Friday, April 17, 2015

A Bunch Of Big Events

So this is a fairly big weekend for Princeton sports.

One team is playing for an outright Ivy League title. Another is playing for a share. A third could get a share with a win and some help. Another is playing to get into position to get an Ivy title.

Even some teams that aren't playing for a league championship have huge rivalry games.

And there's also the added benefit of having many of these events on campus.

So where would TigerBlog like to start today? Of course.

With that ESPN reporter who went off on the person where her car was towed. Did you see this?

First of all, TigeBlog had never heard of Britt McHenry before he saw the story yesterday about how she was suspended by ESPN for a week after her awful tirade. You can see for yourself HERE if you haven't seen it yet.

Okay, two things.

First, did she have to touch every stereotype of TV personalities all at once? Admit it. What did you think when you saw her? Typical female TV sportscaster, chosen for her looks and nothing else? And now that she's on ESPN, she feels she's some sort of special class who is several stratospheres above the lowly people who watch her on TV?

Well, did you know this about McHenry: She has a master's degree from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, after graduating magna cum laude from Stetson, where she played on the soccer team? She actually sounds like someone who could have had a lot of credibility, only to throw it away completely in one ridiculous temper tantrum.

Seriously. Who will ever think of her as legitimate ever again?

And then there's the second thing, and it's a lesson that continues to bite people every day, from small things to career-defining moments to events that rise all the way to defining national attitudes on the biggest of issues.

Assume at all times that the camera is on you. Somewhere, somehow, for whatever reason - assume everything that you do is being videotaped.

Anyway, Britt McHenry, you could not have come across as a worse person if you had set out to try to make yourself look bad, if that was actually your goal.

And now back to the weekend at Princeton.

It starts this evening on Sherrerd Field, where the men's lacrosse team hosts Harvard. If you can't make it, the game is on ESPNU.

Should TigerBlog share that with you? Isn't the goal to get people to the game, not to remind them they can watch it at home? Or does he have a responsibility to share that information?

He's reading too much into it.

Anyway, it's a huge game in the men's lacrosse race. There are two weekends and six Ivy games left. Princeton and Cornell are headed to the Ivy tournament. Harvard, at 1-3, can still get in. In fact, every Ivy team is still mathematically alive, though that cannot be the case after this weekend.

Harvard is out with a loss tonight. Princeton? It is playing for the league championship and home field for the Ivy tournament.

The regular season ends next weekend at Cornell, who like Princeton is 3-1 and with a share of first place. Cornell is at Brown tomorrow.

The other big event on campus tonight is at Dillon Gym and has become one of the best events of the athletic calendar at Princeton. What would that be? Penn State at Princeton men's volleyball.

Last year's match was a classic, one that Princeton won against the power of Eastern volleyball. It was an intense night with a packed house. This year figures to be more of the same, even if Penn State is again a huge favorite.

If you're in New York City this afternoon, you can see the women's tennis team play at Columbia.

Princeton has already won at least a share of the Ivy League championship and needs a win against either the Lions or home Sunday against Cornell to wrap up the outright title and the NCAA tournament bid. Will it be easy? Hardly.

Princeton is ranked 40th this week nationally. Columbia is No. 46. Cornell is No. 75.

Then there is women's lacrosse.

The Tigers have a really quick turnaround after their huge win Wednesday night over Penn, 9-7 in Philadelphia. Up next is Columbia, tomorrow at 1 on Sherrerd Field.

A win in that game would mean that Princeton would definitely host the Ivy League women's tournament and would earn no worse than a share of the Ivy title. Princeton would get an outright title with a win tomorrow and then a win next weekend over Brown, also at home.

Columbia and Brown are both 1-4 in the league. Brown beat Princeton a year ago.

Admission to the women's lacrosse game is free. And it's supposed to be 75 and sunny. So there is no reason not to be there, right?

Well, unless you decided to go to the softball games at Penn.

These are also huge games. Princeton enters the weekend 6-4 in the division. Penn is 7-5. The Tigers have four games in Philadelphia this weekend.

To earn a shot at the division title and a chance to play in the Ivy League championship series, it seems like a split at the very least might be necessary. A team that wins three this weekend would be putting itself in the driver's seat.

Being a spring weekend, there's also water polo (away), baseball (away), rowing (home and away) and a huge track and field meet (the Larry Ellis Invitational).

And, after having started with that ESPN reporter, TigerBlog will finish the day with Larry Ellis.

When TigerBlog first came around Princeton Larry Ellis was the men's track and field coach. He was also the U.S. Olympic Track and Field coach.

One day, TigerBlog was walking down the balcony, when he heard a conversation between Ellis and an athlete, who asked Ellis what he would have to do to achieve his goal of a certain time in his event.

And what did Ellis say?

"Run faster."

There's genius in that answer, by the way.

Enjoy your weekend. Go to at least one Princeton event.

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