Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What A Twit

If TigerBlog had to pick a city to go to that he's never been to before, he might pick London.

Or maybe Pittsburgh, if for no other reason than to get one of those sandwiches were they put the french fries right on top, the sandwiches that anyone who has ever lived in Pittsburgh swears by.

Or London.

TB has always wanted to go there, and the early days of the 2012 Summer Olympics have done nothing to change his mind. The city has been by far the biggest winner to date, with one extraordinary view after another, all capturing the history, charm and vitality of one of the world's most famous municipalities.

Too bad it's in the worst possible time zone for American television, sitting five hours ahead of the Eastern part of the United States.

TigerBlog isn't quite ready to excuse NBC's coverage, which hasn't exactly been good. Still, he's not going to pile on everyone who is complaining about the showing of tape-delayed events in primetime.

Obviously, it's incredibly easy to find out who won the event that NBC is saving for its primetime slots. And obviously nobody really wants to watch events when they know how they end.

Then again, what exactly is NBC supposed to do?

If it televises the events live, then they'd be on in the morning and afternoon. What would they show at night? TB loved the World Cup, with live games at 7 and 9:30 am and sometimes 2:30 in the afternoon, but there was no pretense of having hours and hours of programming during the evening hours.

And it's not like the Olympics in China four years ago, when events could be contested live in the morning in Beijing and have them be live in the United States.

What would you do if you were in charge of NBC's Olympic coverage? 

You want to draw audiences as large as possible, which means primetime, but you have not one second of live events to show during those time slots, which are after midnight in London.

What would you do? Show the events live and then again in primetime? Show them live and then do highlights/features and such in primetime? That'd be tough to do, considering the sheer amount of hours you'd have to fill.

Maybe NBC should show things like swimming, track and field and gymnastics live during the day and then show highlights of those, along with all of the other sports (like team handball, fencing, canoeing and all the cool stuff that people don't usually get to see), at night.

 Or maybe NBC doesn't care, because, as TB read somewhere, much of its audience in primetime is made up of people who don't usually watch sports.

TB's biggest problem with NBC - other than that the beach volleyball announcers insist on calling them "Misty" and "Kerry" instead of their last names, something that comes across as amateurish cheerleading and makes TB want to scream - is the continued over-presentation of all things American, coupled with the usual amount of overcome tragedy and blurring of the line between covering sports and fabricating entertainment sprinkled in.

Okay, we get it. The gymnast girl is crying. Every one move along.

It seems that televising the Olympics should be so simple. Show the events. Show the host city. Show Kobe Bryant at the women's volleyball match. So easy. It doesn't have to be overdone, over-hyped.

Anyway, NBC has been crucified on Twitter, which is where TB has gotten the majority of his Olympic results, updates and commentary. Some of it has been hilarious.

The other side of Twitter is the Greek triple-jumper who got bumped from competing because of something she tweeted just before the Games began.

TB saw it and isn't really commenting on whether or not it was racist. Whatever it was, it certainly wasn't very smart of her to say.

The question is more about whether or not the punishment was fitting.

TB's biggest problem with disciplining athletes for comments they make is that it's not clear where the line is and who gets to say what is okay and what is not okay. You - triple jumper - you're out. You - guy who said something offensive but not quite exactly as offensive? You can stay.

TB struggles with that. In his mind, everyone - including athletes - have the right to be jerks if they so choose.

The incident sparked a discussion here about what responsibility athletes in general have to be role models, per se, and whether or not they should be penalized for saying/tweeting offensive things - for being jerks.

TB says no.

And what about Princeton athletes? Should the same logic apply to them?

If they want to be jerks and tweet offensive things, do they forfeit their right to compete here? Should they?

TB understands that if a Princeton athlete went on Twitter and said something clearly racist or homophobic or such that there would be ramifications.

Should there be?

Well, in a practical way, it'd be hard for that person to fit into a stable team culture in the face of something like that.

But again, TB struggles with the idea of what's acceptable and what isn't, who decides what's too offensive, what can be dismissed as humor and what can't be. What if it's not racist or homophobic but is critical of the coach? What if it's laced with f bombs?

Who decides?

Fortunately, that hasn't happened here.

Hopefully it won't.

Just because TB thinks people have the right to be jerks doesn't mean he wants them to exercise that right.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Tad Overstated

Perhaps TigerBlog's favorite scene from "The Sopranos" was the one where Sylvio and Christopher go to Rhode Island and meet with Lou DiMaggio and his gang.

Sylvio and Christopher were there to solicit, uh, services from the DiMaggio gang, who offered to recreate a previously executed, uh, formula for such services.

When the two New Jersey guys heard what the gang had done, Sylvio shook his head and said: "I don't think we need anything quite that overstated."

TigerBlog is no fan of the overstated. Understated is a much better way to go.

With that in mind, then it's obvious that TB was appalled by the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games.

How could he not be?

The show lasted more than four hours and cost $70 kajillion dollars to produce.

Well, maybe not quite that much. Still, at a time when so many people in the world and in Europe specifically are struggling, whose idea was it to write the blank check for the ceremonies?

And that wasn't even the part that turned off TB.

Yes, the part with James Bond and the Queen was funny. The rest of it was just so, so overstated, overdone, over-the-top.

Except the parade of the athletes. And, even though he's just turned 70, Paul McCartney still made "Hey Jude" count when he sang it at the end.

And of course the torch-lighting ceremony sent chills down the spine of even the most cynical people who saw it.

The rest was so unnecessarily ridiculous that who could possibly be entertained by it.

Were TB in charge, he would have had the entire thing done in half the time. In fact, the formula should be basically something like this:

* some musical selection from the host country's most famous act

* Parade of Athletes - this looked like about the greatest party any of these athletes will ever attend; TB can't even begin to imagine the coolness factor that comes out of that

* some speaking role for some of the highest-profile former Olympians from the host country

* torch-lighting

* another musical selection

* go home

The real lure of watching the 2012 Opening Ceremonies was to see if any Princeton athletes would be seen.

Steve Dolan, Princeton's cross country coach, told steeplechaser Donn Cabral to stand near Kobe Bryant or Michael Phelps to ensure he'd be on TV. As it turned out, it wasn't necessary, as Cabral was seen outside the stadium as the U.S. team began to assemble.

And the Reinprecht sisters were also seen, with the rest of the field hockey team, swaying to "Hey Jude."

TigerBlog had basically nothing else to do this weekend, so he watched a lot of Olympics coverage.

He saw the Reinprects and the Americans play on the blue field while falling to Germany 2-1 in their first game.

He didn't see any of the rowing, but Princeton got off to a great start. It's looking very likely that there will be Tigers who come away with medals.

What TB loves about the Olympics is seeing events that he ordinarily wouldn't. For some reason, he found the long road cycling races fascinating, possibly because they could race for five hours and then have about a minute separate first from last.

He loves team handball, though the sport wasn't on as much as the TV listings said it would be.

He's never been a huge fan of gymnastics, though he does remember in 1984 when he and four male friends cheered wildly at an Olympic-watching party when the Romanian girl fell, giving the U.S. the gold medal. The women in the room, by the way, all sighed and said how sad that it was.

He doesn't need Olympic tennis. The beach volleyball isn't his favorite either.

He liked the archery. The equestrian dressage? He didn't get that at all. Where's the athleticism?

He followed the women's skeet shooting after seeing the interview with the incredibly happy Kimberly Rhode, who medaled for the fifth straight Olympics and won her third gold after hitting 99 of 100 targets. The silver medalist hit 91.

The ping-pong was okay. The badminton was really cool. So was the fencing.

He also watched some of "Goodfellas" and "West Side Story," not to mention the episode of "Criminal Minds" where it all comes to a head with Hotchner and the Reaper and a few "Big Bang Theory" episodes.

So it wasn't all Olympics all the time, but it was more Olympics than anything else.

The Opening Ceremonies might not have held his attention, but the beginning of the Games themselves certainly did.

Friday, July 27, 2012

In Memory Of The 11

TigerBlog remembers the morning in 1972 when the news broke from Munich that terrorists had taken Olympic athletes hostage.

At first, TB thought they had said the Australian athletes, which he couldn't figure out. Then he heard it again: It was the Israeli delegation.

As you know by now, 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were killed that night in Munich, after a disastrous attempt by the West German police to rescue them from their Arab captors.

TigerBlog has read a great deal about the Munich Massacre, about the heroism of wrestling coach Moishe Weinberg as he held back the terrorists for as long as he could to enable others to escape, about how the International Olympic Committee insisted on continuing the Games after the incident.

