Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

The First50 podcast with Podie Lynch and Carol Brown

The latest in the "First50" podcast series, which celebrates the first 50 years of women's athletics at Princeton, was released today.

This one features two of the great early women athletes at Princeton, Podie Lynch of the Class of 1971 and Carol Brown of the Class of 1975. The podcast series is moderated by Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan, with some help from TigerBlog.

Lynch, who played tennis, was the only letterwinner in the first class to participate in women's athletics. 

She went from Concord Academy outside of Boston to Bennett College, which was a two-year college in Millbrook, N.Y., that has since closed, in 1967. Lynch played field hockey, basketball and tennis there, serving as team captain for field hockey and tennis. She also was the president of the student government, not to mention the top student in her class. 

From there she was part of the first group of women to attend Princeton, in the fall of 1969.

There were 39 women in her class, along with 840 men. With five younger brothers (including her brother Vinnie, who was a soccer and hockey player in the Class of 1972), she was fairly well prepared.

Brown's own story is also fascinating.

She came to Princeton from Illinois, where there was an actual state law that prevented girls from competing in high school sports. Her only athletic experience pre-Princeton was as a summer swimmer at a local club, and she spent most of her high school time in the musical world, playing four instruments.

What happened when she came to Princeton? She became part of the first rowing team and the first swimming and diving team. 

She'd end up winning a national championship as part of the 1973 200-freestyle relay, setting an American record in the process. She did even better in rowing, where she went from never having been in a boat to winning a bronze medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

So that's the fourth edition of the podcast.

Tomorrow is obviously Thanksgiving Day. This one is a bit different than most years, like everything else in the COVID world. 

Hopefully everyone has the best – and safest – Thanksgiving possible, and hopefully at this time next year, things are back to normal.

As with every other year, TB offers you his thoughts on his favorite holiday:

As holidays go, you can't do much better than Thanksgiving. It's got it all, really: a huge meal (with turkey, no less), football, family, history (dates back to 1621), start of a four-day weekend for most people, leftovers. It's even a secular holiday, so every American can dive right in, regardless of religion.

The Lions and the Cowboys, obviously, always play at home on Thanksgiving, and the NFL has now added a third game (maybe a little too much). Beyond watching football, how many out there have played their own Thanksgiving football games, all of which, by the way, are named "the Turkey Bowl?"

The holiday may lag behind Christmas in terms of great Hollywood movies, and "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" is no match for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Still, there are some great moments in movies and TV shows around Thanksgiving.

Rocky and Adrian had their first date on Thanksgiving – "To you it's Thanksgiving; to me it's Thursday," Rocky said romantically – as did Meadow and Jackie Jr. on "The Sopranos" (it didn't quite work out as well as it did for Rocky and Adrian). "Everybody Loves Raymond" had two pretty good Thanksgiving episodes, the one where Marie makes a low-fat dinner and the one where Debra makes fish instead of turkey. As an aside, TigerBlog's Aunt Regina once made Cornish game hens instead of turkey, so he knows how they all felt. And of course, there was the Thanksgiving episode of "Cheers," which has the big food fight at the end.

The Woody Allen movie "Hannah and Her Sisters" starts and ends on two different Thanksgivings. "Miracle on 34th Street" is a Christmas movie, but it does start with the Thanksgiving parade in New York City.

And of course, there is the best of all Thanksgiving movies: "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." It'll make you laugh a lot and cry a little, and it ends on Thanksgiving.

TB wishes everyone a great holiday and hopes that maybe you take a few minutes to think about what you really are thankful for these days.

Happy Thanksgiving, Tigers.

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