Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Knowledge Is Good

The first R-rated movie that TigerBlog ever saw in the movies is also the funniest movie he's ever seen. Even all these years later.

Actually, TB saw a group of movies that he'd consider among the funniest of all time right in a row there. "Caddyshack." "Stripes." "Fast Times At Ridgemont High."

Years later, TB was watching "Stripes" with FatherBlog when Sergeant Hulka first gets the platoon to march. When Harold Ramis said to Bill Murray "look John, we're walking," that was the hardest that TB had ever seen Army vet FatherBlog laugh, except for all 60 minutes of Buddy Hackett's HBO special.

And TB doesn't even have that line in his top five from the movie.

It's hard to chose the single funniest line in "Caddyshack."

TB will go with "hey, Wang, this place looks restricted, so don't tell 'em you're Jewish," though you really can't go wrong with just about anything that comes out of Rodney's mouth.

The same is true of Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

There have been other comedies, before, during and after that late 70s early 80s run that TB has loved.

For pure can't-help-but-laugh, sheer-genius-who-came-up-with-this, flawless comedy value, nothing TB has ever seen has ever beaten "Animal House."

It's been a few years since TB actually watched it, and yet there it was the other day, the unedited version on one of the movie channels. And so TB watched - and had it reinforced why he thinks so much of the movie.

The characters are tremendous. The timing is perfect. Each scene stands on its own merit and then ties into the story effortlessly. 

And the lines? So many of them are classics that TB can't even begin to single out one.

What he can single out is the one person who carries the whole movie, and that is John Belushi. TB said on the day that Belushi died (March 5, 1982, at the age of 33) that he would never again watch "Saturday Night Live," and he never has, not for one second.

Faber College was the home of the Delta Tau Chis and their rivals in "Animal House." It's founder was Emil Faber, the student newspaper was "the Daily Faberian" and the college motto was "Knowledge Is Good."

The Deltas were modeled after a fraternity at Dartmouth, of all places, and the movie was actually filmed largely on the campus of the University of Oregon.

The ending of the movie shows what happened to all of the key people in the movie, including Senator and Mrs. John Blutarsky.

As a aside, TB just got an email that says that Daniel Day has been named director of news and editorial services at University communications. And here TB thought his whereabouts were unknown.

Maybe of everyone who works here, TB could have seen water polo coach Luis Nicolao as one of the Deltas.

Hey, anyone who shows up at a Princeton Varsity Club luncheon in a speedo or coaches on Halloween dressed as Batman certainly could have fit in with the Deltas. Yeah, TB could see Luis chanting "toga, toga, toga" in a fraternity basement, just after being put on double secret probation.

In reality, Nicolao is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where presumably there is no such fraternity craziness.

It's been a pretty good year for the Navy grad here with the Tigers.

In the fall, he led the men's team to the Eastern championship and the NCAA Final Four, where his team finished third. His record with the men was 22-10.

Now, this spring, the women are an even-better 28-4, bringing him to 50-14 overall.

In addition, the women's team is now the sixth seed in the NCAA tournament, earning an automatic bid by virtue of its 6-5 win over Maryland this past weekend in the Eastern tournament.

Princeton, the sixth-seed, will take on third-seeded USC next Friday at San Diego State. It'll be the first NCAA appearance for Princeton.

It's an eight-team field, and the each team will play three games.

If you've never seen water polo, it's a game that requires unbelievable strength and conditioning. Just go jump in the pool and tread water for seven minutes at a time and see how hard that is, let alone doing it with people kicking and pulling you under the water.

It's also a game of great skill and grace. And it goes very quickly.

Maybe that's why ESPNU makes it a staple of its yearly Princeton events. In fact, it was the first Princeton event on ESPNU this year, a men's water polo game.

Who knew it'd be a start of the most successful water polo year Princeton has ever had?

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