And now it is 40 years later, and the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics will be held tonight, without a moment of silence in memory of the slain Israelis. To that, TB says this: A moment of silence would be an insult to their memory.

No, what would be appropriate is a long commemoration, with a permanent monument to them at these Games, with an acknowledgement that the IOC has been negligent through the years in honoring the athletes and coaches who came to Munich in 1972 to compete in peace. Any nation that objects should be expelled from the Games.

That would be a proper way to remember the 11 who died. A moment of silence at the Opening Ceremonies wouldn't cut it.

It's not the right time for such a remembrance, especially one that wouldn't be respected by many of the countries who will be there.

The Opening Ceremonies are a time for festivity. For most of the athletes, TB assumes that the Opening Ceremonies will be their No. 1 memory of their Olympic experience, especially those who know they have no chance to come home with a medal.

But to walk into the Olympic stadium dressed in your country's uniform, alongside all of the other athletes from all of the other countries? TB can't imagine the pride, the excitement, the awe, the life-affirming euphoria of that moment.

Think about it. For so many of those who are competing, the Olympic Games have been a goal for years and years, requiring so much sacrifice and commitment. The sense of validation that must come from being part of the Opening Ceremonies has to be unthinkable.

Oh, and while we're talking about the Opening Ceremonies, TB thought that it was pretty disingenuous of so many members of Congress to talk about their utter contempt that the U.S. uniforms were made in China. Instead of complaining, maybe they should ask themselves why they're made in China.

Princeton's Olympic contingent consists of 16 athletes, which is five more than, say, Costa Rica's 11. In fact, 103 countries will be sending fewer than 10 athletes to the Games.

Diana Matheson has already played one Olympic game in women's soccer.

By the end of the weekend, 11 Princeton athletes will have competed.

Princeton's official athletics website, goprincetontigers.com, will have a daily update on each athlete who will be competing and their results.

Hopefully, the London Games will go off without any hint of a repeat of what happened in 1972 to the Israelis. Hopefully, these Games will be peaceful, a reminder of how athletics can bring the world together in a positive fashion like no other single endeavor.

Still, it won't change what happened on that September day in Munich 40 years ago. The 11 who were killed should be honored, in an appropriate way, respectful and dignified way.

Here are their names:

David Berger (weightlifting)
Ze'ev Friedman (weightlifting)
Yossef Gutfreund (wrestling referee)
Eliezer Halfin (wrestling)
Yossef Romano (weightlifting)
Amitzur Shapira (track and field coach)
Kehat Shorr (shooting coach)
Mark Slavin (wrestling)
Andre Spitzer (fencing coach)
Yakov Springer (weightlifting referee)
Moshe Weinberg (wrestling coach)

Yakov Springer had participated in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and survived the Holocaust.

The average age of the athletes was 26 years old.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Meeting Billy

The two words that do the most to mess up TigerBlog's workout schedule are these: squash camp.

Each summer, the courts in Jadwin that are usually wide open all day find themselves occupied during squash camp, which runs for something around six weeks or so.

The only chance to play during the day is when the campers go to lunch, which is usually around 12:30. On a normal non-camp day, TB will play sometime in the morning, rather than waiting until 12:30 or even later.

The other problem is that the courts get marked up with tape for the purposes of camp drills. Court 9, the court that TB prefers, also has a blue-taped face that has been put on the outside of the glass, so that the face is looking back into the court in a somewhat freaky manner.

Sometimes, TB will be walking down to the courts to play as the kids are leaving to go to lunch.

They're young kids, obviously, some in high school and some who appear to be younger than that. TB always has the same thought - how many of these kids could he beat.

Yesterday's match began after the kids went to lunch, and it turned into a marathon. TB lost, but he doesn't feel too badly about it, since he played fairly well, held off three match balls and sweated a lot.

The last point was a great one. TB had led 8-7 in the last game before he committed the fatal mistake of a service error, but he rallied from 10-8 down to make it 10-10 and then held off another chance at 11-10.

When it got to 12-11, the last point was an epic one in which TB four times chased down balls that he thought he had no chance at, including his last shot, which was a drive deep into the back corner that TB barely got.

Sadly, all that return earned him was the right to see an easy put away at the front wall to end it. Now that's a frustrating sight.

When the match was over, TB and Craig Sachson, his OAC contact and squash partner, sat down to talk to the man who had been playing on Court 10 against Emily Goodfellow, a 12-letterwinner during her Princeton athletic career.

As it turns out, the man was Billy Pate, Princeton's new men's tennis coach. TB had never met him before.

 Pate comes to Princeton from Alabama, where he coached the Crimson Tide for 10 years. If you didn't know he was from the Deep South, then you could figured it out with the first words that came out of his mouth.

Pate told TB and Sachson the story about how his home in Alabama was destroyed by tornadoes, and how a picture of him and his grandmother had been found 70 miles away after the storm - and then returned.

He talked about making the adjustment to living in Princeton, how much he's always liked the Northeast, his strong relationship with Glenn Michibata, his wildly popular predecessor.

Mostly, he showed himself to be a nice guy, one who seemed genuinely interested in meeting the rest of the people who work at Princeton and becoming part of the Princeton Athletics community.

Plus, he plays squash.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Let The Games Begin

TigerBlog asked TigerBlog Jr. the following question: If you could go to any sporting event in the world, what would it be.

His answer? The Super Bowl. Or the Duel in Denver.

For those who don't know, the Duel in Denver is a rematch of the 2010 World Lacrosse Championship final between the United States and Canada, to be held in Denver in September.

So, let's stick with the first part of his answer.

The Super Bowl.

What would it be for you?

Super Bowl? World Series? NCAA basketball Final Four?

The more TigerBlog thought about it, were he able to attend any single sporting event in the world, he'd probably choose the World Cup.

His answer makes him chuckle, because it wasn't that long ago that international soccer bored him. The last two World Cups, though, have been great television, and TB's experience at the Costa Rica-El Salvador World Cup qualifier last month has only heightened his interest.

TB was overwhelmed by the sheer level of fervor among the two fan bases at that game, and at that moment, he realized why the U.S. doesn't compete at the top level in the sport. It's not a talent issue; it's that the country simply doesn't care nearly as much as its competitors, and that makes it hard to win.

When the list of sporting events that sports fans would love to attend is made, the Olympics of course would be part of it as well.

TB has never really had that much interest in attending the Olympics. If not for the World Cup, then TB would put the Super Bowl second.

The Olympics, as you might have heard, start this weekend in London.

TB was a big Olympics fans as a kid, went through a phase where he didn't really care much about them and now has reached the level where he's back to tuning in.

He has three main problems with the Olympics, the first of which is shared by millions of others. The TV coverage at times can be a tad overdone with the glorification of the athletes and the need to paint as many as possible as having overcome terrible adversity. Some have; most haven't.

Then there's the jingoism of the Games. Why should TigerBlog blindly root for every American athlete just because he's an American? What if the American is a jerk and the Canadian is nice? What if the Americans are huge favorites, like in basketball, and the underdog is making a serious run?

Lastly, TB struggles with how much he feels badly for the people who finish fourth.

Princeton has had at least one athlete at every Summer Olympiad except for the 1960 games in Rome.

The 2012 London Games will feature 16 current or former Princeton athletes, which is the largest contingent the school has produced.

The group of 16 is split between field hockey, rowing, track and field, soccer and fencing.

If you're looking for your jingoistic dilemma, are you going to root for the Americans or Canadians in the women's 8, given that the American boat has one Princeton alum (Caroline Lind) and the Canadian boat has two (Andreanne Morin and Lauren Wilkinson)?

You can apply the same logic, by the way, to women's soccer, where Princeton alum Diana Matheson plays for the Canadians.

Then there's the Australian men's rowers, who will be coached by former Princeton coach Curtis Jordan.

The U.S. field hockey run will be interesting to watch, after the Americans qualified for the games after defeating Argentina, who has as good a chance of winning it all as anyone.

And of course, every Princeton alum and fan will be checking in to see if Donn Cabral can make it to the final in the steeplechase.

Tune in. To Cabral, the Princetonians and everyone else.

It's not quite the World Cup, but the Olympics are fine too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

That's 133

TigerBlog needed more than seven hours to get from Princeton to Amherst, Mass., this past Friday. It's a ride that should take less than four.

He then spent his weekend surrounded by a group of people who also trudged through heavy rain and traffic and took seven, eight, nine hours to get to Amherst. As the weekend progressed, it became more and more obvious that the entire group had become obsessed with finding the best possible route back to avoid a repeat of the traffic nightmare.

