Friday, December 30, 2011

Here's To 2012

TigerBlog left Princeton at 12:30 for the trip to Hofstra for women’s basketball yesterday, and as he did, he remembered the always-sage words of Harvey Yavener:
“I have no idea how long it takes to get to Hofstra. It can take an hour; it can take nine hours.”

Driving to Long Island is never any fun. The ride yesterday was more brutal than most, and featured all of the following:

* two wide-load trucks on Route 1 that made getting around them impossible
* a 20-minute delay at the Outerbridge Crossing
* a long line of cars waiting to exit onto the Belt Parkway off the Verrazano Bridge
* an accident on the side of the Belt near Kennedy Airport
* two cars in the left and center lanes of the Southern State driving 40 mph

By the time TB reached the Hempstead Turnpike, three hours had passed. And he had a clearer understanding of what road rage is all about, not to mention the lingering question of how people deal with that stuff every day.

The trip to Hofstra was TB’s second to Long Island of 2011, which also included one trip into Manhattan. As years go, that’s not that too bad.

The women’s game at Hofstra was the second-to-last for TB as far as Princeton Athletics goes, with only a New Year’s Eve game tomorrow afternoon at Drexel.

As he has done each of the last three years, TB spoke to his colleague Craig Sachson for the annual year-end Princeton Athletics podcast. The talk lasted about an hour, and Craig turned it into Part I and Part II.

Rather than rehash what happened in 2011, TB would rather focus on a new wrinkle that Sachson threw at him.

Somewhere near the end, Sachson asked TB what he’d like to see in Princeton Athletics in 2012.

As an aside, the world is supposed to end in 2012, correct?

Anyway, TB was caught very off guard by Sachson’s question.

Obviously, TB would like to see every Princeton team go undefeated and win a championship. Obviously, that’s not going to happen.

So, keeping in mind that he couldn’t mention all 38 teams, TB came up with among his answers:

* a return to the NCAA tournament and maybe a nice postseason run by the men’s lacrosse team. If ever a team deserves a bounceback season, it’s Princeton, after the injury-destroyed 2011 season and the great personal tragedy with the passing of head coach Chris Bates’ wife Ann, an event that touched every member of the program. Princeton has a great nucleus for the spring, led by preseason All-Americas Tyler Fiorito (G), Chad Wiedmaier (D), John Cunningham (LSM) and Tom Schreiber (M).

* a return to the NCAA tournament for the women’s basketball team, and perhaps the right matchup to get a win. Princeton has played a very tough schedule (one RPI ranking has Princeton’s strength of schedule at sixth in Division I), but it’s the Ivy League season that will determine if Princeton plays in the tournament for the third straight year.

* postseason for Mitch Henderson in his first year as Princeton men’s basketball coach

* an NCAA steeplechase championship and spot on the United States Olympic team for Donn Cabral

* championships – Ivy and otherwise – in squash. It’d be awesome to see Princeton knock off Trinity on the men’s side

* a soccer resurgence next fall, after a down year for both the men and women in 2011

* the beginning of the upswing for Princeton football. Yes, the Tigers suffered through consecutive 1-9 seasons, but there is a huge foundation piece in place with running back Chuck Dibilio. It should be interesting to see what happens at the quarterback position, but there are reasons to be optimistic for Princeton football.

* continued success to all of Princeton's ultra-successful teams, without ever taking that success for granted

And for all that, none of that was the first thing that came to TB's mind when Sachson asked him the question. Nope, for whatever reason, TB came up with something else.

He wished the sprint football team a win. Just one. Nothing greedy.

Hey, who deserves it more? It's tough being a team that knows that everything has to go exactly right to keep them in a game, and winning one has eluded them for so long. Their coach, Stephen Everette, oozes optimism.

It'd be nice to see it all rewarded.

So happy new year to everyone, Tiger fans and Tiger haters alike.

May the new year be filled with nothing but happiness for everyone.

And may the world not end.


Anonymous said...

I second all your wishes for 2012 but I think you might have added one more, which isn't unrealistic at all. Your wish list might have included a National Championship for Princeton's field hockey team, which will have 4 players rejoining it from the US National Team (in fact 4 of the only 7 underclassmen on the National Team roster) as well as 3 First Team All-Region and All-Ivy returning players.

WOW Gold said...

2012 is not the end of the world, we have a lot of hope not implemented, and everyone together come on, believe that you believe in yourself.