Thursday, June 18, 2015

Question No. 1

TigerBlog interrupts where he was going to start today to mention his experience at the driver's license center yesterday.

This was incredible.

As you might remember from last week, TigerBlog needed to get his license renewed, because it was expiring soon. In fact, it would have expired today.

So TigerBlog did the part where he had to renew it online, and then he got in the mail the renewal confirmation, which then required him to go to the driver's license center to get his picture taken and his new license issued. For the record, he wore an orange "Princeton Lacrosse" for his new picture.

The incredible part was this: From the time he opened the door to the driver's license center until he was back in his car, at most three minutes elapsed. Maybe two. But no more than three.

TigerBlog was ready to wait there for an hour. Or hours. Instead, nobody was there. He went in, gave the form to the lady, sat down, clicked that he wanted to be an organ donor (MotherBlog would have insisted) and was already a registered voter, smiled and got his picture snapped. About 20 seconds later, he had his license.

That was it.

The woman who worked there asked TigerBlog if he was okay with his picture, and TB said of course. Then he asked her if more men or women are okay with their picture the first time around, and she said the overwhelming majority of men are okay with the first and almost none of the women are okay with the first. For whatever that's worth.

So that's what TigerBlog wanted to say about the driver's license center.

Up next is this comment that TB got last Friday:
Now that the academic year is over, just a word to encourage more of your feature stories which include your personal memories or historical compilations. Here are some unsolicited ideas:
Greatest games or events you've witnessed, with and without regard to historical context
Happiest moments you've experienced due to Princeton sports
Weirdest fluke plays
Most improbable comebacks
Most inspiring student-athletes

Wow, what a great comment. TigerBlog has decided that he will address all five during this summer. Let's start with the first one.

The greatest games or events he's witnessed, with and without regard to historical context. That's a huge asterisk. Historical context often defines an event, so factoring that part of it out isn't always easy. Also, because of the lack of historical context element, TB will take out any NCAA tournament game or postseason event.

Also, TigerBlog assumes the question is limited to Princeton events. At least, that's what he's going to do.

So the winner in this category is obvious, so obvious that TigerBlog will start with the runner-ups. Or is that runners-up? Anyway they're not in any order.

* Princeton 15, Syracuse 14 - men's lacrosse, 1999 regular season. Princeton defeated Syracuse in four overtimes on a goal by Josh Sims in a game that was tied at 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10, 11-11, 12-12, 13-13 and 14-14 before the Tigers won. TB remembers that game for the epic performance of Kurt Lunkenheimer, who returned after six weeks from a torn ACL.

* Princeton 2, Harvard 1 - women's soccer, 2004 regular season. There's a bit of historical context to this, sort of, because TB isn't sure if Princeton would have made its run to the NCAA Final Four that year without this win. Still, the game itself didn't determine a championship or clinch a postseason spot. Princeton hadn't had much success against Harvard in the few years prior to the game, and, as TB recalls, hadn't even scored a goal at home against the Crimson in eons. Anyway, Princeton dominated the game but trailed 1-0 into the final minute, before Emily Behncke tied it with 41 seconds to go on a perfectly placed shot, as the Tigers were throwing everything they had at Harvard. Then, after Emily Vogelzang stopped a breakaway in the OT, Diana Matheson perfectly set up Esmeralda Negron for the game-winner.

* Delaware 81, Princeton 70 - women's basketball, 2011-12 regular season. Okay, Princeton lost this one, but as events go, this was a great one. Delaware and Princeton were both undefeated, and a crowd of nearly 2,000 came to Jadwin to see the showdown, and the Blue Hens incredible Elene Delle Donne. Her line for the night: 32 points on 13 for 19 shooting, nine rebounds, five blocked shots and three assists. As TB wrote the next day, it had to be what it was like to see Bill Bradley play at Princeton. As for the Tigers, Lauren Edwards had 23 and Niveen Rasheed had 20.

* Princeton 34, Yale 31 - football, 2006. Okay, this one skirts the historical context rule, as did the women's soccer game. Princeton entered the game at the Yale Bowl on a brilliantly sunny warm November day a game back of Harvard in the league race, but Harvard would lose that day to Penn, opening the door for the Tigers to tie for first with only one week left. Yale's Mike McLeod appeared to close the door, running for 151 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone. Jeff Terrell brought Princeton back from three 14-point deficits and one 11-point deficit for the win.

* Princeton 31, Penn 30 - football, 2006. Two weeks earlier, Princeton defeated Penn 31-30 in two overtimes. This game featured one of the greatest plays in Princeton football history, when Rob Toresco, stopped short of the goal line on fourth down, flipped the ball back to Terrell, who ran it in to start the second OT. The game ended when Penn had a bad snap on the PAT after it scored on its possession and almost had its holder run it before he was stopped just short of the winning points.

* Princeton 39, Harvard 34 - football, 2012. Like the game at Yale in 2006, this was another big comeback for the Tigers, this time from a 24-point deficit in the final 12 minutes. Yup. Princeton trailed 34-10 before Connor Michelson threw for three fourth-quarter touchdowns and then, after Michelsen was hurt, Quinn Epperly came on to throw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson for the game-winning points with 13 seconds left. Ironically, had Princeton made the two-point conversion after the third touchdown to tie the game at 34-34 with 2:27 to go, Harvard probably would have won, because the Crimson would have attacked instead of trying to run out the clock. Instead, Princeton held, got the ball back and won the game.

* Post 32, Princeton 29 - sprint football, 2012. This is the closest the sprint football team has come to winning in a long time, and it was an incredible ending that left TigerBlog absolutely crushed. Princeton led 29-26 after kicking an OT field goal, and Post had the ball first and goal at the two on its possession. And then? The snap was fumbled. Had Princeton fallen on it, the game would have ended and Princeton would have won. For what seemed like an eternity, the refs unpiled the players and then excruciatingly pointed in Post's direction. One player later, Post scored.

* Princeton 14, Cornell 13 - men's lacrosse, 2013 Ivy League semifinal. Mike MacDonald had seven goals and two assists, including the game-winner on Kip Orban's overtime winner, in what was an incredible game. TigerBlog could come up with about 10 other men's lacrosse games, but he'll go with this one.

* Princeton 76, Loyola Marymount 48 - men's basketball, 1991. Princeton completed a 24-2 regular season on Selection Sunday with a massive blowout win over the team leading the nation in scoring offense. TigerBlog remembers that as the most crowded he's ever seen it. The box score lists attendance as 7,735, and TB is sure all of them were there about two hours before tip-off.

So those are some runners-up. There are probably an equal number of others that TB isn't thinking of right now. There has to be a men's soccer game or two. Or hockey.

And the winner?

C'mon, you're a Princeton fan. You have to know this. Does TB even have to tell you?

He's not going to. You tell him. 


Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that your pick will be The Miracle at the Palestra. If it weren't for your NCAA rule, I'd go with the medley relay, with two of the finest athletic performances I've ever seen allowing Princeton to get back in contention and then show utter domination.

Before your time, it would have to be UNC with 3 future NBA players getting blown out at Jadwin. Lose the NCAA restriction and it has to be 56 against Wichita State with no 3 point rule.

Anonymous said...

Men's Basketball: Princeton 50 Penn 49 February 1999. I remember listening and dialing out when Princeton was down by 30+ in the first half. Checked in to see "how bad" the result was in the second half and was stunned to learn that Princeton had clawed back and won.

Nassau83 said...

This is a great list of events that TB witnessed. A list of all-time great contests would be much longer and would have to include Princeton winning the national championship in squash over Trinity in Bob Callahan's penultimate year as coach and Princeton Swimming and Diving shocking heavily favored Harvard in their new Blodgett pool in February, 1980 - Coach Rob Orr's first season. Men's Volleyball taking down Penn State after a pep talk by new President Chris Eisgruber and several women's Field Hockey games in their National Championship season would also be on a longer list.

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2011: "The Princeton men's lacrosse team, trailing Rutgers by five goals midway through the third quarter and unable to sustain any offense, erupted to score eight times from that point and then held off the Scarlet Knights in the final seconds to win 11-10 on a wild night in Piscataway. How wild? Princeton did not take a shot all night that wasn't on goal, as the Tigers took 21 shots and turned them into 11 goals, while RU goalie Rudy Butler made 10 saves. No Princeton shot went wide of the cage. How wild? The game was delayed by lightning for 75 minutes and then was played on a football practice field in wind, rain and falling temperatures. How wild? Princeton was outshot 42-21 for the game, was outshot in every quarter, won only 5 of 23 face-offs and had a stretch where it scored one goal in nearly 35 minutes - and still won. How wild? Princeton goalie Tyler Fiorito had to make two saves in the final 20 seconds to keep it from going to overtime. Fiorito finished with 16 saves, one off his career high." Trailing 8-3 with 7 minutes remaining in the third quarter, 2014 MLL #1 draft pick, current MLL all-star midfielder, and then-freshman Tom Schreiber stepped up, took control of the game, and dismantled the Rutgers defense as Princeton scored 8 of the next 10 goals. Schreiber led the team with 3 goals and 3 assists on the night, in a game that improved the team's record to 3-6, qualifying this game as having absolutely zero historical context.