Should it be 91 to 90 to 87 to 287? Maybe 91 to 84 to 684? Maybe 91 to 95? No way. Nobody would want to go on 95 in Connecticut if they didn't have absolutely have to, right?

TB's own route was 91 to the Merritt Parkway to the Hutchinson River Parkway to the Cross County to the Saw Mill to the Henry Hudson and then down to the George Washington Bridge, and he guaranteed that anyone who went that way would not run into traffic. As it turned out, he was right.

After awhile, TB refused to talk anymore about possible driving routes, figuring it would all take care of itself. As he heard more and more talk about how to get back - including various printouts off of mapquest.com - he couldn't help but laugh at it all.

TB has driven on 91 hundreds of times, back and forth to Dartmouth. For all of those times, he'd never gotten off at the exit that goes to Amherst, and he'd never been on the UMass campus before.

It's an interesting town, Amherst, with a road that leads in that is sort of like Route 1, with strip malls and fast food places and the requisite Target/Best Buy/Home Depot area. After that is the UMass campus itself, followed by a small road that goes up a hill into downtown Amherst, which is what you'd expect from a New England town famous for its liberal arts college.

And speaking of Amherst College, TB went on that campus as well, lured in by a sign that said "Power Squash," which turned out to be the name of a camp and not a new form of extreme squash played on ice or something.

The contrast between the sprawling UMass campus and the pristine town center and equally pristine Amherst College is somewhat fascinating, especially since they're all essentially on the same street. TB can't help but wonder what the dynamic is during the school year, with one having a 1,700 student population and 11% acceptance rate and the other with 27,000 students and a 66% acceptance rate.

Amherst isn't that far from the Western Massachusetts town of Gill, another place that TB has never been. He does know a family from Gill, though, and one of them set an interesting record this past weekend.

Matt Striebel, who played soccer and lacrosse at Princeton before graduating with two NCAA championship rings in 2001, had two goals and two assists as the Rochester Rattlers defeated the Charlotte Hounds 14-5 Saturday night.

The greater significance is that it was the 133rd Major League Lacrosse game for Striebel, which is the league record. In American professional outdoor lacrosse, no player has played in more games than Striebel.

Part of his record comes from the fact that he had the good fortune to be starting his professional career at the same time that MLL was beginning.

And while Striebel isn't the greatest player in MLL history, he is way up there on the list. Way further up there than anyone might have imagined back in 2001.

Striebel was an All-America at Princeton, but he clearly became a much better player as he moved into his 20s and 30s. His career now is reaching its end, but he is still among the elite midfielders in the world.

It took TB about five seconds of being around Striebel to realize that he is one of the most personable, outgoing, funny, happy people on the planet.

It took him a little longer to figure out how great a player he is.

Often, when a player holds the record for games played, it's because he was able to hang on longer than anyone else.

In Striebel's case, his resume includes NCAA championships, MLL championships, World Championships, MLL all-star games, goals, assists - all of it.

His record of games played is significant, but that's not what ultimately will define his career.

No, Matt Striebel's legacy will be as one of the greatest American lacrosse players of all time.

Monday, July 23, 2012

On Integration

TigerBlog and Anthony Archbald, Princeton's affable compliance director, often have conversations about big-picture items in college athletics and ultimately figure out what each would do in each given situation.

The conversation usually wraps up with something along the lines of when Anthony and TB "run the NCAA."

One of those discussions was last week, and it involved what each would do in the current nightmare that is Penn State football were Archbald or TB in fact president of the NCAA.

TB said he would do nothing. Let the legal situation play itself out completely, and those who deserved to be punished would be.

Besides, TB thought, what good would it do to hammer Penn State now? The main culprit is going to prison forever. The one who led the cover-up is dead, and his legacy destroyed forever. The rest of those who went along with the cover-up, all in the name of protecting a football program, are in legal hot water now.

The University itself will have to pay out huge sums of money to the victims. Those who are responsible for the University's administration now seem to realize the seriousness of what happened there and what their charge is moving forward.

No current coach was part of the staff under Joe Paterno. The players themselves certainly have nothing to do with what happened.

Shutting down the program would punish the name Penn State, but it would also punish local businesses, restaurants, workers and the others who all rely on the income that bringing 100,000 people to that small Central Pennsylvania town means.

Then TB listened to Mark Emmert this morning as the NCAA president announced the penalties that in fact have been levied against the Nittany Lions, and they are severe.

They're aimed at crippling the competitiveness of the program for the foreseeable future without having the sweeping brush of shutting it all down. And they probably will work.

A $60 million fine? Huge scholarship losses? Four-year bowl ban? The ability for all current players to transfer and be eligible immediately?

Penn State is going to seriously struggle to put a quality football team on the field.

And he also came down hard on Paterno and his family (who needs to stop talking and just try to figure out a way to salvage any part of his good name possible, rather than sound like people in denial who are trying to frame him as the victim) by vacating 111 wins from 1998-2011, thereby dropped him way down the list of coaches with the most career wins.

Then Emmert spoke about the real reasons behind the sanctions.

The goal, he said, is to take a step in the direction of integrating athletic programs - especially huge football programs - more fully with, as is often said at Princeton, the overall educational mission of the institution.

And this is where it becomes really interesting.

Honestly, listening to Emmert there, TB couldn't help but realize that he was saying words that he'd heard from Princeton Director of Athletics Gary Walters almost on a daily basis for the last two decades.

Emmert talked about values, about staying true to what the core mission of an institution should be, on being integrated with the rest of the University. He talked about not allowing the football coach to become all powerful, to not allowing a coach to become the most powerful person on the campus, to accrue so much power and "hero worship" - Emmert's words - that the need to protect that status becomes all consuming.

In most cases, this leads to breaking NCAA rules to stay successful or to taking chances on athletes who probably have no business being on college campuses. In the Penn State case, it led to a 13-year (or more) cover-up of child molestation all in the name of maintaining the status quo for the football coach and University name.

After this morning, there's no question that Penn State football will be forced to achieve this integration, since every move the school makes will be scrutinized and reported to the NCAA.

TB's question is whether or not Penn State's sanctions will have the desired effect across college athletics.

Will this make a difference at Alabama, at South Carolina, at Ohio State, at Texas, at any of them? Will Emmert be able to spearhead a change in the very culture that allowed people like Joe Paterno to become so powerful in the first place?

The athletic landscape is filled with do-no-wrong, highly powerful football - and to a lesser extent  basketball - coaches. They make obscene amounts of money compared to anyone else at the school, and with the money and power comes a thirst not to let it get away.

Will the sanctions on Penn State cause anyone to think twice?

If Emmert wants real change, then rules would have to be implemented that prohibit coaches from achieving that level of power and monetary reward. Such reform would have to come from University presidents, not from the NCAA itself.

Is it possible?

Well, you can answer that question in a few weeks, when stadiums across the South and Midwest and West and everywhere else bulge with capacity crowds every Saturday who watch college football and who are the ones who pump up the coaches to the status they achieve.

You can answer that when you read a story that shows Pitt is simply writing a $7 million check to go from the Big East to the ACC.

You can answer that the next time football's largesse is justified in the name of financing the rest of the athletic department.

You can answer that the next time you see someone wearing an Auburn or Florida or Oregon sweatshirt and know that it's celebrating athletics and not academics.

In the meantime, TB will once again consider himself lucky that he works at a place that already has achieved every single broad, idealistic goal that Emmert talked about this morning.

If the tradeoff for that is empty seats in a 27,800 seat stadium, well, that's just fine with TB.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Annual Report

The last Princeton game of the 2011-12 academic year was held on May 13, when the men's lacrosse team lost to Virginia in the NCAA tournament.

The first games of the 2012-13 academic year will be on August 31, when the men's soccer team, women's soccer team, field hockey and women's volleyball teams all start their seasons.

That's a span of 109 days, which means the 55th day would be the halfway point between the end of  games from last year and the start of games for next year. That would have been July 8th.

If you go by the absolute last day of competition from 2011-12, then that would have been the NCAA track and field championships on June 9.

Going by that, then the halfway point between the actual end of last year and the start of next year is tomorrow, July 21.

Today, of course, is July 20, which happens to be the anniversary of the day man first walked on the moon, something that happened 43 years ago today. In TigerBlog's opinion, no other accomplishment in the history of mankind measures up.

Anyway, since we're essentially halfway between last year and next year, it's only fitting that the 2011-12 annual report is off of TB's to-do list.

