Friday, June 3, 2022

God Save The Queen

TigerBlog watched some of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee yesterday.

He loves a good flyover, and this was a flyover like no other. Apparently the only person who wasn't mesmerized by it was Prince Louis, the four-year-old great-grandson of Queen Elizabeth II.

The platinum part refers to 70 years, which means that she has been the Queen for the 54-nation Commonwealth since 1952. In case you're wondering, she's been the Queen since before the Ivy League was formalized, which wasn't until four years later.

Interestingly, the 70th anniversary of her coronation will be a year from now, as she had her official ceremony on June 2, 1953. She became the Queen immediately on the death of her father, George VI, on Feb. 6, 1952. 

You know what happened two months and one day earlier? Dick Kazmaier won the Heisman Trophy.

Yes, she's been on the job for a long time. It's actually a job she didn't figure to have when she was born, since her father's brother was the king. It was only when he abdicated because he could not marry his American divorcee lover after less than a year (the shortest reign in British history) that her father took over, and now she is the longest serving monarch ever.

Are you a fan of the Royal Family? The United States, of course, fought a revolution against the Crown because it didn't want to have a monarchy. There is a charm to the history and traditions of the Royal Family, though at the same time, it's a group that's had more than its share of negative moments in recent decades. 

As TB once wrote, the worst thing that ever happened to the Royal Family was modern media, which showed them to be just like anyone else, with good points and bad points and family members who are good and others who aren't. The Royal Family became humanized, and that's not what anyone is looking for from kings and queens.

On the other hand, Mrs. Queen seems like an amiable sort who has certainly brought a lot of goodwill to the job for these past 70 years. She deserved her day, complete with the flyover.

Perhaps there is a member of the Royal Family who likes American college basketball. If so, perhaps someone will be in attendance at the London Basketball Classic, where Princeton's men's team will compete this November along with Manhattan, Northeastern and a fourth team to be named.

The tournament will be held at the Copper Box Arena at the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, the site of the basketball games for the 2012 Olympics. The games will be played during Thanksgiving weekend, which of course is not Thanksgiving in England.

When TB first saw the news that Princeton would be playing there, he immediately thought of the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, Princeton's Tosan Evbuomwan, who is an English native. Evbuomwan is from Newcastle, which is a five-hour or so ride to London, going north to south. Even if it's not in his backyard, it has to be a huge thrill for him to know that he's getting play at home as a senior.

TB was with the men's basketball team when it played outside of the United States (in regular season games) back in November of 1999, when the Tigers played Ohio University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was part of a full day of basketball celebration that included Canadian high school and college teams and culminated with the Princeton-Ohio game. 

Princeton lost that one 68-60, but Chris Young had one of the great stat lines in program history: 14 points, eight rebounds, nine blocked shots (still the school record), six assists. Young, of course, went on to pitch in the Major Leagues and is now the GM of the Texas Rangers. 

For everyone on that team, TB assumes that they all remember getting to play in a different country. TB also assumes that the same will be true this time around. It's a great opportunity for an amazing experience.

As for this weekend, a reminder that it's the IRA rowing championships on Mercer Lake. Princeton will be represented by the top-ranked women's lightweights, who are the defending champion, and the men's heavyweights and lightweights, who will be racing to reach the medal stand as well.

For all the information, click HERE, HERE and HERE.

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