Friday, September 4, 2009

TigerBlog On Percoset

TigerBlog, in the last 20 years or so, has done pretty much everything you can in the sport of lacrosse. Written about it. Broadcasted it, on both TV and the radio. Coached it (at least on the youth level). Been the media relations contact for NCAA championship teams. Been the official scorer for NCAA championships. Helped write the rules for keeping stats.

In other words, TB had done everything but play the game. Until he latched on with the "Old Bucks," a group that mostly coaches their sons and daughters in Lower Bucks Lacrosse.

Sometimes we'd play against other "masters'" teams. Sometimes there'd be pickup games with kids who played or recently had played in college.

TigerBlog loved it immediately. It wasn't just getting out there and seeing what it was like to play the game from the inside out, rather than just observing it. The experience helped TB to write about it and especially to broadcast.

And, somewhat shockingly, TigerBlog made it all the way until the second game of his second season before suffering a major injury. After attempting to have it heal by itself for more than a year, TB gave up and had the surgery to correct his knee earlier this week.

As an aside, TB was in Conte's last week when he saw the doctor who was going to perform the surgery walking out. TB then went up to his table, where the doctor's family and friends were still sitting.

"Make sure he gets to bed early next Tuesday," TB told the doctor's wife.

Anyway, TB is starting the healing process, which includes Percoset, a little pill that is supposed to knock out the pain (and the patient). Having said that, TB today comes to you with a few Percoset finding their way through his blood stream. In other words, TB needs to hurry up before loopiness becomes today's theme.

Either that, or perhaps a look at how dreadful daytime TV has become.

Today is Opening Day for Princeton's 2009-10 athletic season. As TB readers know, it's one of the best days of the year, for its offer of promise to all 38 Princeton teams and to all the teams against whom they will compete.

As TB has said numerous times, who will be the athletes this year who come out of nowhere, or the ones who have already established themselves as stars who will elevate their game? What freshmen will make an immediate impact?

At Princeton this year, you can add: How will the six new head coaches do in their rookie years?

The common greeting around TigerBlog HQ the last week or so included words like "the summer flew by" or "can't believe events are starting again."

In reality, when you decide to work in college athletics, you agree to everything that goes along with that, which includes working at night or on the weekends. It's like people who buy houses near airports; you can't turn around and complain about the noise.

Princeton Athletics is a multi-faceted organization that requires a great deal of effort on the part of dozens or non-coaches or athletes. We have very little turnover at Princeton, which must mean people like what they do.

Gary Walters, the Director of Athletics, often speaks of "athletic mortality" as the looming end of the playing careers of college seniors. It can also speak to injury, as in the old recruiting advice of "pick the college you're going to go assuming you're going to hurt and never be able to play." In other words, don't make it all about athletics.

TB's athletic mortality may be looming. When the doctor suggested it would be six to nine months before TB is healed, TB then asked if that meant he could play lacrosse again next summer.

"Only if you're an idiot," the doctor said.

So, TB's goal is get back to playing squash. In the meantime, the Percoset is just about starting to ...............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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