Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's Quiet

TigerBlog opens today with a little more on the NFC championship game.

First, to those who are okay with Richard Sherman's postgame rant, TB would quote Pete Carril: "When you lower your standards, they turn around and attack you."

It's not that Sherman is dumb. Hardly. It's not that he's a thug. Hardly.

It's that this is what society is all about these days. The more outrageous, the better. A week ago, how many people had heard of Richard Sherman, as good a player as he is? Who's the Seahawks other corner? Who are the Broncos corners?

And if you heard of him before, was it because of his play or because of his social media?

Richard Sherman? Household name now. In contemporary America, that's mission accomplished. Whatever it takes to achieve it.

Oh, and NaVorro Bowman, the 49ers linebacker and leading tackler this season who appeared to intercept a pass near the goal line, only to have the play be non-reviewable because it was ruled a fumble and a recovery by the Seahawks and such a play is not reviewable?

Well, Bowman tore his ACL and MCL on the play, which brought up another Pete Carril moment.

As Bowman was on the ground, at least he had the satisfaction of knowing that he'd gotten possession of the ball for his team - until someone went over and told him that he didn't and that it wasn't reviewable.

It reminded TB of the time at lunchtime basketball in Jadwin when an assistant football coach drove to the basket, only to tear his knee along the way. Carril, who was playing at the time, walked out over to where the football coach was on the ground, writhing away, while someone had run to get an athletic trainer.

And what did Pete say? Only this: "Now might be the best time to tell you you traveled."

Anyway, how could that play not be reviewable? Justice was served, of course, by a turnover on the net play that gave San Francisco the ball anyway.

But isn't the point of replay to correct awful mistakes? Games can be delayed interminably in the second quarter of Week 3 over microscopic analysis to see if a receiver had both feet in bounds or not, but an obviously incorrect call in the NFC Championship Game?

Oh well. Now we're on to Seahawks-Broncos, which can only mean two things - a lot of Richard Sherman and two weeks of talk about how many people want the weather to be awful.

Why do people want the weather to stink? Isn't a good thing that the Super Bowl is in this area? It's something different, but it's not like the NFL has never played postseason games in bad weather before.

TB is astounded by the number of people who want the weather to be below zero. TB gets people who want to see it snow, because that's cool. But freezing?

Why? Would the Super Bowl be anymore about corporate greed and excess if it was held in Hawaii? Nope.

Week 1 of the Super Bowl hype corresponds with the final week of first semester exams here at Princeton. As of today it's been nine days since Princeton had a sporting event, which makes this the longest stretch of the year without any competition - even with the rest of the week to go.

Princeton's next athletic events are this weekend, with men's and women's track and field, men's and women's tennis and men's basketball all in action.

Beginning Saturday, with both tracks and women's tennis, there will be at least one Princeton athletic event every day through the day of the Super Bowl. Some of those will be bigger events than others, with none bigger than the basketball games against Harvard (women here, men at Harvard) on Jan. 31.

For now, it's very, very quiet around here.

Elsewhere in college athletics, especially hockey and basketball, this is about as busy as it gets. Schools are back from exams and holiday breaks, and conference games dominate in January.

Creighton buried Villanova last night in men's basketball 96-68, shooting 21 for 35 from three-point range along the way. It was the seventh conference game for Creighton.

A bunch of schools - including every one in the MAAC - have played eight league games. In the Ivy League, every team, men's and women's, has played one.

One team that has played six league games, and won them all, is American's men's team. American is coached by Princeton alum Mike Brennan, and he has fellow Tiger Scott Greenman as an assistant coach.

Anyway, during exam break, teams here do not have formal practices. They have informal ones, featuring whoever can get down to work out as a break from studying.

That all ends soon enough. The games will be restarting and come next month, the winter/spring overlap will begin.

For today, though, it's much more relaxing. And it leaves TB to look out the window and wonder about issues other than Princeton athletics.

Like how do they know no two snowflakes are alike?

No comments: