Friday, October 5, 2012

Toes On The Tape

There's a corner of TigerBlog's office that is used to take head shots of athletes.

The backdrop that hangs on the wall looks like - and may originally have been - a blanket from a hotel room somewhere. There is a piece of tape on the floor that goes on an angle, and if you're getting your picture taken, you put your toes on the tape and square your shoulders.

As TB understands it, this eliminates the shadow in the background.

The person getting the picture doesn't realize the tape is on the floor and always stands directly against the backdrop, leading to the instruction of "toes on the tape." Once, TB saw a Princeton athlete who he believes had a perfect SAT score respond to "toes on the tape" by putting his toes on the tape - and face the backdrop, with the back of his head to the camera.

The actual picture-taking process is always fairly similar.

Whichever team it is has already designated whether it's going to be jerseys, pullovers, jackets/ties - whatever look brings uniformity. Then they bring one or two of those and constantly change, one after the other.

When TB first started working here, head shots were taken with a little office camera that included an obsolete thing called "film," which then had to be taken to a place called a "dark room" to be "developed."

Now, it's all done digitally, which means that the result of the picture is immediately available.

Not to be sexist or anything, but TB would say that about 70% of the women's athletes and about 5% of the men's athletes ask to see the picture after it's taken and/or ask to delete that one and take another one.

These head shots used to be used mostly for media guides and sometimes game programs. Now they're for the webpage.

TB has spent the last week taking men's lacrosse head shots.

For all of the years that TB has been here, the men's lacrosse shots have been taken with jerseys, and the only issue is the white one or the black one. This required going to the equipment room to get two jerseys, which the players would use regardless of what their actual number was.

Recently, the men's lacrosse upperclassmen didn't always want to get a new picture, since their old one was fine.

This year, TB and men's lacrosse coach Chris Bates thought it'd be a good idea to go with jackets and ties, and this has led to the somewhat hilarious sight of having players come in 5-10 at a time and share the same tie, and sometimes the same shirt.

Or, in the case of one, TB had to give a brief tutorial on the art of tying a tie.

The men's lacrosse team is playing in the Play For Parkinson's event at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., tomorrow. TB would love to go watch that, as the Tigers play Georgetown (noon) and Virginia (2).

Of course, there are other events closer to home this weekend.

There's the soccer doubleheader against Brown here (women at 4, men at 7). There's home sprint football, women's volleyball, field hockey and men's water polo as well this weekend.

The women's volleyball team looks to build on its 3-0 league start when it hosts Columbia and Cornell tonight and tomorrow at Dillon Gym.

The field hockey team hosts American Sunday.

Sprint football is home tonight against Post and then next Friday against first-year team Franklin Pierce. Men's water polo hosts Bucknell tomorrow night.

It's all on the all-sports schedule.

And of course, that doesn't count the football game at Lafayette tomorrow at 6.

There are all kinds of choices.

That's what Ivy League athletic weekends are all about.

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