Friday, June 28, 2013

Okay Smart Guy

The air conditioning stopped working in TigerBlog's car about three weeks ago.

TB called Ron, who is sort of the unofficial fixer of all OAC car problems, and he said TB should play with the dials for awhile, going back and forth from cold to hot, AC to defroster to heater and such.

So TB did that, and after about an hour of this, the AC started to work again.

It went from that point until Tuesday without incident, when it suddenly stopped working again. And so TB did the same trick, and again it worked. Until the next day, when it stopped again.

This time it gave out during a thunderstorm, while TB was driving three 16 year olds back from a lacrosse practice. To say that it created a rather unpleasant environment in the car is something of an understatement.

So, even though it started working again, TB took his car off to Ron this morning. At first Ron said he couldn't take it today because he had just gotten back from vacation, until TB pointed out that it's 90 degrees ever day around here and he really couldn't handle not have AC for an hour at a time on a hit-and-miss basis.

There was a time, of course, when cars didn't have air conditioning at all. In fact, according to Wikipedia at least, the first car air conditioners weren't readily available until the 1950s, and around 20% of cars in the 1960s had air conditioning in them.

This is not the 1960s though, and TB has come to rely on air conditioning. His fear today is hearing these words: "it can't be fixed." Coming in a close second is: "it can be fixed but it'll be expensive."

Anyway, TB had to get a ride in with a co-worker, and by the time they got to Jadwin Gym, they encountered something that TB has never seen before. Every single space in Lot 21 (the big one next to Jadwin) was taken.

Football camp is going on, which accounts for how many cars were in the parking lot, and out on the grass.

It doesn't account for how many of them drove past the two huge sandwich board signs at Lot 21, the small one in the front where athletic department people park. Those signs have a giant "NO" on them, as in no parking here if you don't have an athletics hang tag. And yet every spot was taken, which means that a handful of people saw those signs, said "this doesn't apply to me" and drove right in.

As a result, it took a few laps around the parking lot to see if someone was leaving, and finally it was Tyler Cordell, the women's basketball operations director, who left, giving up a prime parking spot.

TB wasn't prepared for such a crowded parking lot on a Friday morning in the summer. Usually the lot would be empty on such a day.

The extra time in the parking lot got TB thinking more about today's subject, which ostensibly is about how Peter Callahan was named a CoSIDA first-team Academic All-America in track and field.

Callahan, of course, was the one whose finishing kick gave Princeton wins in the distance medley relay at the NCAA championships and Heps, in dramatically stunning fashion.

As an aside, only CoSIDA, which is the national sports information directors' association, can use the term Academic All-America.

As another aside, TB knew a guy at Penn who used to say he had a 3.9 GPA, give or take a point. He actually had a 2.9 GPA.

Anyway, Callahan was Princeton's first first-team Academic All-America in a long time, as in all the way back to 2000, when both Susan Rea (soccer/softball) and Josh Sims (lacrosse) were honored.

When TB saw this, his first thought was Landis Stankievech, the Rhodes Scholar hockey player who had a nearly perfect GPA, wasn't a first-team Academic All-America? And he wasn't. He was third team.

TB's second thought is the same as it always is in these situations.

Do you want to publicize that this is something that hasn't happened in awhile?

On the one hand, it's impressive when someone does something here that hasn't been done in that long, given the quality of athletes and students who are here. On the other, it points out that it's been awhile.

This goes beyond an individual award like Callahans.

What about something like a team that hasn't won a championship in a long time? Or another team that hasn't matched an accomplishment in more than a decade?

Or even a stat.

The men's lacrosse team this year, for instance, had its highest scoring team in 10 years. Is it good to point that out or bad to say that it's been that long since the team up numbers like this?

TB has always wrestled with that, perhaps more than he should. Accomplishments, after all, are accomplishments, and something like how like it's been since such an accomplishment has been achieved adds historical significance to it.

TB just doesn't want to shortchange the teams and athletes who came in between such accomplishments.

Does it make the athletic program look bad that it hasn't had a first-team Academic All-America in 13 years?

That's the actual question here.

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