Friday, February 21, 2014

Busy Weekend?

Cara Morey, assistant women's hockey coach and wife of sprint football head coach/eternal optimist Sean Morey, wore a bright red sweatshirt and bright red hat to yesterday's monthly department meeting.

They were emblazoned with the word "CANADA" on them.

Given Morey's sport and nationality, it was obvious that she was rooting for the Canadians in the Olympic women's hockey gold medal game, which would be facing off shortly before the end of the meeting.

By now you probably know what happened. Canada won the game and the gold medal 3-2 in overtime, handing the U.S. a brutal setback after the Americans had led 2-0 late in the third period.

Canada broke through to make it a 2-1 game with three minutes left, tied it with just over a minute left after pulling the goalie and then won it in OT. The U.S. team almost wrapped it up when it was 2-1, when a shot at the empty Canadian net trickled gently into the post, about an inch or two away from sealing it. The Canadians then came down and tied it instead.

The U.S. and Canada were destined to be in the gold medal game in women's hockey, just like they were four years ago and just like they will be four more years from now, TB assumes. Because of that, coming home with another silver medal stings a bit, especially after having come so close to finally winning the gold.

It's pretty hard for TigerBlog to work up any kind of animosity for Canada, even more so these days, after he recently saw "Argo" for the first time.

The Olympics foster a great many things, including over-the-top amounts of jingoism. As TB said before the men's hockey quarterfinal game, he knows plenty of Americans he doesn't like but not a single person in the Czech Republic that he doesn't like.

Besides, the American women's team was dotted with players from Harvard and Cornell, which always brings TB back to one of his favorite questions. Do you root for the rest of the league when they get to championship competition beyond the Ivy League?

TB usually roots for Ivy Leaguers in pro sports. The Olympics are sort of an extension of that, but this wasn't one underdog Ivy League-type who made it big.

Add it all up, and TB was mostly rooting for a good game in the women's final, and he got it. He's definitely rooting for the U.S. team in the men's game today though.

If you want to root against current Harvard athletes, then you can come to Jadwin Gym tomorrow night at see the Princeton-Harvard men's basketball game, tip-off for which is at 8.

The Tigers are 2-5 in the Ivy League, so there will be no title this year. There is still a chance, though, to greatly impact who does win the title.

Harvard is 7-1 and tied for first place with Yale, and both teams still need to make the trip to Princeton and Penn. It might not be the kind of big game that Princeton envisioned when it was 11-2 prior to the start of the league season, but it will still be a big game nonetheless.

It's hardly the only Princeton event this weekend, though.

How many events are there? How about 34 between tonight and Sunday. And some of them are huge, such as the Ivy League women's swimming and diving championships and the women's basketball game at Harvard. And the Howe Cup women's squash championships, also to be held in Jadwin.

If you don't feel like leaving the Princeton campus tomorrow, you can be pretty busy. Men's lacrosse opens at 11 a.m. against Hofstra. The men's basketball game wraps it up.

In between is wrestling against Penn (1), men's hockey against Cornell (7) and the squash all day.

It's only going to get busier as the winter/spring overlap gets into full swing for the next few weeks. Of course, this weekend is busy enough.

The lacrosse game will be the first home outdoor event since Nov. 16, when there was home football and men's soccer.

The weather has been brutal all winter, and it's supposed to go back to being brutal next week. But there is a bit of a window this weekend, just in time for Princeton-Hofstra, which will be played apparently on a day that will be sunny with temperatures in the high 40s or low 50s, which will seem like August after what's been going on around here.

Either way, it's a big sign that spring is on the way.

Maybe today's rain and warm temps can melt a lot of the snow, or at least allow some of the grass to peak through in spots. It's enough with seeing snow as far as the eye can see.

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