Thursday, February 19, 2015

Laxing In The Cold

Okay, TigerBlog doesn't want to complain about the weather or anything. Or beat the subject to death.

Still, it's getting a little unreasonable around here.

And the most unreasonable is about to happen.

The forecast for today is for a high of 18 degrees. Then it'll get downright insane.

By the time everyone around here wakes up tomorrow morning, the temperature will be well below zero. The forecast says minus-five, which would probably be about as cold as it's ever been in TigerBlog's lifetime, he's guessing. He can't remember when it got more than one below, and that hasn't happened too often.

And this isn't with the wind chill. This is the actual temperature.

The forecast for Saturday is for a high around 30 and a chance of late-day snow, and that forecast was way preferable to tomorrow's of a high of 19 or so. As a result, Princeton moved its men's lacrosse game against Hofstra from Friday to Saturday, with face-off at 3.

The women's season-opener against Loyola, originally scheduled for 1 Saturday, has been moved to noon.

For the record, that's three changes to the schedule for this weekend, along with the women's basketball game, which moved to 6 tomorrow night.

TigerBlog is trying to remember the coldest temperatures he's ever been in, and it might have been at Dartmouth one year for basketball. Princeton always stays at the Fireside Inn and Suites in Hanover, at the first exit off I-89 after you cross into New Hampshire from Vermont.

There's a relatively long driveway into the hotel. At the other end are a bunch of strip malls, food places and such, and it's about a seven-minute walk or so from the lobby of the hotel. TigerBlog remembers making that walk one time and feeling like his face froze by the time he got to the main road.

He can't remember what the exact temperature was then. He's also probably not going to try to walk seven minutes from his front door tomorrow morning to see if it's any colder than he remembers from that day.

TigerBlog knows people who prefer the winter to the summer. That's fine. It's their choice, even if they are nuts.

Look at THIS and tell TB you wouldn't much rather be there right now. 

Oh well. Nothing TB can do about it right now.

As for lacrosse, it's supposed to be a warm weather sport. Or at least a spring sport. It can't be fun to practice and play on days like there have been or will be for the next few weeks. It definitely can't be fun to get smacked by a lacrosse ball on bare skin on days like this.

Or, for that matter, to sit there and watch a game, if you're a fan. Princeton had 672 hardy souls at Sherrerd Field last Saturday to see the Tigers defeat Manhattan 14-4 in a game that started in 28 degree weather and ended in snow.

The problem these days is that with conference tournaments, an NCAA tournament schedule locked in place and a reluctance to play midweek games, the schedule gets pushed back earlier and earlier. Just 10 years ago, Princeton's opener was March 5. This year, Princeton opened on Feb. 14.

Why? Because with one fewer midweek game and an Ivy tournament that requires the regular season to be over a week earlier than before it, the math is not hard to do. 

Plus, wins are wins. It doesn't matter when you get them. It's not even late February yet, and Towson already has a huge win over Johns Hopkins and Denver has a huge win over Duke. Come selection time, those will matter a lot.

Hey, Penn had a nice win Tuesday night in overtime against a very good St. Joe's team. The Quakers came from down 9-4 in the fourth quarter to get that one 11-10.

If you're going to play at this time of year, at least play in the daylight.

Or indoors. Like Syracuse can, in the Carrier Dome, which TigerBlog loves. Cornell lost there Sunday 14-6 to Syracuse, in a game that was going to be tough for the Big Red, who had only two weeks of practice, like the rest of the Ivy teams.

Cornell's next game is against Hobart, and it's being moved from Saturday to tomorrow and off both campuses, to the Greater Binghamton Sports Center. TB isn't sure if that's indoors or not.

The solution would be to start the season later. Or to go back to more midweek games.

Or, better yet, do what baseball did and push the NCAA championships back into June, so the season can start at a more reasonable date.

Maybe that'll happen someday. It won't be soon. And so teams are left with the situation that they created, which is playing and practicing when it's below freezing to get all of their games in.

It's not that complicated. Either push the season back, or play in this weather. 

And so instead of a single game tomorrow and a single game Saturday, there's a doubleheader Saturday. The men's game was originally scheduled for Friday at 3 for ESPNU; now the game will be live on ESPN3 and then shown on delay on ESPNU at some point.

TigerBlog is mostly just happy that it's lacrosse season. Hey, he'd be there no matter what the weather is.

Of course, he gets to sit in a press box. On the other hand, he has to do that when the weather gets nice out too, though it seems worth the trade off.

The bottom line is that much of lacrosse season - maybe half - is now being played in awful weather, year after year, and that's a shame.


Anonymous said...

"Laxing in the Cold"=Chillaxing

Anonymous said...

More fights and penalty minutes in a scrimmage and two games than in 24 years of Tiger lacrosse. Vs Albany 3 men served unreleasable penalties. It did not look as if the Tigers had practiced their three man down defense. Vs Hofstra it was player of the week not helping his team Get a grip.

Years ago, we watched Maryland lose the national championship two consecutive years by fighting at critical moments. Princeton was the benefactor one of the times, but that was in the quarters, if I remember well. Serious about winning, means keeping your head in the game. It's hard enough w/o giving it away.