Thursday, May 6, 2010

Right On Track

TigerBlog used to work at the Trenton Times with a guy named Geoff Howell, who wisely left the newspaper business to become a lawyer.

Back then, and TB would guess to this day, Howell held the distinction of being the only person TB ever met who had seen every movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture, dating to 1928 when "Wings" was the first to be so honored.

TB used to be a bigger fan of the Academy Awards, back when he used to go see just about every movie. There are two decisions that have always bothered TigerBlog.

For starters, how in the world could "Shakespeare In Love" win over "Saving Private Ryan" in 1998? "Saving Private Ryan" isn't exactly filled with laughs and a love story, but it may just be the best movie ever made.

Then there was 1981, when "Chariots of Fire" beat "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

As an aside, TigerBlog and BrotherBlog went to see "Raiders of the Lost Ark" back in December 1980, when they were visiting Aunt Frannie and Uncle Maurice in Florida. As a further aside, Uncle Maurice at one point was the mayor of South Palm Beach.

Anyway, when TB and BB were leaving the theater, the people behind them were ripping the movie. One of them said: "That was SO unrealistic." TB believes to this day, 30 years later, he has never heard a comment that missed the point by so much.

Not that "Chariots of Fire" was a bad movie. In fact, it was quite good. TB just felt "Raiders of the Lost Ark" took it to another level.

Maybe that's why TB never got into track and field the way he did some other sports. Or maybe it's that he can't really run that fast.

Princeton has 38 varsity teams who play 16 different sports (if TB is counting right). One of the best parts of working here is observing the different approaches each sport has to building its team, running its team, preparing its team and ultimately competing.

Track and field is one that an outsider can't really understand without a good deal of educating. Still, TB has a great deal of respect for what goes into it.

Through the years, the OAC has had more student workers from the track programs than from every other sport combined. This includes John Mack, who got his start working in intercollegiate athletics here at HQ and now is an Associate Athletic Director at Northwestern.

Not to mention a 10-time Heptagonal champion, something that is not easy to be.

Of course, the 2010 outdoor Heps come to Weaver Track and Field Stadium this weekend, beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. with the men's hammer throw and continuing until Sunday at 4:45 with the women's and men's 4x400 relays.

The Princeton women are trying to complete the "triple crown" of winning Heps in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field, something that has happened once in program history, back in 1980-81.

As for the men, they're going for their second straight after winning Heps indoors this past winter. Outdoors of late it's been all Cornell, which has won the last seven titles; five times in that stretch Princeton was the runner-up.

Heps itself is one of the best annual events on the Ivy League athletic calendar. Any time all eight schools gather for one event is special, and the track meet is a two-day collage of races, jumps and throws with eight distinct colors mixed together.

It's certainly worth the trip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LoL. Now that I have kids, I really don't get to the movies as much -- but I always make sure to see the Best Picture winner to keep my one claim to fame alive.

Seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark was one of the best two movie-going experiences of my life. Star Wars was the other.