Monday, May 2, 2016

Blog 2K

Back in August of 2008, Yariv Amir - then a member of the Office of Athletic Communications and now high in the athletic hierarchy at Colgate - took it upon himself to create a Princeton Athletics blog.

He created an account, calling it "" And then he said "now what?"

Sure, Princeton Athletics now had a blog. The OAC also had no idea what to do with it. At first, it seemed like a good place for smaller announcements, and so on Aug. 28, 2008, this was the first entry:

The new Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium hosted its first event on Thursday as members of the media were introduced to the new home of Princeton soccer. Head coaches Jim Barlow and Julie Shackford and members of both teams met reporters from area newspaper and television outlets. Look for articles in the upcoming issues of the Princeton Packet and Town Topics and on WZBN News. 

It's grown a bit since then.

This was a pretty good weekend in Princeton Athletics.

The women's lacrosse team won an Ivy League title for the third straight year. The baseball and softball teams both won divisional championships, and the baseball team will host the Ivy League championship series this weekend.

Seth DeValve was drafted in Round 4 by the Cleveland Browns, making him the third Princeton player in the last four years to be drafted.

There were other stories at Princeton. And even some others elsewhere that would make great topics for today.

Like what? How about the Duke-Syracuse ACC men's lacrosse championship game in Georgia? There were seven minutes left in a 9-8 game when the heavens opened, and even a lightning strike on the scoreboard that left the stadium without power. Eventually, after almost three hours, the game was resumed - on a side field. There was no TV, nothing. Syracuse won 14-8.

Can you imagine if that had been a major conference football championship game?

Anyway, all of that is for another time. Today is a little more, uh, self-absorbed.

Why? Because this is TigerBlog No. 2,000.

TigerBlog has come a long way since that beginning. It was clear fairly quickly that the blog wasn't the right place for those announcements, which belonged on the main web page.

And in-game blogging, which was done for football and basketball, was ineffective as well. First of all, there were live stats for those who just wanted to follow along. Second, that kind of blogging only works if you get really colorful. And last, it wasn't equitable. Why do in-game blogging for football and basketball but nothing else?

So that went by the wayside too. TigerBlog, seemingly, was about to as well.

It's hard to figure out exactly when this blog became what it is now, but it was definitely early in 2009. What it is now. You know. A place to be a little less formal, tell some stories, comment on basically anything and everything. Be entertaining.

When TigerBlog decided to go down that path, he's not 100% sure he knew what he was getting himself into. For starters, he didn't want to add anything to the workload off everyone else in his office, so he figured he'd have to do most of the writing.

Then he realized that he had to do it every day if it was going to be successful and grow readership. Every day. Every single day.

And so, since he's started, he hasn't missed one. Not for vacations. Not for illnesses. Not from being out of the country. Not for surgery. Not for any reason.

Every work day, every year, year after year.

It's actually easier than you'd think. There's no shortage of subjects out there.

Of course, the concept of TigerBlog stretches what is standard fare for something that comes out of a college athletic communications office. Let's face it. The most recent entry before this one talks about how great Bugs Bunny is.

But that's the best part.

Yes, Gary Walters or Mollie Marcoux could have shut it down, and TigerBlog appreciates that they haven't. From its small beginning, when nobody read it, numbers have gone way up. And continue to go up.

The most read entry TigerBlog has ever written was the one a few weeks ago about Peter Farrell, the retiring women's track and field coach. That was one of TB's favorites.
When TigerBlog was in the newspaper business, he would have said there was no chance that he would ever write like this, essentially in the first person. Harvey Yavener, one of his earliest mentors, also said the news was the news. Covering the news wasn't news.

But TigerBlog has come a long way in his thinking. Maybe it came from reading so much of John McPhee's first person accounts.

Of anything that TigerBlog has done in his nearly 30 years of covering Princeton Athletics, the blog is his favorite, other than the opportunity to get to know so many great athletes and coaches.

TigerBlog loves the challenge of the blog, to come up with something fresh each day. He loves the chance to be creative every day. He loves to tell the stories of his life in Princeton Athletics, and the people he's gotten to know through it all. And what he's learned from them.

Hopefully there are a lot more years, a lot more stories, a lot more entries left in him. One day his writing streak will end, though he hopes it's not for a few thousand more. 

Anyway, that's enough self-absorption for one day. Forgive TB though.

It's not every day you turn 2,000.


Lionmb said...

Congrats TB! Usually one of the highlights of my morning is reading your column...keep them coming.

Steven Feldman '68 said...

Great job on the blog. One of my first actions every day is to read your blog. I never miss it.