Monday, April 6, 2020

Hey Russell, Need Any New Stuff?

TigerBlog awoke yesterday to an email calling his attention to a tweet from Russell Crowe, of all people.

Russell played John Nash in the Academy Award-winning movie "A Beautiful Mind," which was filmed on the Princeton campus. Here's the tweet:

That's great stuff.

As TB remembers it, Joe Rosenbaum was an extra in that movie. Rosenbaum was also a standout longstick midfielder in Princeton's men's lacrosse Class of 2003.

He won an NCAA championship with the Tigers in 2001 and played in the 2000 and 2002 NCAA championship games as well. Now it's 17 years later.


TigerBlog remembers when that class arrived on the campus as the top class in the country that year. Rosenbaum came to Princeton as one of three players from McDonogh School in Baltimore, along with Owen Daly (who would go on to marry one of TB's former co-workers in the Office of Athletic Communications, Kim Milardo) and Brad Dumont.

Their class also included, among others, another Baltimore player, Damien Davis, who 1) played at Gilman and 2) is one half of the answer of an upcoming trivia question that TB will offer you in a few paragraphs.

Who else was in that class?

Sean Hartofilis, for one, whom TB has long considered the most underrated men's lacrosse player he's seen at Princeton in all his time with the team. A lefty attackman from St. Anthony's on Long Island, Hartofilis, now a filmmaker, scored 126 goals at Princeton, still ranking him fourth all-time. Of those 126 goals, he scored 27 in NCAA tournament games.

Last week Joe emailed TigerBlog looking to see if he had a copy of the 2002 roster that he could forward. When TB went to send it to him, he looked through to see if he could match the players from the 2003 season to the high schools they attended.

He got about 50 percent of them correct. And a few others that he got wrong he remembered essentially what their hometowns were.

TB wasn't surprised he could do that. What surprises him is where his memory is strongest.

For instance, he can remember high schools and hometowns, and he can remember scores and game details from years ago. He's really good with remembering uniform numbers players wore decades ago.

What he's not good at is remembering what someone's class year was.

For some reason, he always struggles with this. Were they Class of 2008 or 2009? He's not great with that. He can remember groups of teammates, but he can't always remember which group of teammates came when.

Meanwhile, back at the trivia question TB promised ...

Inside Lacrosse released its women's and men's All-American teams as voted by the media last week. Again, this was supposed the middle of the season, rather than All-American time, but 2020 is unlike any other year.

The Ivy League has already decided it will not be doing all-league teams for the spring season. The USILA and the IWLCA won't be doing their All-American teams either.

When was the last time the USILA did not have men's All-Americans? How about 1921.

TB understands both sides of the coin on this one. There's the side that says that less than 50 percent of the season was played. The other says that the historical record is important, and not doing something for the first time since 1921 is quite unfortunate.

There have been All-Ivy League men's lacrosse teams every year since 1957 and All-Ivy League women's lacrosse teams every year since 1980. In fact, those first two All-Ivy League women's teams featured a first-team selection from Harvard named Chris Sailer.

As for the Inside Lacrosse teams, Princeton had six selections. Marge Donovan and Kyla Sears were second-team selections for the women. Connor McCarthy and Jake Stevens were honorable mention selections for the men.

Michael Sowers was a first-team selection. So too was George Baughan, the junior who is as good an on-ball defender as TB has seen at Princeton since David Morrow back in the early 1990s, up there with anyone else, including first-team All-Americans like Davis and Chad Wiedmaier (he was Class of 2012; TB can remember that one easily enough).

He would have loved to see the unbeaten and third-ranked Tigers have additional selections, especially longstick midfielder Andrew Song and attackman Chris Brown, both of whom play at an All-American level game after game.

Oh, and the trivia question.

With Sowers and Baughan on first-team, when was the last time Princeton had a first-team All-American attackman and defenseman in the same year? It was Davis and Ryan Boyle in 2003.

Before that, you go back to 1998, with Jon Hess and Jesse Hubbard on attack and Christian Cook on defense.

If you want to go back further, there was the duo of Kevin Lowe on attack and Todd Higgins on defense in 1994. The one before that was in 1953 (Bo Willis attack, Dave Tait defense).

In other words, it doesn't happen very often. 

And Russell, reach out. Princeton lacrosse will hook you up.

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