Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Bosses' Day

TigerBlog has talked before about how much he loved the TV show "Taxi" going back a few decades, of course.

TB learned that tomorrow is National Bosses Day (on a Saturday?) when he was forwarded a link to a site that listed the six worst TV bosses of all time. TigerBlog cannot believe that Mr. Slate from "The Flintstones" and Mr. Spacely from "The Jetsons" - described by The Site That Knows All in not quite glowing terms - didn't make the list.

So who was on the list? Well, No. 1 was Montgomery Burns from "The Simpsons," a show that TB has never once watched.

Checking in at No. 2 was Michael Scott from "The Office," and the story's analysis of the situation at the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin is pretty in-depth.

Taxi's Louie DePalma came in fourth. As with the others, a youtube clip was included with Louie's selection, but TB tried to find a better one.

Of course, there could have been any number, including this one, where Louie goes to Elaine's apartment to try to get his job back after Elaine had him fired for peeking at her in the women's lockerroom while she was changing. The best part is at the 4:35 mark.

It's not TB's favorite Louie DePalma clip. Actually, it's not even in the top five or so, but the pickings on youtube were sort of slim. The two absolute best Louie moments are when Nardo drives Tom Selleck up to Vermont as part of the two-part "Memories of Cab 804" episode and when Bobby Wheeler says he's leaving the garage after getting his big acting break on a soap opera.

For those who don't remember these two episodes, Nardo picks up Selleck - who is playing an art dealer; Nardo was trying to get into the art business - and she agrees to drive him to Vermont, a long way from New York City. As they drive, the two start to become obviously attracted to each other. When they get to Vermont, Selleck asks Elaine to spend the night with him, though he's leaving for Europe the next morning on an extended business trip.

When she says no, he realizes that he has to pay his fare, and he offers her a $100 tip. It leads to this exchange:
Elaine: "I can't take that. I'd feel like a call girl."
Tom Selleck: "But you didn't do anything."
Elaine: "Then I'd feel like a bad call girl. What would you have given me if I'd stayed the night?"
Tom Selleck: "A very warm memory."

As the two of them pause in silence after spending hours and hours together in the cab, Louie's voice crackles over the radio:

"You're better off with the hundred."

As for the one where Wheeler leaves, he mocks Louie and rips up his hack license, which leads Louie to say:
"You'll be back. They all come back. Only one guy ever made it out of this garage, and that was James Caan - and he'll be back."

Louie should've been No. 1.

When TB thinks of The Boss, he thinks of course of Bruce Springsteen.

Around here, though, the boss is Gary Walters, Princeton's Director of Athletics since the end of June 1994.

TB has said often that it would have been easy for Gary to come to Princeton back then and adopt a "don't rock the boat" approach, suggesting that things were going fine at the time and why change anything?

Instead, Gary has completely overhauled Princeton Athletics in the last 16+ years, leaving his stamp on every possibly area, from facilities to the coaching staff to the never-ending crusade to have athletics and athletes viewed on campus as co-curricular, as an extension of the educational side of the University.

These beliefs can be summed up in the department motto of "Education Through Athletics," a motto that is currently on display in a banner in Princeton Stadium that will shortly be joined by similar banners in other facilities.

The other part of that motto, though it's a tad long for a banner, is "an unmatched tradition of athletic success."

In Gary's time as Director of Athletics, Princeton has won 176 Ivy League championships, which is 69 more than the next highest school. In 12 of the 16 years since Gary became AD, Princeton has reached double figures in Ivy League titles.

Add to that 38 team or individual national championships during his tenure, and it's impossible to argue the athletic success of the department that he has overseen.

Sucking up on the eve of National Bosses' Day? Not at all.

TB has not always agreed with Gary's decisions and ways, and he's certainly been on the losing end of disagreements with him. Still, a little conflict and difference of opinion is a good thing, and TB has many times told Gary when he thought TB was correct and Gary was wrong - with varying degrees of success in getting his point across.

Still, you can't spend this quantity of time working for someone if you don't buy into the bigger picture of what it is they're trying to do and what their goals and values are. Eventually, it would just make you bitter and a bit nuts.

TB has often told people that Gary Walters has mostly been very good to him through the years. In all the time TB has worked for Gary, he can't remember too many days when he dreaded having to come to work.

Quite the opposite, actually. Princeton Athletics has usually been a fun place to work, with a lot more laughs than anything else. Laughs, and a constant vigilance towards having the best possible teams with the best possible athletes and coaches on them represent Princeton.

The boss has to get at least some of the credit for that, and TB's only known one boss since he's been here.

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