Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy 2018

Happy New Year, everyone.

The first person to be mentioned in this space in 2018 is Jon Kurian, TigerBlog's friend and colleague in the business office.

TB saw Kurian at the men's hockey games this weekend. If you didn't see them or notice, Princeton played the No. 1 team in the country, St. Cloud State, to a pair of ties, 3-3 Friday night and 2-2 Saturday night.

These games weren't flukes either. Yes, Princeton freshman goalie Ryan Ferland was great, with 37 saves Friday and then a career-best 43 Saturday.

St. Cloud goalie Jeff Smith had to make 40 of his own Saturday. And Friday, he made 25 saves to the 37 that Ferland made, but shots were 28-26 after regulation. Tthat translated to 14 saves in the OT by Ferland, about half of which were spectacular.

The two games were entertaining, and the crowds were great both nights. Up next for Princeton is back-to-back ECAC road trips (Colgate/Cornell and then Harvard/Dartmouth) before break for first-semester exams.

Meanwhile, back at Kurian, TigerBlog asked him about what he got his two little girls for Christmas, that sort of normal post-holiday conversation.

At one point, Kurian said something about the space heaters that are in the press box at Hobey Baker Rink. His exact words were "If you take the heaters away ..."

Before he could finish, TigerBlog said "you take them heaters away and you're nothing." Kurian gave him a confused look, and TB said "do you know what movie that's from?"

Kurian, again, looked confused.

"On The Waterfront," TB said.

"Never heard of it," Kurian said.

How in the world is that possible? How could someone not have heard of "On The Waterfront?" It's on the short list of greatest movies ever made, just a few rungs below "Casablanca."

He didn't have to watch it. But to have never heard of it? Marlon Brando? Eva Marie Saint? Lee J. Cobb? Karl Malden?

You don't understand? I coulda had class? I coulda been a contenda? That movie?

Anyway, Happy New Year Jon.

The next group TB wants to mention would be all the people who decided to go to Times Square for New Year's Eve.

If you did it because you thought it would be fun to be out there in seven-degree weather, wedged together like cattle, then what were you thinking? If you did it because it was the better option than watching any of the New Year's Eve countdown shows from Times Square, well, then that's fine.

Seriously, can anything be worse than those shows? And they're just getting worse and worse. Each channel, worse than the one before it. Dick Clark and Guy Lombardo are rolling over in their graves, or rolling their eyes in their graves, at what has become of what they did so flawlessly for so many decades.

The calendar year ended with a countdown on Twitter and Instagram of the top pictures from Princeton Athletics in 2017. There were 15 pictures in all. TigerBlog will give you the top 10 here, in reverse order:

That's No. 10 through No. 3. To run them down, they are:

No. 10 - Zach Currier's bruised arm
No. 9 - A dunk by Myles Stephens in the Ivy tournament
No. 8 - women's volleyball celebrates beating Yale for the NCAA bid
No. 7 - men's cross country heads down the final straightaway en route to a Heps title
No. 6 - Ashleigh Johnson makes another incredible save
No. 5 - Matthew Kolodzik flexes after an NCAA win
No. 4 - Kat Holmes and her teammates celebrate an Ivy title
No. 3 - Abby Givens splits the UNC defense and knocks in the stunning game-winner in the NCAA tournament

And so that left the top two. TigerBlog went in this order:

Was that the right order? Or should the Goal in the Rain picture have been No. 1?

They're both extraordinary pictures. TigerBlog has mentioned this before. They were both taken by Beverly Schaefer, who has been Princeton's photographer for just a little more than 20 years.

It's very possible that these are the two best pictures she's ever taken. They could clearly have gone in either order.

The lacrosse goal in the rain is a great celebration shot even before you factor in the torrential downpour. The field hockey one has everything - three Princeton players who are in the air, two Yale players on the ground and the ball behind everyone in the goal.

Anyway, that's the end of 2017.

Now it's time for 2018. The best picture of this coming year could come from any of Princeton's 37 teams. At any moment, really. The slate is clean again. It'll be exciting to watch it all unfold.

In the meantime, Happy New Year to everyone. Have a great 2018.

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