at Roberts Stadium, before the decision to move the other ones to Sherrerd, which, among other things, 1) makes it easier for fans to watch and 2) allows the games to be videostreamed on ESPN+.

The women's team is back at it tonight with its first game on Sherrerd, and it happens to be a top 25 matchup. Princeton comes in ranked No. 25 at 5-1-0, and Georgetown is ranked 10th, at 5-0-2.

This one figures to be a good one obviously. It starts at 7.

Mimi Asom is off to a great start in her senior year, as she is fifth in Division I in goals per game with 1.0 per game and 11th in total goals with six. For her career, she has 37 goals, leaving her three away from being the sixth player - three women and two men have done so - in school history to reach 40.

After that game, there's a men's game against Boston University Saturday at 4 and then another women's game Sunday against Drexel at 6.

Admission to all of those games is free.

Soccer isn't the only team at home in the next few days.

There's field hockey tomorrow and also Sunday, at 1, against Delaware, who was the NCAA champ two years ago, when Princeton also reached the Final Four.

There's also a women's tennis invitational all weekend.

This weekend also features the opening kickoff on the 2018 football season, though that game is in Indiana, at Butler. The home opener for the football team is next Saturday, against Monmouth.

Kickoff for that game is at 4:30.

Is it too much to ask for sunshine for that game?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Welcome 2022ers

Today is the first day of classes at Princeton University.

It signals the end of all of the orientation activities that have dominated the landscape here of late, for students and non-students alike.

Princeton's orientation structure is very familiar. For the students, it means getting acclimated with the University. For TigerBlog it means attending a few events each year - the welcome back staff meeting for the athletic department, the new staff orientation and the freshman athlete orientation.

The last of those is among the most fascinating events TB goes to annually.

He's mentioned the reasons why before several times, but he'll do it again now.

Somewhere in McCosh 50 during Monday's freshman athlete orientation sat the future von Kienbusch Award and Roper Trophy winners.

Yeah. Yeah. TigerBlog says that every year. He knows.

It's true, though.

Freshman athlete orientation is an annual event, held the Monday prior to the start of the first day of classes. Each year, the freshmen athletes file into McCosh 50 - the largest lecture hall at Princeton - after their week of Outdoor Action or Community Action and a few days of other events and hear the athletics part of their orientation period.

TigerBlog goes ever year. He looks around and, as he always says, imagines who will be the big award winners in nearly four years.

He also thinks more than that.

There are roughly 225 athletes in the Class of 2022. Together they filed into the big room to hear about what the Department of Athletics wanted them to know about being a athlete here.

It's a necessary part of the transition. There are parts that they'll learn from their coaches and teammates, but it's also good to know what the department you are representing values, expects and want for you during your experience.

It's also amazing to TigerBlog how 225 athletes who compete for 37 teams and come from all over the country and even the world can assemble under the same orange and black banner. They're individuals with their own stories and paths, and yet they feel an immediate kinship as Princeton athletes.

The bonds that you see each year at Reunions start out in these first few days together on this campus. And then they last forever.

Is that a cliche? A bit of one, yes. But it's true.

The amount of time that athletes spend together sharing experiences that are unique to that specific team leads to those kinds of bonds. It's something that people who don't go through that can't really understand.

TigerBlog wasn't a college athlete. He's seen it up close here for 30 years now, but even that isn't enough to fully appreciate what it's all about.

Yes, it's important to have a well-rounded experience, and TB wouldn't want the only friends that the athletes have to be their teammates. But there, in McCosh 50, there's no denying that this is the early stages of something very special. 

As TigerBlog looks around the room each year, he'll randomly pick one face or another and wonder what their story is, how this one or that one made it Princeton. For that matter, he'll wonder what sport they're playing, since very few are actually wearing their Princeton gear yet.

And as always, he'll also think ahead, to the Gary Walters ’67 PVC Senior Awards Banquet, the one that will be in just short of four years. Some in the room the other day won't stay with it, but the overwhelming majority will get to that night having completed four years as a Tiger.

They'll have all kinds of varying experiences. Hopefully they'll be great ones.

The goal is a championship experience on the fields. Of Princeton's 37 varsity teams, there were 26 who won at least one championship in the last four years. That's extraordinary.

Of course, these aren't successes that are guaranteed. Princeton has an incredible legacy of competitive excellence, but the challenge of each new year and with each new class remains the same.

At the same time, it's very exciting.

TB wishes every one of them the best.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

17 Years Later

The gray that has dominated the weather the last few days around Princeton stands in stark contrast to the brilliant sunshine and cloudless sky of that Tuesday that TigerBlog and so many others can remember so vividly even 17 years later.

Actually, TB will never forget it. Long after he can't remember the final score of any Princeton game he's been to, he'll remember the details of Tuesday morning, Sept. 11, 2001.

And the first thing he'll always think about is the sky, the before sky and the after sky.

Before? It was so perfect, so crystal clear. It was the bluest sky you ever saw, with sunshine, warmth and low humidity. You can't ask for a better day.

After? That was at night. TigerBlog stood on the edge of his driveway and looked up. The sky was filled with stars - but completely devoid of airplanes.

On an average night, if you look in the sky around here you'll see airplane after airplane. It's between Philadelphia and Newark, not to mention really close to Trenton Mercer, and there are an endless stream of flights on approach to those airports.

That night? Nothing.

Today is the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that took the lives of 3,000 people in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Western Pennsylvania. The details of that morning are seared into the memory of anyone who was old enough to remember, which by now excludes every current Princeton athlete.

If you're a Princeton senior, odds are you were born in 1996 or 1997. Maybe, maybe there are one or two whose first memory has something to do with that day, but there can't be many more than that.

From now until forever,  no Princeton students will know anything about 9/11 other than what they're taught by those who were there. For those who were there, the memories endure. 

TigerBlog remembers more than just the sky. 

There are two days each year when TigerBlog's subject is predetermined, and it will never be any different. One is Feb. 12, the day that TB's colleague Lorin Maurer died in a plane crash at the age of 30. 

The other is Sept. 11. 

The reason is simple. No matter how painful, they need to be remembered.

TigerBlog has written a variation of the same thing each Sept. 11 since he's been doing this. For this year, he decided to repeat what he wrote last year, changing only "16" to "17," since it captures exactly what he would want to say again:

TigerBlog can remember every detail of that awful day 17 years ago today.

He remembers most of the details of the day after, 17 years ago tomorrow.

He wishes that he could remember the day before, back to Sept. 10, 2001. He wishes he could remember what he was thinking on that day, what his world was like on that day, because that world changed forever on Sept. 11 and has never come back.

Each year since Sept. 11, 2001, TigerBlog has gotten an uneasy feeling in the hours before the next anniversary. This year is no different.

The date is enough to bring it all rushing back.

TigerBlog has gone through this pretty much each year he's been doing this. It's important though. It's important not to let what happened on that day ever fade in importance.

The only day in American history that can compare with Sept. 11, 2001, is Dec. 7, 1941. That's the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, bringing the United States into World War II.

Yes, there have been battles in wars that have featured unimaginable death totals. Nearly 10 times more American soldiers were killed in the Battle of Normandy (the entire battle, not just D-Day) in World War II than died on 9/11.

As for 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, though, those were direct attacks on America, not overseas (yes, Hawaii was not yet a state in 1941).

Now, nearly 76 years after the Pearl Harbor attack, the day Dec. 7 still lives, as FDR said it would, in infamy. It just doesn't haunt the national consciousness the way 9/11 does.

Part of that is because the vast majority of Americans who were alive 76 years ago no longer are. The other, though, is that it would take less than four years for the U.S. and its Allies to defeat the Axis powers.

The aftermath of 9/11 has not been anything quite so tidy. There are still military operations as a direct result of 9/11, and even though Al Qaeda never launched another massive attack in this country, the threat is still there.

Like TigerBlog said, the world of Sept. 10 vanished and has never come back. In so many ways.

TigerBlog knows people who saw 9/11 from so many different angles. Everyone has a story to tell from that day.

TB has friends who were on airplanes at the time of the attacks and landed nowhere near New York, as all flights were immediately grounded. They had to try to rent cars to drive home, including one who was on a flight to Newark that landed instead in Nashville, from where he drove home.

He knows another who landed at Newark around the time that the flight that would crash in Pennsylvania after the passengers fought back against the hijackers was leaving and saw the Towers burning as she drove down the New Jersey Turnpike.

He knows another who was unaware of the attacks until, after being told about them, looked out the window at home on Long Island and saw the smoke from the Twin Towers. FatherBlog was in his office in midtown, four or so miles from ground zero.

Princeton had more than its share of graduates, a lot of them athletes, who were in one of the towers at the time.

As for TigerBlog, he was dropping off TigerBlog Jr. at the University League Nursery School, on the far side of the parking lot outside Jadwin. It was the most perfect weather day, crystal clear, sunshine, no humidity, not a cloud to be found.

TB dropped TBJ off at the school, and the woman who was the office manager said that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center.

TigerBlog walked outside, looked up, and thought "how in the world did that happen?" By the time he got to Jadwin, he found out how.

Most of that day was spent huddled around the only television around, the one in the athletic training room in Caldwell Field House. It was a day where people spoke very little, where everyone had dazed looks on their faces.

By mid-afternoon, he went back to get TBJ at the nursery school. He can still see the children, swinging on the swings, playing in a sandbox, oblivious - happily oblivious - to what had happened to the innocence of the world outside that playground.

Later that night, after it was dark, TigerBlog walked outside to the end of his driveway and looked up. There were no planes in the sky. They'd all been grounded. TB remembers it vividly, the sight of the stars, without planes, above a world of confusion, angst, uncertainty, fear.

Those were TB's memories. They come rushing back each year on this day, and they bring with them all of those emotions all over again. It's important that it does. This isn't a day that should ever fade from anyone's memory.

All of those children from the playground have grown up. Miss TigerBlog was 1 at the time. She's a high school senior. That means that basically anyone who is younger than a high school junior wasn't even alive on that day. They need to understand what happened.

The next day, TigerBlog was able to track down former Princeton football captain Dan Swingos, who had been in the second tower but managed to get out. He told TigerBlog a wild story of survival, and luck, one shared by so many others who'd been there at the time.

TigerBlog tells this story each year. He'll continue to do so.

He'll also continue to remember all of the people who were lost that day, the ones who didn't get out, or the ones on the planes.

It's a group that includes John Schroeder, a member of the 1992 men's lacrosse team that won the first of the program's six NCAA championships. He'd been in the World Trade Center and did not get out.

Anytime that TigerBlog has been around the men's lacrosse Class of 1992, no matter what the occasion or celebration, they remember their teammate. They talk about him. They include him in whatever they're doing. They keep his memory alive.

It's been 16 years now.

It seems like yesterday. The memories are vivid, for TigerBlog and everyone else.

And those lost - like John Schroeder - are still missed.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Neff, Not Nerf

TigerBlog has been a fan of the New York Giants for as long as he can remember.

This is through four Super Bowl wins and one Super Bowl loss. Through a lot of really bad seasons. Through years and years of helplessness against the Cowboys.

In fact, TB remembers when the Giants played at Yale Bowl and in Shea Stadium. Through it all, that was his favorite team in professional sports.

The Giants lost their season opener yesterday to the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-15. To this TB has one word: Hah.

TigerBlog has turned completely on the Giants. First, there's only one player on the team he can root for, and that's Eli Manning, who doesn't have that much time left in his career. Second, the Giants could have had Marc Ross as their GM but instead let him go. That was the last straw for TB.

Here's a team that didn't lose this weekend in the NFL: the Cleveland Browns.

They didn't exactly win, but they didn't lose either. The Browns, coming off an 0-16 season that followed a 1-15 season, rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-21.

Both teams missed late field goals in the overtime, with the Browns attempt blocked in the final seconds. When it was over, neither team really seemed to know how to react to the tie. Cleveland still hasn't won in awhile, and Pittsburgh probably assumed it should have won that one.

TigerBlog watched pretty much the entire game. It was played in steady rain, which got worse in the overtime. It was very entertaining in fact.

As TB searches for a new favorite team, he's adding the Browns to his list, which currently includes the Jets and Redskins. First of all, the Browns have nowhere to go but up, and it's been awhile since they've been anywhere near up. As a result, TB can't be accused of cherry picking a winner.

Also, the Browns have Princeton alum Seth DeValve on the team. TigerBlog doesn't know DeValve well, but he's been around him enough to know that he's the kind of guy you want to root for.

DeValve played a lot in the game yesterday, on offense and on special teams. It's good to see that he's established himself the way he has, now in his third season with the Browns.

The Pittsburgh-Cleveland game was the best football game he saw this weekend. He watched some college games on Saturday, including a bit of the wins by his favorite FBS teams - Navy and Georgia.

There were certainly enough games to choose from Saturday. In all, there were probably 40 or so on his TV between noon and midnight.

The best game he saw since he last wrote to you was not a football game but a field hockey game Friday afternoon.

Princeton, who came into the week ranked sixth in Division I, had defeated No. 5 Penn State in two OTs Tuesday, and now the Tigers were facing No. 4 Duke in their home opener Friday. To TigerBlog, it was sort of like an NCAA weekend, playing the No. 5 team and then the No. 4 team after that win.

The game against Duke was very entertaining, even more so because Princeton won 3-2. The game-winning goal was amazing, as MaryKate Neff took a rebound off a save on a penalty corner, tapped the ball straight up to herself and then batted it in the goal.

Yes, you're allowed to do that in field hockey.

Neff's goal - or was that Nerf's goal - impressed more than just the people who watched it in person. In fact, it ended up as the No. 4 Play of the Day on SportsCenter:
The goal itself was incredible. So was the resilience of the Tigers, who tied it 1-1 early in the second half, only to have Duke regain the lead 2-1 just 18 seconds later. Rather than be deflated by that, Princeton responded to tie it and then get the game-winner.

Field hockey is one of the fastest paced games you will see. When TigerBlog first started at Princeton, the home field for Princeton field hockey was Gulick Field, which is now Plummer Field at Myslik Stadium.

Back then it was grass, and the game was obviously much slower. Now, played on lightning fast turf by athletes who are ridiculously well-conditioned, the game features quickness and strength, as well as the need to make decisions on the fly, where the wrong decision means getting countered.

If you don't believe TigerBlog, then go watch a game at Bedford Field. You have a lot of chances to do so coming up, with four home games in eight days beginning Friday against Monmouth and then with games against Delaware (Sunday), Maryland (a week from Tuesday) and then Dartmouth (the following Saturday).

Princeton is 3-2 after its 1-0 loss to Rutgers Sunday. There's a long way to go in this season - and the games last week are all the proof you need to know that the Tigers are for real.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Guest TigerBlog: A Memo to “the Grandkids” – The Science of Princeton Athletics

It's a busy weekend for Princeton Athletics. Then again, they all are. 

Princeton has home events in field hockey, men's water polo, men's soccer and women's soccer between now and Sunday night. You can see the whole schedule for the weekend HERE.

Ordinarily, TigerBlog would offer you some context to those games. Today, though, the floor belongs to Tad La Fountain of the Class of 1972. 

TigerBlog has a standing offer to pretty much anyone who has something they'd like to say about Princeton Athletics. Very few people have actually taken him up on this, but as TB just said, the invitation stands. 

Tad has written before, and his pieces are always well-done, thoughtful and reflecting a genuine love of the University. Today's is no different:

It was not unexpected.  But it was still a bit of a shock.  An e-mail to my class from our president, Skip Rankin, explaining that as the “grandparent” class of the incoming Class of 2022, our Class of 1972 is invited to take part in the upcoming Pre-rade.  Fifty years?  But Skip was my lab partner in Chemistry 101-102 our freshman year, and I’m pretty sure that was just a few years ago.  If that were the case, and we were 18-year-old freshmen, that would make us…

Hold it right there.  It might be useful to recall the story about the party in Princeton years ago when a lady from town approached Dr. Einstein and confessed that she simply couldn’t understand how something such as time could be relative.  “Easy,” the good doctor is said to have replied.  “If you sit on a hot stove for a minute, it seems like an hour.  But sit next to a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute.”  There you have it - space-time.  So maybe the past five decades have gone by so fast because we’ve been having so much fun.  Yes, let’s stick with that.

If you’re an incoming Princeton athlete, what can you expect from your “grandparents?”  We did have some accomplished athletes in our class: Hank Bjorklund put on a show as running back and then took his talents to the New York Jets; Emil Deliere was a first-string All-Ivy guard on the football team (winning the Dr. Harry R. McPhee Award for fortitude and determination his senior year) who also finished runner-up in the NCAA 190-lb. weight class wrestling championships.  We have a couple of classmates who wear the white letter sweater of a captain of an undefeated Ivy championship team.  One of us spent 25 years as the editor-in-chief of Golf Magazine.  Sadly, time has robbed us of our football, basketball and baseball captains.

Go back to what would have been our “grandfather” class…if the 50-year previous class tradition had been in place.  The multi-year president of the Class of 1922 was the All-America quarterback of the football team, Donold B. Lourie, who later became CEO of Quaker Oats.  Upon his death, a colleague noted that Lourie knew the first names of over 3,000 Quaker Oats employees – a testament to his interest in people.  His closest friend, classmate George H. Love, later became CEO of Consolidated Coal and Chrysler; like Lourie, Love served as a University trustee.  They donated a dormitory that was part of the New New Quad (and that’s not a misprint) that served as the former home of Butler College in its initial configuration; Love later donated a soccer field that was also called “Lourie-Love” and which was later replaced by its current up-to-date and renamed version (Roberts Field).  But this is not a bad lineage to bring to the party – the Class of 2022 comes from good stock.

As athletes, you will partake in a program that’s focused on “Education Through Athletics” so that you may “Achieve, Serve, Lead.”  Fortunately, you’ll have some help in this.  Primary is one of the most remarkable collection of people assembled – the Princeton coaches.  Like the Princeton faculty, the coaching staff is awesome in both breadth and depth.  There is universal buy-in to the Athletic Department’s mission, and the relationship between coaches and players generally extends long after the mortarboard tassels shift sides. 

But there’s another dynamic at work as well.  Dr. McPhee’s son John McPhee ‘53, probably the preeminent non-fiction writer of the past 50 years, wrote a book several years ago regarding physicist Ted Taylor entitled “The Curve of Binding Energy.”  When you consider the four fundamental interactions – the Strong, the Weak, Electro-Magnetism and Gravity, there’s some applicability to your Princeton experience, and McPhee’s book touches on the first two.  The Weak Interaction is key to radioactive decay and fission – splitting nuclei apart.  But the Strong Interaction is what holds nuclei together, even when the particles involved have similar charges and would otherwise tend to fly apart.  Splitting large atoms, such as uranium and plutonium, unleashes enormous amounts of energy.  But fusing light atoms, such as hydrogen, leads to even greater amounts of energy being made available. 

Your coaches will be taking you and your fellow players and fusing you into a team.  By focusing on your mission of garnering Education Through Athletics and adhering to the prescription of Achieve/Serve/Lead, you can ensure that you will avoid the pitfalls of excessive self-interest that lead to decay and fission.

There’s an electro-magnetic aspect to consider.  In 1574, the Duke of Alva laid siege to a small town in the Netherlands that stood in the way of the Spanish attempt to overrun the continent before taking on England.  For months the town withstood the siege, even as help was kept at bay.  Finally, with the town on the verge of collapse, rescue was delivered by the forces of a German prince – William, the Silent.  The Spanish were repelled and lacking a land base, they had to try to conquer England by sea in 1588.  That effort didn’t go too well.

The rescued town was Leiden.  It became the Crossroads of the Enlightenment; Rene Descartes lived there four different times.  The Dutch Republic became a beacon of tolerance.  A group of dissident Anglicans attempting to purify the Church of England moved there early in the 17th century until they became concerned that their children were growing up Dutch rather than English, so they secured a colony in America in 1620. 

One hundred years after the Armada foundered, a Protestant coup installed Prince William’s great-grandson and his wife Mary on the English throne.  Like his great-grandfather, William was known by the name associated with a small principality in France that William the Silent had inherited at the age of 11; the principality had the same name as its distinctive fruit – orange.

Every Princeton uniform has some orange on it.  When you compete for Princeton, take strength from that radiation of color at 622 nanometers – it is a literal reflection of the strength shown by the rescued residents of Leiden that paved the way for the Enlightenment, the Dutch settlement of New York (which is why both the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Metropolitans have orange in their uniform colors), and the English settlement of New Jersey by many groups, including transplanted Puritans/Congregationalists from New England who became Presbyterians and created the College of New Jersey in 1746.  When the main campus building was built ten years later, it was named in honor of the late King William of Orange of the House of Nassau.

Which gets us to gravity.  You will soon be exposed to Princeton music, including the alma mater “Old Nassau” which has gravitas without being weighty.  Equally loved is “Going Back to Old Nassau” – “When the sons of Princeton gather anywhere, there’s a place they think of, longing to be there…”  If you’re fortunate, the gravitational pull of Princeton will find you for all of your days.

Rest assured that your “grandparents” are all pulling for you.  Welcome to the team! 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

And Claire Makes Four

Joan Ferguson better not have figured out a way out of that box.

If you've watched the first five seasons of the Australian TV series "Wentworth," then you know exactly what TigerBlog is talking about. If you haven't, go watch it.

If you have, though, then you know that Season 6 of "Wentworth" debuted yesterday on Netflix. Give TigerBlog til Sunday maybe to have knocked off entire 12-episode season.

As TB has said before, "Wentworth" at its best is as good as any TV show he's ever seen. It's set in a women's prison in Australia, but it's about a thousand times better than "Orange Is The New Black." If you like to binge watch and have never heard of it, the show gets TB's highest rating.

TB has been looking for a show of late, but nothing has stuck. In fact, he's gone back to rewatch two of his all-time favorites - "Sons of Anarchy" and "Boardwalk Empire."

He'd seen both series all the way through once, and it's amazing how much you don't remember when you go back to see it again. Maybe that's why it was important for him to watch "The Sopranos" about 10 times.

In fact, he didn't really appreciate just how good "Sons of Anarchy" and "Boardwalk Empire" both were. And now there's a spinoff of "SoA" called "The Mayans."

TB had "Boardwalk Empire" on Tuesday night, closing in on the end of Season 2. It's not looking great for Nucky Thompson, but TB can't remember how he wriggles out of this one.

He was only half paying attention to the TV though, since he was also watching Princeton-Penn State field hockey on his computer at the same time.

For everything that has made a 180-degree change around here since TigerBlog started, there is nothing that compares to the live streaming of games. It wasn't that long ago that the idea of being able to watch a Tuesday night field hockey game was unheard of.

Now? It's just expected.

The game was a big early season one. Princeton was ranked sixth coming in. Penn State was fifth.

Princeton has a history of challenging itself, and this year is no different. Coming off an NCAA Final Four and then a quarterfinal appearance the last two years, Princeton has put together another brutal non-league run, one that sees it have the current top five teams in the country on its schedule. The season started with a 1-0 loss to No. 2 North Carolina and then a 4-0 win over No. 14 Wake Forest.

Princeton defeated Penn State 2-1 in two OTs. Up next is the home opener, against Duke Friday. The key number for that game is 4, which is 1) the start time and 2) Duke's rank.

As for the game at Penn State, Princeton outshot the Nittany Lions 21-5, but it took an Annabeth Donovan goal 2:30 into the second OT for the win. The key number here is four as well, but TB will get to that in a second.

Field hockey overtime, by the way, is great, as four players are taken off the field and the teams play 7 v 7. It's wide open and exhausting, with a lot of subbing and a lot of chances both ways.

Meanwhile, back at the number four, freshman Claire Donovan played in the Wake Forest game, which made four Donovan sisters who have played field hockey for Princeton. Before Annabeth and Claire were Kaitlyn and Amy.

Oh, and both Donovan parents - Katy and John - and Katy's father William O'Connor are Princeton alums.

This got TigerBlog thinking. Are there any other examples of four (or more) siblings who played the same sport at Princeton? Or any sports at Princeton?

There were the five Callahan brothers in men's squash. TB can't think of any other, though he's guessing there have to have been at some point.

As is always the case in situations like this, he has to be overlooking an obvious family or two. He knows that there were three football players named Garrett, but that's not four.
 
He thought of Brendan, Connor and Brian Reilly from men's lacrosse, but obviously that's not four either. Neither is Dixon, Whitney and Sam Hayes.

This is going to bother him if he can't think of four siblings who've played here, almost as much as it will when someone emails him to tell him he missed the obvious. 

That's quite an accomplishment for the Donovan family of course. Having your four oldest play the same sport at Princeton? That is not something that's easy to pull off.

And so the number for today is four.

Four Donovans.

And now No. 4 Duke-Princeton, Friday at 4.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

One More Week

TigerBlog got the most unlikely text message from his brother the other day.

It said "Is the UW-Auburn game on the radio?"

Now, presumably BrotherBlog was driving along somewhere in the greater Seattle area and wanted to hear the game. Then again, he couldn't have actually been driving, because then he wouldn't have been texting.

BrotherBlog is two years older than TB, and this was probably the first time - or at least the first time TB can remember - that his brother asked him how he can listen to a sporting event on the radio. Progress, right?

BrotherBlog, by the way, leaves today for China. This will be his fifth trip to Shanghai, which is 12 hours from his home base in Seattle.

That's a long flight, one longer than TB has ever taken.

TigerBlog would love to go to Australia or the Far East. He's just not sure he could sit for that long. Maybe one day he'll find out.

So bon voyage, BB. Your Huskies, by the way, lost to Auburn 21-16, in case you never got to hear the rest of it. Next up for Washington is North Dakota at home and then the Pac 12 opener at Utah.

TigerBlog roots for Washington because of his brother, who works in the law school there and who graduated from the law school. Of course, that doesn't correspond to rooting for BB's undergraduate school, which also happens to be the same as TB.

There were more than 100 college football games last weekend, none of which involved the Ivy League, whose teams don't play until a week from Saturday. TigerBlog didn't watch that much, though he did see the fourth quarter of the Appalachian State-Penn State game, which Penn State got very lucky to win.

He watched a little online of the Sacred Heart-Lafayette game, as the Pioneers won 35-7. He also watched a bit of Notre Dame-Michigan; sadly, only one team lost.

He didn't watch any of the Butler-Youngstown State game, won by Butler 23-21. Butler is Princeton's opening day opponent, in Indianapolis, by the way.

Youngstown State, also by the way, reached the FCS championship game two years ago (it's won four of them) and last year lost to Pitt in overtime in its opener. This year the Penguins came in ranked 24th, only to have Butler pull off the win.

Pace Temple, a Butler wide receiver, caught 14 passes for 167 yards and a TD and recovered an onsides kick to earn National Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Next up is Taylor, a school in Indiana whom Butler beat 27-21 last year en route to a 6-5 season. Butler will have those two games under its belt before it plays Princeton.

TigerBlog has always thought that this is the toughest week for Ivy League football, since the rest of the college football world is off and running, not to mention high schools. It's also the opening weekend of the NFL season.

Former Princeton wide receiver Marc Ross stopped by yesterday. TigerBlog assured him that he was no longer rooting for his former employer, the New York Giants and also assured him that he would root for whatever team next hired him.

For now, TB is going to root for the Redskins (MotherBlog's team) and the Jets (because of New York Daily News beat writer Manish Mehta, a former Princeton Office of Athletic Communications employee).

Back at Princeton, this is a tough week because the rest of the football world is in game week mode.

If you want to see Princeton play in the Eastern time zone, then you'll have to wait an additional week. The home opener is against Monmouth on Sept 22, with kickoff at 4:30. The other five home games are all at 1.

TigerBlog has been to the football stadium at the University of Washington. It's a stunningly beautiful setting. In fact, this is from the UW website:
The view from Husky Stadium is unmatched - it overlooks Lake Washington and offers sweeping skylines of Downtown Seattle, Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Olympic Mountain Range to the west.

And you can see the photo gallery HERE.

TigerBlog has never been to a game there though. He's never been to a Power Five Conference game. The closest he came was Rutgers when it was still in the Big East.

It would be fun to go to one of those games. He'd love to go to a game at a school that has great traditions and a great fan base but not necessarily a Top 10 school. Purdue leaps to mind. Or Ole' Miss. Something like that.

Still, he prefers the Ivy League. The games are fun. The history is great. The level of play continues to improve.

He's looking forward to the season.

Even if he has to wait one more week.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

That New Car Smell

TigerBlog likes his new car very much.

Well, it's not new. It's preowned. Can you call that new? It's new to him, even if it had 28,000 miles on it when he bought it.

It's very comfortable. It rides well. Unlike the car it replaced, it moves when he puts his foot on the gas.

TB puts a lot of miles on his cars, so he'll presumably spend a lot of time in it over the next few years.

