Monday, September 22, 2014

Opening Thoughts

TigerBlog saw a really good concert on TV Friday night - after he had gone through five episodes of "Breaking Bad," of course.

It was Imagine Dragons, one of TigerBlog Jr.'s favorites. And, TigerBlog must admit, a group he really likes as well.

TB's introduction to Imagine Dragons was when the song "It's Time" was used to promote the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament on ESPN two years ago. The group has a really strong unique sound, and some of its songs are great - including the aforementioned "It's Time," "Radioactive," "Demons" and TB's favorite, "On Top Of The World."

TigerBlog looked through the audience at the concert and didn't see too many people in his age range. Okay, none. Still, TB does like the group, and he especially likes Imagine Dragons compared to almost the rest of what passes for contemporary music.

Has TB become one of those stodgy old people who views modern music the way people who were the age he is now back in the 1960s viewed Elvis, the Beatles and the Stones?

Nah. He just thinks most of what he hears on Miss TigerBlog's stations is awful.

Anyway, when the concert was over, he flipped around and came upon "The Silence of the Lambs," which was just starting. TigerBlog once wrote this about the movie:

"TigerBlog assumes that pretty much everyone has seen it at least once, and if you have, it's left you fairly freaked out for life to a certain extent ... Anthony Hopkins' performance as Hannibal Lecter is extraordinary. It's not easy, after all, to make a cannibalistic serial killer so likeable, like the kind of person you'd want to have a meal with, well, uh, no to that actually."

He stands by that.

Every time he sees the movie, he is amazed that Hopkins is only in it for 16 minutes. He does a lot in that time, of course, to the point that he was one of the easiest Best Actor choices of all time.

Perhaps his best scene is the one in the beginning where he talks to Agent Starling for the first time. That's as far as TB got in the movie, since it was late and he didn't really want to have nightmares all night, even if it's seen the movie a millions times.

One night after Hopkins was on screen for 16 minutes in a performance that won Best Actor, Jameis Winston was on screen for eight minutes during Florida State's overtime win over Clemson.

In case you missed out on this, Winston, who won the Heisman Trophy last year, was suspended by FSU first for the first half and then for the entire game after he jumped onto a table in a public area and shouted an obscene vulgarity. Apparently, that earns a one-game suspension, whereas allegations of sexual assault and stealing crab legs merit nothing.

Clearly, Winston would not still be at Florida State if he was a regular student or even an average football player. But okay, FSU has decided that winning the national championship last year was worth the risk of what the star quarterback will do next.

Oh well. By the way, this treatment is why NFL players feel so untouchable by the rules of regular society, but that's another issue.

But why did ESPN feel the need to show so many reaction shots of him during the game that it added up to eight minutes of screen time? Why? Okay. He's happy when his team does something right. Everyone gets it.

For that matter, why would Florida State permit him on the sideline in the first place. Oh wait, the rules don't apply to him. TigerBlog forgot for a minute.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Princeton opened its football season with a 39-29 loss to San Diego.

TigerBlog, ever the optimist, will point out that Princeton is now, after Week 1, one point ahead of its pace of a year ago, when it set the Ivy League record for points in a season. Princeton scored 28 in its opening day loss to Lehigh a year ago.

Princeton wasn't as sharp offensively against San Diego as it was for most of last year. It was a tough opener, with the long plane ride and all of the other activities around the game, as well as the most interesting issue of all: Week 1 in the Ivy League comes in Week 4 for everyone else.

How big a deal is that?

Princeton is now 0-8 in its last eight season openers, by far its worst showing in any week in that stretch.

Princeton plays non-league games in Week 1, Week 2 and Week 4. Since the start of the 2007 season, Princeton is 0-8 in Week 1, 5-2 in Week 2 and 3-4 in Week 4.

If you want to say it's a function of the opponent, consider this: Since the start of the 2007 season, Princeton is 2-4 against Lehigh - 0-4 in Week 1 games and 2-0 in games that were played in Week 2.

From 1976 through 1999, Ivy League teams opened their seasons with a league game. To say there was a lot of pressure on the opener would be an understatement.

After all, it's hard to win the league when you're 0-1 to start. History says it doesn't happen often.

Princeton, for instance, has never done it, never won the Ivy title after losing its first Ivy game.

So the decision was made to play a non-league game first. In Princeton's case, it's the first two weeks.

And that's always going to be a disadvantage. Teams are much sharper in Week 2 than Week 1 and much fitter in Weeks 3 and 4 than in Week 1. It's just how it is. 

This year, Davidson comes to Powers Field at Princeton Stadium for the home opener, this Saturday at 6. There will be fireworks after the game, by the way.

What does the opening day loss mean? In the long run, not much, other than the chance to go 10-0 is gone. But hey, that's getting way ahead of things anyway.

The goals are the same every year. Win the Ivy title. Get a bonfire for beating Harvard and Yale.

The goal of an opening day win? That will have to wait until next year, at Lafayette.

Princeton has won three straight against the Leopards, just none of them in Week 1.

No comments: