Web Exclusives: From the P-Nut Gallery
a column by Nate Sellwyn firstname.lastname@example.org
an alternative view of the seven-week rule, see President Tilghman's
President's Page in February 26, 2003, issue.
year's first snowfall evokes memories of hockey
It's snowing on campus. Blizzard-like. Montreal-like. Canada-esque.
There are great white mounds outside my window, and they aren't
the rugby team out on a run. Winter has just arrived at Princeton,
and it's making me miss my youth. Were I back among the maple syrup
and bacon today, I'd certainly be outside hosing down the backyard.
After all, once it gets this cold in Canada, there's only one thing
to do break out the skates and start playing hockey. Sweeping
down the ice with the wind in your face and the chill at your back
is the purest of Canadian pastimes, the essence of sport at the
amateur level. Sure, our pro teams don't have very much money. Sure,
all the best Canadian players are far more likely to skate for American
teams. It doesn't matter on a cold, clear day. That's when Canadians
remember best that hockey is our game.
The National Hockey League paid tribute to that on November 23,
when it played the first regular-season outdoor game in league history.
More than 57,000 hardy Canadians braved subzero temperatures to
watch the Montreal Canadiens defeat the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3. Montreal
goaltender HYPERLINK "http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/1420/"
Jose Theodore wore a ski cap over his helmet. Both teams replaced
traditional sports drinks with hot tea on the bench. How much did
it mean to my people? Well, Mark Messier still an active
player with the New York Rangers! flew up to Edmonton just
so he could skate with Oilers Alumni squad in a pregame exhibition
match. I know ESPN is showing commercials that say hockey is "made
in America." Forget it. ESPN shows hockey on Thursday nights.
Canada shows three games every Saturday, on the same show, without
fail. The show? Hockey Night in Canada, the longest running program
in Canadian television history.
You guys have football. Monday Night Football, remember? That's
yours. The sport even accommodates your holidays! I didn't know
they played two games on Thanksgiving Day. That's fantastic... and
it's not going to happen in Canada, since the CFL ends weeks beforehand
and we... um... already had our Thanksgiving. I was back in Montreal
over your annual turkey feast weekend, and there was barely a soul
up there except for the three roommates I'd brought with
me who knew there was a holiday going on down here. Yet for
Americans, it's one of the biggest days of the year. It means eating,
it means football, and it means patriotism. Sport is bound tightly
to national identity, and the snow outside will make any Canadian
So much for the P-Nut predictions, huh? Let's look back at the
wisdom of my calls:
Field Hockey "I see an Ivy title for field hockey,
and could even see goalie Allison Nemeth '07 taking the team deep
into the NCAA Championships in late November."
Or not. They got that Ivy title, their 10th straight, but NCAA
glory wasn't in the cards for the Tigers. No.7 Penn State used a
strong goaltending performance from Annie Zinkavich to down the
Tigers 3-1 in the first round. It was the second time this season
the Tigers had fallen to the Nittany Lions, who also bumped Princeton
from the tournament last year.
Men's Water Polo "This may be the team's best shot
a trip to the NCAA tournament, and the P-Nut believes Princeton
will sink the Midshipmen."
Battleship down. Navy controlled the pace all through the Eastern
Championships' final match, and really beat Princeton worse than
the 8-6 final score reveals. Nonetheless, the Tigers compiled a
23-4 record en route to both an ECAC Championship and a Southern
Championship, and definitely had one of their most successful seasons
Women's Soccer "Esmerelda Negron '05 and Emily Behncke
''06 will make short work of Princeton's next two Ivy opponents,
Cornell and Penn."
Foul on the P-Nut. I thought Princeton would force Dartmouth to
go undefeated, and at least grab a share of the Ivy title. Except
then they lost to Penn, 3-2, in their regular season finale. Of
course, they had the NCAA tournament to look forward to. Except
then they lost in the first round, 2-1 to Villanova. The bright
spot? Esmeralda Negron '05 was named the Ivy League Player of the
Year, and tied Princeton's 22-year-old school record with 13 goals
this season. Here's a prediction you can count on she'll
break that sucker next year.
Remember how much I love men's water polo? Apparently someone
else does, too. You may have noticed how the goprincetontigers.com
site changed a little two weeks ago. The Tigers FanPoll asked, "Who
do you think has been the best Princeton athlete of the fall?"
Among the options was Dan McKenna '04, the men's water polo driver.
His name was absent from the list two days later, after someone
hacked into the site and voted for him ... several thousand times.
Check back after Christmas, when I'll size up the Tigers' chances
on the hardwood.
You can reach Nate at nsellyn@Princeton.EDU