Monday, December 4, 2017

The Guy In The Geno Smith Jersey

TigerBlog has a few updates from last week.

First, he saw a guy yesterday wearing a Geno Smith jersey, only it was a Jets jersey. Smith, of course, was inserted into the Giants lineup yesterday, ending the 210-game consecutive starting streak of Eli Manning.

TigerBlog asked the question last week about whether or not Giants fans would still wear Giants gear knowing that the team had benched maybe the most popular player the franchise has had since, well, ever. At the very least, he's in the top five and maybe the top two, along with Frank Gifford. Seriously, that's how popular Eli Manning is.

Still, it was an interesting fashion choice for the guy with the Geno Smith Jets jersey. Was he a Jets fan? A Geno Smith fan? If he s a Giants fan, why have a Jets jersey?

"Interesting fashion choice," TB said to the guy, who was a total stranger.

"We need to get this one today," he said, and then he disappeared.

That made TB even more curious. We? Who's "we?" The Jets? The Giants?

Last week's question was whether or not you'd wear your Giants stuff. Today's is whether or not you were rooting for them against the Raiders.

Anyway, that was one thing.

Then there's Clear Lake, Iowa. TigerBlog forgot to tell you what happened there. It was the location of the plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. It was "The Day The Music Died," back on Feb. 3, 1959.

TigerBlog and Tom McCarthy, who was with him on that drive, found the field where it happened. Of course the fog was so bad they couldn't really see anything. And now, nearly 20 years later, TigerBlog can't remember if he or McCarthy was the driver.

That's two.

Lastly, apparently they're " 'Clone Cones," not "Cyclone Cones," the ice cream sold at Iowa State's Hilton Coliseum. TigerBlog remembered them as "Cyclone Cones" when he was there with Princeton men's basketball.

That's three. 

The Princeton women's volleyball team played at Iowa State Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. The Tigers were in the NCAA tournament for the second straight year, and if you think it's hard to win in the basketball tournament, it's even more difficult in the women's volleyball one.

Princeton put up a good fight against the Cyclones before falling in three games. The highlight was when Princeton built a 15-13 lead in Game 2, only to see Iowa State come storming back to take that game 25-17. The final was 25-21, 25-17, 25-14.

The attendance, by the way, was 3,033.

Sabrina King was now won three straight Ivy titles as Princeton head coach. She has built her program into a model of consistency, and the results speak for themselves.

Sabrina has won Ivy titles at Princeton as a player and coach, something that many others have done before her. TigerBlog would list them all, but there are more than you think and he doesn't want to forget anyone.

That volleyball match meant that the fall season is officially over for Princeton. Of course, by the time it ended, TigerBlog had already seen eight Princeton basketball games in person between the two teams, and he added another one Saturday night.

TB did the PA Saturday night at women's basketball, when Princeton defeated Delaware 78-60. It was TB's third time doing the PA this year, and apparently his last, since Bill Bromberg has assured TB he will not miss any other games the rest of the way.

TigerBlog likes doing the PA. You're right there at courtside, next to the Princeton bench for the men and the visitor bench for the women. And it keeps him focused, you know, because he has to constantly announce baskets, fouls and everything else.

One time when he was doing the PA, a ref came over and told him to stop announcing which player committed the foul until the signal was given to the table. TB complied, even though it's usually obvious.

Anyway, as for the game itself, Princeton was in control pretty much from start to finish. The game was tied just once, at 19-19 in the second quarter, and in what seemed like a blink Princeton opened up a 15-point lead.

Princeton has a lot of pieces in place that teams crave.

First, there is great leadership from captains Tia Weledji (career-high 22 against Delaware) and Leslie Robinson (14 points, 10 rebounds against Delaware), two stars in the making in freshmen Carlie Littlefield and Abby Meyers and some other very good role players.

And then there's Bella Alarie. One day in the not too distant future, you'll be able to have a conversation about who the best player in program history is - Alarie or Niveen Rasheed. Then a few days after that, you probably won't anymore, because it'll be too obvious that it's Alarie.

Look at the game she had against Delaware. She shot 4 for 16 from the field, which would make you feel like she had a bad game. That was hardly the case.

Alarie got every shot she wanted, and it seemed like most of them did everything but go in. And then there was the rest of it.

Usually when a scorer struggles to score, it affects everything else. Alarie? She had nine rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. She ran fast breaks. She contested shots. If the shots that normally go in fell like usual, she would have had 25 points instead of nine. She had 29, by the way, the game before, in a loss to Villanova.

There's only one remaining home game for the women this month, against UMBC Dec. 30.

The Ivy season starts in early January. Then there's first semester exams. It's a long way until the Ivy tournament.

For Princeton, though, there are some really good signs to date.

You know. The signs that this could be a very big year. 

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