Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Coming Attractions

If you've never been to a sporting event at a service academy, then you really should get to one.

TigerBlog has been to a few at both the Naval Academy and at Army-West Point, and each time it's been an impressive experience, especially the playing of the national anthem. He's never been to either for football, which is probably even more of a spectacle. And that doesn't even count an Army-Navy game, which he'd also like to attend at some point.

If you're a Princeton fan, then circle Nov. 11 — Veteran's Day — on your calendar. It'll be on that particular Friday night that the men's basketball team will be playing at Navy as part of the Veteran's Classic. 

It'll be a doubleheader that night, beginning at 6 as St. Joe's takes on Houston. The Tigers will play the second game, at 8:30, and you can see it on CBS Sports Network if you can't get to Annapolis.

Navy went 21-11 a year ago, reaching the Patriot League final before losing to Colgate. The Mids might not have liked the way the season ended, but they definitely liked how it began, with a win over Virginia. 

TB didn't realize that Princeton and Navy have played 34 times. The reason he never considered that is because he's never seen a Princeton-Navy men's games, and with good reason — the teams haven't played since 1977.

The series dates to 1908, but the majority of the games were played between 1947 and 1977. Princeton leads 24-10.

Princeton and Navy played twice in December 1965, and the Tigers won both. The first game was by a 72-54 score in a game in which Gary Walters scored his career high of 18, a figure he matched a year later in a 72-63 loss to Louisville. 

Bill Bradley, by the way, played three games against Navy and averaged 27.0 points per game, which is actually more than three points below his career average.

The day after the basketball game will be the Princeton-Yale football game, which this year will be in New Haven. TB knows all this because both the Veteran's Classic and the Princeton football schedule were announced yesterday. 

The football season will begin in Florida on Sept. 17, as the Tigers will take on Stetson. Is this Princeton's first game ever in Florida? He can't think of another one. He can think of games that Princeton has played in South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, California and North Carolina during his time; he can't think of one that Princeton has played in Florida ever. Is he wrong?

The home opener is one week later, when Lehigh will be on Powers Field at Princeton Stadium.

There will be four home Ivy League games, against Brown (Oct. 14), Cornell (Oct. 29), Dartmouth (Nov. 5) and Penn (Nov. 19). 

If Princeton is to have another bonfire this fall by beating Harvard and Yale, it'll have to do so with two wins on the road.

Princeton will also play in two of the Ivy League's six games on ESPN linear TV, followed by the Harvard game in Cambridge on Oct. 21. Just like a year ago, Princeton will be playing on ESPNU on consecutive Friday nights, though this year one of the games is at home, as opposed to last year's trips to Cornell and Dartmouth. 

The two ESPNU games this year both have 7 pm kickoffs. 

Princeton went 9-1 a year ago and won the Ivy League championship for the fourth time in the last eight seasons (2013, 2016, 2018 and 2021). If Princeton can win one more Ivy title in the next four years, it'll mark the shortest elapsed time for five league championships in program history. Currently the record, as it were, is 13 years (1957, 1963, 1966, 1969).

Also, Bob Surace has won four league titles as Princeton head coach (and one more as a player, by the way). The only other Princeton coach with four was Dick Colman. 

For more information on the 2022 football schedule, including ticket information and promotions, click HERE.

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