Thursday, October 5, 2017

What Do You Mean By "We?"

TigerBlog clicked "shuffle" on the music on his phone yesterday, and up popped the first song of the day.

"People Will Say We're In Love," from the classic musical "Oklahoma." The second song was "On Top Of the World," by Imagine Dragons. TigerBlog's musical tastes are quite varied.

Up next was "The Circle Game," by Judy Collins. TigerBlog wrote about that song more than six years ago, when TigerBlog Jr. was finishing middle school and getting ready to start high school.

It remains one of TB's favorite entries, including the picture. You can read it HERE.

TigerBlog wrote it reflecting back to his son's childhood, with a premise that childhood pretty much ends when you get to high school. The point was that for TBJ, like his sister and so many of the other children of athletic department staff members, time spent on the Princeton campus through the years as he grew up will be among his favorite memories.

For TigerBlog, that's a pretty nice benefit of having worked here for so long.

Somewhere, TigerBlog has a picture of TBJ in Baker Rink from a time that TBJ thought he was broadcasting a Princeton men's hockey game. He was about seven or eight at the time. In reality, he had a headset, and the headset was plugged into radio equipment, which in turn was plugged into nothing. But hey - TBJ loved it.

For as much as lacrosse has been the defining part of TBJ's life, a very, very close second has been public speaking. He's been a ham from Day 1, and he loved having a headset on from the time he was three and started coming to Princeton games.

Like this:

And this:

In the years after TigerBlog wrote "The Circle Game" entry, TBJ would have a great high school experience, and not just with lacrosse. In addition, he was a three-time national speech and debate qualifier, and in fact his best friends from high school were the guys he did forensics with, not the guys he played lacrosse with, interestingly enough.

Had he not played lacrosse in college, he almost surely would have gone to a school that has a big collegiate forensics program.

TBJ attends Sacred Heart, as TB has mentioned before. Sacred Heart is in Fairfield, which means it's reasonably close to Yale.

It was back in late August that TigerBlog got an email from a Yale colleague, asking if he thought TBJ would be any good at public address. Yale was desperate for a PA announcer for women's volleyball, with a tournament coming up in a few days.

With his background, TBJ would be a natural, TigerBlog assumed. After all, TigerBlog has been a PA announcer for more than 30 years, and TBJ has that pedigree, along with his speech and debate experience.

As it turned out, TigerBlog was right. TBJ did the Yale women's volleyball tournament, and the feedback TB got was that he did a great job. In fact, they signed him up for the rest of the year.

And that brings this story to last Saturday in New Haven, when Princeton played at Yale in women's volleyball. Shortly before the match started, TigerBlog got this picture texted to him from his son:

That's TigerBlog Jr. with Princeton head coach Sabrina King, before the start of Princeton-Yale.

TigerBlog had emailed Sabrina and told her that his son was going to be the PA announcer. He also told her to feel free to give him a hard time if she wanted.

As for the match itself, Princeton defeated Yale 3-1. Given that Princeton is the two-time defending Ivy champ and an NCAA tournament participant a year ago, that might not seem outrageous. Consider, though, that Princeton hadn't beaten Yale in New Haven since 2007, and it becomes a bigger deal.

The win was the back end of a sweep that included a win over Brown Friday night. The result is that Princeton is one of two Ivy unbeatens, along with Harvard, who just happens to be heading to Dillon Gym for a match Saturday at 5, after the Tigers play Dartmouth tomorrow at 7.

After the match Saturday between Princeton and Yale, TigerBlog got a phone call from his son. An actual phone call. He never calls. It's definitely the first time he called this school year.

And what did he want to say?

"Your team is really good," he said. "And your outside hitter, Maggie O'Connell, is unbelievable. When she'd spike it, the sound would echo all over the gym."

By the way, TBJ had no idea about anything to do with volleyball before he started doing the PA. 
Still, TigerBlog knew that his son would quickly get into Yale women's volleyball. It's something that happens in athletic communications. You watch a team a few times, and you start to get invested in it.

Then TBJ added this:

"We couldn't stop her."

We. That's great. A kid raised at Princeton who attends Sacred Heart calling Yale "we."


No comments: