Monday, April 12, 2010

Tiger Update

TigerBlog knows people - TB-Baltimore comes to mind - who would rather be on a golf course than just about anywhere else. As for TB, he used to play a little, mostly at Springdale, where Princeton staff could go after 4 on weekdays and get a discounted rate.

For TB, golf would be more fun if it could be say, four or five holes, rather than 18. It takes too long, and it's way too expensive to play enough to become good at it.

As for watching it on TV, TB, like many, is a fan of the major tournaments, and the drama of watching a major late on a Sunday afternoon can usually rival any other sports events.

So what was TB watching late yesterday, as the Masters was ending? A replay of the St. Anthony's-Fairfield Prep boys' lacrosse game.

Why? He couldn't stomach the whole Tiger Woods thing.

TB's favorite professional athlete of all time is Michael Jordan, who single-handedly cost TB's favorite NBA team (the Knicks; there, TB admitted it) several championships. And, by all accounts, Jordan is hardly the nicest guy who ever came down the pike.

Still, TB was mesmerized by Jordan's greatness, mentally as well as physically. Jordan's ability to rise to the occasion, to bring out unrivaled clutch moments, to impose his will on his teammates and the other team was riveting to watch.

Tiger Woods has basically been a golf version of Jordan, and yet he never captured TB the way Jordan did. And now, it's just insufferable to watch the way television falls all over him.

TB wasn't even interested in the Masters, but he couldn't escape it. At the Big City Classic lacrosse event Saturday in the New Meadowlands Stadium, every one of the approximately one million televisions in the building was tuned to ESPNU for the lacrosse games.

As an aside, none of those TV's could be changed after the Princeton-Syracuse game ended, so instead of being able to switch to, say, the NCAA men's hockey championship game, everyone had watch the next program on ESPNU, which happened to be the NCAA women's bowling championship. For the record, Fairleigh Dickinson defeated Nebraska, and those two schools have now combined for five of the seven NCAA bowling titles. The other two went to Maryland-Eastern Shore and Vanderbilt.

Getting back to ESPNU, what was on the bottom line the whole time?

Something called "Tiger Update," which went shot-by-shot (and even updates between shots) about what Woods was doing. It was ridiculous, especially since he was never even in the lead.

Think Woods was going through a tough time? How about the winner, Phil Mickelson, whose wife recently was diagnosed with breast cancer? Maybe his time since Thanksgiving was a little more difficult - and less self-imposed?

In fairness to the print version of media, TB didn't read one story that fell all over Tiger. TV, though, was another story, largely because golf ratings clearly are tied to one player.

Anyway, if TB wants a "Tiger Update," it's usually about a Princeton team, not about professional golf.

With nine Ivy League championships in the bank this academic year through the winter, the goal is to win at least one in the spring to reach 10. Should Princeton be able to do so, it would be the 19th time Princeton would have reached double figures in Ivy titles in an academic year. For the rest of the league, Harvard has done it five times, and no other school has done it even once.

The first shot at No. 10 comes up this weekend, when the Ivy tennis champions will be crowned. Both Princeton teams would win by sweeping Columbia and Cornell this weekend, though the men will be a decided underdog against the Lions, who are currently 5-0 in the league and 16-3 overall while Princeton is 4-1 in the league. On the women's side, Princeton is 5-0, Cornell is 1-4 and Columbia is 0-5. One win by the women would clinch at least a share of the title, and the final weekend begins with Princeton undefeated and four teams (Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale) at 3-1.

The lacrosse champions will be the teams that win the regular-season round robins, not the tournaments, which are to determine the automatic bids to the NCAA tournament. TB isn't quite sure how to figure out when teams clinch spots in the four-team tournaments, as there are so many head-to-head matchups remaining that make it a little complicated.

In fact, it's possible that both teams have already clinched spots in the tournaments.

On the women's side, Princeton is 3-1, behind undefeated Penn and Dartmouth, who meet this week in Hanover. Behind Princeton (home with Maryland Wednesday and then at Harvard Saturday) are three teams (Cornell, Yale, Brown) at 2-3.

On the men's side, Princeton is the lone unbeaten Ivy team at 3-0, with a game tomorrow night against Rutgers to be followed by league games against Dartmouth, Harvard and Cornell to end the regular season. Cornell and Brown (who still play each other) have one league loss; Harvard, Dartmouth and Yale have two each. TB does know that 1) Princeton would definitely clinch a spot in the tournament with a win Saturday against Dartmouth and 2) wins in any two of the last three league games would clinch at least a share of the Ivy title.

Princeton is 3-5 in the Gehrig Division in baseball, with four against division leader Columbia (6-2) this weekend in New York. In softball, Princeton is six games back of division-leader Cornell.

The remaining spring sports - golf, rowing, track and field - are building to their Ivy League championship events later in the spring.

In non-Ivy sports, the men's volleyball team clinched second place in the EIVA, which means 1) playing at home to start the playoffs and 2) avoiding Penn State until the finals. And the women's water polo team is right in the thick of the league race as well after defeating first-place Bucknell.

And there's your Tiger update.

1 comment:

marc said...

TB Baltimore would rather be on Court Suzanne Lenglen