Friday, October 18, 2013

Drive Thru

TigerBlog knows it was a basketball trip, not a football trip. The time he traded the fries for a Frosty at Wendy's, that's is.

It was definitely on the way back from Brown too.

TB was with Tom McCarthy, then the radio voice for Princeton, and Mark Eckel, who had covered the weekend to Yale and Brown for the Trenton Times. They were heading south on 95 when they stopped at Wendy's - back when TB ate that stuff.

Had it been current day, TB would have brought his own bananas and grapes and let it go at that.

Anyway, the order at the drive thru was for three fries and two Frosty's. TB, the driver, took the food and drove away.

As they started down 95, whoever didn't have the Frosty immediately regretted it. Then the three saw a sign for another Wendy's, so TB pulled off 95 an exit or two south of the first Wendy's.

This Wendy's is on the left side as you get off the exit that takes you to the University of Rhode Island and Newport, right when you get off 95.

It was fairly late at night too, since it was already 40 minutes or so south of Providence and the group didn't leave until Eckel finished his story.

TB pulled into the second drive thru and was going to order another Frosty when he said instead something like this: "uh, yeah, we were just here and ordered three Frosty's and two fries but you gave us two Frosty's and three fries instead." TB wasn't really serious.

So what did the kid at the drive thru at 11 or so on a Saturday night do? Apologized and gave TB another Frosty. For free.

TB was so stunned that he just took it. What he wanted to do was pay for it and say "hey, buddy, do you remember anyone coming here in the last few minutes who ordered three Frostry's and two fries? Does this car look in any way familiar?"

That's TB's favorite story about traveling to Brown.

Basketball travel for TB has mostly involved late, late nights driving home. For football, the trips were usually on Fridays.

Each time TB vowed to leave by 10 am or so to miss the traffic on 95 in Connecticut. Each time he ended up leaving around 2 - and getting slammed on the way to Providence or Hanover or Cambridge.

The Friday nights before the games were great times back then, often spent hanging out with the opposing school's sports information people, back when people in Ivy League sports information all knew each other. 

TigerBlog won't be making the trip this weekend to Providence for Princeton-Brown football. Instead, he'll either watch it on TV - if he can figure out if he gets Fox College Sports Pacific - or listen to Dan Loney on the radio.

TB does like Brown's stadium very much as a place to see a game, though he can't stand the walk up to the press box or to the top part of the stands. Still, it's a charming place to be on a fall afternoon.

It's a huge game for a Princeton team that has looked very, very good through four weeks.

At the end of the day Saturday, each Ivy League team will have completed its non-league schedule and played two games, and the schedule will have reached the halfway point.

Were TB in charge of making such decisions, this week would be an off week for all eight Ivy League schools, and the season would have started one week earlier.

Meanwhile, back in the world were TB is just an observer, it's Week 5 for Ivy football.

Right now, Harvard is 2-0 in the league and 4-0 overall and it hosts the same Lafayette team that Princeton beat 42-26 last week. If nothing else, the game will offer some comparative scoring opportunity.

Brown is 3-1 and the Rhode Island state champ after defeating URI and Bryant, as well as Georgetown. The goal is to win the Ivy League, though, and Brown already has one blemish, a 41-23 loss to Harvard.

Princeton and Penn are the only other undefeated Ivy teams, both at 1-0. Princeton thumped Columbia 53-7 in its Ivy opener, while Penn outlasted Dartmouth in four overtimes. Dartmouth and Yale are 1-1 after the Big Green bounced back from that crushing Penn loss to beat the Bulldogs last weekend.

Princeton is at Brown Saturday and Harvard next Saturday. It's back-to-back trips up 95, and they will go a long way towards defining the season.

Princeton has scored a ton of points and gained a ton of yards through four games. It's also put its most exciting team in all the time TB has been watching the team play on the field.

By this point of the season, it's impossible to win a league championship. It is possible to lose one.

Princeton has taken the first step in the direction of playing for a league championship, by winning its league opener and having momentum going forward.

Step 2 is to put itself in position to play meaningful games in November. The next two weeks will help decide if that happens.

The Brown game is particularly fascinating, since the Bears are playing for their league lives after the loss to Harvard.

Ivy League football is a sprint. It seems like 20 minutes ago that Princeton's coaches were talking about how they couldn't wait to get started.

Now the season is almost half over.

The first half has been fun and entertaining.

The second half is all business, hopefully, for Princeton fans at least, successful business.

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