Each year, the OAC puts together its section of the annual report, which TB assumes goes to the University president and trustees and other high-ranking members of the administration, though he's not really sure who actually reads it all.

Perhaps he can do what a friend of his did in college, which is to put the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner in the middle of a paper to see if the professor noticed, which legend has it at least, he did not.

The annual report includes all kinds of information on the Department of Athletics, including items like number of recreation permits sold, who won the intramural championships, how the club teams did and such.

The OAC part is mostly a compilation of information from the previous year as it relates to athletic success.

There is a two-sentence summary of each of the 38 varsity sports, taking time not to mention any specific athlete's name so as to not leave anyone out.

There is the record of each team against each Ivy opponent, as well as the cumulative record against each Ivy opponent. There's a listing of where each team finished in its league, its overall record, its league record.

There's the overall record of every team combined.

And of course the Ivy League all-sports points standings. Unofficial, of course.

Added all up, Princeton played 619 games in the 2011-12 season and had an overall record of 357-248-14. That's a winning percentage just below 59%.

By gender, the women went 181-115-5, while the men were 176-133-9.

The most successful season was the winter, when Princeton went 157-75-11.

Any year where a school's teams win nearly 60% of their games is a good one. The fact that it doesn't stand out shows the remarkable level of consistency that Princeton's overall program has maintained.

 At the same time, as they say, past performance does not guarantee future earnings.

In this case, every year is its own challenge. Each year has its own highs and lows, and there is nothing etched in stone for the next one.

The annual report is a last time to look back at the year just completed.

So is the halfway point between that year and the next one. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

And It All Started With A Big Bang

TigerBlog was relatively late getting on the bandwagon for "The Big Bang Theory."

In fact, he hadn't watched the show at all until maybe two or three months ago, and yet he figures he's seen most of the episodes by now.

Obviously, he likes the show, or he would have given up on it long ago. The characters are pretty solid, and they find themselves in some funny situations.

What separates the show is that it is extraordinary in two areas that are often neglected these days: writing and acting.

In a world where reality TV and shows with the hottest actors and actresses who continually read trite, contrived and ridiculous lines, a show like "The Big Bang Theory" stands out largely because it is the antithesis of that. The writing is outstanding, and the way it is delivered by the cast makes it shine even more so.

TB's favorite character on the show is Amy Farrah Fowler, played by Mayim Bialik, who obviously was Blossom on NBC long ago. Her delivery alone makes her character a classic; the words she says just enhances that status.

In truth, they're all great characters. And the concept is a great one - hot normal woman who lives across the hall from scientific super-geniuses, especially Sheldon, who is completely lacking in normal social interaction, which, as an aside, could be one of the reasons TB likes him so much.

Yes, the characters are sometimes over-the-top caricatures, and the nerdy aspect can be overdone a little.

And if anything, TB has a harder time believing that Leonard would be friends with Sheldon, Raj and Howard more than he does that Penny would go out with him. Leonard is too socially well-adjusted to be content with the video games and comic books that the other three favor, and at the very least, he'd never subject himself to the roommate agreement.

Aside from that, the show is great.

TB started DVRing all of the episodes that were on on any given night, which meant he could catch up pretty quickly. Because of how Leonard and Penny's relationship is on-again, off-again, it makes it a little tough to figure out where in the timeline the show is, but other than that, it's been a fast way to get through all of the back episodes.

His favorite episode is probably the one where Penny falls in the shower and Sheldon has to take her to the hospital, with the subplot of the accidentally stoned Leonard, Raj and Howard - "cause of accident: lack of adhesive ducks."

Leonard is considered to be a Princeton graduate, though TB isn't sure which class.

Leonard doesn't pretend to know much about sports, even once suggesting that he wasn't sure if the Dodgers played baseball. What are the odds that Leonard went to at least one game during his four years at Princeton?

It's a question that actually got TB to wondering about the undergraduates at Princeton.

During his time at Penn, TB went to see football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball,  men's lacrosse (once, the first game he ever saw), lightweight football (his friend Larry Harding was on the team) and men's volleyball (ditto Stephen Ehrlich). He can't remember ever going to see any other sport.

And TB is obviously a huge sports fan.

Maybe he would have gone to see some others had he not been covering high school games for the newspaper at the time, but it's more likely he would have gone to more of the sports he'd already seen.

And what does that say about attracting Princeton students to events?

Question No. 1 - What percentage of Princeton undergrads never go to a varsity athletic event in their four years? Thoughts? TB has no idea of how to figure that out.

Question No. 2 - How many students go to an event simply because a friend is playing, rather than out of genuine interest in the game?

Question No. 3 - How many students go to football, basketball, hockey or lacrosse (the ticketed events, though they're all free for students) but never go to any other events in their four years?

Question No. 4 - How many students have come to a big game in any sport because of the significance 

Student attendance has always been a big issue around here, and yet it's hard to really move the needle because of how small the undergraduate population is.

If you get 10% of the students to come to a football game, that's still fewer than 500 students. How much would you even notice an increase of 10% over that?

As with much of Princeton's athletic marketing, it's hard to say what works and what doesn't work when it comes to student attendance.

If he had to guess, TB would say that what attracts students most are: 1) free food, 2) a huge event (NCAA tournament, Ivy playoff, national championship) and 3) seeing their friends.

Maybe that's unchangeable.

In the meantime, TB is stuck on his first question.

Do students really go four years and never attend a varsity athletic event?

knock, knock, knock Leonard?

knock, knock, knock Leonard?

knock, knock, knock Leonard?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rocket Man

In all of American professional sports, there is no team easier to root for than the New York Giants, who just happen to have won two of the last four Super Bowls.

This works out well for TigerBlog, who is a lifelong Giants' fan.

The team has a long tradition of success, though with enough heartbreak mixed in to make the successes seem even more special. They have been owned by the same family since the franchise began in 1925, and the owners aren't the kind who show up on TV every five seconds and come across as attention starved narcissists.

The players on the team seem to be nice enough, for the most part, at least by professional athlete standards. Their uniforms are nice and simple and aren't changed year-to-year to maximize each possible merchandising dollar.

Oh, TB is sure there are people out there who find a way to root against the Giants, and he gets it. He just feels like any objective look at the team gives it an A+.

On the other end of the grading scale is the other team that TB grew up rooting for, the New York Knicks.

Unlike the Giants, the Knicks are completely dysfunctional, and no objective person would ever consider rooting for them. Also unlike the Giants, it starts at the top, where owner James Dolan makes the team unworthy of any fan's interest, let alone money.

In the last 10 years or so, they've had exactly two moments when they were rootable, if that's a word.

The first was when they had A'mare Stoudamire, Raymond Felton, Danillo Gallinari, Landry Fields and that group two years ago, until they traded away Felton, Gallinari and Wilson Chandler to get Carmelo Anthony.

The second was the Linsanity era last season, an era during which Lin lifted the Knicks out of the swamp that they were and turned them into a can't-miss, can't-root-hard-enough-for event, an era that ended for good last night when the Knicks did not match the offer sheet Jeremy Lin signed with the Rockets.

Instead of giving Lin $25 million, the Knicks gave the reacquired Felton and Jason Kidd $27 million.

None of this is a basketball decision. It's all about how Anthony - and others, including J.R. Smith - didn't want Lin back. Were TB cynical, he'd suggest that Anthony simply wants to get his shots and points and doesn't care about the team at all. Were he even more cynical, he'd suggest that the real issue is jealousy over the attention that Lin generated.

Anyway, there is the real possibility that Lin was a flash in the pan and that he'll never match the level of play that he had when he took over the entire sports world last season. It's possible that he'll be a decent player but hardly an all-star.

None of that really matters.

If you're the Knicks, you've taken a fan base that has been forced to endure me-first big-name star players who haven't done one thing to help the team win and that fell completely in love with Jeremy Lin and then let him walk away.

TigerBlog can't understand how anybody could buy Knicks' tickets or watch the team or do any of that as long as Dolan is the owner, which, by the way, he'll be forever.

TB isn't ready to switch allegiances to the Brooklyn Nets - but he is willing to go check out the new arena in Brooklyn on Dec. 15, when Princeton plays Fordham and Michigan plays West Virginia as part of the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival.

Princeton's men's basketball schedule for 2012-13 is almost complete. There are still some details to work out, and there are some TV games that will impact the final dates.

TB thinks last year's men's basketball schedule was about as unfavorable as any could ever be, with four home games by Nov. 30 and then no home games against Division I teams until Feb. 10, not to mention five straight road games to start the league season.

