Friday, July 2, 2021

A New Era

You know who annoyed TigerBlog badly the other day? 

A fly. The fly was everywhere. It was relentless. Buzzing here. Buzzing there. TB was trying to get work done, and any time he got into the groove, the fly would show up to see what he was doing.

TB doesn't have a fly swatter. He does have a dish rag. His first goal was to try to get the fly to go outside, but that didn't seem likely. For one, the fly wasn't really into logic. Second, if TB opened the door or the window, he probably would have had more visitors of the winged variety. 

He took a few attempts at the fly with the dish rag and missed every time. The more he tried, the more the fly mocked him. Ah, but eventually, the fly made a mistake. It got too comfortable against the window, and boom, TB was able to get him. 

TB felt badly about it. All he wanted was the fly to leave him alone. As he looked down at the fly on the floor, TB said this out loud: "It didn't have to be this way."

It didn't, either. All he wanted was the fly to fly away. This one was on the fly.

A few seconds after the fly bought it, TB received an email from Ford Family Director of Athletics Emeritus Gary Walters. It included a link to a story, THIS STORY, as it turns out.

This is from the story:

A helmet worn by a Heisman Trophy winner from Maumee recently sold at auction for over $65,000, making it the most expensive college football helmet in history. Dick Kazmaier was a prep football star at Maumee High School in the 1940s before earning a scholarship to Princeton University, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1951. An orange game-worn helmet signed by Kazmaier from his college days sold online Sunday for $65,959.

The story has great biographical information on Kazmaier, who is an iconic figure in Princeton Athletic history obviously. The only issue is that it says he graduated high school in 1941, when it was actually 1948. He was in Princeton's Class of 1952, and he passed away in 2013.

TigerBlog has never been into memorabilia. His cousin Roy is. He has a whole room in his house in Annapolis dedicated to sports memorabilia.  

It's a bit ironic that the news of Kazmaier's helmet sale came right when the NCAA's new NIL policies have taken effect. If you haven't been following the news, NIL stands for "Name, Image, and Likeness," and as of yesterday, for the first time college athletes can now profit from their own.

What does this mean for college athletics? What does it mean for Ivy League athletics? 

TB has no idea. The Ivy League put out information in a release, including this quote from executive director Robin Harris:

“One of the fundamental philosophies of the Ivy League is that student-athletes should have the same opportunities as all students, including the option to engage in projects that use their name, image and likeness."

The possibilities of what can happen are endless. The next part of Harris' quote pretty much sums up where the situation is now:

"I strongly encourage our student-athletes to be patient and prudent as these first-time experiences become available, because this is an evolving and complex situation."

It is a new era though, clearly. It's like nothing that college sports has ever seen before. TB doesn't want to even speculate what path things will go down, because this is really, really far from his area of expertise. At the same time, you can't really write anything about college athletics today without using the term "NLI."

So TB will take a wait-and-see attitude. He hopes for the best for all of the athletes, as always. 

In the meantime, he wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.

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