Monday, November 21, 2016

And Another Year Comes To An End . . .

Princeton coach Bob Surace, quoted in the Princeton Alumni Weekly, talking about the Tigers' slow start against Dartmouth:
"... I felt like our minds were elsewhere and Dartmouth was attacking us in areas where we struggle and how do I get our guys snapped back and locked in and get them ready to play. The big picture is we were either going to have a great banquet tomorrow, or it was going to be really depressing. A 7-3 season should not be depressing, but it was going to be really depressing (if Princeton lost to Dartmouth). I don’t even know what I’d say.”
The Princeton press conference:

Click graphic to enlarge.
 Sagarin DI Ratings (Last week)
128 Princeton (133)
147 New Hampshire (148)
157 Penn (169)
175 Harvard (164)
186 Towson (181)
191 Dartmouth (192)
211 Holy Cross (209)
213 Yale (217)
214 Columbia (220)
215 Cornell (214)
218 Brown (211)

Massey FCS Ratings (Last week)
29 Princeton (36)
38 New Hampshire (45)
47 Penn (52)
63 Harvard (56)
70 Towson (68)
80 Dartmouth (76)
84 Yale (94)
86 Holy Cross (85)
89 Cornell (84)
91 Brown (87)
92 Columbia (97)
It was a big day for football Saturday and our car was ready as the Big Green and the Nittany Lions played 20 or so miles apart. Thanks to some exceptional generosity we were able to take in the Penn State-Rutgers nightcap in New Brunswick after spending the day in Princeton.
After watching Dartmouth in  ± 70-degree sunshine first rain and then ice pellets fell on us at the Penn State game. That Certain Dartmouth '14, who spent last winter in the Everglades, enjoyed creating this little feller after we returned to New Hampshire.
And finally . . .

Where do I start? How do I thank all the people who allowed me to spend yet another season essentially embedded with the Dartmouth football program from the first day of the preseason until the final whistle?

I'm not going to name a bunch of names but it starts with head coach Buddy Teevens, Joey McIntyre, Dino Cauteruccio and the coaching staff, who without hesitation always answer my silly questions and put up with me constantly nosing around the program. Ditto for Steve and Ernie and the trainers. The players? I couldn't ask for a more helpful and more polite group, even this fall when I had to ask some tough questions. What I do wouldn't be possible without Sports Publicity Director Rick Bender and his office, as well as Drew Galbraith, Sam Hopkins and an athletic administration trusting that in an age of citizen blogging, I'm going to do what I do in a fair and professional manner. Ditto for the SIDs around the Ivy League.

A huge thank you to the football parents for your friendship and kind words, and especially the BGA subscribers, some of whom took a chance a long time ago and have been with me from the outset. It hasn't worked out quite the way I hoped it would – Nittany Lion Alert for a fan base that can fill a 108,000-seat stadium might have been a better idea ;-) – but just enough freelance assignments are steered this way to keep me going, and for that I am incredibly  appreciative.

What can I say about Mrs. BGA, who gave me the OK to try this crazy idea and has been along for the ride the whole way? You may have passed us on the Interstate coming back on a road trip, she at the wheel, me in the back of the car with the computer glowing trying to make sense of what we just watched. She's up there in the stands every game, home or away, rain or shine. Dinner at 10 after I post my practice story? No problem. Her patience knows no bounds.

Thanks all of you for taking me along on this ride. As they say, I don't buy green bananas anymore but barring something strange happening I expect we'll be back here next spring and fall. Same bat time, same bat channel.