This year, from what TB has seen, there is a little more balance to the pre-conference schedule, and then the league appears to start with the reverse of last year. Of course, none of this is set in stone yet.

Princeton graduated Douglas Davis, Patrick Saunders and John Comfort, but Ian Hummer will be as good as any player in the Ivy League, and the Tigers were playing great at the end of last year. Also, this will be Year 2 for head coach Mitch Henderson, who had an outstanding rookie season and is way more Giants than Knicks when it comes to likeability.

Meanwhile, TB is looking forward to seeing the new arena in Brooklyn. He's yet to be to Citi Field or the new Yankee Stadium or the Prudential Center or Red Bulls Arena in Newark.

And it'll be awhile til he goes back to the Garden. At least while the current decision-makers run the Knicks.

Even if the tickets were free.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

We Don't Make The Rules

TigerBlog has spent much of his summer being asked the same question: What does a verbal commitment from a high school prospect mean?

And he has spent much of his summer giving the same answer: Nothing, with pieces of everything mixed in.

The trend these days is for younger and younger athletes to commit, verbally, to the college of their choice. In the sport with which TigerBlog is most familiar, a seemingly update of such commitments can be found on Inside Lacrosse's website, even including those from the Class of 2015.

For those who don't do math in the summer, that would mean rising sophomores.

The issue with verbal commitments is that they don't bind the prospect and school in any tangible way. It is not until the prospect signs a national letter of intent that would be penalties for reneging, and a prospect cannot sign a letter of intent until senior year of high school.

For Princeton and the Ivy League, prospects don't commit to the school; they commit to the admissions process. It is not until an official offer of admission is made and then officially accepted that the prospect and school are bound to each other.

So, with those definitions, no, a verbal commitment doesn't mean a thing.

On the other hand, if schools go out and get all these verbal commitments and then change their mind, then no other prospect will ever take their offer of a roster spot seriously.

What's that you ask?

If coaches cannot call prospects prior to July 1 after their junior year of high school or email them until Sept. 1 after their junior year (both dates are slightly earlier in football, basketball and hockey), how can they be making verbal commitments?

Well, it's like this. The coach can't call the player, but the player can call the coach - and talk to him/her as long as he/she would like. And the college coach can initiate contact with the prospect's high school or club coach, suggesting that perhaps that prospect should call the coach.

The coach can't tell the player about how great the program is, but invitations to camps and clinics can be made. Official visits can't be made until senior year, but anyone can make as many unofficial visits as they want.

In other words, the rules are very contradictory.

On the one hand, they seem to suggest that high school athletes shouldn't be able to make official visits, be contacted by college coaches and make commitments until senior year. On the other hand, there are so many ways around those rules that they seem to be antidiluvian.

As an aside, TB had a calculus teacher senior year of high school who loved to use that word, and that last sentence was the culmination of a 30-year quest by TB to use it in something he wrote.

Because of the confusion all of these rules create, the next question TB often gets is this: Why doesn't the NCAA do something about it?

TB chuckles when he hears that, just as he chuckled this morning when he heard the tail end of an interview on the radio with someone whose identity TB never got, a man who was discussing the big-picture ramifications of the Penn State situation on college athletics, not so much from the specifics of the scandal but instead on whether or not college athletics - and specifically big-time coaches like Joe Paterno - have too much influence on their campuses.

It's not an awful conversation to have, and the guest credited big-time college athletics with many positives. He did mention, though, that coaches' salaries are way out of whack with the rest of the institution and that coaches have sources of income beyond salaries - and massive conflicts of interest that go along with them - that universities would never tolerate from professors and others.

He concluded by saying that the universities need to police themselves, before the NCAA does it for them.

Again, TB laughed.

And why? Because the NCAA is the universities.

The NCAA has no power to make rules, only to enforce the rules that are made by the member institutions.

And so when there is to be change, it has to be proposed by a school or league or group of leagues and then voted on and approved by all of the other schools. It's not like the NCAA can sit in its headquarters and say "here is the recruiting calendar" or "coaches cannot do this or that."

The rules changes have to come from the schools, and most of the time, the agenda is being driven by the very coaches whom any want to see policed. So how is real change going to come?

If anything, coaches want to see fewer restrictions on them, rather than making it more difficult.

Again, many of the ills of college athletics that the guest spoke about don't really apply to Princeton or the Ivy League, and for TB, that's always been one of the best parts about being here.

Still, the NCAA rules most definitely affect the Ivy League, and the agenda can be hard to control sometimes.

The rules are coming from within, not from the NCAA governing body itself.

Keep that in mind the next time you criticize the NCAA, or at least criticize the NCAA for the rules themselves.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself

When TigerBlog was little, he thought that the presets for stations on car radios were set by whoever built the car and couldn't be changed.

These days, TB has two settings for FM stations, with six stations on each, and one setting for AM radio, with six more stations. Some people, TB surmises, have their presets in numerical order from left to right, while TB prefers to have the stations he listens to the most on the far left.

For the record, other than a slight case of OCD, he has no idea why he does this.

Miss TigerBlog gets to have the six choices for the FM2 settings, while TB has the FM1 ones. There is no overlap, not by a mile.

TB has a deal with MTB, where he can listen to his stations if she is playing games on TB's phone, something he encourages to avoid listening to her music. Some of it is okay; most of it is unlistenable.

The song that tortures TB the most these days is "Call Me Maybe," which gets into his head, bounces around, stays there and makes him want to yell loudly "stoppppppppppppppppp."

TB's stations? You're more likely to hear something that is called "classic rock."

With that interest, TB was obviously intrigued by the stories last week that it was the 50th anniversary of the first time the Rolling Stones played together.

TB has always liked the Beatles more than the Stones, but that's like getting an A++ instead of an A+.

TB has never been in love with the song "Satisfaction." His favorite Stones songs?

"As Tears Go By." "You Can't Always Get What You Want." "Sympathy For The Devil." "Lets Spend The Night Together." "Waiting On A Friend." "Paint It Black." Pretty much anything off the "Hot Rocks" album.

Then there's the band itself.

Mick, Keith and the boys have certainly, uh, enjoyed themselves through the years, and yet they've endured, 40 years past when the Beatles broke up. They're still out there, putting on concerts and drawing the crowds and still, uh, having fun.

As an aside, the rather dry comedian Steven Wright used to have a line that went like this: "I love the Stones. I can't believe they're still doing it after all these years. I watch them every chance I get, Fred and Barney."

The group that gathered outside Dillon Gym early Sunday afternoon was decidedly "Call Me Maybe" and probably couldn't identify a single Rolling Stones song.

The occasion was the start of Princeton's field hockey camp, and several hundred girls from grades 7-12 (including MTB) were getting ready for another in the long line of sports camps on this campus. As the field hockey players were checking in, the volleyball girls were checking out. On it goes, for weeks, through June and July.

Kristen Holmes-Winn, Princeton's head field hockey coach, was giving her pre-camp address, which was a mix of motivational speaker and high school vice principal.

The authority part was going over the rules, which are pretty straightforward. Don't leave campus. Don't walk anywhere alone. Zero tolerance for breaking any rules. Eat right. Drink plenty of water.

The motivational speaker part was great.

Holmes-Winn talked about the sport and how the kids are here to learn it and to improve and have fun and how all of those things go together. She talked about how field hockey is a bit unique, which TB took to mean that, unlike soccer, little girls aren't force fed into the sport from the time they're four or five.

In fact, there are very few places for girls to get exposure to field hockey when they're young. For every girl who plays field hockey in high school, there are more than six who play soccer. For every girl

And so Holmes-Winn's message was to do their best during the camp to appreciate this sport, which some have played a lot and which others are pretty new to playing. Her passion for field hockey was very, very obvious.

And then she morphed into promoter, and in the process, she stumbled onto what real marketing is all about.

Here, with this captive audience, she spoke about her three Olympians - Katie Reinprecht, Julia Reinprecht and Michele Cesan - and how they'd be back at Princeton this year to compete and how her team figures to be one of the most exciting in the country.

With that, she had reached a wide audience, one with a demonstrated interest in the sport and in Princeton.

What else is there to marketing?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Final Thoughts On A Scandal

TigerBlog spent much of yesterday in the car, listening to considerable discussion of the Louis Free report on the Jerry Sandusky case and Penn State's handling of it.

Specifically, the talk on WFAN - mostly with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts - was about Joe Paterno and his legacy.