If he has one complaint, it's that he can't get satellite radio. That, though, might not be a terrible thing, since if he had it, he'd probably spent a lot of time flipping through the stations, which could get distracting.

TigerBlog has never had a car with a lot of frills to it. This car doesn't have many either.

It has a sunroof, which he's opened once. Maybe he'll use it more in the fall?

It also has Bluetooth, something that none of TB's previous cars had. The previous owner of the car - or the guy who leased it - was named Rodger, since when TB first used the Bluetooth, it came up with the option to use "Rodger's iPhone."

Somewhat annoyingly, it already has its first scratch. Somebody either brushed against his car or possibly hit it with a shopping cart of something like that. Either way, there's a very small scratch on it.

This is why TB doesn't necessarily want to have a brand-new car. Scratches and dents happen all the time, and he would be even more annoyed if it had happened to a brand-new car.

That's the trade-off. No new car smell, but it's not that big a deal that it has a small scratch on the side.

The 2018-19 athletic year at Princeton still has that new car smell to it.

This past weekend saw the first home events of the year, with a pair of women's soccer games that saw the 20th-ranked Tigers split, defeating St. Joe's 3-0 and then losing to No. 13 North Carolina State 3-1 in a game that was 1-1 late in the second half.

TigerBlog was at both games. They were entertaining, and the Tigers are very good. Mimi Asom scored three of Princeton's four goals for the weekend, including one that ended up on SportsCenter:
The men's soccer team was in Illinois for a pair of games this weekend to start the season, falling to USI-Edwardsville 1-0 and Bradley 2-1. Princeton did outshoot the two by a combined 20-18.

The Princeton goal was a sweet one, coming from junior Danny Hampton for the first of his career:
The most emotional event of the weekend had to be the men's water polo game against Navy Sunday morning, a 15-9 win over the Midshipmen, who are in their first season under longtime Princeton head coach Luis Nicolao.

That win finished off a weekend sweep for Princeton, who is now 3-0 under first-year head coach Dusty Litvak.

The women's volleyball team also had a three-match sweep to start its season,  with 3-0 wins over Northwestern, Stephen F. Austin and Colgate at Colgate's tournament. Princeton has won three straight Ivy titles, and they are the preseason favorites again this year.

There's a long way to go until you can see the Tigers at home. There are nine more matches in fact on the road - including tournaments at Towson and Temple - before the Tigers first play in Dillon Gym, on Sept. 28.

The field hockey team got off to a really good start, dropping a 1-0 decision to No. 2 North Carolina Friday and then thumping No. 14 Wake Forest 4-0 Sunday.

There are a bunch of events this week and weekend, most of which are on the road. The men's golf team tees off for the first time this year, and the teams that have already played are back at it again.

You can see the complete schedule HERE.

The football team was out in force at both women's soccer games this past weekend. It'll be their turn soon enough.

And of course, there is still one more week after that until the football team opens its season in Indianapolis against Butler, who defeated Youngstown State 23-21 Saturday. Butler plays Taylor this week before the game against Princeton.

Like the smell of a new car, the newness of another athletic year won't last very long.

Friday, August 31, 2018

The First Busy Weekend

TigerBlog's former colleague David Rosenfeld emailed him early yesterday with the link to the "cautiously optimistic" headline that TB mentioned yesterday.

It was from the preview story of the 2005 football game against San Diego. The headline was "Tigers Cautiously Optimistic As Home Schedule Opens."

There was reason for the optimism - Princeton won the game 20-17. You of course remember who San Diego's coach was, right?

Jay McCareins had a great game in that win, by the way, intercepting three passes and returning one 99 yards for a touchdown. The headline after the game on goprincetontigers.com was "Football Team Jaywalks To 20-17 Win Over San Diego."

The question TB still has is what it said before it was changed to "cautiously optimistic." It had to be something that got Gary Walters to think it needed to be changed, but how bad could it have been?

What did it say? "Princeton Guarantees Win Over San Diego?"

Oh, and San Diego's coach back then? It was Jim Harbaugh, now at Michigan. 

The best headline that TigerBlog has written for goprincetontigers.com was in 2002, when Ryan Boyle scored with four seconds left to beat Georgetown 14-13 and send the men's lacrosse team to the Final Four. TB's headline? "Final 0:04."

That's pretty good.

On the other hand, he spelled "quarterfinals" wrong in the second paragraph. What exactly are the "quarterffinals" anyway?

Back in his newspaper days, TigerBlog occasionally had to work on the desk, which included copy editing and writing headlines. The challenge then was to fit the headline over the right number of columns, which wasn't always easy.

TB's favorite? He remembers three.

The first was when Lenny Dykstra, then with the Phillies, has to leave a road trip to return to Philadelphia to have emergency surgery. TB's headline was "Dykstra's Appendix Out At Home."

He also wrote "Eagles Kicking Circus Auditions Two New Clowns" after the Eagles were struggling to find a kicker and had two try out but signed neither. He also wrote "Nice Day Brings No Rain, No Thunder" after a Trenton Thunder game had to be cancelled due to issues with the field.

Meanwhile, back in present day, or at least yesterday, there was the debut of "Beyond The Stripes," the video series from Princeton Athletics this year that will feature a different Tiger athlete each Thursday. The first episode featured John Lovett, the football quarterback who was the Bushnell Cup winner in 2016 and then missed 2017 due to injury.

You can see it HERE.

The college football season is underway, but Princeton doesn't open until two weeks from tomorrow, in Indianapolis against Butler. This is, though, the first relatively busy weekend for Princeton Athletics of 2018-19, including the first home events of the year, a pair of women's soccer games.

The women's soccer team, already 2-0-0, hosts a pair of 3-0-1 teams, St. Joe's tonight and North Carolina State Sunday. Both games start at 7, and there is no admission fee for either.

North Carolina State, whom Princeton defeated twice last year, including in the second round of the NCAA tournament, is at Penn tonight.

Princeton has a team that will be playing at Penn today also. The field hockey team opens its season at 11 this morning against second-ranked North Carolina on Penn's Ellen Vagelos Field and then is back there Sunday at 11 to take on No. 14 Wake Forest.

In fact, Princeton's first four opponents are all ranked in the top 14 right now. Princeton itself is ranked 10th in the preseason.

The women's volleyball team is at Colgate for its opener, or openers. The Tigers, who have won three straight Ivy titles, will take on Northwestern and Stephen F. Austin today and the host Raiders tomorrow.

Finally, TigerBlog would like to mention the rather intriguing matchup for the other Princeton team who competes this weekend, the men's water polo team. The Tigers are at, of all places, Navy, for Dusty Litvak's debut as Princeton head coach.

The Tigers take on Johns Hopkins and Wagner tomorrow, and then there is the game Sunday morning against the host Midshipmen.

Navy, of course, is now coached by longtime Princeton coach Luis Nicolao, who is in his first year at his alma mater. Litvak took over for Luis as the men's head coach, while Derek Ellingson will be the women's head coach, as both will be the other's assistant.

It'll be an intriguing matchup for the Tigers against their old coach. It'll probably be a bit bittersweet for Luis as well, since he recruited all of the current players and coached most of them.

The Princeton vs. Luis matchup is a highlight for the weekend, but there are interesting games all around.

