Thursday, December 20, 2012

Apocalypse Now

Welcome to the last-ever TigerBlog. Maybe.

By this time tomorrow, TB will no longer be able to write, as apparently the world is going to end shortly after midnight tonight. At least that's what some people seem to think.

Actually, TB is not among them. In fact, he's willing to bet anyone who wants to $1 at 100,000,000,000,000-1 odds that the world still exists tomorrow.

As TB understands it, the crux of the issue is that a calendar conceived by the ancient Mayans 5,000 years ago apparently ends tomorrow. As a result, some believe the world ends with it.

TB doubts that the physical properties of the Earth and the universe care at all about what a 5,000-year old calendar says.

He also thinks that if he could find a time machine and travel back to the days when the calendar was being made, the average ancient Mayan would have said something like "duh, it just starts over again. You had a time machine and could have gone to any moment in human history and chose to come here now and ask me this? Idiot."

Plus, what about leap years? Did the ancient Mayans foresee those? If not, then their calendar ended a long time ago, and we're still here.

TigerBlog has respect for the right of each person to have an opinion, any opinion, on any subject. It's supposed to be how America works.

That doesn't translate into respecting all of those opinions. And in this case, sorry, TB doesn't buy into the apocalypse theory.

On the other hand, if they're right and TigerBlog is wrong, then 148+ years of Princeton Athletics ends tonight with Princeton-Rider men's basketball.

There was a time when it seemed like a Princeton-Rider men's basketball game would be a sign of the apocalypse. Princeton and Rider didn't play between 1946 and 2001.

During much of that time, the mere suggestion that Princeton and Rider play was met with scorn and mocking laughter.

It never made sense to TigerBlog. Here are two schools, separated by six miles, who couldn't get together on the basketball court for 55 years?

The teams have played three times, in 2001 at Jadwin, 2002 at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton and then last year at Alumni Gym at Rider, where Princeton won on Mack Darrow's three-pointer at the final buzzer.

For the current Tigers, the history of the Rider series and why the teams never played in all that time is about as important as whether or not the world will end tomorrow.

Princeton is 3-6 but could be 7-2 had it not developed a troubling habit of allowing big leads to get away late, most recently in last Saturday's loss to Fordham at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn.

To this, TigerBlog always has two thoughts.

First, it's almost a mental thing now, where as soon as the other team scores and knocks Princeton out of its comfort zone, there's almost a detectable "here it goes again" vibe that starts. All it will take is one game where a 10-point lead late in the game turns into a 15-point win, or even a one-point win for that matter.

The other thought is this: 0-0.

Princeton is 0-0 in the Ivy League.

The Tigers were the preseason favorite to win the league, and TigerBlog hasn't seen anything that makes him think that they don't still have a great chance to be the ones playing in the NCAA tournament come March.

Of course, 7-2 would look a lot better than 3-6. Even 6-3, assuming one had gotten away.

But it won't matter come Jan. 12, when the Ivy season starts.

As for the games between now and then, they've all certainly been entertaining enough. Tonight's should be no different.

And it might be your last chance ever to see a Princeton sporting event.

So don't miss it.

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