Friday, November 18, 2016

Playing For Championships, And Other Things To Do While Waiting For The Gilmore Girls Sequel

You know what is just a week away?

Hint - it has nothing to do with post-Thanksgiving shopping. It's the release of the four 90-minute sequel episodes of "Gilmore Girls."

Do the episodes start streaming at 12:01 am?

While TigerBlog was in Portugal with men's lacrosse, a discussion about "Game of Thrones" broke out near the front of the bus, with pretty much every member of the coaching staff and support staff involved. This wasn't just a "did you see that episode" conversation. This was an in-depth analysis of the show, its themes, its hidden meanings.

TigerBlog? He's never made it past the first five minutes of the first episode.

As a side conversation, he and Erin, the girlfriend of defensive coordinator Jesse Bernhardt, started having a similar analysis of "Gilmore Girls." TB said that he's going to be mad if: 1) Lorelei and Luke don't end up together and 2) Rory does end up with either Logan, Dean or Jess and really, really, really mad if 3) Lorelei ends up back with Christopher.

How in the world will TigerBlog last seven days until he gets to find out the answers?

Fortunately, this is a big weekend for Princeton Athletics, so he has something to take his mind off "Gilmore Girls" for awhile.

There will be one team that plays for an NCAA championship and another that plays for a chance to get to the NCAA championships. There will be two teams who play in football stadiums, only one of which will be playing football, though that game is huge.

In all, there will be at least 23 events (and maybe 25) this weekend, with six today, 13 tomorrow and four (or maybe two championship games) Sunday. The complete schedule is HERE.

TigerBlog will end with football.

He'll start with the postseason.

The field hockey team, as you know, left Wednesday morning for a stop at Temple for practice and then on to Norfolk, which is home to the Final Four. Princeton and Delaware play today at 4:45, the second game after North Carolina and UConn. The championship game is Sunday at 1.

As TB has said twice this week, Princeton has already beaten Delaware this year, which means nothing at all, since Princeton had already lost to both Penn State and Virginia, the teams the Tigers beat to reach the semifinals.

The other team in postseason mode is the men's water polo team, who will host the Northeast Water Polo Conference tournament this weekend. The Tigers are the second seed, behind Brown and ahead of Harvard.

This is the first year of the Northeast Water Polo Conference. It's a split from last year's College Water Polo Association format, but the bottom line is that the winner of the tournament this weekend at DeNunzio will advance to a play-in game and then to the NCAA tournament.

Princeton's road to those prizes begins tomorrow at 3:30, when the team takes on the winner of the game between MIT and Harvard in one semifinal. That game will be followed by Brown against the winner of St. Francis (N.Y.) and Iona.

The championship game will be Sunday at noon.

As for the football stadiums, the two teams that will be competing in them tomorrow are the football team and the wrestling team.

The wrestling team will be at High Point Solutions Stadium at Rutgers for the "Battle of the Birthplace." It's an outdoor match between Princeton and Rutgers, who is currently ranked 10th nationally.

Princeton and Rutgers have done a lot in recent years to raise the profile of New Jersey wrestling. They've drawn excellent crowds to Jadwin Gym last year and three years ago, and now they're taking the show outside.

The weather appears to be ready to cooperate with people in singlets. It's supposed to be sunny and in the mid-60s, which is rather perfect for the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

So far, more than 14,000 tickets have been sold. Expectations are for more than 20,000 in attendance. 

Closer to home, but also in perfect weather will be Week 10 of the Ivy League football season. You can't really ask for much more than you're getting if you're a Princeton fan.

The Tigers host Dartmouth at 1:30. If you are holding in your hand right now a ticket to that game, then get there early and go see Princeton-Dayton women's basketball. Tip for that game is 12, and your football ticket gets you into the women's basketball game too.

As for the football game, here's where it stands in the Ivy League:

Princeton 5-1
Harvard 5-1 (home vs. Yale)
Penn 5-1 (at Cornell)
everyone else out of it

Princeton, Penn and Harvard are 1-1 against each other and 12-0 against the rest of the league. Should that number get to 15-0, then there would be a three-way tie for the championship.

There have been four of those in the history of the Ivy League, by the way, in 1966, 1969, 1982 and last year.

If that above number gets to 14-1, then there will be co-champions. If it's 13-2, then there will be an outright champ. It it's 12-3, then you'll be back to tri-champions.

Dartmouth is 1-5 in the Ivy League, which might be the most irrelevant number out there. The Big Green have won six straight against Princeton and would like nothing more than to derail the Tigers' hope for a championship.

This game will not be easy.

Another number to keep an eye on is 19. Right now, John Lovett has 18 rushing touchdowns heading into the Dartmouth game. The school record is 19, set in 1993 by Keith Elias.

By the way, Elias is the most charismatic athlete TigerBlog has met at Princeton. There are others who are up there, but nobody has ever matched Elias. When he walked into a room as a Princeton undergrad, everything stopped.

Elias had his 19 touchdowns on 305 carries. Lovett has 18 on 88. If Lovett had 305 carries and scored at the same rate he does (an impossibility that TB acknowledges), he'd have 62 touchdowns.

Anyway, Lovett's quest for the record is a subplot. The big story is the run at another Ivy championship.

It's one of the many big storylines for this weekend.

And yes, there is a "Gilmore Girls" marathon on the Up network that will show all 153 episodes in order. But you can skip out on a few of them to come see the Tigers.

No comments: