Friday, September 22, 2017

Teammate Vs. Teammate

TigerBlog was driving near the Lincoln Tunnel yesterday when he had a really strange encounter with a blue Honda.

There was a broken down truck in one lane back where cars merge about a mile past the tollbooth at the New Jersey Turnpike. The blue Honda first came onto TigerBlog's radar when it wouldn't give the courtesy of an alternate merge as everyone had to move from two lanes to one.

Then, after that, the same blue Honda got stuck behind another truck and, seemingly in a hurry, tried to veer back into the lane next to it, only that's where TigerBlog was at the moment.

TigerBlog gently - gently, he promises - tapped on his horn, and only when the blue Honda actually reached the line that separates the two lanes. And what did the driver of the blue Honda do? Flipped TigerBlog the middle finger.

Now this isn't particularly shocking in that area, right? What made this noteworthy wasn't really apparent until TigerBlog actually drove past the blue Honda and saw the driver.

It was a woman who looked like she was closing in on 80. Seriously. At the very least, she had to be at least 70. Someone's grandma flipped off TB.

What the heck? TigerBlog had to laugh at that. 

It made TB wonder what was so awful about her Thursday morning that she could be in that bad of a mood.

It also made him wonder when the last time Princeton football coach Bob Surace has done the same. TigerBlog will guess this - never.

TigeBlog actually can picture Surace in a similar situation. He's moving into the lane of the person next to him. That person honks.

Surace would wave, smile, mouth "I'm sorry" and say "hah, yeah, that's my fault." Yeah, that's more like it, TB imagines.

Surace takes his team on the road for the first time this season when the Tigers are at Lafayette tomorrow night. Kickoff is at 6.

The Lafayette coach is a familiar one to Princeton in general and Surace specifically. John Garrett is in his first year as the head coach of the Leopards, and yes, it's that John Garrett.

Back in the late 1980s, there were three Garretts who played football at Princeton - John, Jason and Judd. All three were All-Ivy League honorees. The latter two were Bushnell Cup winners as Ivy League Player of the Year, and Jason is now the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

Surace was himself an All-Ivy League center. He and Judd Garrett were teammates on the 1989 team that won the Ivy League championship.

Now Surace is coaching against his former teammate, John Garrett, who was a senior when Surace was a sophomore. They also coached together in the NFL, with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The two actually filmed a video together this past summer, and you can see that HERE.

It's definitely worth watching.

How often are there games that match former teammates as head coaches against each other. TigerBlog, off the top of his head, can think of another one that will come up with this year for Princeton - men's basketball against Cornell (actually it will happen twice), when Mitch Henderson coaches against Brian Earl.

There have to be others, right?

Princeton is looking to build on its 27-17 win over San Diego last week in preparation for next week's Ivy opener against Columbia.

Lafayette? The Leopards are 0-3, with losses to Monmouth, Sacred Heart and Villanova last week Lafayette has its league opener next week, at Holy Cross.

Garrett, in his first year as the coach in Easton, is trying to rebuild his team around freshman quarterback Sean O'Malley, who has been the Patriot League Rookie of the Week once already this year. A Beverly Hills native, O'Malley has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes, for 582 yards and five touchdowns.

Lafayette has struggled defensively, allowing 476 yards per game. Princeton, in Week 1, had 435 yards of offense, of which 352 came though the air.

This is the 50th meeting between Princeton and Lafayette, and the Tigers lead the series 42-4-3. Of those 49 games, 37 have been played in Princeton.

Once the game starts, of course, the fact that the coaches are longtime friends goes out the window.

That does make for a nice little storyline, though.

TigerBlog talks a lot about how the friendships that form on Princeton's teams last forever. Every now and then, though, they have to take a four-quarter pause. 

That's okay. It'll resume as soon as the game is over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TB, are you just going to take that from an 80-year-old grandma? You've got to cut her off, get out of the car and throw down.