Monday, August 1, 2016

Here Come The Olympics

TigerBlog loves some of Woody Allen's early movies.

"Bananas?" Hilarious. "Sleeper?" The same. You can add "Love and Death" and "Take the Money and Run" to that list.

What else? "Manhattan?" Outstanding. And, of course, the best Woody Allen movie of them all, "Annie Hall."

All of those movies were before 1982. Since then, he's had three movies that TigerBlog thought were great, in different ways - "Broadway Danny Rose," "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors," which TB would put second behind "Annie Hall" on the list.

Nobody has ever made movies that make New York City look prettier than Woody Allen. His love for the city shines though. Yes, he's become a rather polarizing figure and that he's made a lot of movies that have fallen a little flat, but that doesn't change the fact that he's made some of the best movies TB has ever seen.

The movie "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" is not on the list of great Woody Allen movies that TB has seen. But he did see it, in the movies, in July of 1982, back when he went to the movies a lot.

Even though that was nearly 35 years ago, TB remembers two things about it. First, the movie wasn't good.

And second, he saw a trailer for a movie that he would be coming out two weeks later, one that looked a lot better than the one he was about to see. The movie? "An Officer And A Gentleman."

 So there TB was, two weeks later, visiting MotherBlog when she still lived in Chevy Chase, Md.

MB was at work, and TB had the afternoon to himself. He looked in the newspaper (that's what you used to have to do back then) and saw that "An Officer And A Gentleman" was playing at a theater that he figured was near MB's house.

He didn't have a car to use, so he had to walk. He unfolded a map (that's what you used to have to do back then) and measured the distance like people did back then, by holding his thumb and forefinger against the map and then against the part that showed you how much distance on the map a mile was and so forth.

Of course, that was never accurate. And it wasn't that day, when TB figured a one or two mile walk actually was four miles, each way.

TigerBlog walked up Willard Avenue, where MotherBlog lived, to Wisconsin Avenue and made a right. As soon as he crossed the street, he went from Maryland into the District of Columbia.

If you've ever been in that area, it's where the Mazza Gallerie Mall is.

He walked on Wisconsin to the movie theater, past the mall, past the Cheesecake Factory, past a bunch of other restaurants that he and his mother had been to - all the way to the movie theater. He was a bit sweaty by the time he got there.

As for the movie itself, well, TB never saw "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" again, but he's seen "An Officer And A Gentleman" a lot. And why not? It's a great movie. Louis Gossett Jr. won a very deserved Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as Foley, the drill instructor who started out the trailer by saying "why would a slick little hustler like you want to sign up for this kind of abuse."

MotherBlog would move from Chevy Chase to Georgia, first Augusta for a year and then Atlanta, where she lived until her death in 1994. It was four years after Atlanta had been awarded the big for the 1996 Summer Olympics, and, sadly, two years before the Games actually came to her city.

TigerBlog's mother was all in on the Atlanta Olympics. She would have gone to anything and everything and was already making plans to have her son join her. When the Games were actually going on, TigerBlog wondered what events he would have gone to with his mother.

Princeton had five Olympians in 1996 and won no medals. In the most recent Summer Games in 2012 in London, Princeton had 15 Olympians who won seven medals.

The 2016 Olympic Games begin with the Opening Ceremonies Friday night in Rio. Actually, by the time the Opening Ceremonies roll around, one Princetonian will have already competed.

Diana Matheson, who scored the game-winning goal for Canada in the 2012 bronze medal women's soccer game, will have already played one game - Wednesday, against Australia.

Princeton will be represented by 13 current or former athletes, as well as two current assistant coaches. The Games will kick into high gear for Princeton Saturday, when seven of the 13 Princeton athletes compete.

As these athletes compete, will have full coverage, as will Princeton's athletic social media outlets.

Here, by the way, is the schedule of when Princetonians will be competing in Rio:

Field hockey
Katie Reinprecht, Julia Reinprecht, Kathleen Sharkey
Pool B
USA vs. Argentina • Aug. 6, 4 pm
USA vs. Australia • Aug. 8, 9 am
USA vs. Japan • Aug. 10, 4 pm
USA vs. India • Aug. 11, 6:30 pm
USA vs. Great Britain • Aug. 13, 5 pm
Quarterfinal • Aug. 15, TBA
Semifinal • Aug. 17, TBA
Gold medal/Bronze medal games • Aug. 19, TBA

Women’s soccer
Diana Matheson (Canada)
Group F
Canada vs. Australia • Aug. 3, 2 pm
Canada vs. Zimbabwe, Aug. 6, 2 pm
Canada vs. Germany, Aug. 9, 3 pm
Knockout round begins Aug. 12

Track and field
Donn Cabral
Men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase
First round - Aug. 15
Final – Aug. 17

Robby Andrews
Men’s 1,500 meters
First round – Aug. 16
Semifinals – Aug. 18
Final – Aug. 21

