Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What's Not To Like?

Exaggerator won the Preakness Stakes Saturday by 3.5 lengths.

When he got back to the barn, he probably told the other horses he won by twice that.

Get it? Exaggerator? C'mon, that was funny.

Okay, TigerBlog can't be the only person to have made that joke. Still, it was funny.

TigerBlog isn't a huge horse racing fan. He was interested to see if Nyquist was going to win, following up on his win in the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier.

It had been 37 years since there had been a Triple Crown winner when American Pharaoh swept the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. Before that, the most recent winner had been Affirmed in 1978.

A year earlier, Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown. Would there be back-to-back winners?

Not this time. Not after Exaggerator ruined everything.

TigerBlog was in his car, driving back from Brown, when the Preakness started. He flipped through the stations but couldn't find a broadcast of it.

So how did he find out who won? Twitter.

Don't worry. He didn't check while he was driving.

TigerBlog has often wondered how much his teens and 20s would have been different had things like Twitter, texting, email and the like existed back then. Certainly his own kids couldn't possibly fathom a world in which they didn't have their phones and access to all of their social media.

One thing that is clear regarding Princeton's athletic social media efforts is that posts on Instagram get way more "likes" than those on Twitter. Why is that? Probably because the students themselves are the ones on Instagram. Twitter is probably used more by alums, parents, fans and those who might be a little older.

Take, for instance, the stories about the announcements of the finalists for the Roper Trophy and von Kiensbusch Award. Those two combined for 200 likes on Instagram. On Twitter? They combined for 21 likes. That's roughly 10 times more on Instagram.

Princeton Athletics - @putigers - has nearly 13,000 Twitter followers. There are nearly 1,000 who get live updates from @putigers_live.

Princeton athletics on Instragram, though, has approximately 2,800 followers. Despite that, the number of likes is off the charts from that smaller group. 


As for Twitter, for TigerBlog it has become the best way to get in-game updates of events, especially Princeton events. The live updates from @putigers_live are pretty thorough.

At first, Princeton had just one Twitter site, until it became apparent that users were getting turned off by having too many updates flooding their feeds. That's when @putigers_live was born, and in the two years since, followers to the original site have more than doubled.

When the live update feed began, it became apparent that it couldn't just be updates of home games that someone from the OAC was already going to be. It had to be basically every game, home and away.

This, of course, meant games on the road, when the OAC contact didn't travel and may have been at, you know, the movies or a restaurant or something like that.

TigerBlog followed the Princeton softball team in the NCAA tournament this past weekend through Twitter.

The Tigers lost the regional opener 7-0 to host James Madison and then were eliminated on Day 2 with a 2-1 loss to Longwood. Princeton had the tying run on base in the seventh of the second game.

Princeton's only run in the tournament came on a home run by Keeley Walsh, a freshman who was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection this year. There is a great picture on the softball page of goprincetontigers.com that shows Walsh and head coach Lisa Van Ackeren after Walsh's home run.

You can see it HERE.

It's apparently hard to pull an upset in the regional at the NCAA softball tournament. There were 16 of them last weekend, and 13 of the hosts advanced to the Super Regionals this weekend.

James Madison, for instance, destroyed its regional, outscoring Princeton, North Carolina and Longwood by a combined 22-2 this past weekend. The Dukes will now be home again against LSU in the Super Regional.

As for Princeton, the 2016 season ended in the NCAA tournament. Any season that does is a big success.

Van Ackeren took Princeton to second-place finishes in the division in each of her first three seasons to the Ivy championship and NCAA tournament this year.

Her program is clearly pointed in the right direction, and she has established herself as one of the bright lights in Ivy softball and Princeton Athletics.

There was an Instagram picture at princetonathletics of the softball team prior to the NCAA game against James Madison. The team was wearing its travel Princeton shirts, and the players had their NCAA passes draped around their necks.

It drew 135 likes on Instagram.

After all, what's not to like about where Princeton softball was - and is going?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the team and staff. This team has consistently had a smaller roster than some of its Ivy competitors, including this year. A hurdle to overcome each season. It would be nice if the Administration allowed the Admission of all of the recruited athletes Princeton is entitle to under the Ivy formula. Alum