It's the first busy weekend of the academic year. There will be many more to follow.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Cautiously Optimistic

TigerBlog can't remember exactly what the story was back when then-Ford Family Director of Athletics Gary Walters came down to his office to say that it was too positive.

Managing expectations is something that people in athletic communications always have to keep in mind. You never want to give an opponent anything for the proverbial bulletin board, and you never want to over-hype a team before it plays.

In fact, TB can only remember one coach who ever said "yes, we should be the preseason favorite because we should win the league," and that was Bill Carmody before the 1997-98 men's basketball season. Princeton then went 27-2 and moved into the national Top 10, so Carmody was clearly correct.

Anyway, back at Gary's suggestion that time, TB's colleague Craig Sachson is pretty sure it had to do with a headline before a football game. The original wording of that headline - from about 12 or so years ago - is lost, but whatever the overly enthusiastic phrase was, it was changed to "cautiously optimistic."

The Ivy League has taken this year to doing preseason polls for every sport. According to those polls so far, Princeton will win three Ivy League titles this fall - women's volleyball, women's soccer and field hockey.

Will it play out that way? Who knows.

It appears there's reason for cautious optimism, of course.

So far, the only Princeton team to have played this year is the women's soccer team, who will play the first home game of the 2018-19 year tomorrow, hosting St. Joe's. There's another game Sunday night, when North Carolina State will be here in a matchup of Top 20 teams.

The field hockey, men's soccer and women's volleyball teams also play tomorrow.

Ever since that day with Gary, TigerBlog has used the term "cautious optimism" a lot. It's been something of inside joke, but it also is very applicable to expectations for teams that figure to be good.

Over-hyping? Not good. Sneaking up on people? Very good.

This bring us to a tweet from ESPN's John Buccigross, who put out an early preseason Division I men's hockey ranking. And where was Princeton?

No. 5.

That's not in the ECAC. That's in Division I.

Keep in mind, Princeton men's hockey finished 12th out of 12 in the ECAC two years ago (well, two-plus, now that it's 2018-19). Keep in mind Princeton finished higher than seventh in the ECAC regular season standings three times this century and not at all since 2011.

On the other hand, this is also a team that has made a meteoric rise to the national spotlight. Ron Fogarty has rebuilt this team quickly, and the Tigers enter the coming season with, well, cautious optimism.

Lots of it.

Princeton went from 12th place to back-to-back seventh place finishes. The 2016-17 Tigers won an opening round ECAC playoff series. The 2017-18 Tigers did that, and much more.

Princeton defeated Brown in the opening round of the playoffs and then won a best-of-three series against Union (the No. 2 seed) to advance to the semifinals in Lake Placid. After that, it was a win over top-seed Cornell and three-seed Clarkson and just like that, the Tigers had won an ECAC title and reached the NCAA tournament.

And now expectations seem to be a tad high.

Buccigross had Minnesota-Deluth as the No. 1 team. Up next were Michigan, Ohio State (who beat Princeton in the NCAA opening round 4-2) and then Providence. Then the Tigers.

You know who was behind Princeton? Every one else.

The reason for the optimism is that Princeton has some the best players in the country this year. Ryan Kuffner and Max Veronneau will be on every preseason Hobey Baker Trophy list. Josh Teves is one of the best defensemen in the country. Goalie Ryan Ferland was the MVP of the ECAC tournament last year as a freshman.

Those are pretty good building blocks.

The men's hockey team, of course, will not have the luxury of sneaking up on anyone this coming season, not after last year's ECAC title. And the expected preseason hype won't help that cause at all.

Still, it's better to be in the position that the Tigers find themselves in. And even though it matters not at all, having someone who knows a lot about college hockey be that high on Princeton is cause for pride and celebration.

And optimism.

Just keep it cautious, that's all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Title No. 3

Okay, scratch "Today In Princeton Athletics" or just "Princeton Athletics," with the date after.

The official name of the new goprincetontigers.com feature that highlights every athletic event in a particular day will be "Princeton Athletics Daily," with the date after it.

For the record, that's three different names this week alone, when there have only been two athletic events. At this pace, the feature will have more than 100 different names by the spring.

Actually, that won't happen. "Princeton Athletics Daily" it is.

The fact that there has yet to be a day where there was more than one event sort of makes the feature seem a little odd. That'll change this weekend, when there are four teams who play Friday, two who play Saturday and four who play Sunday.

TigerBlog's idea here is to streamline the front page of the website, so that it's not a continuous stretch of pregame stories all week and then postgame stories that cycle through so quickly that it's hard to tell which team did what. It'll also allow other content to get greater play on the main page.

Included in that group is a video series that will be coming this year that will focus on storytelling, with the premise of showing the most intriguing stories in Princeton Athletics. The series will be called "Beyond the Stripes," and it will run each Thursday, with a new feature each week.

The debut episode will be tomorrow, by the way, with a feature on John Lovett, the 2016 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year in football who missed all of last year due to injury.

There will also be a series of much shorter videos that will be released on Twitter and Instagram all year, from every team, entitled "Tiger Talks." These videos will be around 30 seconds, and they will be a quick story about each subject's particular experience as a Princeton athlete.

The key is to have them all tell different stories, but that shouldn't be too hard. There are 1,000 athletes, and they have all have their own unique perspectives.

Here's a question for you Princeton fans. Where, and how, do you get your information?

Do you still go to goprincetontigers.com first, or is it through social media? The analytics suggest that social media is the winner, in a big way.

This year, there will be a concerted effort to use social media more for the kind of information that previously would have been put on the webpage first in past years. If it doesn't work, then, like the "Princeton Athletics Daily," things can change.

The point is that the question always is this: If you were starting athletic communications from scratch, what would you do?

The main Princeton Athletics Twitter feed has 17,100 followers. The main Instagram account has 6,600 followers.

The team accounts are another story.

Princeton has 112,972 followers on all of its team's Twitter accounts combined. The one with the most is football, with 18,400, followed by men's lacrosse with 15,000. The top five includes wrestling (10,100), softball (8,786) and men's basketball (7,849).

If you combine all of the Instagram accounts, then you have just short of 50,000. The top five: men's heavyweight rowing, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, men's lightweight rowing, wrestling.

The list of followers doesn't differentiate between people who follow one team or every team. It's all one follower.

Short of going through each team's list of followers, TigerBlog has no way of knowing how many total individual followers there are. There are certainly people who cover a lot of teams. It would be an interesting number to have, though.

Either way, there are a lot of people who are getting their information on Princeton Athletics directly through social media. It's the challenge of those in athletic communications to get it to them that way.

As the year moves along, you'll be able to see some of the changes that are being implemented. If they work, then there will be more of them. If they don't, then the idea is to find better ways.

No matter what, these are exciting times to be in the communications business, especially in college athletics. There are technologies available now that were unheard of not that many years ago, and the opportunities to be creative continue to present themselves.

Anyway, the first "Princeton Athletics Daily" headline is coming Friday.

As for social media, it's best to follow everyone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Playing In Peoria

Well, it's definitely prime back-to-school time.

There are already schools on all levels that have opened, and the days of summer vacation are definitely numbered for those kids who haven't yet gone back.

There were even a handful of college football games this past weekend, not to mention a ton of other games in other sports across the country. Princeton is off to a 2-0 start for the year with a pair of wins by the women's soccer team.

One of the teams that opened its season was Boston College field hockey, who defeated Quinnipiac last Friday 7-0. Why does this random game warrant a mention here?

Well, Miss TigerBlog's buddy Nell Webber, who was her high school teammate a year ago in both field hockey and lacrosse, scored one of the goals for the Eagles in her first collegiate game. TigerBlog wanted to congratulate Nell on that.

If you were in the greater Princeton metropolitan area last week, then you felt a touch of the approaching autumn, especially at night. After about three months of temperatures in the 80s and 90s, with basically high humidity and a chance of thunderstorms pretty much every day, it was in the low 70s during the day and even dipped down into the 50s at night.

And now comes your reminder that summer is going to hang around for a little while. This week will feature temps back into the 90s and close to 100 actually.

It'll get back into feeling like fall early in September, but there will be another stretch of really hot weather mixed in after that as well. It works like that ever year.

Actually, the nicest the weather gets around here now is in September and October. It's what spring used to be like, back when there was a season called "spring." Not it goes from rainy and 50 every day to in the 80s overnight.

Regardless of the weather, the fall teams continue to practice as they approach opening days this coming Friday. 

It'll be warm in Illinois this weekend, though not quite this warm, when the men's soccer team opens its season there with a pair of games. The first is Friday at SIU-Edwardsville, and that will be followed by a game at Bradley Sunday.

TigerBlog isn't great at Illinois geography, and he didn't realize that Edwardsville is very close to St. Louis. TB actually hasn't spent much time in Illinois, and his only experience in being in Chicago has been flying in and out of its two airports.

He was in Champaign once, a long time ago, back in 1994, for a men's basketball tournament. Princeton got wiped out in the championship game by the host team, and that's really the extent of his time in the state.

As for the men's soccer team, they'll fly to St. Louis for the first game of the weekend and then fly back from Chicago. Bradley is located in Peoria, which appears to be about halfway between the two major cities.

Peoria, of course, is known for the expression "Will it play in Peoria?" which TB believes has some sort of theatrical origins. The men's soccer team will be taking it somewhat literally.

Princeton dropped a 1-0 decision to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Myslik Field a year ago, and the Cougars, who tied their  opener 2-2 with Memphis, play at home tonight against Missouri-Kansas City, a game that will be abbreviated as UMKC-SIEU.

As for Bradley, the Braves play at a facility called Shea Stadium. If you're a baseball fan, you recognize that as the name of the old stadium in which the New York Mets used to play.

This Shea Stadium also has a baseball background, and it makes for what looks like a pretty interesting venue. It served as the home for Bradley baseball from 1970 through 2002, when a new baseball stadium opened there.

Now it's just the home of Bradley soccer, but the grandstands still suggest baseball. In fact, when TigerBlog looked at the picture, the first thing he wondered was if the field could be reconfigured for baseball.

See for yourself HERE.

Either way, it looks really cool. It also appears that the two Shea Stadiums are not related, as the one at Bradley was a gift by a local businessman named Tim Shea.

As for the on-field product, Bradley is 1-0-1, with a tie against Gonzaga and a win over Oral Roberts. Bradley plays in Indianapolis against IUPUI Friday night.

This is the first meeting between Princeton and Bradley, who went from 2-15-3 two years ago to 11-7-3 a year ago. 

Princeton comes into the year after a year that saw the Tigers start out 2-6-2 and then finish 4-1-2. The home opener for the men's soccer team is Saturday, Sept. 8, against Monmouth.

In the meantime, enjoy the hot weather. Summer isn't quite ready to give up yet, and besides, it'll be freezing soon enough.

Monday, August 27, 2018

It's A Wonderful Road

Great news.

The road is open again. That little quarter-mile nightmare is over.

As TigerBlog has said a few times this summer, Faculty Road has been closed since June between Washington Road and the Jadwin Gym parking lot. It's about a quarter of a mile, and yet the effect of closing that little piece of road could be maddening.

The problem is that if you can't turn right out of lot 21 to get to Washington Road, then there is no good way. And if you're trying to get to Route 1, it's been even more torturous.

Seriously, you never consider how much of an impact one little piece of one street can have on a lot of different people. It's like a roadway version of "It's A Wonderful Life."

It was a whole summer of trying to find the best route, with about 10 different possibilities.

And now it's over. Whatever the project was, it is finished. The gateway to Route 1 is back.

TigerBlog will never take Faculty Road for granted again. Clearly it's a wonderful road.

In other news, the 2018-19 athletic year at Princeton began this weekend with a pair of wins by the women's soccer team. The Tigers, an NCAA quarterfinalist a year ago and the No. 14 team in the country heading into their opening trip to New England, shut out New Hampshire 2-0 Friday and Boston University 1-0 Sunday.

Of Princeton's three goals, Mimi Asom scored two of them. Asom, now a senior, has been a reliable scorer since Day 1 of her career, and her place on the Princeton records list certainly backs that up.

Her two goals this weekend leave her with 33 for her career. That's currently sixth best all-time at Princeton, and she has a great chance at joining Tyler Lussi, Esmeralda Negron and Linda DeBoer as women's soccer players who have reached 40 career goals.

In fact, there have been two men's players - Steve Davidson and Yuri Fishman - who have reached 40 goals in their careers, so the total number of Princeton soccer players who have reached that number is currently five. Asom is moving up into elite company.

Her goal yesterday was classic Asom. She took a throw-in with her back to the goal, controlled it and then ripped it past the goalkeeper on the near side.

You can see it for yourself:
Next up for the women's soccer team is the home opener against St. Joe's Friday at 7. It'll be a big weekend for the Tigers, as they also host North Carolina State Sunday at 7.

N.C. State was the team that Princeton beat in the second round of the NCAA tournament last yeaer, one round before the Tigers took out North Carolina.

In addition to the start of the athletic year, this past weekend was also the debut of the "Today In Princeton Athletics" game-day story on goprincetontigers.com. So far feedback has been positive.

If you haven't seen it, basically the premise is to have one story that provides the entire day's schedule, complete with links to live video, live stats, preview story and eventually postgame story.

The problem is what to do the next day. If the story is called "Today In Princeton Athletics," with the date after it, then what do you do when it's no longer that day.

It seemed okay in theory to leave it up there with the word "Today" in the headline, until TB actually saw it Saturday. Then it looked a little odd.

In the short run, TB changed it just to "Princeton Athletics" with the date after it. Maybe it would be better to make it "The" day in Princeton athletics, not "Today" in Princeton athletics, with the date after it.

Maybe that'll be what is used this coming weekend.

There won't be any events until Friday, when three more teams - field hockey, men's soccer, women's volleyball - open their seasons. Men's water polo opens Saturday.

Also Saturday it'll be September.

Where does the summer go? 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Today In Princeton Athletics

Welcome to Day 1 of the 2018-19 athletic year at Princeton University.

The first of more than 600 athletic events stretching over the next nine-plus months is today, as the women's soccer team is at New Hampshire. The second event will be Sunday, when those same Tigers take on Boston University.

Between now and the NCAA track and field championships in early June, Princeton will be represented by 37 varsity teams and 1,000 varsity athletes who will compete in all four time zones and even outside the country. By the time it ends, there will have been championships won, signature moments that will stand out, individual honors awarded - and even some tough defeats.

No two academic years, like fingerprints, are ever the same. Some teams, and some athletes, will come out of seemingly nowhere to have a great season. It happens every year.