Priscilla Frederick
Women’s high jump
Preliminary – Aug. 18
Final – Aug. 20

Kat Holmes
Individual epee
Aug. 6
Team epee
Aug. 11

Water polo
Ashleigh Johnson (USA)
Group B
USA vs. Spain • Aug. 9, 10:40 am
USA vs. China • Aug. 11, 10:40 am
USA vs. Hungary • Aug. 13, 12 pm
Quarterfinals • Aug. 15, TBA
Semifinals • Aug. 17, TBA
Finals • Aug. 19, TBA

Gevvie Stone (USA W1x)
Heats • Aug. 6 – 8:30-9:20
Repechage • Aug. 7 – 8:00-8:20
Quarterfinal • Aug. 9 – 8:10-8:40
Semifinal A/B • Aug. 11 – 8:30-8:40
Final • Aug. 12 – 7:40-9:44 (A at 9:44, B at 9:20)

Kate Bertko (USA LW2x)
Heats • Aug. 7 – 9:40-10:10
Repechage • Aug. 8 – 8:20-8:30
Semifinal A/B • Aug. 10 – 7:50-8:00
Final • Aug. 12 –A at 8:52, B at 8:10)

Lauren Wilkinson (Canada W8+)
Heats • Aug. 8 – 9:30-9:40
Repechage • Aug. 10 – 8:50
Final • Aug. 13 – 10:04

Tyler Nase, Robin Prendes (USA LM4-)
Heats • Aug. 6 – 11:00-11:20
Repechage • Aug. 7 – 9:00
Semifinal A/B • Aug. 9 – 9:50-10:00
Final • Aug. 11 –A at 9:44, B at 8:00

Glenn Ochal (USA M8+)
Heats • Aug. 8 – 9:50-10:00
Repechage • Aug. 10 – 9:00
Final • Aug. 13 – 10:24


Anonymous said...

Woody Allen's latest movie Cafe Society is excellent with a wonderful scene in Central Park.

D' 82 said...

TB, nice post today. Covered a lot of ground there.

Here are some follow-up thoughts to the commentary from last Thursday (7/28/16) about whether Princeton should play Rutgers in 2019 as part of a celebration of college football's 150th anniversary. I don't know how comfortable we are negotiating aggressively, but there are two relevant parties here who are very much in favor of such a game: Rutgers itself, which has built its football marketing around its status as "The Birthplace of College Football" and the Big Ten Conference, which also prizes its history and traditions.

Rutgers had been one of the few "big" basketball programs willing to come to Jadwin bi-annually, but under a new administration, they've discontinued the series. Why don't we make our participation in the 2019 football game contingent upon a few scheduling concessions, say, a home-and-home-and-home basketball series from 2018 through 2020? Similarly, now's our chance to ask Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany for some help getting games against Big Ten teams in other sports. How about a chance to participate in what would undoubtedly be a long and creative marketing campaign for the 2019 game on the Big Ten Network? How would Coach Surace like to have Princeton's football program featured preparing for the game akin to an NFL "Hard Knocks" season?

Yale worked hard to get the various approvals required to host FBS Army at Yale Bowl. And the Bulldogs won that game. If Harvard had the opportunity to play Rutgers in 2019, the Crimson would almost certainly jump at the chance, albeit on the condition that the name "Harvard" appear in a larger font than "Rutgers" in all advertising materials.

I think that, ultimately, the decision should greatly consider how the players feel. Later this month, the Class of 2020 will arrive on campus. Let's ask them whether, as seniors in 2019, they would want to play Big Ten Rutgers in a nationally televised game on August 31 to kick off the sesquicentennial season. Maybe all living Heisman recipients will be in attendance. Either President Clinton or Trump would be getting ready to launch a 2020 re-election campaign. Politicians can't resist being shown on camera at feel-good events like this.

And we should frame the question to our players honestly: "This would require you to arrive for camp a month earlier than normal, you would then have a lay-off of three bye weeks with practice but no games. And if some key starters suffer major injuries, you would potentially risk your chance at the 2019 Ivy title. Given all that, are you interested?"

Let's have that conversation. Maybe the players want to focus exclusively on winning the Ivy championship. On the other hand, maybe they think that this will be a once-in-a-lifetime memory for them, to be described to grandchildren decades later. Maybe we can actually attract *better* recruits over the next three cycles because they want to be at Rutgers in 2019. We've flown to play the San Diego Toreros to improve our recruiting outreach. Playing Rutgers would have an impact which dwarfs scheduling a California trip.

Princeton will probably play the same seven conference opponents and Lehigh/Lafayette/Colgate/etc for the next hundred years. No disrespect for that tradition, but let's think broadly and imaginatively about the possible upside here. What's the risk and potential reward for shaking up our usual routine just this one time?

News flash: Power Five football programs are not exactly lining up to play Princeton on national television. This is our one and only opportunity. We have a chance to be one of only two co-hosts for the biggest party in college football history. We almost have an obligation to our role in creating this awesome thing which is college football and our continuing place in its history. Let's do it for our players, for our conference and to honor 150 great years of Princeton Tiger football.