Thursday, October 22, 2015

Back To the Future

TigerBlog saw "Back to the Future" in the movies, he's pretty sure.

He saw basically every movie that came out between 1979 and 1985. Why would he have missed that one?

He thought it was okay. Not great. It's not his kind of funny, not like "Caddyshack" or "Stripes" or "Animal House."

He never saw the sequel, so he missed the world that was created when Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd traveled 30 years into the future, arriving on Oct. 21, 2015.

That was yesterday. It seemed like it was a big deal to a lot of people, that it was Oct. 21, 2015, and that a movie 30 years ago predicted what the world would look like.

TB did see a youtube clip of "Back to the Future II" yesterday. In the futuristic world, there were cars that flew and all kinds of other science fiction-y type of things, and even Jaws 19 in the movie theater.

What was really interesting was that there was a United States Postal Service mailbox right there on the corner. TB takes that as an indication that the people who put the movie together assumed that people would still be using the U.S. Mail as the primary form of communication and therefore didn't see the internet coming.

Where was TB back then? He was in the newspaper business.

It's too bad he didn't give any thought to writing down what he thought the world would look like 30 years in the future back in 1985. On the other hand, what does he think the world will look like in 2045, 30 years from now?

TB's first thought is that he'll still be around to see it. He'll be in his 80s by then, but he likes his chances. And if he's wrong, well, then he won't realize it anyway.

What else will be going on in 2045? What will communication be like? Will the internet be obsolete, replaced by something that nobody today has even yet imagined?

This is all to metaphysical for TB right now. He has to give it more thought.

If he had to make one prediction for what life will be like in 2045, it'll be that American college sports will still exist and will be fairly similar to what it is today.

Professional sports figure to be more global, and sports in general figure to be more modern looking, in much the same way that pictures of games from 30 years ago seem dated and pictures from today seem new and fresh.

But the games? They'll still be similar. They won't be replaced by futuristic sports like Rollerball or Quiddich or whatever else would be out there. 

Back in 1985, when TigerBlog wondered what life in the mystical year of 2000 would look like, he wondered if sports would evolve to different kinds of games.

Really, though, sports are still sports, and have been for centuries now. They've changed a bit, but baseball is still baseball, basketball is still basketball. Boxing isn't nearly as big as it once was, and if TB had to guess a sport that could find itself in the same situation 30 years from now, it would be football.

He doesn't think the sport will disappear though. He thinks it'll do what it takes to make itself safer to play and will still be a huge part of the sporting psyche.

You could go back 30 years and only be a little more than halfway to where the parade of Princeton men's lacrosse captains began this past Saturday at the Hyatt Regency.

The line of captains, stretching back five decades, made for a great sight.

Of course, TigerBlog didn't actually see it. He wasn't there. He had a conflicting event, and so he missed the Friends of Princeton Men's Lacrosse Fall Celebration for the first time in a few years.

He didn't need to see it though. He knows it looked great. It's what Princeton does.

The University as a whole, and the athletic department as an extension, knows how to celebrate. Princeton knows how to celebrate the past and those who made it happen.

Anyone who has ever been to a Princeton event knows that. The sense of pride in the University and its institutions is overwhelming.

And so the fall celebration was right in the University's wheelhouse. Honor the past. Stress to those who make up the present that the program was here long before they showed up and that they are part of something bigger than just their four years here.

Each year the men's lacrosse team honors some part of its past. This year the idea was to bring all of the captains back together.

The group stretched all the way back to 1962 and Phil Allen. It extended to the announcement of the 2016 captains - Ryan Ambler, Austin deButts, Bear Goldstein and Matt O'Connor.

Princeton is often a multi-generational entity, and it wasn't lost on TigerBlog as he looked at the list of captains in attendance that two are fathers of current players, including the father of one of the current captains. Those two would be Boota deButts, Austin's dad, and Peter Cordrey, whose son Emmett is a current freshman.

The Friends of Men's Lacrosse event is always a TigerBlog favorite. As he sits there each year (other than this one), he knows that this is just one of 38 teams at Princeton that likes to do this.

TigerBlog loves the championships and the big wins and the great players that he's seen through the years here. More than that, though, he really loves this aspect of Princeton, the way the past is revered.

Maybe it's because he was a history major.

Whatever the reason, TB thinks it's an incredible part of the University. Those of you who are alums and who competed here don't know any different and might not realize just how special it is.

TigerBlog, a Penn guy, knows. And he doesn't see it changing any time soon.

Certainly not by Oct. 21, 2045.

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