Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rolling A Seven

There are two questions that TigerBlog has asked and been asked about, oh, a million times in the last three days:

1) Did the power go out?
2) Was there water in the basement?

Usually, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, if No. 1 was yes, then that meant the sump pump stopped working and No. 2 was a yes. And a big mess.

TigerBlog was lucky in that he was in a no power/no water group, which probably was something of a rarity.

In fact, there was no rhyme or reason to any of it, really.

Princeton University, for instance, apparently never lost power. Neither did some of the surrounding towns, like Hopewell.

Still others in Princeton are still without power. One part of a town might have been dark; the other might have never lost the lights.

TB does not envy the water-in-the-basement people, and he's been one of those people many times in the past.

Yesterday, TB heard some talk on the radio that the local politicians - such as Governors Chris Christie from New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo from New York and Mayor Michael Bloomberg from New York City - had misrepresented how bad the storm was going to be in an effort to look tough and in charge and that the biggest economic impact is going to be the lost revenue from closing down business in the storm's path. To that TB says: "What if they did nothing and more people were killed? Then what? It's about time someone in charge acted like it. It was refreshing to see."

Anyway, the power is still out all over the storm-affected area, though it continues to come back on in more and more places. And curbsides are starting to be dominated by things that used to be in basements.

TB lost his power around midnight Saturday.

Like everyone else without power, the big question was how long would everything in the fridge stay good or would it all have to be thrown away? TB usually errs on the side of caution in that regard, resulting in a complete emptying of the contents.

Of particular sadness was the need to get rid of the rapidly melting ice cream sandwiches in the freezer, though not before TB tried his best to eat as many as possible.

The good part of having no power was the fact that the kids couldn't do anything involving electronics, and so they were outside amusing themselves.

The down part was that when it got dark, it got very, very dark.

Through a little creativity, TB was able to get himself in front of a working television Sunday afternoon at 3 to watch the only sporting event of the weekend that really interested him, the Major League Lacrosse championship game.

The game matched the Boston Cannons against the Hamilton Nationals. TB's main interest was to watch Princeton alum Ryan Boyle, who was playing for the Cannons.

There were six teams in the MLL when it first began 11 years ago - the Cannons, the Long Island Lizards, the Bridgeport Barrage, the Baltimore Bayhawks, the New Jersey Pride and the Rochester Rattlers.

Now, 11 years later, the Barrage and Pride no longer exist, the Bayhawks have moved around the area a few times before settling in Annapolis, the original Rattlers went to Toronto and then Hamilton and the new Rattlers used to be the Chicago Machine.

Teams in Los Angeles and San Francisco were briefly part of the league, while the Denver Outlaws were part of the western expansion and have remained as probably the most stable franchise in the league.

Next year, teams will join the league in Charlotte and Columbus, with two more to follow the following year and additional expansion still possible beyond.

It's TB's opinion that Major League Lacrosse will be bigger than Major League Baseball within 50 years, and hey, come see TB then if he's wrong.

The Cannons ended up winning the game 10-9, after a 14-13 win over the Bayhawks in the semifinals, played just as Irene was getting close. In that game, Boyle fed Max Quinzani (from Duke) for the game-winner with 1.2 seconds to go on a play that was more desperation than anything else.

Still, there had to be something calming for the Cannons to know that Boyle had the ball in the final 10 seconds when a play needed to be made. And, just when it looked all the world like overtime was coming, the ball was in the net.

For the weekend, Boyle had two goals and four assists; he will become the league's career leader in assists next season.

For Boyle, it was his fourth Major League Lacrosse championship, after having won three with the Barrage. He also has won two World Championships and one NCAA title, giving him a total of seven for those three categories.

Matt Striebel, a 2001 Princeton grad, had been on Boyle's team for each of the first six of those championships, but his streak ended when he played with the Rattlers this year.

TigerBlog was wondering if there's anyone out there who can beat Boyle's records of four MLL championships and seven between the NCAA, World Championships and MLL.

He thought of Syracuse's Roy Colsey, who won two NCAA titles, three MLL titles and TB assumed a few world titles, but it turns out Colsey was only on the U.S. team in 2006, when Canada won.

No other Princeton player has won seven. Kevin Lowe and Trevor Tierney, as far as TB can figure, are the only ones other than Boyle and Striebel to have at least one of each of the three major championships.

Since no college team has won more than twice over a four-year period since Princeton won three straight from 1996-98, it would take any other player five more championships to equal Boyle. Because the U.S. lost in 2006 and didn't use MLL players in 2002, only five players have won multiple world championships since 1998 - Boyle, Striebel, Brian Dougherty, Ryan McClay and Keven Cassesse.

The three non-Princetonians on that list didn't win NCAA titles. Dougherty has won three MLL titles.

Unless TB is wrong, it looks like he's right about Boyle.

It looks like Boyle is the ultimate winner.

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