Wednesday, October 6, 2021


Congratulations go out to Syukuro Manabe, the Princeton professor who yesterday was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Manabe just turned 90 years old two weeks ago, which means two things. First, it means that this is a pretty nice belated birthday present.

Second, since Manabe was born and raised in Japan, it means he grew up in a country that was at war with the United States and the Allies for much of his formative time. He was a few months past his 10th birthday on the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and he was just short of his 14th birthday when World War II ended with the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. That's a lot of stuff for a kid to live through in those years.

TigerBlog would love to know what his memories are of his childhood. Maybe he'll get the chance to ask him at some point. 

The news of another Princeton Nobel Prize winner was very exciting, as always. It's hard to say it's routine, but it does speak to what Princeton University is that it's hardly the first time there has been this kind of celebration involving a Princetonian.

In fact, it appears that there have now been 45 Princeton alums or professors who have won the Nobel Prize and another 25 more who at some point had a Princeton affiliation. That's impressive stuff.

Congratulations to Syukuro Manabe for joining that list. TB will definitely be reaching out to him.

Meanwhile, back in athletics, there is also a history of excellence. Princeton has had by far the most successful athletic program in the Ivy League's history, and the celebration of the 500th championship in 2020 speaks to that. Princeton currently stands at 503, where it was after the winter of 2020 when the pandemic hit.

It'll be most of a decade before another school gets to 500 and it'll be many decades before a third school does. That alone puts Princeton's success in perspective.

The fall of 2021 is just getting going in terms of Ivy League races. It's a fun fact that Princeton's teams are a combined 9-0 in Ivy events to date, but that doesn't really mean all that much so far. 

There is no Princeton team who is the only unbeaten in the league in any sport, and there are either two, three or four unbeaten teams in all of those sports.

To that end, every weekend is big for every team in the league. While none of them have won a league championship or are even close to doing so with so many games left, they all have established that they expect to be playing for championships next month.

There will be two Princeton teams who play games this weekend against other unbeaten Ivies. They'll both do so on the same field as part of a doubleheader, which, unfortunately, won't be in Princeton.

Still, if you want to see some good games and you're going to be in the Providence area, then there is a soccer doubleheader you might be interested in attending. 

It starts at 3 with the women at Brown, followed at 7 by the men's game. You can get something to eat in between. Providence is a great place for a nosh.

Princeton, Brown and Harvard are all 2-0-0 in women's soccer in the league. They're also a combined 24-4-2 overall. They're also all in the top 50 in RPI now. Can all three get to the NCAA tournament? Possibly. The winner of the league gets an automatic bid and doesn't have to worry about such things. 

This weekend is the first of three straight with a game featuring two of these teams. Brown is at Harvard next Saturday. Princeton is at Harvard the Saturday after that.

On the men's side, last week was the first weekend of Ivy games. There are three 1-0 teams (Princeton and Brown joined by Cornell) and two teams who tied last week (Yale-Harvard finished 0-0).

Princeton got a 3-2 win over Dartmouth on Malik Pinto's game-winning goal, which followed his first career goal to make it 2-0 earlier before the Big Green tied it. Pinto, a freshman, was the Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Week.

Pinto, by the way, comes from quite the soccer family. He grew up in Durham, but the Pintos are decidedly more UNC than Duke. His father Hassan played soccer at Carolina, as did his sister Brianna, a three-time All-ACC player who scored 31 goals as a Tar Heel and who now plays in the NWSL. He also has an older brother Hassan who played at Elon. His mother Meleata was a Tar Heel as well, though her sport was softball.

1 comment:

D '82 said...

The fall of my freshman year, my Physics 103 professor David Wilkinson quipped in front of the class, "You know the physics department is good here because everybody gets very nervous in early October every year."