Wednesday, December 26, 2012


TigerBlog spent much of Christmas Eve listening to Christmas carols on the radio.

In general, these songs fall into a few different categories.

There are the newer ones, often from movies and often sung by someone famous who wanted to get in on the Christmas thing. There are the religious ones. There are the old-fashioned ones. There are the ones that are winter-centric, rather than Christmas-centric.

There are ballads. There are ones that rock, especially the Bruce version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."

Like the effort of the Boss on that one, there are all kinds of remakes of classic songs.

The other day, TB heard a duet of Frank Sinatra and Cyndi Lauper on that very same "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It was really good.

Elvis sang a lot of Christmas songs. So did Dean Martin. TB likes Dean's version of "Silver Bells."

It seemed like every station had Christmas music on it, except for the classic rock station in Philadelphia, which had its normal assortment. Although there were many TB favorites in there, it seemed very out-of-place compared to what was on all the other stops on the dial.

One of the stations had all Christmas music on it since before Thanksgiving. Actually, TB thinks that it was back to around Halloween.

And now Christmas is over.

TB saw a few of his favorites, like "A Christmas Story" and "It's A Wonderful Life."

The best Christmas-oriented production he saw this time around, though, was the video done by the Princeton women's basketball freshmen.

It is an incredibly well-done, well-thought-out, well-produced production - made all the more impressive by the fact that it was completely 100% done by the players themselves. It even comes with bloopers at the end.

As for Princeton basketball, TigerBlog was expecting to see the smallest crowd in Jadwin Gym history this past Saturday when Princeton hosted Bucknell in men's basketball.

It's not that the game wasn't attractive. Bucknell came it 11-1 with some pretty good wins (Purdue, George Mason). Princeton, coming off a nice win over Rider, looked like it might have gotten past the four games in which it gave up second-half double-digit leads and appeared that it might have righted its ship.

TB just thought that on the Saturday before Christmas at 7, there'd be very few people in the building.

He was wrong.

Bucknell brought a big contingent. Princeton had a nice turnout. The result was the best crowd of the year at Jadwin, though not the biggest. Rutgers had 60 more people (3,150 for that game; 3,090 for Bucknell), but it was nearly twice what Rider drew and it was much more into it than the Rutgers crowd had been.

It reminded TB of a game Princeton played on New Year's Eve afternoon in 1999 against Holy Cross. TB thought that game would draw nobody either - instead a crowd of 5,935 was in the building.

The game against Bucknell was a great one for Princeton, who led throughout, had all five starters in double figures and won by 12.

Princeton had to be feeling so much better about itself heading into Christmas than it was heading into the Rider game five days earlier.

Now the Tigers get back into it with consecutive road games, at Akron Sunday and then at Elon Jan. 5, before the Ivy League opener against Penn at Jadwin on Jan. 12 as part of a doubleheader with the women.

Princeton has done exactly what it's needed to do in November and December, which is to figure out lineups and combinations and individual strengths and weaknesses and position itself for the coming league season.

In Princeton's case, it also meant playing through some tough stretches, including the low point, the loss to Fordham that preceded this current two-game streak.

The last two games were tremendous for Princeton - and a reminder of why the Tigers were the preseason favorite in the league.

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