Thursday, June 14, 2018

Far From The Crowd Noise

TigerBlog got some interesting feedback on his question yesterday about what the best sporting event you were ever at in person was.

His colleague Warren Croxton said it was Roy Halladay's no-hitter in the 2010 playoffs against Cincinnati, a game that edged out last season's NFC championship game win by the Eagles. Warren is a big Philadelphia sports fan, but TB was surprised to hear that the baseball game was higher on the list than the game that put the Eagles into the Super Bowl.

TigerBlog did forget to mention that among other events he's been to have been the U.S. Open in tennis and the Davis Cup. BrotherBlog has been to the Olympics.

Cody Chruschiel, another TB colleague, said that the best he's ever been to was Mercer's win over Duke in the NCAA men's basketball tournament a few years ago. He also said that the loudest event he's ever been to was the Yankees win over the Twins in the Wild Card game last year.

TigerBlog is surprised by this, since he would assume that an indoor venue would by nature be the loudest, since the sound can't really escape. 

This then got TB thinking a little further. What's the loudest he ever remembers a venue?

Well, there were two times at the Palestra. One was in 1993, when Penn beat Princeton to end the Tigers four-year run as Ivy League champion. The other was in 1999, during Penn's 29-0 run to go up 29-3 on the Tigers. Each time Penn scored it got more and more defeaning.

It was pretty quiet at the end though. Princeton won that won 50-49 after trailing by even worse than the 27-3. It was actually 40-13 with 15 minutes to go in that one.

Where else was it really loud?

That's a good question. The one place where TB was astonished by the noise level was an arena that has a reputation, actually, for not being all that loud - the Dean Dome at the University of North Carolina. Princeton played there in the 1997-98 season, and it was actually the site of Princeton's only regular-season loss that year.

The game was close, and it took a late push for UNC to win it (the Tar Heels moved into the top spot in the national rankings with the win, by the way). TB just remembers being shocked by how loud it got.

If he had to think of a time when he was at a game at an outdoor stadium and it got really loud, he goes back to the 2001 NCAA championship game in men's lacrosse, when Syracuse scored with 16 seconds left to tie Princeton and the Orange fans (not the Orange and Black ones) went nuts. Princeton got the last laugh of course.

A bit far away from the loud crowds right now are the 10 Princeton athletes who are participating in the Coach for College program, which is now in its sixth year.

From the Princeton Varsity Club website:
The Princeton Varsity Club (PVC) is pleased to announce a record class of 10 Princeton varsity student-athletes who have been selected to travel to Vietnam this summer to participate in the Coach for College program, a global initiative aimed at promoting higher education through sports. As part of the Coach for College program, the student-athletes will teach academics, athletics and life skills to 6th, 7th and 8th grade Vietnamese students while working alongside Vietnamese coaches and instructors.

The 10 athletes who are there for the summer are: Joanna Curry (swimming and diving), Carlie Littlefield (basketball), Ben Martin (soccer), Mackenzie Meyer (softball), Quinn Parker (track and field), Lindsey Schmidt (track and field), Max Schwegman (track and field), Joey Smith (softball), Tia Weledji (basketball) and Chris Wilson (rowing).

The Coach for College program actually began as, according to its website, a partnership between Duke and North Carolina. TigerBlog didn't know there was anything that those two would ever agree to partner on, as an aside.

Since that rather interesting beginning, the program has grown to include participants from 40 different colleges. Princeton's athletes, though the PVC, have taken full advantage of the opportunity.

The 10 who will spend time in Vietnam will have a huge impact on the kids there, who are at an age when they really need this kind of mentoring. They work with middle school kids who, according to the Coach for College website, are at an age when many Vietnamese children start to leave school.

In other words, it's some of the most important work these Princeton athletes will do - even if there are no crowds there to cheer them on.

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