Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Happy Anniversary

TigerBlog went yesterday to get his picture taken with some other people who will be celebrating their 25th anniversaries of working at Princeton at a luncheon next month.

TB is actually closing in on 26 years of working at Princeton and, with his five years at the newspaper, this is his 31st season of covering Princeton Athletics.

Because his start date back in 1994 came after the cut-off for last year's recognition, he had to wait until this year to be a part of it. Along with an invitation to the luncheon, when you reach 25 years (and each subsequent five-year anniversary after that), you get to choose a gift.

For his 25th gift, TB chose the rocking chair. He's excited about it.

Yesterday was photo day for those who have been here for 25 and the subsequent five-year groups. It was nice, to be around people from around the University who have been here for as long as TB has, in departments all over the campus.

There was even someone there who has been here for, if TB heard correctly, 50 years. Is that possible?

For TigerBlog, he has had seven different titles since he started here all those years ago. It's been quite a run from 1994 to now, with almost nothing about working for Princeton Athletics the same as it was back then except for the pride of being a part of it.

Hey, the current generation of athletes weren't even born yet when TB began working here.

Neither were his own children.

If you've been reading TB since the beginning, you read a bit about the two of them, starting back when they were just children, way back to when his son played the national anthem at a men's basketball game on his saxophone when he was 11.

The blog didn't start until then, though, so you missed a lot of their earliest years.

Maybe if you work for 25 years in the corporate world, then that side of your life stays a bit more separated from the rest of it. If you work in college athletics for that long, especially here, then the line between personal life and professional life hardly exists.

TigerBlog has always loved that, and he loves the fact that his children grew up essentially on this campus. They both went to nursery school here, and they both spent five years attending the summer camp at Dillon before they both worked there once they got too old.

They went to sports camps here, and they stayed in the dorms here before they were teenagers. They were both ballkids at Princeton basketball.

TB can't count the number of events that they both attended here before they were 12 or so. Miss TigerBlog, of course, became Miss TigerBlog ’22, and she is currently a member of the women's lacrosse team.

TigerBlog Jr. went a different route, and he became a four-year member of the men's lacrosse team at Sacred Heart University. He now works in Washington, D.C., and so it was that last weekend that TB got to spend some time with his son on the way to the men's lacrosse game at Virginia.

The highlight of the weekend was when father and son did the radio broadcast for the game. It was not when the bartender, the manager and the karaoke guy all knew his name when he and his friends walked into the happy hour they always attend, and it wasn't even when TB sang "The Summer Wind" in his karaoke debut.

It was definitely when the two of them were on the radio together.

TB remembers back to when Tom McCarthy used to do his radio show from the Jadwin courtside before men's basketball games, and TBJ - around age 5 or so - would sit next to him, with a headset on, so he could listen.

He also remembers a time that TBJ - maybe around 8 or 9 - went to the men's lacrosse game at Syracuse, only to have the radio station at the time go off the air as it changed ownership, meaning there would be no broadcast. TBJ put on a headset and spoke into it for the entire game at the Carrier Dome, possibly unaware that nobody could hear him.

This time, they were doing the game together, with an actual audience. On the ride from D.C. to Charlottesville TB gave TBJ some pointers, and hey, as it turned out, TBJ was really good.

Or maybe TigerBlog is just biased.

In 25 years, there have been a lot of highlights for TigerBlog, a lot of championships, a lot of travel, a lot of amazing experiences, the chance to meet a lot of awesome people.

Beyond all of that, though, there have been so many great times when Princeton Athletics brought TB closer to one or both of his children. Doing the radio with TBJ was yet another one of those.

How many people get to say that about their job?

No comments: