Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Event Meeting

The first email TigerBlog saw today said "no event meeting" in the subject line.

And before TB gets into that, why is it such a big deal if you have no subject line at all? Why should your iPhone give you an error message that says "no subject line; send anyway?"

Okay, back at the event meeting.

The meetings are a Tuesday at 10 staple here in the Department of Athletics. As you would surmise, the time is spent discussing the most recent events and then the ones for the coming week, making sure all the details are thought out. There is also time spent talking about larger issues that recur at our events.

TB often sits in meetings, either here with events or league-wide ones, and thinks of the Ivy League sports fans out there and wonders what they would think if they saw how the decision-making process works, what people talk about, how decisions are made.

If nothing else, fans would come to have a greater understanding that in the league, there is nothing arbitrary about how policy evolves.

At the same time, he also wonders what it would be like if those meetings included the fan perspective. Yes, there is no knowledge of the inner-workings of the league. At the same time, it's easy to get caught up in the procedural nature of Ivy administration and lose track of the view of the fan who comes to the venue or buys the videostream or listens on the radio or any of it.

This is especially true for event meetings, where the responsibility of the athletic department is to balance its own policies and staff needs with the idea of catering as much as possible to the customer. It's not always an easy balance to strike, and it has led to some serious disagreements at our meetings.

What made the email about this particular event meeting different than some others is that the text included this: "even meetings are done for the year."

It also had a bunch of exclamation points after that. TB, as an aside, does not use exclamation points. He barely uses them in his every day life, let alone in writing.

The idea that the final event meeting of 2011-12 has been held is wild to TigerBlog.

He's mentioned this often in the past, but when you work in college athletics, the calendar becomes a little different. Each month, each season, each time of year is radically different. Football season and lacrosse season are vastly different. Winter sports and different than fall sports.

The requirements for staffing and within each office vary wildly from season to season. It's one of the great parts of working in college athletics.

It also creates an atmosphere where the year just flies by.

It seems like yesterday that soccer and field hockey were starting. Now, aside from the tennis, track and field and rowing national championships, the athletic year has come and gone.

Another one.

TB used to work in the newspaper business, where the sports section was known as the "toy department." He remembers going to the athletic kickoff luncheon at Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey) each year and thinking "one more year of this and then it's time to grow up and get a real job."

That, of course, was more than a quarter-century ago.

Another athletic year has basically come and gone. The next one will be here soon enough.

Each year has its own story to it. Some teams are up one year and then the next year it's another team that puts it all together.

Princeton has won 25 Ivy titles the last two years. Of the 25, seven sports won twice and 18 won once.

There were two national championships in 2010-11 - Todd Harrity in men's squash and the women's open crew. There have been two this year to date - men's squash as a team and Jonathan Yergler individually in fencing.

It's one of the best parts about working here, how each year begins as something of a blank slate.

And then they zoom by.

Another year's event meetings have come and gone. It won't be long til we're back on D level at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays.

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