Thursday, October 13, 2016

Merci, And Some Other Stuff Too

Miss TigerBlog was at the top of the driveway, in the driver's seat.

The driveway can be a little tricky, since if you go straight back from the top, you'll run over a bush on one side and then tear up the grass on the other. You need to turn the steering wheel to keep the car on the pavement.

So what did MTB do? She turned it basically all the way to one side, which took her directly into the path of the bush. Then she overcompensated, turning it all the way to the other side, putting her right on the grass, at about a 45-degree angle to the driveway.

At that point, TigerBlog pointed out to her that sometimes you need to make only slight adjustments to the wheel, not make massive turns. Even as he said it, he thought it sounded more profound than just advice about how to back a car out of the driveway.

For now, let's just leave it at that and move on to some Princeton stuff:

* TigerBlog speaks very little French.

One word he knows is "fromage," which means "cheese." Another is "merci," which means "thank you."

Mike Condon put an Instagram post up yesterday with one word across the front: "Merci."

Condon, a Princeton alum, was released by the Montreal Canadiens and then immediately picked up by the Pittsburgh Penguins, for whom he will be the backup goalie. He was supposed to be the backup in Montreal last year, but injuries to Carey Price forced Condon into the starting spot.

He played well, great at times actually, including in the Winter Classic, when he led Montreal over Boston at Gillette Stadium. Condon grew up outside of Boston and was a lifelong Bruins fan. He finished the year with a record of 21-25-6, and that would have been better had Montreal not experienced offensive malaise for much of the year.

Considering that Condon figured to play a handful of games behind Price, his performance was admirable. And now he is on a new team, but not before he posted these words next to his picture:

Would like to take a moment to thank both the fans of @canadiensmtl and the organization itself. From top to bottom everything was pure class. 
After my senior year in college, I only had 8 wins. Despite that fact, the Habs were the ONLY team to offer me an NHL contract and I will never forget that.

I have nothing but respect an admiration for everyone associated with @canadiensmtl and want to say thanks for letting pursue my dream. It was an honor. - 39

How do you say "classy" in French?

* The women's volleyball team was 3-4 in its first trip through the Ivy League a year ago. It worked out just fine, as Princeton rolled from there, going 7-0 the rest of the way and earning a share of the championship.

This time, Princeton is off to a 5-0 start heading into a home weekend against Brown tomorrow (7) and Yale (Saturday at 5). 

Despite the good start, there's a long way to go until a possible repeat for the Tigers.

Princeton is 5-0, a game ahead of Columbia and Yale, both of whom are 4-1. Columbia defeated Yale 3-2 earlier this season; Princeton took a 3-0 win at Columbia this past weekend.

Every other team in the league has at least three losses. It's starting to shape up as a three-team race, but then again, a year ago at this time, nobody would have guessed Princeton was about to make the run it did.

Princeton is led by Cara Mattaliano, who was the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year last year and was the Ivy Player of the Week last week. Princeton has also had an incredible three players win Ivy Rookie of the Week - Jessie Harris this week, with Devon Peterkin and Maggie O'Connell earlier this season.

* TigerBlog will be outside of Baltimore Saturday. Why? Lacrosse, of course.

Princeton's men's lacrosse team, led by first-year head coach Matt Madalon, will be at the U.S. Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md., to see the Tigers play their fall game. Face-off is at 2.

And who is the opponent?

The Denver Pioneers, coached by Bill Tierney. It may be a neutral site, but it's definitely home field advantage to Tierney. It's his field, after all. William G. Tierney Field.

Ed Calkins, a member of Tierney's 1992 NCAA championship team at Princeton and the U.S. Lacrosse Foundation Board chair, led the charge to build the field and name it for his coach. The game Saturday will be the first college game played on Tierney Field.

TigerBlog has wanted to see a Princeton-Denver game since Tierney left Princeton after the 2009 season. To date, it hasn't happened. This is just a fall scrimmage game, not an actual game, but it's close enough.

It'll be a big day for the Tigers, with events scheduled around the facility. And a chance to play Denver, a team that is loaded for 2017 - and has a chip on its shoulder after falling short of the Final Four a year ago.

In case you need reminding, Tierney won six NCAA championships at Princeton - in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2001.

He then went to Denver, which had never won an NCAA tournament game prior to his arrival.

No problem. He has taken them to four Final Fours and the 2015 NCAA championship, Tierney's seventh.

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