Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Unofficially Speaking

TigerBlog first met Brett Hoover back when Hoover was working at Penn in, what, 1990 or so? Looking back on it, TB can't remember where Hoover went after that, or, for that matter, when he resurfaced as the head of communications for the Ivy League.

TB and Hoover agreed on many, many issues in their shared profession, and TB was sorry to see Hoover leave the Ivy office a few years back.

Hoover had the perfect mentality to work at a conference office, which is way different from being on a campus (even though the Ivy office is actually on this campus). Hoover was a firm believer in promoting all things Ivy League, and he did a great job in building up the Ivy League website, especially with historical information.

He also is an outstanding writer, a point proven by his extraordinary piece on racial unrest centered around the 1970 Heptagonal track and field outdoor championships. You're not going to find too many better stories anywhere this week.

Not that TB and Hoover saw eye-to-eye on everything. Politics was one area where they didn't quite agree, what with Hoover being on the far left and TigerBlog being a moderate.

And, of course, there was the Ivy League's all-sports points championship. Hoover insisted that there was no such thing, since the Ivy League didn't recognize it. He didn't like when TB would write about such an honor, because to him it didn't exist.

Eventually, TB and Hoover agreed that TB would insert the word "unofficial" in there somewhere, and as a result it became the Ivy League's unofficial all-sports points championship.

Hoover also did concede that it would only come to officially exist after a team other than Princeton won it, but that won't be this year.

The three rowing championships that will be determined this weekend at Eastern Sprints (women's lightweight is not an official Ivy sport) are the last three Ivy League championships up for grabs this year. The outdoor track and field championships that went to Cornell last weekend were the 29th and 30th league titles awarded this academic year.

And the Ivy League's unofficial all-sports points championship, the one that doesn't really exist, will once again be won by Princeton, this time for the 24th year in a row.

For those who don't remember, the points are awarded based on Ivy League finish. If you win a championship, you get eight points; if you're second, you get seven, and so on.

If a sport has fewer than eight teams competing, the winner still gets eight points. If there is a tie at a spot, the points are split, so that two teams who tie for second get 6.5 points each.

Heading into the rowing championships, Princeton has 183.5 points, 27.5 points ahead of second-place Harvard. Since Harvard can get at most 24 more points by winning all three boats, Princeton has clinched the championship again.

On the men's side, Princeton has 88 points, 15 ahead of second-place Cornell. The women have 95.5 points, 10.5 points ahead of second-place Harvard.

Princeton has won 11 Ivy League titles, while Cornell is second with seven.

Anyway, that's 24 straight years of having what could be mathematically called the best overall athletic program in the Ivy League. That's not too bad of an accomplishment.

As TB always says when he writes about this, the fact that Princeton has won 24 years in a row doesn't mean that a 25th is guaranteed. The other schools are out there trying just as hard, and there is going to come a day when someone else wins.

Probably, anyway. On the other hand, it hasn't happened in nearly a quarter-century.

Think about it. When the streak started, no current Princeton athlete was born.


Anonymous said...

First, let's win all the Ivy sports championships. Next, take over the Supreme Court.

Brett Hoover said...

Moderate? TB a moderate?!?! Then former Princeton wrestler Donald Rumsfeld is a liberal.

This is Brett and I figured this was a good time to say that:

1. TB is the best. Along with Chuck Yrigoyen and John Veneziano.

2. I love the Ivy League. Didn't go to an Ivy school, but came to love the League, its mission, its student-athletes.

3. Left Penn to head to Ohio. Returned to the League. Left for South Carolina. Now starting a public charter high school in Indianapolis. Yes, nomadic.

4. I still don't know about this all-sports championship thing of which you speak. Fingers in ears.

5. Miss the League and its people. Miss the dinky. Miss the Wa-Wa. Don't miss Route 1.