Thursday, June 16, 2022

Football Night In America Welcomes Jason Garrett

TigerBlog begins today with a "thank you" to Gracie McGowan, which he'll get to in a few paragraphs.

The lead story yesterday on was about the six incoming members of the Princeton field hockey team.

If you're keeping score, the incoming class would be the Class of 2026. TigerBlog remembers when he first typed "Class of 2000" and thought that sounded a bit apocalyptic.

Little did he realize at the time that the Class of 2000 would produce, among other things, the current Ford Family Director of Athletics, John Mack. Given that Princeton has never had an AD who wasn't an alum, TB wonders what classes since might produce members of that distinguished group.

If you're keeping score, the Classes of 1934, 1956, 1961, 1967, 1991 and 2000 have produced ADs. Will there be a future one in the Class of 2026? 

Again, just typing "2026" seems outrageous.

Meanwhile, back at the incoming field hockey class, it seems like a fascinating group of six players. 

Of that six, there are four who need their passports to come to Princeton and two who don't even need an EZ Pass to get here. There are four international players, two from England, one from South Africa and one from Germany. There are two New Jersey players, one from Rumson, in nearby Monmouth County, and another from Lawrenceville, in very, very nearby Mercer County, as in the same county in which the University is located.

The one from Lawrenceville is named Talia Schenck. Among other things, she scored 244 goals at Lawrence High School, which ranks fourth all-time in U.S. high school history. That's a lot of goals. If you're wondering, the Princeton record is 107 (by Kathleen Sharkey), and that's 36 more than anyone else ever has scored. So yes, 244 is extraordinary.

It was Gracie McGowan, a junior on the team, who did all of the graphics, something for which TB has great appreciation and respect. Things have certainly changed a lot when it comes to communications, obviously, and graphics have become an indispensable part of college sports information. Great work, Gracie.

Speaking of graphics, TB saw one yesterday on Twitter that told the whole story of something else. It said this: "Jason Garrett joins Football Night in America...former NFL QB and head coach joins as analyst."

The graphic left out the part about how Garrett is a Princeton alum, but that's okay. Garrett, in case you forgot (which you haven't), was the 1988 Bushnell Cup winner as the Ivy League Player of the Year as the Tiger quarterback. The following year, his brother Judd won the award as a Tiger running back.

Blocking for both was a first-team All-Ivy League center named Bob Surace. Whatever happened to that guy?

Jason Garrett went on to be an NFL player for a long time, mostly as a backup for Troy Aikman in Dallas, where he won a pair of Super Bowls. He would also be the NFL Player of the Week after a memorable Thanksgiving Day game against Green Bay. 

To this day, TigerBlog hasn't seen too many people who could throw a more perfect spiral than Jason Garrett, who seemed to do so effortlessly. 

Garrett moved on to coaching, and if you forgot (which you haven't), he was the 2016 NFL Coach of the Year as the head coach of the Cowboys. He went from there to working with the Giants as their offensive coordinator, and now he turns to television.

TB has always thought Jason Garrett would be great on television. Now he'll get to find out on Sundays this fall.

Garrett has the complete knowledge of football that comes from being a quarterback and then a head coach. He is also one of the absolute best public speakers TB has ever seen. He is a riveting speaker, with complete command of his audience at all times. 

Does that kind of ability to feed off the energy of a room translate to broadcasting on television? In this case, TB is positive that it will.

The news that Garrett is joining Sunday Night Football is great for any Princeton fan. No matter where he's gone, Garrett has never forgotten his Princeton roots. The Tigers have always been really important to him. 

Maybe one day Garrett gets back into coaching. Or maybe he just stays with broadcasting, at which he will be outstanding. TB guarantees it.

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