This will be the fourth (and probably last) time that TigerBlog writes about this subject, one that he has used to make the point that such a cover-up would be unlikely at Princeton because the football program, or anything else for that matter, is never going to be bigger than the University itself.

There's a lot to that, knowing that no one individual is ever going to be to Princeton what Paterno was to Penn State - a pseudo-diety who was essentially worshiped and who also had elevated himself to being the most powerful person on the campus.

Ultimately, it was the desire to hold onto that position and what he did to ensure that that would be the case that will be his ultimate  legacy.

TB wrote this after Paterno's death in January:
On the one hand, TB can't imagine a way that Paterno didn't know the exact details or enough of them that he should have put the safety of young boys well above anything else to do with his program.
On the other hand, if Paterno did know all that and didn't do anything to stop it because he valued the brand of Joe Paterno and Penn State football over the safety of little boys, then he's nothing short of evil.

TB couldn't imagine this whole time that Paterno could live with himself for more than a day or two knowing that his actions could be - and ultimately were - hurting children in probably the most heinous way possible.

Surely a man who appeared to be so committed to education and to bettering the lives of young people couldn't permit this to go on, all in the name of avoiding having his own good name dragged through the mud. And yet that's how it was. And so yes, Joe Paterno was an evil man, and TigerBlog doesn't want to hear a thing about the good he did because none of it really matters anymore, given that he allowed this to go on for an additional decade plus.

Think about it.

How many times during those years did Paterno see Sandusky in the Penn State facilities? How many times did he see him with children? What did he think was happening? Was he just hoping it would all go away by itself?

How many conversations did Paterno and Sandusky have with each other from 1998 through the time the scandal broke? What did they talk about? How could Paterno not have exploded from the guilt he had to be feeling about keeping silent, and for what, so he could still coach football at Penn State?

TB would have to guess that there is much more to this than has come out to this point and who knows how much Paterno took with him to the grave?

Has there ever been a more selfish act, or a more self-absorbed, uncaring person? And there's an argument about whether or not to tear down the statue of him? That should have already happened.

As TB listened to Benigno and Roberts, caller after caller mentioned basically what TB just said.

At one point, Benigno said, essentially, that had Paterno done the right thing when he first found out about what was going on, then he would have been looked at as a hero. TB couldn't disagree more.

Had it come out when it first started happening, Paterno would not have been a hero. He would have been the football coach whose defensive coordinator was a child rapist, even if Paterno had made sure that Sandusky was arrested back then.

And it was that fear of being known as that football coach, the one who allowed this to happen on his watch, that drove Paterno to do what he did. And as a result, so many other kids were hurt.

TB doesn't quite understand the call for the NCAA to step in and give the Penn State football program the death penalty.

For starters, basically everyone involved is either in jail for life, dead, fired - and all have been disgraced.

Additionally, what NCAA rules did Penn State violate? Recruiting? Paying players? There's only so much jurisdiction that the NCAA has, and so while it might seem a bit nuts that the Ohio State football players could get pounded for exchanging memorabilia for tattoos while Penn State can get away without NCAA penalties for this, it's how it works.

Lack of institutional control is a fairly broad term to punish Penn State, but ultimately it has to be for a violation of something in the NCAA manual.

And the statements that it'll take decades for Penn State to recover?

Guess what, Penn State has already recovered.

Again, those culpable are being held accountable, and there are still trials and punishments still to come. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened to Paterno had he lived and what criminal charges would have been brought against him.

And there will be the lawsuits by the victims, as there should be. And the University will have to pay out a lot of millions of dollars in the end.

But it'll still be Penn State. Football games will be sold out. University applications will be constant. Alumni donations will be fine.

Do you for a minute believe that come Oct. 27, when it's 17-14 Ohio State in the fourth quarter at Beaver Stadium that anyone there will be thinking about this scandal?

Give Penn State credit for bringing in the former FBI director to produce this report, knowing how critical it would be of the institution. But don't think for a minute that Penn State is doomed.

If anything, it'll be a smarter version of Penn State, hopefully, one that realizes that the football coach is just a guy who coaches the football team and should not be the most powerful person on the campus.

Here was TB's first paragraph from the first time he wrote about this scandal:
TigerBlog wanted to write about the whole Penn State situation, except he wasn't sure that Princeton's athletic blog was the right forum for that.

And again, as he writes his final words on the subject, TB goes back to that, because this is supposed to be a place for happy little stories about Princeton athletics.

Then again, Penn State's football lockerroom was supposed to be about providing great experiences and opportunities for some of the more disadvantaged young people in the area, the chance to see what doors could be opened for them by athletics.

Instead, they were physically and mentally brutalized, all while the people who were supposed to be protecting them turned their backs on them, all in the name of self-preservation, especially Joe Paterno.

Sometimes, the way things are supposed to be done and the way they are done don't quite match up.

Sometimes, the funny stories have to wait for another day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tour Guide

TigerBlog has access to one of those electric-powered carts, which makes getting around the campus a snap.

They can't really be called golf carts, since they'll never be used on a golf course.

The top speed for the cart is 26 miles per hour, and TB can get from the front of Jadwin Gym to, say, Dillon Gym in about three minutes or so in the cart.

There used to be two carts, a two-seater and four-seater.

The two-seater had a long metal bed to it, and it made maneuvering through all the barriers on campus difficult. Needless to say, that cart was destroyed after a few years.

The four-seater is actually much smaller, with the front seats, rear seats and a small bed that makes squeezing through smaller openings fairly easy. This is why the four-seater still is going strong.

It doesn't hold a charge the way it did when it was new. Even worse is when the person who has it before you doesn't plug it back in, so that your anticipated three-minute ride to the other side of campus turns into a walk when the key is put into the cart and the battery indicator is on the red.

The indicator has a bunch of green slashes and then a yellow and red one, to show the levels of charge left in the battery. TB has never pushed it beyond the yellow, so he has no idea how far the cart will go on the red.

He does have a fear of having the battery die somewhere in the middle of Washington Road or some other unfortunate spot and having to push the cart somewhere and then figure out how to get it charged.

TB was pleasantly surprised the other day when he put the key in to find the cart fully charged, which meant that his tour of Princeton's athletic facilities would go off unimpeded.

The tour grew out of a request from two colleagues from the University communications office, Martin Mbugua and Daniel Day, to see what the facilities are like.

As an aside, it wasn't until he typed the name that TB realized that Daniel Day was also the name of the one of the main characters in the movie "Animal House." He was the one who drove the motorcycle up the stairs inside the Delta house and who ultimately had no grade point average.

Anyway, TB's tour of the facilities began here at Jadwin Gym at 10:30 and ran for about 90 minutes.

TB is pretty surprised by himself when he goes to other parts of the campus and, even after all this time, doesn't exactly know his way around, so he shouldn't be surprised that others don't know everything about the athletic facilities, including his two guests, who between them have been at Princeton fewer than two years combined.

Jadwin is a fascinating building, with everything that happens on the sublevels. Dan and Martin had no idea, for instance, that there was anything below the main level, let alone that there was an indoor baseball/softball/multipurpose FieldTurf field on E level, next to the indoor tennis courts.

The tour went from Jadwin to DeNunzio Pool to the football stadium and Weaver Track and Field.

Every time TB walks onto Powers Field from one of the tunnels and looks up, he again marvels and how nice the stadium is from the inside. He has the same feeling walking into the pool and looking down onto the deck.

As the tour went along, the progression went from the facilities right here to the soccer field/tennis center/softball field/field hockey construction project and ultimately Class of 1952 Stadium, all of which are fairly centered with each other.

Dan and Martin seemed to enjoy TB's stories about the buildings and their histories, as well as the significance of the people for whom they're named. They loved the FieldTurf on Sherrerd Field, the panoramic look across the soccer stadium, the newly renovated tennis center, all of it.

There was a walk onto the floor at Dillon Gym, which always reminds TB of the pictures he's seen of Bill Bradley as a player, with the same peaked ceiling still there.

After that, it was off to Baker Rink, where the ice was being put back down in advance of hockey camps. TB told Dan and Martin that the rink is the one he thinks if the best to see a game, since every seat is essentially right on top of the action, which of course is very fast-paced.

The cart ride back went to the baseball field. The boathouse and golf course would have to wait for another day.

Maybe TB doesn't dwell on it every day, but the facilities here are tremendous. TB doesn't know what percentage of Princeton's general athletic success can be attributable to having great facilities, but his sense is that it's a piece of it.

