Thursday, July 5, 2018

Yankee Doodle Dandy

TigerBlog didn't even need to check out the guide on his TV to know what would be on Turner Classic Movies at 8 last night.

Of course it was "Yankee Doodle Dandy." What else could possibly be on come 8:00 on the Fourth of July?

TB could easily list 10 movies, even 20 movies, that he would say he likes more than "Yankee Doodle Dandy," except on the Fourth of July. Then it's the only movie he really wants to see.

James Cagney made 61 movies in his long career. He is up there with the greatest gangsters of the golden age, and he was tremendous as Rhinelander Waldo, the police commissioner in "Ragtime," his second-to-last movie, back in 1981, when he was 82.

For all of that, he won exactly one Academy Award - for "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

If you're looking for some low-stress, old-fashioned, fun entertainment, this is about as good a choice as you can make. Actually, TigerBlog wrote this back in 2010.

Last year he wrote this: It's hard to beat Cagney as he sings and dances his way through one breezy show tune after another, all while reaffirming his patriotism and love of country in a time of World War.

Hey, the movie is a pretty common Fourth of July theme for him.

TigerBlog also mentioned last year that the World Cup would be past the halfway point by the time the next Fourth of July rolled around. And of course, that's where the World Cup stands.

Imagine how much TB would be writing about the World Cup if Princeton was in it, no?

Actually, TB thinks it's been a better TV World Cup without the Americans, because the storyline would have been all about the U.S., instead of simply the event. The current World Cup coverage is somewhat like what the Olympics coverage could be.

Anyway, Grant Wahl, a Princeton alum and former Office of Athletic Communication student worker at one point, is one of the foremost soccer writers in the world. He's certainly the No. 1 American in that group.

Grant has been doing work with Fox, including on-air pieces that have lent some additional flavor to the event. At one point yesterday he tweeted asking people what their favorite moment of the World Cup has been.

TB has a few of them, but it's possible that this one is his favorite:

Did you see that game? Japan was up 2-0 on Belgium, one of the pre-tournament favorites, only to have Belgium come back and win the game 3-2 on a goal as time expired. It has to be up there with the most heartbreaking losses the World Cup has ever seen.
And that's how the Japanese left their locker room? It was cleaner when they left it than it was when they first came into it. Think about that next time you see a story about a team that trashes its locker room.

TigerBlog has been in a few locker rooms where visiting coaches have said they want the place to be spotless when they left it, but they just meant to pick up the cups and put them in the garbage. This was immaculate.

There was no World Cup yesterday, and there aren't any games until tomorrow. This isn't quite like the NCAA men's basketball tournament, which gets worse round-by-round. It's just that TB got used to having two or three games per day on.

Meanwhile, back at the Fourth of July, the Princeton lightweight men's rowing team won its opening race at the Henley Royal Regatta, being held in England.

The Tigers won their first race yesterday, defeating Glasgow in its opener of the 32-crew tournament. Next up is the University of London this morning at 10:30 Eastern time, which would be 3:30 if you're in England.

You can watch the race HERE.

By the way, do you know when the Royal Henley Regatta was first contested? If you had 1839, you would be correct.

Princeton crews have won 10 Henley titles. The format is great - two boats go head-to-head, and the winner advances.

It has to be a pretty cool way to spend the Fourth of July.

Hey, do you think "Yankee Doodle Dandy" was on in England yesterday?

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