Friday, July 1, 2022

Happy First Of July

It's the First of July, soon to be followed by the Fourth of July weekend.

In honor of such, TigerBlog offers you one of his absolute favorite songs by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (a song with "Fourth of July" in the title):

Is that enough for the Friday before the big summer holiday weekend? Not quite. There's also these little snippets:

* TigerBlog walked into Jadwin Gym Wednesday afternoon and heard the sound of a bouncing basketball. When he looked, he saw the person doing the bouncing is a former Princeton two-sport athlete and Roper Trophy winner who is in two Halls of Fame.

Who is it? Hint - basketball wasn't one of the sports he played. 

The answer is Matt Striebel, who played soccer and lacrosse at Princeton (and if TB is remembering correctly, Striebel scored a goal in the NCAA tournament for both sports). He was a member of the 1998 and 2001 NCAA championship men's lacrosse teams at Princeton, and he then went on to a long career as a professional and international player that resulted in multiple championships.

In fact, Striebel is widely considered to be one of the best midfielders of all time. He's in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and recently was part of the 11-member inaugural Premier Lacrosse League Hall of Fame for professional lacrosse.

Striebel is in his 40s now, but he's still very much the same big kid he was when he played at Princeton. He has the same velocity to his life, in which he speaks quickly and loudly, with a lot of laughing mixed in, and TB means that in the best way possible.

He's one of those people you meet in life where every time you see him, you're reminded of why you liked him in the first place.

* Speaking of basketball, Princeton alum Devin Cannady will be playing for the Orlando Magic in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, beginning this coming Thursday against the Rockets. You can see Orlando's first four games on either ESPN or NBA TV, with the fifth game to be determined.

HERE is more information.

If you recall, Cannady first made it to the NBA in 2020-21 season and had a 17-point night before suffering a major leg injury. He made it all the way back from that to win MVP honors of the G-League postseason in 2021 and then averaged 10 points a game for Orlando while shooting 40 percent from three in five games to end last season.

* Women's lacrosse head coach Jenn Cook has added another member to her staff with the hiring of Molly Dougherty, a goalie who won an NCAA championship at the only school other than Princeton, Northwestern, Virginia, Maryland, Boston College or North Carolina to win one this century.

What was the school? James Madison, in 2018.

* When TB saw yesterday that USC and UCLA were planning on joining the Big Ten, the first thing he did was text the news to his colleague Andrew Borders, a UCLA grad, whose response was "wow." To that TB said "nothing screams Big Ten like UCLA vs. Rutgers."

The seismic shifts in the college athletics landscape probably dates to when Penn State first joined the Big Ten, back in 1993. TB was at the newspaper back then, and the conversation there was "how does an Eastern team join a Midwestern conference?" That was a long time ago.

The Ivy League has been fortunate through all of this craziness in that its eight members are set. Nobody is getting in. Nobody wants to leave. When it all plays out, though, it could have an impact on how NCAA championships work, what non-league opponents are available and who knows what else. These are wild times in college sports.

* TB saw this tweet from another of his colleagues, Elliott Carr:

As with the games themselves, the ability for those who work in college athletics to again gather in person has returned. Princeton was well-represented at both CoSIDA and NACDA, which held their conventions in Las Vegas this week.

Congratulations to Jen Babik, the former softball/field hockey great, who was inducted officially into the CoSIDA Academic All-American Hall of Fame. 

And congratulations to yet another colleague, Chas Dorman, who picked up his CoSIDA "Rising Star" award. 

* Have a great Fourth of July weekend. Stay safe.

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