Wednesday, May 9, 2018

No. 1

TigerBlog recorded two podcasts yesterday, one with each head lacrosse coach.

TB went to ask men's coach Matt Madalon a question about Michael Sowers, the nation's leader in points per game and assists per game, and it was going to be a relatively quick one. That's when TB noticed Madalon's phone rang and that he was responding with a text message.

As a result, TB tried to fill time until Madalon could answer, and that led to the most rambling question ever asked. When Madalon started to answer, TB had to interrupt him to explain to listeners as to why the question took so long. Madalon laughed.

That's one of the things that TB likes so much about doing podcasts. They're so informal.

For instance, he also learned yesterday that Chris Sailer once had a dog named "Franny." Her former Harvard women's lacrosse teammate Francesca DenHartog, though, was never "Franny." Just "Fran" or "Francesca." That was from the podcast yesterday as well.

TigerBlog spoke with the women's lacrosse coach for the second episode of "The Chris Sailer Show," a podcast that debuted last week with a great deal of success. The second episode, which you can listen to HERE (or should that be HEAR HERE?), features a pretty good conversation about what it was like when she was a player for the Crimson.

As TB said yesterday, DenHartog won the Ivy Player of the Year award in 1980 and 1981, the first two years it was awarded. That happened to be when Sailer was a junior and senior. TB brought DenHartog up in the context of being the Ivy League's all-time leading goal scorer with 249, a record that no one has come close to ever since. In fact, no other Ivy women's lacrosse player has ever reached 200. Princeton's Kyla Sears, though, has 60 this season as a freshman.

In addition to lacrosse, Sailer also played field hockey and even jayvee basketball at Harvard, at a time when opportunities for women in sports weren't nearly what they are today. Much of the conversation talks about the evolution of women's lacrosse and women's athletics, and really very few people anywhere are more able to comment on that important subject like Chris Sailer can.

The podcast is worth a listen, and not just to hear TB's voice.

Sailer and her team play Friday in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, against Syracuse. The game will be played at Boston College, who hosts the winner in Sunday's second round game.

That's two days away.

Opening day for Princeton football is 129 days away. TigerBlog knows this because there's a countdown clock behind his colleague Andrew Borders' desk that is ticking away to the first game of the 2018 season, when Princeton will be at Butler on Sept. 15. One week later, Princeton will host Monmouth in the first meeting between the teams.

Wait, you're thinking. Football? It's not even Reunions yet. Or commencement. Or summer.

True. But that doesn't mean football can't be newsworthy.

Bob Surace announced his recruiting class yesterday, and by all accounts, this one is a very promising one. In fact, it's been ranked as the top class in the Football Championship Subdivision. That's the entire FCS, not just the Ivy League.

One of the two sites that ranked Princeton No. 1 is called That site also ranked the top 250 individual recruits for the FCS, and Princeton had 10 of those 250 selections, including the four top 25 and two top 10.

If you like podcast, by the way, Bob Surace talks about his recruiting class with TB's colleague Craig Sachson. You can HEAR HERE.

Now, it's time to remind everyone to take a very deep breath. First, it's fine to get excited about seeing Princeton so high in a ranking like this. It's a tribute to the players that Surace and his staff have identified and recruited.

And yes, there's a real chance that many of the players on this list become big-time players in the Ivy League.

Of course, none of them have had one practice yet. They are still in high school. There's a long way to go.

On the other hand, there are certain conclusions that can be drawn. Mostly, you, as a Princeton fan, can conclude that the football staff knows what it's doing and knows how to run a program the right way.

As TB read in the HeroSports story, more than 10 incoming players had Power 5 Conference scholarship offers and almost all had at least one FBS scholarship offer. This suggests that the football coaches did a great job of positioning everything that is good, and different, about Princeton.

So to recap, 1) Princeton's recruiting class looks really special, 2) be patient and don't set expectations too high, 3) the coaches have done a tremendous job regardless and 4) make sure you get your tickets this fall.

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