And if nothing else, it was fun to be tour guide for 90 minutes. Especially for a tour of something that TB takes such pride in.

He hopes his guests enjoyed the trip in the cart.

And, perhaps, that it moves them to come back to those facilities when there are actually games going on. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dorm Camp

As Princeton alums go, Aaron Burr, Class of 1772, is probably not the one that the University wants to hang its hat on the most.

Burr was the third Vice President of the United States, and yet in all the time that TB has worked here, he's never once included Burr in any context of famous alums. The two U.S. Presidents - James Madison and Woodrow Wilson - appear everywhere; Burr, a Vice President, probably would have been as well, were it not for what happened 208 years ago today in Weehawken.

For those who weren't paying attention junior year of high school, Burr became Vice President under Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1800, when Democratic-Republican Jefferson defeated incumbent Federalist John Adams.

The procedure at the time was a bit different, and the President and Vice President didn't run as one ticket. As a result, Jefferson and Burr were sent to the House of Representatives, and it took almost 40 votes to have Jefferson be President and Burr be VP and not the other way around.

Along the way, Burr made a huge enemy in Alexander Hamilton, who had been the first Secretary of the Treasury.

Instead of, say, tweeting mean things about each other, Hamilton and Burr decided to settle their issues via a duel, which was on July 11, 1804, in Weehawken, right across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

It didn't go well for Hamilton.

Depending on which account you believe, Hamilton either fired straight up in the air or shot at Burr and missed. Burr, on the other hand, shot Hamilton in the stomach, and Hamilton died the next day.

From there, it didn't get all that much better for Burr, who tried to start a new country (in Louisiana) and then lived out his life in Europe, as he wasn't exactly welcome in the U.S., what with the whole murder charge and all.

So, yeah, there are reasons why July 11 isn't recognized here as a day to celebrate the first Princetonian to be Vice President.

Besides, this isn't the right time of year to be having great celebrations on campus. There are way more campers here than any other demographic, as camp season is in full swing.

TB loves to see all the different kids who are at all the different camps, from the little ones at the Campus Rec day camp through the elite athletes at the top team camps to the ones who are here for non-athletic camps.

As TB has said before, he thinks "dorm camp" would be a great idea.

Kids could come to Princeton, stay in the dorms, eat in the dining halls and basically do whatever they wanted with their time. The only rule? Nobody is allowed to cross a street.

If they wanted balls to play games, they could have them. Books? The library. Computers? Art? Dance? Whatever they want.

The only condition is that they engage in actual socialization, so no cell phones, no Facebook, none of that. Any activity they'd do would have be to in groups, not individually. It'd be a total commitment to learning to interact with actual human beings.

Alas, his idea is just that, an idea.

The reality of the camp situation is that the sport (or other activity) is the lure, but the opportunity to live and eat on campus are as beneficial for the campers than the games themselves.

As someone who works at Princeton, TB just takes it for granted that he's on the campus every day. For kids who are in a really impressionable period, coming to a school like Princeton has to be a complete and total thrill.

Hopefully, it has an educational purpose as well, showing them what is ahead in terms of being away from home and, for the luckiest of the lucky, the chance to do so at a place like Princeton.

In the meantime, TB will try to figure out a way to get dorm camp up and running.

And go back to celebrating Aaron Burr Day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Midsummer Check Up

The best tweet that TigerBlog read about the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby was this one, from @awfulannouncing:

"A swing-off in the Home Run Derby is matched by the drama of an overtime NFL preseason game."

If you were like TB last night, then you were 1) not watching the Home Run Derby and 2) okay with that.

The Home Run Derby, like the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest, aren't terrible ideas. It's just that the current sporting culture has turned every morning's highlights into a slam dunk contest or home run derby, that there's little unique or interesting about either one anymore.

And then there's the Chris Berman factor.

When ESPN first came on the air, Berman was in the right place at the right time, and his schtick worked for several years. Then, like most schtick, it became tiresome, and now it's just tedious, me-first, notice-me schtick that appeals to nobody that TB knows. In fact, he's enough to get people to stop watching, as opposed to enhancing the telecast.

Tonight is the Major League Baseball all-star game, which was always a favorite event for TigerBlog when he was younger.

Now? There's a better chance that he'll at least watch a little, but he won't be glued to it the way he was in the 1970s.

And the idea that home field for the World Series is determined by the All-Star Game? It doesn't make the game more meaningful, because for one it assumes that every American League player wants to get home field for the Yankees or Rangers, when probably the opposite is true.

TigerBlog has probably watched fewer than 20 total innings of baseball this season to date. Back in the 1990s, he'd watch that many in three nights, back when the Braves were on TBS every night.

The two factors that drive him to watch a baseball game now are rooting against the Yankees and watching/listening to Tom McCarthy on the Phillies games. McCarthy, as you might remember, did Princeton football and men's basketball for years on the radio.

TB also used to monitor the standings closely. And way back when, he used to look forward to Sunday's paper, because it had all of the batting/pitching stats, as opposed to just league leaders during the week.

Between opening day and today, TB has probably checked the MLB standings fewer than five times. 

What? The Nationals and Pirates are in first place? Who knew?

TB's downward spiral with Major League Baseball can be attributed to performance enhancing drugs and an upward spiral in the sport of lacrosse, obviously.

Still, he does regularly check in on Princeton's three Major Leaguers.

Chris Young is back pitching for the Mets, and he's pitching well. Young, the former basketball/baseball star at Princeton, has been exactly what New York needed at the back of the rotation, and he is 2-2 with a 3.41 ERA in his six starts, averaging more than six innings per.

Young, by the way, was only eligible for the 2000 Major League draft because he turned 21 before June 1 that year, which meant the end of his Princeton career after two dominant seasons in both sports. TB can't help but think of how good the Tigers would have been in basketball in 2000-01 had Young been eligible.

Anyway, Young is now 33. Where in the world has the time gone?

The other two Princeton alums are on the Padres.

Ross Ohlendorf, like Young, is back from injury and also like Young has pitched in six games, though he has only started two. Despite an ERA over 7.00, Ohlendorf is 2-0, which he is somewhat owed after his one-win season two years ago in Pittsburgh that featured a reasonably strong 4.07 ERA.

The other Padre is Will Venable, who has established himself as a legitimate Major League outfielder and who by the way is making $1.5 million this year.

Venable has stretches where he plays like an all-star, and while he still strikes out too much, his percentage is down a bit this year from his career. He was in a bit of a slump before the break, and his average is now at .248 with six home runs and 21 RBIs.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hot Stuff

TigerBlog spent his weekend on fields watching lacrosse, which makes this weekend pretty routine as far as summer weekends go for TB.

Of course, it was about a million degrees, and the tournament might as well have been played on the sun and all.

Still, they were all out there, all of the same people who have been out there for four or five or six or even more weekends each summer for the last four or five years.

As TB sat out there for about eight hours Saturday and six more yesterday,  even his sweat was sweating.

As amazing as it seems, yesterday was fairly pleasant compared to Saturday, or as pleasant as a 90+ degree day can be.

It's become so normal for TB - and for hundreds of others - to sit on scaldingly hot fields baking for hours at a time on the weekend that he has to stop every now and then and think "hey, most people would find this really, really, really weird."

If you've never be around a group of 20 or more teenage boys huddled under a tent between games on ridiculously hot days, well, let's just say that they, uh, reek. As with most teams, the one that TB is around has parents who bring food and drinks and coolers and ice, and this weekend, the coolers couldn't keep the Gatorades and waters for more than a few minutes before they were downed.

At one point, TB and his friend Todd were standing on a field that had a goal that was rolled over onto its side, and TB asked Todd if he knew what sport the goal was for.

After hesitating for a minute, Todd correctly said "field hockey." To TB, it was a reminder that fall is around the corner, even if summer is just getting warmed up, as it were.

TB loves the sound that a field hockey ball makes as it plunks against the wooden part of the goal.

The rules of field hockey are a bit complex, but TB thinks he has a pretty good handle on them. Miss TigerBlog has gotten into playing field hockey, though she only started last year.

This coming field hockey season should be a pretty good one for Princeton, which welcomes back four players who took last year off to successfully get the U.S. to the Olympic Games.

The return of the Reinprechts, Michele Cesan and Kathleen Sharkey should vault the Tigers to a role in the national picture, though TB wonders what it'll be like for them to go back to college field hockey after a year of international play, culminating in the Games themselves.

One thing that is certain about Princeton field hockey in 2012 is that they'll be playing on a different field. TB thought about that the other day when he had to go to the other side of campus, and so he stopped off to see how the construction was going on the Bedford Field part of the project.

