Thursday, May 7, 2015

Do You Believe In Miracles?

So the eagerly awaited answer to last week's trivia question about the uniqueness of the turf on Powers Field at Princeton Stadium turned out to be this:

The 50-yard-line logo on Powers Field at Princeton Stadium is the university's shield. Each end zone bears a tiger head logo and the word "Tigers." Taken together, the painted field markings at Princeton are different from those at any other Division I football stadium and have held that distinction for one season, after Notre Dame changed the logo on its field in 2014. What is that difference?Answer: Princeton has the only on-campus football field in Division I whose painted markings include neither the name of the school nor its first initial. Until 2014, Notre Dame's field design was even more spare, with no logo at midfield and only diagonal lines in the end zones. Last season, the Fighting Irish switched from natural grass to FieldTurf and, in doing so, added their monogram "ND" at midfield.

And there you have it. Who knew?

You want to know what the most incredible thing about this is? It's that TigerBlog believes it, without question, even though it came without an documentation from a person who posted it anonymously.

It could be anyone who posted that. It could be true. It might not be true at all. Who knows?

It doesn't matter. TigerBlog believes it.

One of TigerBlog's firmest beliefs is that people believe what they read. It's like Matthew Broderick said in the movie "Biloxi Blues," people figure it must be true, or why else would someone go to the trouble to write it down?

There is a corollary of course. That is that certain people believe nothing they read and will do anything to disprove what they read.

TigerBlog has been known to be cynical at times. In this case, he figures this has to be true. Who would make this up?

So there you have it. Princeton Stadium is the only Division I football stadium where neither the school name nor the initial appears on the field.


Anyway, speaking of football and cynicism, it was a field day yesterday for those who may have had a doubt or two about Tom Brady's veracity when it came to deflating footballs.

The NFL released it findings yesterday, and they were not flattering to Brady or the Patriots, who nevertheless acted as if they were being persecuted.

As TigerBlog said at the time: guilty, guilty, guilty.

Oh, for those who want to point out that the Patriots crushed the Colts in the game, TB reminds them that there was no guarantee beforehand, when the balls were being deflated, that this was going to be a blowout. And, as TB also said at the time, he does not believe that this was the first time New England did this, just the first time the team was caught.

So what should the punishment be?

Simple. Brady should be banned for a year. This is cheating of the highest order, way up there with PEDs.

And his career accomplishments? To TigerBlog, they're all completely tainted after this. Who knows how many times they've done this before? Who knows how many other rules have been broken?

Anyway, where can TigerBlog go today for something genuine?

The heavyweight rowing video that was on of course.

Princeton was rowing against Brown for the Content Cup, and the Tigers were seven seats back with 500 meters to go. By the end, Princeton had caught the Bears, winning by 0.7 seconds.

There are two great parts of the video.

The first is the commentary at the end. That is genuine, genuine excitement - complete with the, uh, borrowing, of the most famous line in American sportscasting history.

The second is the reaction of the Brown coxswain. That too is genuine. Genuine frustration at having come so close to a big win and falling just short. It's also an acknowledgement that, on this day at least, the team's best was just a little too short. TigerBlog has a lot of respect for that kind of genuine physical and emotional commitment.

The men's heavyweight rowing team is one of five teams that has not yet competed for the Ivy League championship this academic year. The five remaining championships are in men's and women's outdoor track and field (this weekend at Penn) and then the rowing championships next weekend.

Princeton's heavyweight men have one loss this year, to Yale. Brown, obviously, is a contender, at least according to the video. And Harvard is also right there.

The final at Eastern Sprints, which determines the Ivy champ, could be a great one. It'll have to be to match the emotion from the Princeton-Brown race.

Do you believe in miracles.

That was great.


Anonymous said...

No need for the name on the field because there is a "sense of where you are."

Anonymous said...

People, Patriots fans or otherwise, who as a legal defense for Brady point to his throwing more effectively in the second half against the Colts -- these people are idiots. One half of football is too small a sample size to be meaningful.

If you want a meaningful sample size, take a look at the article on titled "538 Dissects the Deflategate Report." From the 2010 season through the 2014 season, the Patriots had by far the lowest rate of offensive fumbles in the NFL. The probability of the Patriots' outlier performance occurring by chance is more than 10,000 to 1 against. What's a very reasonable explanation for an incredibly low fumble rate? Underinflated footballs. Statistically, what variable correlates best with win-loss records? Turnovers.

Tom Brady didn't need underinflated footballs to beat the Colts last January, but one could very plausibly conclude that his desire to throw a slightly deflated ball played a huge role in the Patriots winning over the past five seasons by dominating the turnover battle. --From the guy who asked the trivia question