Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Once It's On The Resume

TigerBlog isn't quite sure what Ross Tucker's career goal was when he came to Princeton.

He doubts it's what it turned out to be - media megastar. If you follow the NFL or college football, then you've probably heard or seen Ross Tucker or TV or heard him on the radio.

Or maybe you're one of his Twitter followers. If not, you can follow him now, and if you time it right, you can be his 200,000th follower.

Now that he's wondering, TigerBlog looked it up. Ross was a politics major at Princeton, and he wrote his senior thesis on gender equity and Title IX. 

TB saw yesterday an announcement that Ross has been added to the Philadelphia Eagles preseason television broadcasts. He's already done a ton of NFL stuff on the radio, and he has a lot of experience broadcasting Ivy League football on television.

He's very good, very engaging. He analyzes the game really well, and he does so as if he's your friend from next door who invited you over to watch.

Maybe it's because TB has known him for a long time - does this count as name dropping? - but he feels like very few people on TV do a better job of letting their actual personality come out while they're broadcasting. He doesn't force anything. It's just a very natural presentation. 

Ross is a 2001 Princeton grad who was started out as a defensive lineman his freshman year and then became an offensive lineman his last three years. How good was he?

There's this from the release about his hire:
"Tucker enjoyed a seven-year NFL career as an offensive lineman."

When TB read that, it reminded him of a conversation he had with former Princeton men's basketball coach John Thompson III after he took Georgetown to the Final Four in 2007.

Once it's on the resume, TB told him, it stays there forever.

It's the same with Ross Tucker, NFL vet.

And it's the same with Mike Ford.

Perhaps you remember Ford from 2013, when he was both the Ivy League Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, making him the only Princeton player ever to achieve that double. He's also the only Ivy League player ever to win those two awards plus the Ivy Rookie of the Year Award, which he won in 2011.

It took Ford seven seasons in the minors before he got called up to the New York Yankees last week. He started the season at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre, where he had five home runs and 14 RBIs - as well as a .897 slugging percentage and a 1.364 OPS - in just 39 at-bats.

Those numbers got the Yankees' attention with all the injuries they've had.

Since then, he's had his first Major League hit - a double - and he's scored his first two Major League runs.

No matter what happens from here, he'll always know he's played in the Major Leagues. That's on the resume forever as well.

TigerBlog is, of course, struck by the fact that almost any Princeton alum in a professional sport automatically gets him rooting for that team, except Ford. It's still the Yankees, after all.

Meanwhile, the NHL playoffs continue along without the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators. As a result, the three Princeton seniors who made the NHL debuts this spring with those teams are back on campus, working on their theses and finishing their classes to graduate on time.

That part is as extraordinary as playing in the NHL.

Ryan Kuffner went from setting the program record for career goals to playing for the Red Wings. Josh Teves went straight to the Canucks.

Max Veronneau went on to the Senators, where he scored two goals and had two assists.

Now they're back at Princeton, back in classes and doing their independent research.

It has to be a fairly interesting perspective, going from playing your senior season to spending a few weeks traveling around on charter flights and staying in first class hotels while achieving what presumably is their lifelong dream and then coming back to being just another student at Princeton.

TigerBlog saw them at the men's lacrosse game against Siena, he thinks, when they came to see hockey teammate Luke Keenan make his lacrosse debut. They looked like any other college, students, which, of course, they are.

Again, though, no matter what happens, they'll always be NHL players. That'll be on their resumes forever.

No comments: