Wednesday, May 4, 2016

To Cleveland, In The Fourth Round

So TigerBlog has set as his goal to get to 5,000 entries here.

That would take him well into his 60s. It's not a bad goal. If he gets to 5,000, then the next day you'll be able to find him on a beach or fishing or watching Bugs Bunny all day or something like that. Oh, and walking his dog.

TigerBlog does not currently have a dog, but he will when he retires. He'll be one of those nice old guys who is always out walking his dog.

For now, the closest thing TB has to a dog is Miss TigerBlog's cat Jingles. She thinks cats are way more intelligent than dogs. TigerBlog just thinks dogs are more fun, though it might be hard to top the reaction Jingles has when the home phone rings.

The phone is still mounted on the wall - how old-fashioned? - and when it rings, Jingles sprints over to it, no matter where he is. And then he stares up at it. And then he reaches for it. And then he meows.

Take TB's word for it. It's hysterical.

What else will be up for TB in 2028?

Grandchildren? Hmm. If it takes him 12 more years to get to 5,000, then that would make TigerBlog Jr. 31 and Miss TigerBlog 28. It's possible.

TigerBlog never met his paternal grandfather, who died when FatherBlog was 17. He did know his other three grandparents.

On his father's side, there was Bella. On his mother's side, there was Judy and Joe. Bella lived in Brooklyn, off Ocean Parkway, until the day she died, at the age of 94, with one of her sisters on the sixth floor while two other sisters lived on the second floor.

 Judy and Joe, who lived into their mid-80s each, lived in Queens. Judy and Joe ran a driving school on Lefferts Blvd., in the Kew Gardens section of Queens.

If you stacked both of TigerBlog's grandmother's on top of each other, they'd barely be taller than Seth DeValve. If you threw Joe in there, they definitely wouldn't have achieved DeValve's weight.

DeValve is listed at 6-4, 245 pounds. He was a wide receiver at Princeton, and he'll be a tight end in the NFL.

DeValve was drafted over the weekend by the Cleveland Browns, who took him in the fourth round. DeValve figured he'd get an NFL shot and probably hoped he'd be a late round draft pick, but going in the fourth round was beyond anything that could have been anticipated.

In fact, it makes DeValve the highest Princeton football drafted in the modern era.

It also makes him the third Princeton player in the last four years to be selected, along with Mike Catapano and Caraun Reid. Those three account for half of the total NFL selections from the Ivy League in that time.

TigerBlog liked all of the Princeton football coaches, out on the road recruiting, tweeting that they were off looking for the next NFL draft choice for the program. That's an effective use of social media.

If you're looking for a good story about DeValve, click HERE. This one is pretty good, with its Princeton-Harvard angle.

TigerBlog doesn't really know DeValve. He's announced his name over the Powers Field at Princeton Stadium PA system a bunch of times.

He did see DeValve at the Jason Garrett-John Thompson-Pete Carril event at Conte's last summer. He had no idea it was DeValve. When he first saw him, TB thought he was looking at Rob Gronkowski.


DeValve certainly looks like an NFL tight end. Now he'll get his chance to play one on television, as it were.

His Princeton career was hampered by injuries, but there were times when he was completely healthy when he looked like a monster. Even with the injuries, he still caught 122 passes at Princeton, for 1,336 yards and seven touchdowns.

In just two games as a junior, he caught 19 passes - nine against San Diego and 10 against Brown. That pace would have added up to 95 receptions for the season - which would have been the best season in Princeton history (the current record is 88, by Kevin Guthrie, in 1983).

The Browns have not exactly had the best history of late, but there is a great fan base in Cleveland. And, after putting up with the Johnny Manziel circus the last few years, the team is ready to turn the page.

DeValve, as a fourth-round pick, is walking into a really good situation.

And where is the first game of the 2016 season for the Browns? How about at Philadelphia, which isn't all that far from Princeton.

He's an easy player to root for, especially since he's a former Princeton Tiger. The third Princeton Tiger in four years to be picked in the NFL draft, and the highest player selected since the AFL-NFL merger.

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