Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Football Tuesday

TigerBlog saw Princeton head coach Bob Surace the other day and congratulated him on having the 2017 World Series title awarded to his beloved New York Yankees.

He laughed and said 2018 too. In the wake of the whole sign-stealing mess, there is one pretty funny part for those who don't like the Yankees - they very likely would have won at least the 2017 Series had the Astros not been blatantly cheating.

Of course, as TB said the other day, why is sign-stealing illegal in baseball? Shouldn't it be on the team giving the signs to protect themselves, rather than the other way around?

The Yankees are very much like the baseball version of the Dallas Cowboys. They are the two most polarizing teams in professional sports, as in you either love them or hate them. TB doesn't remember too many times he's heard someone say "yeah, the Yankees? Theyr'e fine. Don't like them or dislike them."

Because of that, if you're a Princeton fan and not one of those people who loves the Cowboys, then you've been in a tough spot when it comes to Jason Garrett.

On the one hand, Garrett is one of the absolute most likeable and most highly respected Princeton alums that TigerBlog has ever met. The only other Princetonian that TB would compare him to in that regard is former baseball/basketball player Chris Young.

On the other hand, well, it's always been the Cowboys, and you know what that means.

The news that Garrett was out of Dallas and now joining the Giants as their offensive coordinator was therefore very easy to take. Now rooting for Garrett doesn't have to coincide with rooting for Dallas.

With the Giants, Garrett will be working with first-year head coach Joe Judge, who 1) is 38 years old, 2) is someone who has made an extraordinary first impression, 3) has never been an NFL offensive or defensive coordinator and 4) is a graduate of the same high school - Lansdale Catholic outside of Philly - as current Princeton senior running back Ryan Quigley.

Because of No. 3 on the above list, Judge will benefit immeasurably from having someone who has been a successful NFL head coach on his staff. So will Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, the Giants' very promising quarterback and running back around whom the team is trying to rebuild.

And now you can root for the Giants and by extension Princeton.

The Super Bowl for this year is set - it'll be Kansas City against San Francisco in Miami. The Chiefs are making their third Super Bowl appearance and first since 1970; the 49ers are there for the seventh time, with a 5-1 record.

By the way, who thought a team could win a conference championship game and only throw the ball eight times? The 49ers simply pounded Green Bay on the ground, and when you can do that, you become basically unstoppable.

To show you how misleading football stats can be, and how big it is to be able to run the ball like San Francisco did yesterday, consider this: Green Bay outgained San Francisco 358-354. Also, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers was 31 for 39 for 326 yards and two touchdowns - and his team was never in the game.

Quarterbacks throw for 300 or 400 or even 500 yards and lose all the time Teams do not outgain the other team 285-62 and lose. Ever.

TigerBlog is rooting for Kansas City, because Princeton alum John Lovett is on the team. On the other hand, he'd rather see the Chiefs win next year with, presumably, Lovett on the active roster than this year with him on injured reserve.

Finally, this past weekend saw Princeton senior Kevin Davidson compete in the East-West Shrine Bowl in Florida. Davidson was 6 for 11 for 51 yards in the game, with two passes dropped, but the game itself wasn't as big as the week in practice.

Davidson had a great week in Florida, and he's continue to make a name for himself as an NFL prospect as he looks to follow his two immediate predecessors - Lovett and Chad Kanoff - into the league.

Remember, Davidson was only Princeton's starter for one year (plus one game last year against Brown), so he wasn't totally on the radar of pro scouts when the season started. The push he's made in year has been amazing.

Hopefully he'll be in the NFL next year as well.

Even if it would have to be, gasp, Dallas. 

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