Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Super Bowl Champ John Lovett, And The National Rankings

As TigerBlog said yesterday, winning has a way of following some players around.

Here's the proof of that:


That's Princeton alum John Lovett with Lombardi Trophy, after his Kansas City Chiefs defeated San Francisco in the Super Bowl Sunday night. If you're keeping track, the last four seasons for Lovett look like this:

2016 - Ivy League championship, Bushnell Cup winner
2017 - injured
2018 - Ivy League championship, perfect season, Bushnell Cup winner
2019 - Super Bowl championship

TB texted Lovett congratulations after the game, and Lovett got back to him yesterday. It made TB wonder how many hundreds of text messages Lovett received, and he's pretty sure Lovett got back to all of them.

TB wasn't the football contact during Lovett's time at Princeton, but he did watch him closely. It's clear that he is one of the absolute top leaders of any Princeton team in all the years that TB has watching the Tigers.

If TB is correct, Lovett became the third Princeton alum to win a Super Bowl ring as a player, joining Bob Holly and Jason Garrett. Is he forgetting anyone?

Lovett spent the season on injured reserve. Up next is a chance to make his mark on the field, as the Chiefs will look to repeat. With Pat Mahomes as the quarterback, there certainly is a chance. Of course, at the same time, there are a lot of quarterbacks who got there once and never got back again, and some others who never got there.

Dan Marino played in the Super Bowl in his second season (TB is pretty sure it was his second), and at the time, you could have gotten big odds if you wanted to say he'd never be back again. And yet he never returned.

If you never saw Marino play, by the way, there haven't been too many, if any, quarterbacks who ever could throw the ball like he could. But that one Super Bowl - a loss to the San Francisco 49ers - was his only trip.

So will Lovett have a chance to get back? There's no way of knowing. TB hopes that Lovett will become a consistent part of the Chiefs attack, and he is pretty sure that he will,

Historically speaking, Lovett also joins George Parros (2007 Anaheim Ducks) and Chris Young (2015 Kansas City Royals) as Princeton alums who won a championship as a player in one of the four major American professional sports. This doesn't take into account the number of champions won by athletes in other sports.

And if TB is forgetting someone, he apologizes.

A week ago TB felt badly about waiting to write about the women's tennis team until the middle of the week. This time, the Super Bowl and the big basketball weekend kept him from talking about a huge accomplishment by the men's volleyball team from Thursday night.

If you remember before exam break, Princeton pushed UCLA, then ranked second in the country, to five sets before losing in Dillon Gym in men's volleyball. The teams met against Thursday night in California, and this time Princeton won, taking down the Bruins - who have won more NCAA titles than any other program - in four sets.

For Princeton, the win was the first one over UCLA, Southern Cal or Long Beach State. The sport is obviously dominated by the California schools, though not nearly as much as TB might have thought before he looked and saw that in the last 12 years, the NCAA championship scoreboard is California 7, East of the Mississippi 5 (two each for Ohio State and Loyola-Chicago and one for Penn State).

Can Princeton be part of the NCAA championship conversation this year? TB doesn't know enough about the sport to know. He does know that Princeton is ranked 12th, has NCAA tournament tournament experience from last year and has played a very tough schedule so far this season.

Of course, Princeton needs to get back to the NCAA in the first place, and that path goes through the very competitive EIVA. All in all, these are very exciting times for Princeton volleyball.

And hey, the Tigers are more than just 6-11 George Humann. This week's EIVA Player of the Week is Jerod Nelsen.

And, actually, for a bunch of Princeton's winter teams.

It was called to TB's attention that in fact 10 of Princeton's winter teams are or have been nationally ranked so far this season. That list: women's hockey, women's basketball, men's and women's squash, women's swimming and diving, wrestling, men's and women's fencing and men's volleyball.

That's a wild piece of information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bill Bradley with the Knicks won 2 championships.