Monday, February 5, 2018

Fly Eagles Fly

TigerBlog thinks "dilly dilly" is just, well, silly.

It's certainly not funny. If it ever was, it was long ago smashed into the ground to the point of just being annoying.

Actually, that's pretty much true about all Super Bowl commercials. There was a time when they were very clever. Then they became their own story, almost as big as the game itself.

Now? They're predictable, uncreative, overdone. What they're not is funny.

Can everyone just admit that the Super Bowl commercials are no longer a big deal and just move on?

As for the game itself, congrats to the Eagles, who won their first Super Bowl by defeating the New England Patriots 41-33. The biggest play of the game by far was the second-quarter fourth-and-one where the Eagles went for it and threw to quarterback Nick Foles, who pretended to be changing the play at the line when the ball was snapped.

Remember when everyone wanted to go with Nate Sudfeld instead of Foles after Carson Wentz got hurt, by the way?

The play was perfectly designed and executed. The attitude of head coach Doug Pederson, though, was even better. It's the Super Bowl. You're on the one. You need touchdowns. Go for it.

What TigerBlog liked most about it was the idea that Pederson was opening himself up for criticism if it didn't work, but so what? Win the game. Too many coaches lose sight of that concept. They coach to not be criticized, rather than to win.

That's a big part of why Philadelphia won the game. Kick a field goal there, and New England wins. TB is relatively sure of that.

And it would have destroyed the NFL's credibility if the game-winning touchdown had been ruled an incompletion. Do you think the league office weighed in and said "no, it has to be a TD or nobody will have any faith in us ever again?"

Also, you saw the difference between Tony Romo and Cris Collinsworth in that Collinsworth told you what happened after the play, whereas Romo would have said it before it happened. And Collinsworth just talked way too much, often using a lot of words to say nothing at all.

Oh, and the halftime show? Too much dancing, but Justin Timberlake seems like a happy enough guy. And the "duet" with Prince was classy. And "Can't Stop The Feeling" in the crowd was fun.

Lastly, TB predicted Philadelphia by seven. The final was eight.

In other news, the Princeton women's tennis team had itself quite a super Sunday.

Princeton hosted the 12th ranked team in the country, Auburn, of the mighty Southeastern Conference, Sunday at Jadwin Gym. Think about that. Princeton defeated a highly ranked SEC team.

Auburn came into the match unbeaten, including a 7-0 win at Cornell Friday. Princeton was undefeated as well, though that probably didn't quite get Auburn's attention beforehand the way it did as it all unfolded.

As it turned out, Princeton took the doubles point and then got singles wins from Nicole Kalhorn and Gaby Pollner before Tiffany Chen closed out a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win to give the Tigers the victory. It was Princeton's first win over an SEC team since 1982.

That's a huge statement for the Tigers, especially in a sport in which the Ivy League has been known to get at-large NCAA tournament bids.

Auburn women's tennis was not the highest ranked opponent a Princeton team took down this weekend. No, that honor belonged to the men's hockey team, which continued its fantastic return from first semester exam break by sweeping St. Lawrence and Clarkson this weekend.

This came after Princeton beat Quinnipiac Tuesday night in Connecticut. That's a pretty good few days.

Clarkson, by the way, was ranked third last week. Princeton earlier this season tied No. 1 St. Cloud twice, as the Tigers continue to show under Ron Fogarty that they are not afraid of anyone.

When Princeton finished its exams, it stood in 10th place in the ECAC. Now, with three weekends left in the regular season, Princeton has vaulted into a tie for sixth.

The top eight teams in the league will get home ice in the playoffs, with the top four to get a first round bye. Those four seem to be too far out of reach to catch at this point, with Harvard, in fourth place, at 21 points, while Colgate in fifth has 17.

Princeton and Dartmouth are tied with 15. Yale is in ninth with 13, so there is still a long way to go before playoff tickets at Baker Rink need to be printed. Still, the Tigers are on a roll, and its next two opponents - at Yale and Brown this weekend - are behind them in the standings, which ultimately, of course, means little.

By the way, if you're looking for a great picture, the one on the men's hockey page tells the whole story of the Clarkson game.

Ryan Kuffner had a big weekend for Princeton, with four goals and two assists. Max Veronneau had a goal and three more assists.

What Fogarty has done with the Tigers in a short time is pretty astonishing. This is a team that not that long ago had trouble scoring goals and celebrated any win it could get. Now it's a team that plays with a lot of confidence and expects to win every time out.

Fogarty is the kind of coach whose personalty drives his program. His task in rebuilding the team has been a daunting one, and he hasn't had time to worry about things that don't matter.

He's turned Princeton hockey at Baker Rink into a wildly exciting outing, and that was never truer than for the ECAC playoff series win over Colgate last year. Will there be playoff hockey at Baker this year?

For now, the answer is just a "maybe."

This past week, though, certainly was a great one for the Tigers. No maybes about that.

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