It was already a brutally hot day, but work continues in advance of the start of field hockey practice in about another six or seven weeks or so.

Princeton has played field hockey at Class of 1952 Stadium since 1996, but the team will be moving - a very short distance - to Bedford, which is the former hard grass practice field next to '52 that dining service and TV trucks used to beat up and which has been called at times "Bedrock" to say how tough the surface there was.

Now Bedford Field is shaping up to have brand-new artificial turf and brand-new bleachers (this year's will be temporary; the permanent ones will be in place for the 2013 season). The press box at Class of 1952 Stadium will now face both ways, onto Sherrerd Field for lacrosse and Bedford Field for field hockey.

During the lacrosse season in 2012, fans could look behind them and see the earliest stages of the construction, with a huge hole dug onto Bedford, which looked like a water fall minus the water.

Now the field is smoothed out, though the turf has yet to be put down. The scoreboard is up, and it's easy to see how good the final product will look.

Princeton has won 17 of the last 18 Ivy League field hockey titles. The coming 2012 season figures to be up there with any of the ones that have preceded it.

In other words, Princeton figures to be able to make itself right at home in its new home.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cars And Boats

Anytime TigerBlog takes his car in to be serviced, he lives in fear for a few hours that the phone is going to ring and he's going to hear that there's a crack in the engine block or something and that he needs to get a new car.

TB is always nervous when he has a new car, and he much prefers his current situation of 108,000 miles on a car that still runs well. That way, he doesn't have to worry about a scratch here or getting some mud there.

Still, taking an older car in for an oil change isn't the same as taking in a newer one.

TB takes his car to a guy named Ron, who has sort of become the unofficial go-to car guy for the OAC.

Through the years, a total of six OAC people have taken their cars to his shop, even if it is a bit out of the way, which has led to years of conversations that begin "who can pick me up at Ron's tomorrow?"

The best part of taking TB's car to Ron is that he knows that Ron is not going to tell him he needs new spark plugs or new tires or something else if he doesn't really need them.

TB has to trust Ron, because he knows nothing about cars, other than to put gas in them and then press down on the pedal on the right to go and the one on the left to stop.

There has to be great satisfaction involved in figuring out what's wrong with a car and then fixing it, especially since TB assumes most car owners are automotive illiterates like he is and therefore have no way of knowing what's wrong when they bring it in.

TB took his car in this morning, which leaves him with the odd feeling of being stuck without a vehicle should he need one, or at least having to borrow someone else's if he needs one. Of course, he doesn't really have anywhere to go and his car will be done early this afternoon, so it's not all that tough a situation, though it will limit his lunch choices.

When TB got to his office, he was able to see Roger Federer close out Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semifinals. As Andy Murray prepared for his semifinal, TB learned that no English player has won the Wimbledon title since Fred Perry.

Considering that Perry lived to be 85 and died 17 years ago, yes, it's been awhile.

TigerBlog also saw an NBC commercial for the upcoming Olympic Games, which actually begin in less than three weeks. TB cannot remember if it is normal for the Olympic Trials to have been held so close to the start of the Games themselves.

The Olympic commercial featured a wide range of athletes who made very brief appearances and very brief comments about the Games, comments that TB couldn't hear because he had the sound turned way down.

He did see the people in the commercial, as their names were included under their pictures.

Among those who were included was Caroline Lind, a 2006 Princeton graduate who will be competing for the United States in rowing, specifically the women's 8.

Lind already has one gold medal, which she won four years ago in Beijing. She was also in the U.S. boat that recently set the world record, a sign that the Americans mean business in London.

Of Princeton's 16 Olympians, there are more in rowing than in any other sport. A total of seven Princeton alums will row in London.

It's so easy to take rowing at Princeton for granted. The boathouse is its own separate world, and it's a sport that most people never really try.

And yet there are more rowers than any other athletes at Princeton. They are among the most loyal to their program after they graduate, and most have enjoyed tremendous success on the water here.

The rowing program's excellence is directly attributable to the coaching staff, led by head coaches Lori Dauphiny, Greg Hughes, Marty Crotty and Paul Rassam. They are a remarkably close-knit group, and that only enhances the effectiveness of the program.

Much like fixing cars, TB knows little about rowing boats.

Also like the cars, he has great respect for those who can make the boats go fast, even without an engine.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tomorrow Is Another Day

There aren't too many great movie about the Revolutionary War.

There are great ones about the wars of the Roman Empire, so it's not just that the American Revolution was so far in the past. Maybe it's because it's hard to turn the British into on-screen bad guys?

Or maybe it's because the carnage wasn't as horrific as it was in other wars. There were more casualties, for instance, at the three-day battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War than there were in the entire Revolutionary War.

The most famous movie of the revolution is probably "1776," which is a musical version of the events of the day. There are other 4th of July movies, like "Yankee Doodle Dandy," which is a celebration of patriotism and George M. Cohan, not a war movie.

TigerBlog watched a little of the Military Channel yesterday, just enough to see a documentary about how the Revolutionary War battles at Trenton and then Princeton helped turn the tide of the war, just when it seemed like all was lost for the Americans. It's always interesting to see a documentary that describes Trenton as a "sleepy little town" and describes the march that George Washington took, essentially going up the Princeton Pike.

There were all kinds of marathons on yesterday as well, with a "Twilight Zone" one ("To Serve Man" is TB's favorite, though the entire series is wildly freaky and outstanding), an "NCIS" one (TB has never seen the show though he's pretty sure he'd like it) and a few others.

What TB watched mostly was "Gone With The Wind."

He'd seen it before obviously, and he always marvels at the movie, which is as good as any that has ever been made. It tells the story of the utter devastation that was the Civil War, and its images of wounded and dying soldiers in makeshift hospitals with overwhelmed doctors and nurses shows the horror greater than any battlefield scene would have.

The movie also tells of the effect that the war had on one Southern family, the O'Haras - especially their daughter Scarlett - and just how difficult survival was even for those who weren't militarily involved. Mostly, it's about what the dire situation revealed about the character of the people forced to experience it, for better or worse.

You need to have a large block of time available to watch it, as it spreads over 3:30, but it's worth every second.

The end of the movie leaves everyone wondering what happened next. Do Rhett and Scarlett live happily ever after? Does the grieving Ashley need Scarlett to take care of him because he's helpless to take care of himself?

With another viewing of "Gone With The Wind" in the bag, it was time to look ahead to July 5, because, after all, tomorrow is another day.

Because the holiday fell midweek, it didn't result in a July 4th weekend. Instead, it was one day in the middle of the week, which made last night feel like a Sunday and which has today feeling all the world like a Monday.

In reality, it's a Thursday, and it sort of made TB think that if the four-day work week every became reality, taking Wednesday off as opposed to Monday or Friday might make sense.

Meanwhile, as days go, it's about as slow as it gets around here. There is next to nobody in Jadwin Gym today, and were it not for the last day of track and field camp outside TB's window, there'd be almost nobody wandering around outside as well.

Because of track camp, Peter Farrel, the women's track and field coach, was around, and he stopped in TB's office long enough to talk about Ashley Higginson, who finished fourth last week at the Olympic Trials in the steeplechase.

Higginson missed out on the last Olympic spot by more than two seconds, which is fairly sizable in track and field, even for a 3,000-meter race.

Still, the difference between third and fourth is ridiculous. The top three go to the Olympics (all had run the qualifying standard; Higginson had as well), while the fourth becomes an alternate. According to Farrell, that means getting fitted for a uniform that she likely will never wear.

TB asked Farrell how Higginson handled the situation, and he said that had "with great class."

In all of sports, there can't be too many worse places to be than one spot away from making the Olympics.

In most sports, there's always next year. Here, it means waiting four more years, making that commitment over again.

There'll be another day. It's just that there are a lot of tomorrows between now and then.

Hey, finishing fourth is an amazing accomplishment in itself. Even if it stings in the moment.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Very Special Guest TB

Thomas Jefferson was 33 years old when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

It was ratified by the Continental Congress 236 years ago today.

If you live in the United States, then every day of your life is touched by the Declaration of Independence. Your freedom is guaranteed, not with great bluster with but with the simplicity of the second sentence of the document, one that essentially says "isn't it obvious that everyone should be free to make their own place in the world?"

If you're like TigerBlog, it's been awhile since you read it.

So today, on America's Independence Day, the floor again belongs to Thomas Jefferson. Read his words, and have a great Fourth:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signees off the Declaration:
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton