Monday, December 26, 2011

Take The Weekend Off

TigerBlog was right.

When Harry Bailey said “To my big brother George, the richest man in town,” TB’s eyes teared up. As they always do.

Of course, right about the time that Harry was making his toast in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the von Trapp family was winning the festival and making a getaway in “The Sound of Music.”

A few minutes after that, Marion the Librarian and Professor Hill serenaded each other with “Til There Was You,” as once again “The Music Man” ended happily.

Add those three movies together, and TB has probably seen them more than 100 times. Fortunately, TB hit most of his favorite scenes, even if they were all on at the same time.

Meanwhile, over on TBS, Ralphie was reliving his idyllic childhood in a two-hour block 12 straight times as one of the greatest programming ideas of all time played out again. If you missed it, “A Christmas Story” once again was shown 12 times in a row, something that continued throughout Christmas Day.

One of the best things about the movie itself is that it can be picked up and let off basically in any scene. Yes, the story is all tied together, but it’s not like it needs to be seen sequentially. Besides, TB suspects that most of the people who watch it aren’t exactly seeing it for the first time.

TB is pretty sure that most families vary little in their holiday traditions from year-to-year. In fact, most can probably set their watch by what they do on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day.

To that end, TB hopes that everyone enjoyed the 2011 edition of Christmas and had a great holiday weekend.

As for Princeton Athletics, it ground to a halt for Christmas, making this the only weekend other than for final exams between early September and June that there are no athletic events.

TigerBlog saw that there were some college sporting events over the weekend, though very few. There was a bowl game on Christmas Eve, and then there was a basketball tournament in Hawaii.

Beyond that, TB wasn’t sure he saw much else out there.

Princeton is actually in a seven-day break between events, which is how it should be.

For every athletic event, there’s an athletic trainer, an event manager, an athletic communications person, a coaching staff and many others who are required to be there.

It's part of the deal of working in college athletics, and to be honest, if it had been, say, Princeton's men's basketball team in the tournament in Hawaii, the Tigers would be there.

It's better this way.

The people who work at Princeton work hard, and they almost all do this far away from the spotlight. They're proud of what they do, and they'd be there in a heartbeat if they had to be.

It's just that all that's for another time. Not for this past weekend.

Just like TB knew he'd get a bit misty when Harry made his toast, he also knew the feeling he'd have when Ralphie and his family went away after their 24-hour run.

As always, TB would watch the end of the last one and see one of his favorite parts, when the duck makes its appearance on the table for the Parker family. One of TB's favorite parts is how Ralphie's parents are cracking up while the scene is playing out, as both Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon are covering their faces because they're laughing so hard.

And then it's over. And it's a bit sad.

This year, there was at least a half-hour respite before the holiday basically ended, as "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" - the cartoon, not the movie - came on.

With the end of the holiday and the beginning of the new week comes a gradual return to the pace of work. There are a handful of games coming up, and then a few more after the new year before exams.

By the end of January, the winter season will be in full swing, and it won't be long until the spring teams start. Hey, the men's lacrosse opener as now less than two months away.

All that is for another time, though. It wasn't for this weekend.

This weekend wasn't a time to work. It was a time for traditions, whether they were playing out on the TV or in real life, whether they were religious or secular, whether they were with friends and family or any combination in any form.

And they didn't need to be interrupted by games.

Most times when there's a weekend off in college athletics, it feels sort of weird.

Not this time. Nope, this wasn't weird at all. It was unique and special, something that only comes once a year, something with a special power, the kind that made the Grinch's heart grow three sizes.

It doesn't get much better than that.

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