Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Polar Vortex

Somehow, TigerBlog made it into his 50s without ever hearing the term "Polar Vortex" before.

That's okay. The last three weeks have made up for it. "Polar Vortex" is everywhere now.

It's been freezing here, way more so than it normally is in the middle of winter. In fact, some winters around here have been more like autumns, with no snow and temps that rarely got below 40.

This winter? Nope. This one has been ridiculous.

First of all, there have been days in the 60s and even 70s, which is just weird. These days have followed major snowstorms, so the snow itself hasn't lasted that much.

On the other hand, there have been brutal stretches, including the one that's currently enveloping the area. Let's see, there was about a foot of snow the other day, and now the temperature hasn't made its way past 15 or so since. And it's not supposed to get much above 25 or so for the foreseeable future.

For some reason, the news appears to have become a contest to see who can say "Polar Vortex" the most of late, even though TB has never heard it before the last three weeks or so. TB is pretty sure that the word "freezing" would suffice, perhaps with some sort of modifier before it.

TB was listening to the radio yesterday when he heard a New York City weatherman say that, according to one model he's seen, there is a 50% chance of a major snowstorm within a 48-hour window before or after the coming Super Bowl.

Really, he said that. It's one of the funniest things TB has heard in a while.

TigerBlog remembered a line from an episode of "The Odd Couple," when Oscar takes his nine-month pregnant niece to his girlfriend, who also is a doctor, and she says that she is definitely pregnant and going to have a baby soon, to which Oscar responds: "My bookie could have told me that."

It was the same here. A 50% chance of a major snowstorm within a 48-hour window before or after the Super Bowl? That means there's a 50% chance there won't be. In other words, it'll either happen or not happen.

Hilarious stuff. Actually, it's hilarious in one respect and ridiculous in another, in that a non-story is created.

Fortunately, while the Polar Vortex is all over the place, TigerBlog can warm himself knowing that the Yankees have spent $491 million this off-season, including $155 million for Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese pitcher who went 24-0 last year in his native land. Will the Yankees never learn?

Anyway, it's just one more reason to hate the team. Didn't make the playoffs one year? Okay, great. Here's a check for $491 million. But hey, money has nothing to do with it.

There is no vortex in Mobile, Ala., this week. The forecast for Saturday there is sunny and 58 degrees, with similar weather all week.

Caraun Reid, the three-time first-team All-Ivy League defensive tackle, is in Mobile now, practicing for the Senior Bowl, which comes up Saturday at 4. The game can be seen live on the NFL Network.

At events like this, practice is as important as the game itself. Reid is, by all accounts, having a pretty good week there.

Reid is the second Princeton player to play in the Senior Bowl and the first since Hollie Donan played in the 1951 game.

TB was reading up about how Reid was doing, and he was came upon this description on an NFL draft site: "One could quickly tell that Reid spent more than his share of time in the weight room rather than just in the library as the Ivy Leaguer showed off a surprisingly well-built frame at 6-2 (and 1/8 inch) and 301 pounds."

Okay, it's a little stereotyping. It's part of making the jump from the Ivy League to the NFL.

The same site has Reid ranked as the No. 13 defensive tackle in the draft and projects him to go in the fourth round. Should he get drafted, and all indications are that he will, he would be the second Princeton defensive lineman in two years to do so, after Mike Catapano went to the Chiefs in the most recent draft.

During his career at Princeton, Reid had 168 tackles and 20.5 sacks.

His stats aren't what define him, though. He's been a dominant physical presence for the Tigers, one of the cornerstones of the transformation from back-to-back 1-9 seasons to the 2013 Ivy League championship.

It was obvious in watching him play that he was on another level. A Sunday level, rather than a Saturday level.

Now he's getting the chance to prove it.

In way better weather than what's going on around here.

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