Monday, December 19, 2011

No Place Like Road For The Holidays

Apparently, somebody named Sophie won "Survivor" last night.

TigerBlog is not a fan of reality TV, mostly because it plays into something that he feels has the most ruinous effect on this country of any cultural phenomenon - and that's the glorification of fame for the sake of fame, as opposed to a by-product of some specific, unique talent.

TB has never really watched more than a minute here or there of any reality show, with the exception of about two full episodes of "The Amazing Race."

Shows like "American Idol" and "Amazing Race" and some of the others that at least pretend to revolve around talent are skill are basically harmless in nature, except that the contestants become instant celebrities.

The whole concept morphed into shows like Jersey Shore and the Kardashians and the Real Housewives franchise and some of the others that are just maddening in their concept, because these people have achieved great fame and wealth simply by having no shame at all.

This would be fine in its own little contained way, except that so many people seem to embrace the idea that they too should lose any sense of decency, all in the name of getting rich quick. Or, worse, that people with legitimate work ethic or talent or whatever are not longer seen as role models.

Anyway, congratulations to Sophie, who pocketed $1 million for, TB assumes, eating bugs and stuff like that.

TB is pretty sure that "Survivor" was the first such show, and he's also pretty sure that it was the first that came up with the idea of "voting someone off the island," or paring down the contestants one at a time until there is a winner.

So, in that respect, at least there's a sense of originality to what "Survivor" came up with. There can be no denying, not even by TigerBlog, the affect the show has had on American culture and society.

There was a time when TV shows had their finales in May, except for the summer fill-in shows, which ran until the new fall season began.

Now, TB has no idea when one show ends and another begins. In fact, there aren't too many TV shows he still watches regularly. Well, actually, there aren't any.

Hmmm. When did that happen?

Anyway, the "Survivor" finale came in late December, and now it's Dec. 19, or less than a week until Christmas. Hanukkah starts tomorrow at sundown.

Everyone's shopping done?

One present that you can't stuff in someone's stocking is a ticket to a home Princeton athletic event for the calendar year 2011.

In fact, of the more than 600 athlete events for the calendar year, there are only 10 remaining, none of which are on this campus. Or, for that matter, all that close to this campus.

The men's basketball team plays at Siena Thursday and then is in Florida for two games after Christmas. The women's basketball team plays at Santa Clara this evening and then has games at Hofstra and Drexel after Christmas.

The wrestling team is at Northwestern on Dec. 29 and 30 for a tournament. The men's hockey team is at a tournament at Minnesota Dec. 30 and 31.

And that's it for 2011.

In fact, between now and the end of exam break the last weekend of January, there are only nine home events.

For TigerBlog, this time of year used to mean traveling to a holiday men's basketball tournament before and after Christmas. Among the destinations:

* El Paso
* East Lansing, Mich.
* Ames, Iowa (twice)
* Green Bay
* Milwaukee
* Lawrence, Kansas
* Bloomington, Indiana
* New Orleans
* Champaign, Ill.
* Fresno

And oh, yea, Honolulu.

Those trips are among TB's best memories of his time working here, even with so many more cold weather destinations than warm ones. Part of the reason was of course that Princeton did so well in them.

And that TB often got free stuff from going there. In fact, he wore his ridiculously ugly multi-colored jacket from the tournament at El Paso for years. He still has one of the watches he got at Iowa State and the one he got at Hawaii.

Sadly, most of those tournaments fell victim to the new way of scheduling in college basketball. Oh well.

TB will be at two more events in 2011 - the two women's basketball games.

After that, it'll be 2012.

Which, of course, means that lacrosse can't be that far away. In fact, Christmas comes two months late this year - the men's lacrosse opener is at home against Hofstra on Feb. 25.

1 comment:

cbaxter said...

Who is at Champaign?