Friday, May 17, 2013

Heavyweights, Lightweights And Opens

TigerBlog is looking pretty good these days.

Well, at least better than he looked two months ago.

TB has been dieting, and the result has been a loss of about 15 pounds. Mostly what he's done is eliminate red meat, pasta and bread from the daily routine, as well as anything that would be considered sweets.

Yup, that means not a single M&M for more than seven weeks. No ice cream. None of the mini Kit Kat bars that sat in a candy jar on the desk of a coworker.

TB has been at multiple events, including the Ivy League men's lacrosse tournament, where there have been plates of cookies, brownies and cakes. Before the diet, TB would have put up big numbers with such a spread.

And now? Nothing.

It wasn't easy.

So what has he been eating? Lots and lots and lots of fruit, vegetables and fish. Lots of salad. Lots of baked potatoes, which, though being a starch, still fits in with what his doctor told him: If it comes out of the ground, you can eat it.

Baked potatoes make a good lunch. In fact, TB has his fourth one of the week waiting in the fridge as he writes this. No butter though. Well, just a little. And either peas, green beans, mushrooms and/or broccoli mixed in.

Oh, and salads? No smothering it in ranch dressing anymore.

TigerBlog loves cantaloupe, but it's a real pain to cut it up and all. The same is true if you buy an actual pineapple. Grapes are good, the red ones over the green ones.

Mostly he's eaten apples and bananas.

Apples come in all different varieties. TB likes the crispy crunchy kind, so he goes with gala. Also, it's a must to have cold apples, as opposed to room temperature ones.

And then there are bananas, which have to be about the toughest food in the world to figure out. Do you buy the green ones? The yellow ones?

How many days do you need to wait to eat them when you buy them, because they're rarely ready to eat at first. And then there are the old ones. They turn brown on the outside and look like they've rotted long before they actually have. So when do you throw the old ones out?

Can TB keep this new way of eating going? He hopes so.

TigerBlog has a long way to go before he'd be in the lightweight boat, so for as much as his diet has been working, he'd still be a heavyweight rower.

It's a big weekend for Ivy League rowing, as the men will compete in Eastern Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., and the women will be at the Ivy League championships in South Jersey on the Cooper River.

The Ivy League crowns 33 team champions each year. If you've forgotten, the five Princeton teams that don't compete for an Ivy League title are men's and women's water polo, sprint football, men's volleyball and women's lightweight rowing, who finished second last weekend at Eastern Sprints.

So far in the 2012-13 academic year, the Ivy League champion has been determined in 30 of those 33 sports, and as always, the rowing titles awarded this weekend will be the final ones of the year.

Princeton has won 11 Ivy titles this academic year. Harvard and Cornell have won seven each, so no matter what happens this weekend, Princeton will have won the most. Also, Princeton has already clinched the Ivy League's unofficial all-sports points championship.

The Harvard men are the top seed for both the lightweight and heavyweight races. Princeton is the third seed among the lightweights and fourth seed among the heavies.

As an aside, as TB understands it, the lightweights are determined by the overall weight of everyone in the boat, rather than by a weight-limit for each individual.

The women switched from competing in the Eastern Sprints to having an Ivy League championship a year ago, largely because having an Ivy championship gets the league an automatic bid to the NCAA championships.

The NCAA champion is determined by the overall points totals awarded through races involving three boats, the first varsity 8, the second varsity 8 and the varsity 4.

The Ivy League champion is the first varsity 8 winner, but the automatic bid goes to the other two boats from that school as well.

Princeton, by the way, has twice had the first varsity 8 NCAA champion boat but not won the overall NCAA championship. Princeton is one of three schools to have competed at every NCAA championships since the event began back in 1997, along with Brown and Washington.

For this Ivy championship, the Princeton first varsity 8 is the number one seed, though it is hardly a lock that the Tigers will win. Princeton has defeated No. 2 Yale, who has defeated No. 3 Radcliffe, who has defeated the Tigers.

The weather should be perfect and the racing should be fast.

And if you'll excuse TigerBlog, he has a banana to go eat.

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