Thursday, September 4, 2014

In A Hurry

A little more than a year ago, TigerBlog asked the question of which Princeton athletes have had the best post-Princeton careers.

He came up with basketball player Bill Bradley on the men's side and rower Caroline Lind on the women's side.

He's pretty sure, by the way, that he could simply have copied and pasted what he said a year ago and left it that. And maybe he should, because he's in a bit of a hurry this morning.

He'll get back to that shortly.

First, there's the original thesis. Who is the most successful post-Princeton athlete?

Princeton has had professional athletes, Olympic medalists and world champions across many sports. To make a determination on who was the most successful after leaving Princeton requires treating the pinnacle of each sport as equal; each athlete is judged solely on the post-Princeton success in his or her sport, rather than weighting it for, say, the NBA or Major League Baseball or the Olympics.

That got TigerBlog to wondering if perhaps Ryan Boyle and not Bill Bradley might be the most successful male.

Boyle is the all-time leader in assists (by a lot - he has 271; Casey Powell is second with 222) and second-leading scorer in Major League Lacrosse history. Boyle has won three MLL championships and won two World Championships with team USA.

There's a case that can be made for him.

Then there's Caroline Lind. A year ago, Lind was already TB's choice - and that's before she added another world championship last weekend in Amsterdam. Lind is the only Princeton rower ever to win two Olympic gold medals, and the world championship she won this weekend was her sixth.

She is also currently ranked among the top 10 rowers in the world.

TigerBlog would get more into this, and get into the story about Kate Bertko, a 2006 Princeton grad like Lind, who went from emergency abdominal surgery in July to winning a bronze medal eight weeks later.

Check out the story about her on row2K, paying particular attention to the scar in the photo, to get a better sense of what she went through.

As TB said, though, he's in a bit of hurry this morning.


Well, tomorrow might be opening day for Princeton Athletics 2014-15, but today is sort of the kickoff.

Today is Princeton's first department-wide meeting of the academic year. It's something that TB has attended for a long time, and yet today will be radically different.

Today, for the first time, Mollie Marcoux will be the one leading the meeting. It's her first department-wide meeting since becoming Ford Family Director of Athletics.

It's a big occasion. Marcoux is starting down the path of putting her stamp on the athletic department, setting its agendas, establishing her priorities. It's not something that happens overnight, but the first staff meeting is a big milestone in terms of getting her message out.

The Department of Athletics isn't huge in numbers, but it is spread out across the campus, with offices in Jadwin, Dillon, Baker, the boat house, the tennis center  - and others who aren't technically part of the athletic department who work closely with athletics. It's not often that they all get together, so the meetings always have a social component to them.

Today's goes a little beyond the usual "hey, how are you." After the meeting there will be the annual staff photo.

It's amazing to look back at the photos year-by-year to see the turnover, which is always a little more than TB thinks.

It's a cohesive group, though. The staff picture will feature all of the members of the department, in orange and black Nike gear. It's a group that works hard and covers for each other as necessary. It's one that roots hard for each other and takes pride in each other's successes. It's a group that has largely checked its ego at the door.

And today, it's a group that will gather to hear from its new leader. And then get its picture taken. And then have lunch together.

So you'll forgive TB for cutting it short today, but he's in a little hurry.

Gotta run. He'll be back tomorrow.

For opening day.

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