Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Catching Up

So much has happened since last week, so let TigerBlog catch up a bit:

* One of TB's all-time favorite musicians was lost with the death of Meat Loaf last Thursday. Meat Loaf was a bit of a larger-than-life figure whose 1977 album "Bat Out Of Hell" is the only album every released on which TigerBlog likes every song. This goes for every other album of all time, from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band all the way down. 

"Bat Out Of Hell" was pure genius in every way, starting with the amazingly original songs (written by Jim Steinman, who was the brother of longtime Columbia sports information director Bill Steinman) and because of the way Meat Loaf put every ounce of energy he could into every note he sang. The result was an album that sold 45 million copies, making it the No. 4 most-selling album ever, and stayed on the charts for nine years. 

As Meat Loaf sang: "Oh, baby, you're the only thing in this whole world, that's pure and good and right.
And wherever you are and wherever you go, there's always gonna be some light."

* The Princeton men's hockey team played No. 1 Quinnipiac last Tuesday in Hamden. This is from the story on goprincetontigers.com:

Princeton's most recent game before venturing to Hamden came on December 11, with pauses both expected – the annual break for exams and the holidays – and unexpected – a six-game halt due to COVID-19 protocols – keeping the Tigers away from game action for over a month.

Predictably, that game did not go well, as the Bobcats won 9-0. So what happened next for Princeton? Well, what happened next was character-revealing.

Just three days later, Princeton found itself again on the road against another Top 10 team, this time No. 8 Cornell. What happened? Princeton 5, Cornell 4, that's what.

Princeton then came back the next night at tied Colgate 2-2. That's going from a 9-0 loss to a three-point weekend in a matter of 72 hours, with some long bus rides mixed in.

That's not easy to do. It's not easy to be off for as long as the Tigers were and then come back into that crucible. As TB said, that's character-revealing.

Oh, and Cornell beat Quinnipiac Saturday night after the Princeton loss. 

Next up for Princeton will be Quinnipiac again, this time at home tomorrow at 7, and then Brown at home Friday at 1. 

* It's possible that you can come up with a better NFL game than the Chiefs-Bills game Sunday night, won by the Chiefs 42-36 in overtime. The list, though, would not be a long one. And the last few minutes of regulation? That would be hard to top.

What you can't come up with is a better four-game playoff weekend. The first three were decided on field goals (by the visiting team, no less) on the final play of regulation, and the fourth was the Chiefs-Bill epic, in which there were 25 points scored in the final two minutes. All four games had a made field goal on the final play of regulation, including the wildly clutch 49-yarder by KC's Harrison Butker to force the OT.

Both Bills QB Josh Allen and Kansas City QB Pat Mahomes were ridiculous, taking their teams down the field quickly after the other scored to seemingly salt away the game.

Even a touchdown with 13 seconds to play proved to be leaving too much time on the clock. And yes, a squib kick would have been the smart move probably, but hey, what if that goes out of bounds and you give away great field position. TB can't really fault Bill coach Sean McDermott for that call. He can fault the Bills for not defending better. 

Oh, and the overtime rules in the NFL? They're awful, but football is just not a game that lends itself to an easy overtime solution. 

* TigerBlog has a few feature stories coming this week, including the first two in a series that will commemorate the year-long celebrations of the rowing programs and their major anniversaries. 

For instance, this is the 100th anniversary of the men's lightweight rowing program. TB's first feature will tell the story of Gordon Sikes of the Class of 1916, who was the first coach of the lightweight program. If the name is familiar, it's because there is a Gordon Sikes Room in the Shea Rowing Center.

For the women, TB will be sharing the story of Amy Richlin, who started the women's program through the sheer force of her will 50 years ago. Her story is an excerpt from "I Can Do Anything," the book on the first 50 years of women's athletics at Princeton. To give you a sense of her place n Princeton history, Richlin is Chapter 3 of the book (which you can buy HERE).

* The women's fencing team started the week ranked third in the country. Then the Tigers went out and had a 5-0 run through the Penn Duals, but it's how they beat that makes it so impressive: No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 2 Columbia, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 6 Northwestern.

That's a bit eye-opening with the Ivy League championships and NCAA events on the horizon. 

* And then there's Andrei Iosivas. The extraordinarily talented all-around athlete, who was an All-Ivy League wide receiver who was a threat to score every time he touched the ball, set the Ivy League record for the indoor Heptathlon Saturday at Navy.

Every time Iosivas competes, it begs one question: Is there any sport where he couldn't excel if he devoted himself to it? TB will answer that with a resounding no.

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