Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mazel Tov, Jim And Pam

So Jim and Pam are getting married tonight? Ah, there's nothing like a great TV wedding. The woods are filled with them, some of which have been well done and most of which end up being 1) hokie and 2) the beginning of the end of the show.

As for "The Office," let's hope that this show is in the minority, the one that can stay funny after the big wedding episode.

Still, there's no reason to actually watch "The Office" tonight. First of all, this episode can't be nearly as funny as the one when Phyllis got married several seasons back. Second, if you really want to see it, it'll be online tomorrow.

And finally, you can't watch it because Princeton is playing Colgate in football on ESPNU at 7 p.m., so it'll be early in the second half of the game when the wedding starts.

Princeton is fortunate to have its ESPN deal, one that guarantees seven home events will be on one of the ESPN networks each year. In reality, we've had more than seven each year, because away events (usually lacrosse games) don't count towards the agreement.

The deal grew out of Princeton men's basketball's history of being on television, especially ESPN. Through the years, Princeton had great games on ESPN, beginning of course with the 1989 NCAA tournament opening round game against Georgetown and including games at North Carolina and Duke, in the Meadowlands, at Kansas, in Hawaii, in the postseason NIT and many others, even games from Jadwin.

Out of that contact grew our original ESPN arrangement, which has since been extended so that this is Year 2 of a new five-year deal. Who knows where TV will be in four more years and what technologies will exist then, but it's safe to say ESPN figures to still be a major part of any college sports landscape.

As for the people at ESPN, they've been very open to televising a variety of sports, including events like water polo and soccer (next week's game against St. John's is on). Hockey has been a strong newcomer to the agreement, with another game this January to be televised.

Basketball and lacrosse are key components of the schedule each year, as is the night football game. This is the fourth straight year that Princeton will have one of its home games on ESPN, and it moves to Thursday night after the previous three Friday night events.

TigerBlog is wary of doing too much to change schedules for TV, especially after seeing football games on the schedule on Tuesday night and Wednesday night. Still, the opportunity for Princeton to have its game on in such a prominant spot, especially now that ESPNU continues to expand its availability, has been great for the athletes.

As for the game itself, it's easy to say No. 24 Colgate is a big favorite, but who knows? Princeton struggled a week ago against Columbia, but you're never as bad as you look when you lose and never as good as you look when you win.

Just as the woods are filled with TV weddings, they're also filled with teams written off the early season who came back to do just fine.

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