Tuesday, January 14, 2020

0.6 To Go

When you walk onto a plane, do you turn to the cockpit to see who the pilots are before walking down the aisles to your seats?

TigerBlog does. He also thinks that probably close to 90 percent of the people do this.

Why? He's not sure.

Is it because it's human nature to see the people who are now entrusted with taking over all control of your immediate future? TB doesn't know the first thing about flying a plane. He needs to be able to trust the pilots.

Still, what exactly are you looking for when you see them? Young pilots? Old ones? Is there anything that suggests that these people do or do not know what they're doing?

TB operates on the theory that 1) the airline has hired these people, so they must have a sense of how to fly a plane and 2) they're going with you, so they presumably have as much invested in getting you where you need to go as you do.

Another thing that TB always figures is that if they know how to taxi the plane to the end of the runway before takeoff, then that's a sign that they have a basic working knowledge of how an airplane works and how to communicate with air traffic control.

TB likes pilots who get on the PA system and have a nice chat with the people in the back. He likes knowing how high they're going to fly, how long it's going to take, that kind of thing. He used to like when pilots would tell you the route, which is something they don't do much of anymore, probably because you can find it out so many other ways, either online or in the little TV in the seat in front of you.

When TB got on the plane in Florida the other day, he did the instinctive look into the cockpit and saw two very, very, very young pilots. And one of them was scarfing down Chinese food while everyone boarded.

Whatever he did, it worked. The flight was uneventful.

TB flew from West Palm Beach to Trenton the other day. There was also supposed to be a flight on the same airline that went from West Palm to Philadelphia, but that one got cancelled and everyone on that flight got put on the one to Trenton.

If you've never driven from Trenton-Mercer Airport to Philadelphia, it takes about 30 minutes. Listening to the Philadelphia people, you'd think that 1) they'd never heard of Trenton and 2) that their flight had gotten rerouted to Utah or something.

As he listened to two such people talk about Trenton as if it were in another country, TB also watched the Princeton-Penn men's basketball game on his phone. Because his flight was delayed slightly, he was able to see the game through to the end, which turned out to be a 63-58 Princeton win that improved the Tigers to 2-0 in the league.

The best game of the weekend for Princeton, or at least the most dramatic ending of a game, was the men's hockey game Saturday night against St. Lawrence. TB also watched this one on ESPN+. Unlike the men's basketball game, he didn't see it to the end, though he thought he had.

He was watching without sound as the teams played through a scoreless first three periods and into the five-minute overtime. And though what he thought was the entire overtime.

When he flipped his computer off, he though the game had ended. Then, about 15 minutes later, he saw the tweet that said that Luke Keenan's goal had given Princeton a win.

What? How had he missed that?

As it turns out, he had looked away for a second and then saw Princeton players on the ice. He figured it had been a 0-0 tie but no - Keenan had tipped in a shot with 0.6 seconds left to win it.

That's 0.6 seconds. After going 64:59.4 scoreless.

Princeton goalie Jeremie Forget was outstanding, as he has been lately, especially in the OT, when he made six saves.

And suddenly Princeton is showing that it could be a team to be reckoned with in the second half of the season. Princeton is only four points away from home ice in the first round of the playoffs, with five more weekends to go. In fact, of those 10 remaining league games, five are against the three teams directly ahead in the chase for home ice - Brown, Yale and Union.

Of course, as with the rest of Princeton's teams, the men's hockey team is on break for first semester exams, and the first of those 10 games is still 17 days away.

Still, it's nice to think ahead to the coming weeks and the stretch run, a time when Ron Fogarty's teams have usually been at their best.

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