Tuesday, December 1, 2015


About a year ago, the Princeton track and field teams were competing at the Armory in New York City when there was a mascot race.

The Princeton Tiger won easily. Who was the Tiger? A then-freshman named Max Schwegman, a member of the men's track team.

Back in the spring, TigerBlog and Princeton video man John Bullis started down the path of doing the "Who's the Tiger" video series. Step 1 was to find someone who could play the Tiger.

Enter Schwegman. Max signed up for two videos, which were filmed in the same day, before school ended.

At the time, the point of the videos was to be a complement to the "Achieve, Serve, Lead" series, two videos with the Tiger in a funny situation. Then, after the first two, the idea of having an entire series of videos in the "Who's the Tiger" theme, all leading up to TAGD.

As today is TAGD, the series ended yesterday. There are 12 videos in all in the "WTT" series, and they're modeled on the SportsCenter commercials in which athletes in uniform are put into comic situations.

TigerBlog likes all 12. Of course he does. He and Bullis, along with Princeton's second video dude, Cody Chrusciel, are responsible for them.

The point really was to just have fun and make a funny finished product. Maybe you think that the videos succeeded. Maybe you don't.

If they were funny, it's because they had simple punchlines that were well-executed. And who did the executing? Princeton athletes, and two coaches.

What is TB's favorite? The one entitled "The Audition," with men's lacrosse player Sam Gravitte and softball player Riley Wilkinson.

While everyone who was in the videos was excellent, there are some who really stood out.

Like wrestler Chris Perez in the very first one, when he took his mouthpiece out in the study hall and said "I thought it was a real tiger."

And men's hockey player Kyle Rankin in the second-to-last one, when he improved the line "with the addition of moose" and with his perfectly stated "how fast can you run, bud" taunt of the Tiger.

And Kendall Peterkin of the women's volleyball team with her line "well that's awkward" when the second tiger comes off the elevator.

And rower Pat Eble in the "Animal Crackers" one, with his line "Hippopotamus. Cool."

Oh, and a special recognition has to go to Paul Franklin, a longtime sportswriter in the area who was in the second one. If nothing else, he certainly looked the part.

The MVP of the series, though, was Max. He's a natural, especially with his unscripted reactions to the lines that were thrown his way.

Somehow he was able make it seem like he could roll his eyes or change his facial expression, even though he was wearing a tiger head that didn't move. He has a real future in being a mascot, if he wants to go that route.

As the series went further down the road, the question became "well, who is the tiger? Who should be the tiger at the end?"

In the end, a different path was taken. Hopefully you saw the last one. If not, you can see that one, and the other 11, right HERE.

TigerBlog likes the ending. The basic premise is that there is no one tiger, that the tiger is the sum of all of the Princeton Athletics parts.

Okay, it's a little hokey. That's okay.

Maybe TB likes it because on a lot of levels, it's really how it is around here.

Today is TAGD. For the second year in a row, Princeton Athletics is having a 24-hour give day, one that pits Friends Groups against each other to win additional prizes, depending on what levels can be reached.

All of the information on TAGD can be found HERE, at the TAGD website.

It's a 24-hour event, one that started at midnight Eastern and goes through midnight Eastern tonight. It's an event that brings out the best in the people who work at Princeton Athletics, as they will be locked in for the entire 24 hours.

TigerBlog tries to tell Princeton people all the time that the loyalty of this University is unique. Maybe Princetonians don't get it because it's all they've known, but that's TB's point.

The loyalty to the school begins early on, at orientation. It's how Princeton works. It's not how every other school works.

This is why Princetonians support the school in such high numbers. It's why Reunions becomes a must-attend event year after year.

So now you know who the tiger is. It's you. It's everyone you went to school here with. It's every athlete. It's every coach.

In the videos, it was Max Schwegman. And he was great at it.

In real life, it's everyone.

Happy TAGD.

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