Wednesday, August 24, 2011


TigerBlog's office sits under the balcony stands of Jadwin Gym.

Through the years, Princeton athletes have been running those stairs as part of conditioning and training, and they have run directly over TB's head many times. Each time, as the group comes to the point of the stairs that is right above TB, the ceiling seems to shake a bit, though it's probably more than noise of the feet slamming on the concrete a few inches away more than anything.

It was that feeling that TB had yesterday around 1:50 or so, when he was on C level in the early stages of a meeting to talk about enhancing Princeton football attendance and gameday experience.

This time, though, it wasn't runners or basketballs bouncing on the main floor or anything else.

It was an earthquake.

As everyone knows by now, an earthquake registering either at or just below 6.0 on the Richter Scale hit in Virginia and was felt throughout the Northeast, including in Jadwin Gym.

Or, TB should say, depending on where you were standing in Jadwin. One person, for instance, who was in the mail room at the time said he never felt a thing, while people on both sides of him clearly felt it.

According to the site that knows all, an earthquake of a 6.0 magnitude is strong enough to shake people up but not strong enough to do any real damage. Apparently, that's what happened.

When TB called TigerBlog Jr. to ask him about the earthquake, TBJ said he never felt it and only wanted to talk about the injury that Terrell Thomas suffered in the Giants' preseason game Monday night.

TigerBlog's friend Todd pointed out that an earthquake in Virginia that was felt as far away as it was had to have generated an extraordinary amount of energy, and he likened it to dropping a pebble into water and having a wave from that drop felt 500 miles away.

Other people TB talked to or heard on the radio talked about being scared, shaken up, dizzy and such. Following the earthquake, TB had three or four people tell him that they thought the earthquake was actually some practical joke that Gary Walters was playing on them.

For TB, it was his first earthquake experience, and it was over rather quickly. He could see how that could be a rather frightening sensation if it lasted more than a few seconds.

As far as natural disasters go, this might not be the only one of the week.

Hurricane Irene might be headed this way, and one report has the eye passing over Cape May Sunday evening.

TB joked that the fact that the earthquake struck during the first meeting of the 2010-11 academic year might not be a good sign.

After the quake, the grassy island outside of DeNunzio Pool was host to a barbeque for freshman football players and their families.

As TB was getting ready to leave, he saw the line of freshman football players as they trudged towards the tent, in much the same way that he's seen freshmen soccer, field hockey, water polo and volleyball players come by to get headshots taken or walk to and from practice.

It's something that always amazes TB.

A year ago, they were spread out all over the country - and in some cases, the world - getting ready for senior year of high school. A few days ago, they were home packing, waiting to walk into a whole new experience.

And now they're walking around, in groups of two or three or four, with people that they don't really know that well now but will very, very shortly.

TB remembers his first few days of college, hanging out with the random people on his floor.

For the athletes, though, there is the inherent advantage of immediately having a group of people that are all by definition on your side.

Still, there was some uncertainty.

For instance, TB was approached by a couple, the parents, TB supposed, of a freshman football player.

"Get a lot of earthquakes around here?" they asked TB.

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