Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year.

Okay, it's not quite New Year's Day. Hey, it's not even Rosh Hashanah, the new year of TigerBlog's people.

New Year's Day is Jan. 1, of course. Why? TigerBlog tried to figure that out once, and all he got was scolded in the comments section by someone who didn't turn to Wikipedia for answers.

Anyway, whatever the reason, the New Year officially starts on Jan. 1.

It's a weird time to have a new year begin. To TigerBlog, a new year should be the start of something, not the middle of something, or even the early part of something.

Jan. 1 is winter. It's been cold for awhile; it'll be cold for awhile. Christmas precedes it by a week and the official start of winter is only 11 days before it, but it's still just more of the same cold, gray, possibly snowy/icy weather that's been around for weeks.

To TigerBlog, there are only two obvious times to have new year's day. First would be at the end of winter, when the weather finally starts to get better. The problem with that is that it's impossible to tell when that would be in any given year.

This year, for instance, the weather didn't really get good until around May 1. No, that won't work for TigerBlog's new and improved calendar. The TigerBlogian calendar, as it were.

The only day that makes sense, really, is the day after Labor Day.

The summer is winding down. August has come and gone. The weather, presumably, starts to get like it was the last three weeks - though ironically the last three days have finally been a Central New Jersey summer, with high humidity and temps that touched 90 on Sunday and came close yesterday.

The new school year is beginning. There is a real change of seasons coming. The end of summer is the end of the most laid-back part of the year, and there is a sense of renewed commitment to work, school and everything else.

And football season. That too.

In the TigerBlogian calendar, the official start of autumn would be today as well, since everyone talks about how summer has ended. Governor Christie even tweeted it yesterday.

The first day of summer would be the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The first day of winter would be the Monday after Thanksgiving. The first day of spring would be the second day of consecutive days where the temperature reaches 60.


This week is the start of a new athletic year at Princeton University, with men's soccer, women's soccer, field hockey, women's volleyball and men's water polo all ready to get going this weekend.

With the start of any new year here comes issuing of the Department of Athletics' newest Nike gear.

TigerBlog loves the new sneakers, which are about 75% bright orange with some white areas and then some black trim, including a black swoosh. They certainly stand out. TB had several people comment on them the first day he wore them.

In fact, he wore them to Miss TigerBlog's field hockey game Friday. MTB's school's colors are also orange and black, and the school itself starts with a "P."

TigerBlog Jr. went to a private school, whose colors are red and blue. Who could possibly imagine such a color scheme?

Anyway, now that MTB is at her high school, TB can break out basically anything orange and black that he wants for the games. And the sneakers are perfect.

The Nike contract that Princeton has has done wonders to make the athletes, coaches and staff here look like members of one big team. Before Nike, each team was basically on its own. Colors didn't match. Logos didn't match. There was little uniformity from team to team.

Now? There is a common look among all of Princeton's athletes, a classy look at that.

This is about more than just a free pair of sneakers or a free shirt.

This is about a shared spirit, a shared message, a shared sense of values of Princeton Athletics. It's about the pride that those who wear the orange and black can rightfully feel, in themselves, in their team and in the larger mix of 38 teams and 1,000 athletes.

It's about being part of something bigger than any individual, and that's what college athletics are supposed to be about anyway. And here, it's about the combination of education and athletics, both being done at the highest possible level.

TigerBlog has said this many times before. The Nike contract has been one of the best things that has happened for the Department of Athletics in his time here. It has done so much for the student-athlete experience.

The micro view is cool orange sneakers.

The macro view is much bigger than that.

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