Monday, July 5, 2021

A Well-Spent Fourth

There were three must-see TV moments for TigerBlog yesterday.

The last two were back-to-back on Turner Classic Movies. They were two of his all-time favorites, both somewhere in the 20-50 range on his best hits list. 

First, at 5, was "The Music Man." How can you go wrong with Robert Preston as Professor Harold Hill? Or Shirley Jones as Marian the Librarian? And even with Buddy Hackett as he sings "Shipoopi?"

Seventh-six trombones? Til' there was you? Great stuff.

After Professor Hill whipped the band into shape, it was time for the Fourth of July standard, "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

TB has written this before about the James Cagney, who stars as George M. Cohan:

The movie stars James Cagney as George M. Cohan. Cagney, if you're TB's age or older, was probably known more for his roles as a gangster in the 1930s and 1940s, which are classics, and yet he also was able to mix in a role like the one as Cohan, which was all singing and dancing and lighthearted comedy. It's hard to say if James Cagney was better in all of those gangster movies or in "Yankee Doodle Dandy." Either way, he's an A+ in both. For wholesomeness? It's hard to beat Cagney as he sings and dances his way through one breezy show tune after another, all while reaffirming his patriotism and love of country in a time of World War.

Ah, it's a great one. Between the two movies, that's nearly six hours of wholesomeness.

Then there was the third thing TB wanted to see yesterday. That was a lacrosse game that began at 12:30.

It was the Premier Lacrosse League Sunday game between Archers and Whipsnakes, who are probably the two best teams in the league. There are a lot of Princeton connections between the teams, as well as a big one on the broadcast too.

The Whipsnakes feature Chris Aslanian, Princeton's Director of Men's Lacrosse Operations, and Mike Chanenchuk, who was the 2010 Ivy League Rookie of the Year at Princeton. The Archers feature Princeton alums Tom Schreiber and Ryan Ambler, and the coach of the Archers is Chris Bates, Princeton's former coach. One of his assistants is former Princeton goalie Brian Kavanagh. 

On top of that, Ryan Boyle, a Hall-of-Fame player who led Princeton to the 2001 NCAA title and is Princeton's third all-time leading scorer and the fifth all-time leading scorer in professional outdoor lacrosse, was the color commentator on NBC Sports Network. Boyle, by the way, is a great announcer. As TB has said before, he does exactly what you're supposed to do as a color commentator, and that's make the viewer feel like he's sitting there watching the game with you.

There are two Princeton alums on the Waterdogs. One of them is Michael Sowers, who has been out since Week 1 after a late hit to the back of the head. The other is Zach Currier, who continues to be amazing in every game he plays. Most recently, Currier had three goals, four assists a caused turnover and seven ground balls in a 19-16 loss to the Redwoods. There aren't too many players who have ever played lacrosse who can put up numbers the way Currier can and who can impact every piece of a game the way he can. On top of that, he's just plain fun to watch, with his effort and tenacity alone.

The Archers-Whipsnakes game was very good. It was back and forth, and each time one team seemed to get up by a goal or two, the other rallied. The Princetonians all made their marks in the game. In the end, the final was 15-14 Whipsnakes, on a goal in the final minute. Perhaps the teams will be the last two standing come September 19, when the PLL championship game is played.

Lacrosse. Two great musicals. That's a pretty good Fourth of July.  

Oh, and fireworks too. TigerBlog is not a huge fireworks fan. They're fine, but he doesn't love them.

Whatever makes a great Fourth for you, TB hopes you were able to have a happy and safe one.

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