Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A TAGD Thank You, And An Overdue Congratulations

Here's the breakdown of athletic apparel that TigerBlog owns, by college represented:

Princeton - 80 percent
Sacred Heart -19 percent
Denver - one lacrosse sweatshirt

Yes, TigerBlog understands that the math here would mean he has exactly 100 such items, so this isn't quite an exact measure.

Oh, and he has a University of Louisiana-Lafayette "Ragin' Cajuns" t s-shirt. How in the world did he forget that?

When it comes to comfortable, the Princeton water polo longsleeve t-shirt is way up there, though the Princeton lacrosse sweats, longsleeve dri-fit and pullover are all right in the ballpark. So is the red Sacred Heart lacrosse pullover.

When TigerBlog went to Portugal, he was in the Jadwin parking lot waiting to get on the bus to go to the airport when he decided he should probably go back to his office and grab his white Princeton Athletics pullover. That one is really comfortable as well (and he's glad he got it, since he wore it basically every day he was there).

The most comfortable, though, is the Denver sweatshirt. It's gray, and it says "Denver Lacrosse" on it in red. It's a little too big for TigerBlog, which is how he likes his sweatshirts. And it's soft, very soft.

TigerBlog literally wears his loyalties on his sleeves. And anywhere the logos go.

These are his loyalties. Princeton, because he's been a part of the athletic department for nearly 30 years. Sacred Heart, because it's where his son goes to college. Denver, because of Bill Tierney, which is really about loyalty to Princeton taken to another level.

What TB doesn't have is anything that says "Penn" on it.

This has always been a fascinating concept to people he's met here at Princeton. They don't understand how someone can turn on his alma mater like that, because here it simply isn't done.

TigerBlog has said this many times through the years, but there is something really special about the loyalty that develops between Princeton and Princetonians. It starts before the first classes freshman year, and it lasts forever.

There's nothing that approaches this where TigerBlog went to school. And maybe anywhere else.

Yes, people are very passionate (most, anyway) about their alma maters, and they root for them forever. And wear their stuff. And have very fond memories about their time there.

It's just different. As a Princetonian, you wouldn't understand it.

Because you're Princetonians, though, you again came out in a big way for TAGD yesterday. TigerBlog checked out the leaderboard on the website a few times through the day, and the gifts were coming in.

Why? Because that's what Princetonians do. They support the school. They support those who are following in their footsteps here.

It's a very, very special thing.

There will be a lot of thank yous coming your way in the post-TAGD time. And they're sincere, because everyone here at Princeton Athletics knows how many things get done because of your support and wouldn't get done without you. And these are all areas that go directly to the student-athlete experience, which is what this is all about. 

The work around the third TAGD took up a lot of the beginning of this week, but TigerBlog does not want to let what the men's hockey team did this past weekend fade away without mentioning it. In fact, he'd like to apologize for letting it go this far.

Princeton went into the weekend at 0-6-1. Its opponent, Bemidji State, was 11-2-1, ranked 10th in Division I and playing at home (in a town that is actually closer to Winnipeg than it is to Minneapolis).

So what happened?

Princeton swept the Beavers, winning 4-1 Friday night and 3-1 Saturday night. It was quite a weekend in Minnesota for Princeton.

The star Saturday night was backup goalie Ben Halford, who made 43 saves for his first win. Meanwhile, Princeton took leads into the third period both nights and was able to close out the wins, something that had been elusive to this point of the year.

It's one thing to think you're getting better. It's another to have some tangible proof of it, in the form of wins. Any wins would have been great. A pair against the No. 10 team in the country was even better.

Princeton is home this weekend, against Union Friday night and RPI Saturday. Both games face-off at 7.

Union is ranked 18th in the country this week. It doesn't really matter, though. Princeton should be a confident bunch as it plays on its home ice at Baker Rink.

So belated congratulations to the men's hockey team.

And sincere thanks to for everyone who made a gift yesterday during the 24 hours of TAGD.

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