A year ago, for instance, the women's soccer team was coming off a good, but not great, season. What happened?

The Tigers went on an epic run, winning an outright Ivy League championship and then three NCAA tournament games to get to the national quarterfinals. Included in that postseason success was a win over 21-time NCAA champion North Carolina.

TigerBlog decided to check out how New Hampshire has done so far, and it turns out the Wildcats are 2-0-0 on the very young season.

TB went to the UNH website to see what he could learn. He saw a headline that said that the Wildcats had defeated "the Rams" in overtime, and he immediately thought "Fordham."

Turns out these Rams are the ones from the University of Rhode Island. This was followed by another OT win over the Crusaders, which TB correctly guessed meant Holy Cross.

Anyway, there are two pretty fascinating notes already about New Hampshire. First, the same player - Ally Reynolds - scored the overtime goal in both games.

And second, Reynolds is a transfer from, of all places, Rhode Island. She started 15 games last year for the Rams as a sophomore, and then in her first game at her new school, she scores the game-winner in overtime.

How often does that happen?

The women's soccer team starts playing one week ahead of the field hockey, women's volleyball and men's soccer teams. They're all practicing now, as is the football team and men's water polo. The cross country teams will be here soon.

It won't be long until the winter teams are starting to practice.

The men's basketball schedule was announced this week. The Tigers open on Nov. 9, and the non-league schedule includes games at Madison Square Garden (St. John's, Dec. 9), Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall (Iona, Dec. 15), Duke (Dec. 18) and Arizona State (Dec. 29).

There will also be 12 total home games, including games against George Washington (Dec. 1) and St. Joe's (Dec. 5).

Also, on Nov. 28, Princeton travels to Maine for something that should be really interesting. The Black Bears are coached by former Princeton women's basketball coach Richard Barron, who is now in his first year with the men's program there.

Has a former women's head coach ever then gone on to coach a men's team and coached against Princeton? TigerBlog can think only of Dan Roock, who coached the women's rowing team at Princeton and then coached the men at Cornell and Dartmouth.


Anyway, that's still a few months away.

For today, it's opening day. And with that, the people at goprincetontigers.com are going to try something a little different, at least to start the new year.

Instead of having a flood of preview stories and then recaps that fly across the front page, this time the plan is to have one story on the front page entitled "Today In Princeton Athletics."

Within in that story will be a chronological listing of the days events, with links to the live video, live stats, Twitter feed and preview story. When the event is over, the recap can be linked to there as well.

All of those previews and recaps will still be available on the individual team pages.

In this way, it stops the front page from being overwhelmed by previews and recaps and allows other stories to stay out there longer. It also provides readers a place to get information easily on every event on a given day.

Hey, it's new. There are still some things to work out. Maybe you'll like it. Maybe you won't.

If it doesn't work, then it doesn't need to continue. But it'll be worth a try.

And it's up there today for the first time. After all, it's opening day 2018-19.

Good luck to every Tiger this year. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Homecoming Game

TigerBlog starts to today by congratulating Chris Jastrzembski on his new position as a production assistant with ESPN.

TigerBlog met Chris at the 2017 NCAA men's lacrosse championships, but he'd been following him on Twitter before that. Chris is a recent Syracuse graduate who has worked considerably with the collegecrosse.com website, which is a great source for lacrosse information.

Chris is one of the young people that TB meets who clearly is pointed in the right direction. He works hard, he does a good job, he takes what he does seriously. He reminds TB a little of another Syracuse alum, John Nolan, who is an outstanding young sportscaster who spends his summers as the voice of the Single-A Padres affiliate in Fort Wayne.

Both Chris and John, by the way, are outstanding on Twitter. From what TB has seen, Chris appears to be a relatively big Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Lacrosse, though, is his favorite. And yeah, TB knows he's talked a lot of lacrosse this summer. He figured he was done with lax for awhile, until something else came up.

TB tweeted yesterday around 8:30 from the Princeton men's lacrosse account that there was big news coming later in the day. Chris retweeted and then guessed that 1) Princeton was going to play Syracuse again and then, more seriously he said, that 2) Tom Schreiber would be joining the team as an assistant coach.

Curiosity seems to get the best of people, of course. What did they say about the cat? Anyway, TigerBlog got a bunch of texts and emails asking what was up.

As it turns out, he was a little closer with his first guess.

The big news out of Princeton men's lacrosse yesterday is that Bill Tierney will be bringing the Denver Pioneers to Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium this coming season. The game will be on March 26, if you're marking calendars.

This is, without question, a huge event.

Tierney coached Princeton for 22 seasons. The sport at Princeton goes back to the 1880s, and Princeton had great teams and many many great players before Tierney's arrival, so it's not fair in the least to say that Princeton men's lacrosse started with him.

He did, though, unquestionably take the program to places it had never been, and places it didn't dream of, before he got there. Princeton had never been to the NCAA tournament before Tierney's arrival and it had been 20 years since the Tigers had won the Ivy League title.

Tierney took Princeton to six NCAA championships, eight NCAA finals and 10 NCAA Final Fours while winning 14 Ivy League titles. He brought Princeton to that level through the sheer force of his will, telling his first recruits - off a 2-13 season - that they would be the ones who would win the first NCAA title. And they did.

In 2009, he left Princeton, heading west to Denver, taking on a program that had never won an NCAA tournament game. To TigerBlog, this was a risky move for Tierney. If he failed there, what would that do to his legacy? It's not like he was cherry-picking the best place to go to win a championship someplace else.

So what happened? He's been to nine NCAA tournaments in nine years. He's been to five Final Fours. He won the 2015 NCAA title, making him the only coach who has ever won an NCAA men's lacrosse title at two different schools.

In fact, how many coaches have ever done that in any sport? To TigerBlog, there's no debating that Tierney is the greatest lacrosse coach of all time.

You can debate whether or not he's the greatest coach in Princeton history, since a case can be made for a few others. Still, if you polled 1,000 knowledgeable Princeton fans, Tierney would be either at or very, very close to the top.

For each of his first nine years at Denver, TigerBlog had hoped there'd be a game between his old team and his new one. Maybe not at first, but definitely after the players he'd coached and recruited were gone.

This year, for the first time, the schedule was favorable. Denver will be on the East Coast for a game Saturday and then will spend the week in this area. It made the game Tuesday something of a natural.

For Princeton, the game will come between home dates against Yale and Brown (the full schedule will be released soon), but this was one of those chances where there was no turning it down.

Tierney has been gone for Princeton for 10 years now. He's stayed extraordinarily close to the players he coached here and to the Princeton program itself, but he's been away long enough that there aren't too many people who work here who know him anymore.

Still, the Tierney name is still synonymous with Princeton lacrosse. It's why this is such a special moment.

Denver, of course, is a perennial Top 10 team. Princeton brings the nation's longest winning streak into the 2019 season and has a lot of pieces in place to make its own serious run into May.

The game should be a good one. Both teams are among the nation's best offensively, and the game will feature some of the best offensive players in the country.

Still, the storyline will be Bill Tierney's return to Princeton. Picture Pete Carril's having left Princeton when he did, but instead of going to the NBA, he went to a different college and built that team into a national power. Then, 10 years later, he brought that team to Princeton.

It's the same basic thing.

So circle March 26 on your calendar now.

And TigerBlog promises that this is the last lacrosse for awhile.

Probably.