Friday, June 29, 2018

A Few Minutes With Mollie

TigeBlog promised you a "first" today, and he'll get to that in a second.

First (before the actual first), there's something that he doesn't quite understand.

Readership numbers are way up. They're not usually up this time of year. Why is that?

Not that TigerBlog is complaining of course. The more the better.

It's like finding out that sales of exceeded your expectations. That's good, obviously. Is it worth wondering why, or just go with it?

Today will be a good test. It's an actual summer Friday, and summer Fridays are traditionally the absolutely lowest readership numbers TigerBlog gets. What does today hold?

In the past, knowing how few people were reading on summer Fridays, TB would sometimes insert random song lyrics in the middle to see if anyone noticed. Actually, that's not true at all.

He actually thought about testing that theory in college on an exam by writing song lyrics in the middle of a blue book to see if the professor noticed. He never did, deciding instead that there was too big a downside if he'd been wrong about that.

Anyway, he'll be eager to see how many people stop by today, and as the summer continues to go along.

Of course, this is a different kind of summer weekend. There's no Fourth of July weekend this year, since the holiday is smack in the middle of next week, so TB figures people will be improving with this weekend or next weekend or both.

In the meantime, TigerBlog promised you a first, and he will be delivering on that.

If you went to yesterday, perhaps you saw the first episode of "A Few Minutes With Mollie."

If you didn't, you can see it HERE. It's the latest podcast from Princeton Athletics, and the first that involves Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan.

The podcast series here has been way more successful than TigerBlog envisioned when he first started doing them, and when his colleague Craig Sachson did it before he did. He's hoping to have a different podcast each day during the week come the fall, though those plans aren't finalized yet.

He definitely wanted to included Mollie in the series, though he's not sure she'll be able to do one each week. He wanted to do the first one with her now, though, and he's pretty happy with how it came out.

Mollie, of course, was an athlete here, an All-Ivy pick in both soccer and hockey. She came to Princeton from Ithaca, N.Y., and she had several other Ivy League opportunities coming out of high school.

Today she is the fifth AD Princeton has had. TigerBlog has known her since she was a student-worker in the Office of Athletic Communications, and he's worked for her for four years now. He's had a lot of conversations with her about a lot of things, but sitting down and asking her how her own experiences as an undergrad have shaped her beliefs as AD isn't something that just comes up in your average meeting. 

The podcast gave him the opportunity to ask her about it. She talked about Bob Myslik, who was the AD when she was an athlete here, and Amy Campbell, who was in the athletic administration back then and who, as TB wrote recently, has just retired from the University, and TB asked her about the impact that had on her and if it's something she consciously wants to give to the current generation of athletes.

The best part about the podcasts is that they are so informal. TigerBlog has no script or set questions. He just lets it flow and see where the conversation goes.

As a result, they're very good ways to get to know the subject, in this case the AD. She talks about, in addition to what TB has already mentioned, the values of the department, the success Princeton has had, her interactions with the athletes here and her unwavering belief that Princeton Athletics, while it remains focused on competitive success and its core values, should never stop being fun.

TB isn't quite sure how many podcasts Mollie will be able to fit into her schedule, but he thinks this will become a regular feature. For now, Episode 1 is worth, well, a few minutes.

And with that, TigerBlog wishes everyone a great summer weekend.

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