Few people know the story of how four Princetonians—Francis Lane, Herbert Jamison, Robert Garrett, and Albert Tyler—competed in the first modern Olympic Games, except perhaps the archivists at Mudd Library where Lane’s scrapbooks are kept.
It’s the opening game of the 2014 NFL season and I’m at Buffalo Wild Wings with friends. As always for such events, the restaurant is packed. It’s a good mix of Seahawks and Packers jerseys and the pregame atmosphere is already buzzing.
Flanked by two shaven-headed handlers, Martin Brodeur sat at a rickety wooden table that looked slightly too small to be comfortable in a bookstore that has long since been put out business. Outside the store, devoted fans lined up for yards, standing in concentric loops in an adjacent strip mall, chattering excitedly or fidgeting with their fans’ jerseys—this was before smartphones dulled the pain of waiting on a line.
It is 6 p.m. and I’m sitting with hundreds of fellow equine fanatics in a stadium flanked for miles on either side by farmhouses, wooden fence lines and flat, sandy fields speckled with horses. Many around me wear baseball caps to keep the sinking Florida sun out of their faces; a few had the foresight to bring a blanket for the inevitable temperature drop later tonight, when the stadium will be lit by giant electric flood lights.
Lionel Messi, the star of FC Barcelona and the man widely considered to be the best soccer player in the world, is stepping up to the penalty spot. He stares down the goalkeeper for a moment, takes a few steps back and then slams his left foot into the ball, sending it predictably perfectly into the corner of the goal. 1-0.
“She never seemed a hundred percent after that,” Isabella Bersani, a sophomore teammate and friend of Caroline Feeley, says while recalling a match in December of 2012. Certainly, Caroline was less than 100%. On that day during the annual mixed doubles Christmas tournament, Caroline had hurt her MCL in nothing more than a game held for fun between the men and women of Princeton squash.
My parents’ room had the smallest TV in the house. My mom was already under the covers and I was watching while kneeling to her left on my dad’s side of the bed. He arrived home from a business trip right around the eighth inning—just in time to see Jorge Posada drop a game-tying bloop double into shallow centerfield off an absolutely dominating Pedro Martinez.