Friday, July 20, 2018

Setting The Alarm

TigerBlog recently set up an account with ESPN+, which will be the new home for Ivy League live video content beginning with this academic year.

TB set it up last week to coincide with the start of the FIL World Lacrosse championships, which have been going on since July 12 in Netanya, Israel.
ESPN has made a very strong commitment to covering the tournament. It has sent its top four men's lacrosse announcers there for two weeks, along with everyone else related to the production.

It has put a lot of games on either ESPN2 or ESPNU, and not just the U.S. and Canada. The broadcasts have also tried to give a sense of Israel and the culture there, and Merav Savir, the Israeli sideline reporter has been great at that.

Savir also did some play-by-play, in Hebrew, during the U.S. win over England. It reminded TigerBlog of a time that a European history professor of his did part of a lecture in French. TB didn't know what he was saying then or what Savir was saying this time, but both were mesmerizing in their delivery.

It's sort of, TB presumes, the point of going to an opera that's in a different language.

TigerBlog has watched most of the games that have been televised. He's also watched a ton of the games on ESPN+.

It's a very good product. It's also inexpensive - $50 for a year gets you all of the Ivy League content and everything else that's on ESPN+, which will be a lot of options.

It's also very easy to navigate. And you have the ability to rewind the video.

There are 46 teams who have been competing in Israel, and after today, places three through 46 will have been decided.

TigerBlog has been particularly interested in the five Princetonians who have been playing in the tournament, though he has watched some pretty random games, you know, like Greece-New Zealand and Wales-Latvia.

Andrew Song, a rising sophomore longstick midfielder, has been great for China, with a goal, two assists and 32 ground balls, including10 ground balls yesterday in a win over Croatia. Song and China will play Chinese Taipei at 3:15 Israel time (8:15 am Eastern) for 41st place.

Austin deButts has been one of Argentina's best players. The Argentines had an early morning date with Belgium for 29th place.

Alistair Berven has been a starter on defense for England, and he has had a good tournament. England will play Japan tonight in Israel and this afternoon (at 2) in the Eastern time zone for fifth place.

The top six teams in the tournament qualify for the top division in 2022, when the tournament will be outside of Vancouver, and England and Japan have both qualified. So have Australia and the Iroquois, who will play today for third place.

The championship game, of course, will match the U.S. and Canada. There was never any doubt that these two teams would play for the title, and this will be the sixth straight time that the championship game will match the Americans and Canadians.

If there is one downside to the sport on the international level, it's that these two are so far ahead of everyone else so that there isn't much drama when it comes to who will be the last two standing.

On the other hand, the championship game figures to be a great one, especially if it can match what happened when the two met during pool play, when the U.S. got a late goal from Johns Hopkins alum Paul Rabil - who once scored in OT to beat Princeton - to win 11-10.

Canada was the champion four years ago, by the way.

The game matches Princeton grad against Princeton grad, with Tom Schreiber of the U.S. and Zach Currier of Canada. Schreiber defeated Currier last summer in the Major League Lacrosse championship game with his Ohio Machine against Currier's Denver Outlaws.

TigerBlog is pumped for the final, way more so than he would be for, say, any NBA playoff game. Or the World Series. Or even the Super Bowl.

There's one problem, though. The game starts at 10 am tomorrow in Israel. That would make it 3 am in the Eastern time zone.

Honestly, TB isn't sure why they're playing the game at 10 am in Israel. It doesn't really make much sense, after all the time put in to promoting and televising the tournament, to have the championship game be at 3 am where most of the people who would want to see it live.

Oh well.

TB will just have to set his alarm for this one. 

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