Thursday, March 26, 2020

Garfein And Glory

TigerBlog, like everyone else who is spending pretty much all day at home, is always open to a good diversion.

He saw this one yesterday, and it's great - but only if you're a Broadway fan, especially "Les Mis." TB's colleague Jon Kurian definitely fits the bill.

Or Playbill, as it were.

You can see what TB means HERE. If you don't to click, it's a bunch of Broadway actors and actresses singing "One Day More" from "Les Mis" while they are quarantined. TB isn't exactly sure who's doing the actual singing, but he still liked it a lot.

Okay, hopefully it's about three minutes since you read the last paragraph, and hopefully you enjoyed the little diversion.

For today, TB would like to talk about two people, and he'll do so alphabetically.

First, there is Garfein, Evan.

That's actually Dr. Evan Garfein, a plastic surgeon who has been called to the frontlines of the the fight against COVID-19 in New York City. Evan is a working 12-hour shifts in an emergency room these days, and he's seeing first-hand what this virus is doing.

You can read TB's story about Garfein HERE.

If you don't read the story (TB is wondering what percentage of people reading this sentence have read the story after they listened to the "Les Mis" video), or even if you did, Garfein played on Princeton's 1992 NCAA championship men's lacrosse team, the first of six such teams the program had.

Garfein came to Princeton in the fall of 1988 as a walk-on, and the team he joined had just gone through a 2-13 season under first-year head coach Bill Tierney. Expectations, and roster numbers, were both low, but Tierney promised his first recruiting class that it would win an NCAA title.

Nobody believed him.

Garfein was able to get a spot on the team, something he says might not have happened a few years later, and he would work his way up to being a contributor. He even dressed for the semifinal and championship games in 1992, the circumstances of which are covered in the story.

What really strikes TB about the story is the way that Garfein talks about the lessons he learned playing at Princeton and how now, nearly 30 years later, he is still drawing on those lessons as he approaches the current crisis.

In fact, what he's talking about is what came to be known as "Education Through Athletics," and he has gone on to be everything that is summed up under the heading "Achieve, Serve, Lead." It's a fascinating dynamic, and he is doing incredible work right now.

The other person is Glory, Patrick.

A long time ago, there was a baseball pitcher at a local high school whose last name was "Lord," which led to all kinds of predictable headlines after he'd win. When Glory first came to Princeton, TB imagined that he had been the recipient of similar headlines during his high school career.

His, uh, Glory Days hardly ended with high school though.

Glory, from North Jersey and the Delbarton School, had an extraordinary season, going 24-0, winning the EIWA title at 125 pounds (for the second straight year), becoming Princeton's first Ivy Wrestler of the Year since 1986 and winning 13 of his 24 matches through either a techincal fall or a pin.

Excruciatingly, Glory is one of the many athletes who will never be able to find out how the 2020 season would have turned out, as the NCAA wrestling championships were cancelled, just like the basketball tournaments, hockey tournaments and all spring championships.

Still, Glory's sophomore season has another potential honor on the table, as he is one of 10 nominees for the Hodge Award as the top collegiate wrestling.

The award, by the way, is named for Danny Hodge, who 1) went 46-0 at Oklahoma from 1955-57, 2) won the NCAA title each of his three varsity seasons, pinning his opponent all three times in the final (one of only two wrestlers ever to win three NCAA finals by pin, with the other being Oklahoma A&M's Earl McCready from 1928-30), 3) an Olympic silver medalist in 1956 and 4) now 87 years old and still, apparently, crushing apples in his hand (that's what it says on Wikipedia anyway).

Fans can vote for Glory until 6 pm Eastern time tomorrrow at THIS website. The winner will be announced Monday.

1 comment:

D '82 said...

TB, your piece on Dr Evan Garfein is one of your best feature stories ever. I really appreciate the way that you discuss the current situation with appropriate gravity, yet still are able to weave in lacrosse and amusing anecdotes. That bit about Garfein choosing between Dartmouth and Princeton because they had the weakest lacrosse teams is priceless. Can't you see him sitting around the kitchen table analyzing the two squads carefully to find the worst program? And for his efforts, he wins an NCAA championship.

"Now is not the time for ease and comfort. Now is the time to dare and endure." --Winston Churchill