Tuesday, April 26, 2016

That's The Spirit

TigerBlog had a meeting yesterday afternoon.

The subject? The Gary Walters ’67 Princeton Varsity Club Awards Banquet, which is actually one month from today.

Yes, another academic year is flying by.

When TigerBlog was in the newspaper business, he started out each September with the idea that he'd do one more academic year and then, when it was over, go get a "real" job. MotherBlog used to say all the time when TB was little that he'd never be able to make a career working in sports, that someday he'd have to get a "real" job.

Ah, how wrong she was.

TigerBlog has seen a lot of people leave what he does to get "real" jobs. That's up to them. TigerBlog isn't quite sure when he stopped thinking in terms of "one more academic year." It was a long time ago.

He long ago figured out that what he does is a "real" job. In fact, he's finishing up his 33rd academic year in the sportswriting/communications/athletic administration business.

There was a time when the new academic year didn't really start until then-Trenton State College president Harold Eickoff would announce at the preseason media/booster luncheon his prediction, which was always the same. "I predict," he would say, "that every Trenton State team will go undefeated all year."

These days, the banquet is one of the major signs that the academic year is pretty much over. There are only a handful of competitions from that point on, usually in rowing and track and field.

The end of April brings with it the countdown to the final home events of the year. Another sign that the academic year is ending? The email that TB got the other day that said that the event meeting would be cancelled.

By TigerBlog's count, here is the remaining home schedule for 2015-16:
* men's heavyweight, men's lightweight and women's open rowing this weekend
* men's lacrosse against Cornell Saturday
* baseball against Cornell Sunday
* softball against Cornell Sunday
* Heps track and field May 7-8

And that's it.

At least that's it for scheduled things.

It's possible that the same weekend as Heps track will also see Princeton host the Ivy League women's lacrosse tournament and/or the Ivy League baseball championship series.

As exciting as it would be to see all eight Ivy League baseball teams end up 10-10, a possibility that TigerBlog pointed out yesterday, he'd actually rather not see that come to be. Instead, he'd like to see Princeton clinch the Gehrig Division this weekend against Cornell.

If it all goes well for Princeton, the Tigers will win the division and then host the Rolfe winner by having a better record than the Rolfe champ. Right now, Princeton and Yale are both in first place, at 10-6.

Of course, the Gehrig Division comes first, and the Tigers are only one game up on Penn right now.

Then there is the women's lacrosse tournament. Three of the spots are already sealed, with Princeton, Penn and Cornell all at 5-1 and in the field.

The final spot will go to Harvard with a win over Yale this Saturday. Should Yale win, and Dartmouth beat Columbia, then there would be a three-way tie for fourth at 3-4. Without boring you on the details, Dartmouth would then be the fourth team. If Yale beats Harvard and Columbia beats Dartmouth, then Yale would be the fourth team.

Princeton would get at least a share of the league title with a win at Brown Saturday. There cannot be a three-way tie, because Penn plays Cornell Saturday as well.

Simply put, a Penn win and the Quakers host. A Penn loss and Princeton win and Princeton hosts. A Princeton win and the Tigers and the winner of Penn-Cornell share the title. A Princeton loss means the winner of the Penn-Cornell is the outright champion and host.

No matter what, the Penn-Cornell winner is assured at least a share of the Ivy League title.

Brown, Princeton's opponent, is 1-5 in the league, but the Bears just beat Dartmouth this past weekend. And they beat Princeton the last time the Tigers were in Providence.

So there you have it. The remaining home schedule. And the possibly at home schedule.

Oh, and one more thing for today.

There were eight University-wide winners of the Spirit of Princeton Award. To quote the Daily Princetonian:

The award recognizes a select group of undergraduate students who have made positive contributions to various facets of the University, including in the arts, community service, student organizations, residential living, religious life and athletic endeavors.
All undergraduate students were eligible for the Spirit of Princeton award and could have been nominated by faculty members, alumni, staff and fellow students in the Princeton community. The nominations were reviewed and final winners selected by a committee comprised of administrators and undergraduate students.

Of the eight winners, two are varsity athletes. 

One is football player Ian McGeary. The other is swimmer Beverly Nguyen.

You can read about them HERE.

It's an incredible accomplishment for both, given the time constraints of being a varsity athlete. Then again, TigerBlog has never ceased to be amazed at how the athletes here do it, managing their time as athletes while succeeding as students at a school like Princeton and still finding time to serve the community.

They achieve. They serve. They lead.

And they inspire. 

Why hasn't TigerBog ever wanted to get a "real" job? It's because of the McGeary's and Nguyen's of the world of Princeton Athletics.

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