Friday, October 20, 2017

Dog Days

TigerBlog, as he has said many times before, has visions of a retirement where he'll be the nice old guy who's always out walking his dog - near his beach house.

He has no dog right now, of course. As such, he lives vicariously through other people's dogs. Such as these guys:

The one on the left is Laker. He and TB go way back, all the way to when Laker was just a puppy. Laker belongs to a family whose son played lacrosse with TigerBlog Jr. and whose daughter played against Miss TigerBlog.

In the program on Senior Night for TBJ's high school lacrosse team, TBJ wrote a long entry thanking a bunch of people for their support. Laker's owner was on the same page as TBJ and wrote simply: "shout out to my parents and my dog." Keep in mind, he has an older brother and younger sister as well.

The one in the middle was at a lacrosse scrimmage a few years ago. He has the bluest eyes TB has ever seen on a dog. The one on the right sat on TB's chair at a field hockey game last year.

Then there's this guy:

His name is Fred. TigerBlog ran into him in Baltimore a few years ago. A dog with shades riding in a sidecar? TigerBlog wrote this about Fred back then:
Who is Fred? The coolest dog in Baltimore, and possibly on the planet. He might even be cooler than Snoopy, and Snoopy can fly a plane and play shortstop, despite not having fingers. He might be cooler than Underdog, who fights crime and can fly.

Everybody knows Snoopy was cool. Don't ever sell Underdog short either.

To this list of dogs whom TB has run into you can now add Aggie. Check out Aggie's face:

Is that a great face or what? Aggie might not ride in a sidecar or anything, but that's a great face.

By the way: MTB plays field hockey with a girl named Samie whose brother is engaged to a woman who is Aggie's owner.

TigerBlog wouldn't dare put Aggie's picture on the webpage if Princeton was headed to New Haven for a some huge games this weekend. Instead, all kinds of Tigers are in Cambridge.

It starts tonight, with the football game, which kicks off at 7:30 and can be seen on NBC Sports Network. It'll be the 110th meeting in the series, one that Princeton leads 54-48, with seven ties.

The importance of this game is pretty obvious.

Princeton and Harvard are both 1-1 in the Ivy League. Dartmouth and Columbia are the last two unbeatens at 2-0, and they play tomorrow in Hanover.

Princeton and Harvard have played some wild games in recent years, including a 51-48 Tiger win in three OTs in 2013. A year ago, it was Harvard who handed Princeton its only league loss as the Tigers earned a share of the Ivy title.

Princeton and Harvard were the preseason co-favorites. Both would love to get back their losses - Princeton's to Columbia and Harvard's to Cornell - but that's not how it works. Tonight's winner is right back in the mix. Tonight's loser will have its second league loss, and two-loss teams have not won a lot of Ivy titles (and none since 1982).

There are also three other Princeton-Harvard games tomorrow in Cambridge, two in soccer and one in field hockey.

The soccer doubleheader begins with the women at 1 and then has the men at 4:30. Princeton lost to Columbia a week ago, and while its RPI dropped only one spot - from sixth in Division I to seventh - getting at least a share of the league title will require a Columbia loss and for Princeton to win out.

Princeton will need to win out and have Columbia have at least a loss and tie to get the league's automatic NCAA bid. Of course, with that RPI and a ton of Top 100 wins, Princeton has a great shot at an at-large.

The field hockey game is at noon and is a huge showdown, as Princeton is ranked 14th, Harvard is ranked 15th and both are unbeaten in the league. The winner will have the inside track for the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

If you recall, it was Harvard who won the league last year, leaving Princeton to get into the NCAA tournament with an at-large bid. And then it was Princeton who advanced and advanced again to reach the Final Four.

There are other big games too. The women's volleyball team is at Penn tonight, hoping to put last weekend's sweep at the hands of Cornell and Columbia in the past.

And for home events? There is opening weekend for the women's hockey team, who hosts Providence tonight at 6 and then tomorrow at 3. Admission is free for those two games.

That means you can go to the game tonight and get home in time to see most of the football game. And, if you like, you can switch back and forth to Game 6 of TB's beloved Yankees against Houston.

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