Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Sports Parade

When TigerBlog goes through the TV lineup, he usually makes stops at channel 126 (Military Channel), 181 (A&E), and 230 (Turner Classic Movies) and 231 (AMC), as well as the usual ones along the way. The last few weeks, when he's watched way more of the hockey playoffs than he usually does, he's figured out that NBC Sports is channel 90.

These days, he's looking to catch up on "Big Bang Theory," a show he was late getting into and still isn't 100% sold on, though he did laugh heartily when Raj tells his blind date that it's okay for her to wash her hands all the time but not Sheldon because "you're a dentist, and he's just nuts."

 As an aside, he's tried to get into "Mad Men," though with limited success to date.

Anyway, he saw that there was a movie called "The Sports Parade" on channel 230, so he went to the information button to see what it was about.

Turns out "The Sports Parade" is from 1932, and the description said it followed two former college football stars after their graduation as one goes in a successful direction and the other is constantly trying to get ahead.

The successful one, if TB may add, becomes a big shot in the newspaper business, specifically as the sports editor. The newspaper business as it was portrayed in 1932 bore little resemblance to the one that TB knew in the 1980s and 1990s.

What made the movie even more interesting was the fact that the two athlete/friends were Dartmouth guys. They played football, hockey and baseball actually.

There were a few scenes in the beginning that were supposed to be on Dartmouth's campus, and there was a large banner that read "DARTMOUTH" in the same block letters that TB has seen so many times when he's been in Hanover.

TB only saw the first 30 minutes of it or so, and he has no idea how it turns out. If the movie is from 1932, then the two guys played in the late 1920s or so.

TB, being somewhat along the same lines as Sheldon, immediately wondered how they did against Princeton, and the answer is - they didn't, not in football at least, as Princeton and Dartmouth did not face each other between 1916 and 1933.

At one point, the sports editor guy talks about how they'll be covering "Yale-Dartmouth at the Bowl," which is where every Yale-Dartmouth game was played back then. In fact, Yale and Dartmouth tied 0-0 in 1930 and 33-33 in 1931.

Princeton did play Dartmouth in baseball in those years, and the schools would play in hockey twice a year as well, once in Princeton and once in New York City.

Of course, Princeton and Dartmouth did not play in women's athletics back then, since Princeton would not admit women for nearly 40 more years.

Back in the present day, the NCAA women's rowing championships come to the area this weekend, as Mercer Lake is the venue. The hosts, by the way, are the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Rider (which doesn't have a rowing team, but that doesn't mean it can't be the host for the event).

Princeton is the defending first varsity 8 champion, but the overall champion is the team that wins the points championship, which puts it in direct contradiction with the way the Ivy League crowns its winner.

This year was the first time the Ivy League women's rowing championships were separate from the Eastern Sprints, and the Ivy champion for years had been recognized as the highest finished first varsity 8 boat at the Sprints. For continuity sake, the league carried that over this year.

Beginning next year, the winner of the Ivy League title gets an automatic bid to the NCAA event, but TB isn't quite sure what that means. Is it the first varsity 8 boat? The overall team winner?

Anyway, seven schools have won the NCAA women's rowing championship: Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cal, Washington, Stanford and Virginia. It's unlikely that Princeton breaks into that elite group this year, but the Tigers are coming off a fourth-place finish a year ago - and they are the highest ranked Ivy team in the final poll (sixth). The top five in the poll? Cal, Michigan, Virginia, Ohio State and Washington.

The racing begins tomorrow and runs all day, continuing all day Saturday and then wrapping up with the finals Sunday. The first varsity 8 grand final is 12:05.

Looking for something to do? Mercer Lake is in Mercer County Park, about 10 minutes from Princeton's campus.

No comments: