Column: Remembering the losers - Sports
| May 12, 2013
Some of the most fascinating words of advice I’ve heard came from a veteran professional photography editor. He said, “Winners are boring — they all look the same. Losers make the best photos.”
This sounded weird to me at first because as a writer and fan, it is easy to focus on the victors. Winning teams are joyous and inspirational; losing teams are gloomy and heartbreaking. Winners get front-page spreads and thousands of page views; losers are bumped below the fold. But as I look back on my four years covering Princeton sports — a period of time that has included 48 Ivy League titles and nine national championships — I’m struck by how many of my most vivid memories involve losing teams.
A new frontier for sports analytics: Tempo-free lacrosse - Sports
| April 24, 2013In recent years, sports analysis has been increasingly dominated by new statistics. The movement’s roots come from baseball, in which advanced analytics were being used long before they were popularized by "Moneyball." Quantitative tools have since become widespread at all levels of basketball, and new statistical concepts have even penetrated the notoriously conservative sport of football. With analytics so ubiquitous in major sports, fans have started applying the same concepts to other areas, including one of the newest frontiers: NCAA lacrosse.
Column: The rights, rules, responsibilities of refereeing - Sports
| February 12, 2013Imagine this: Princeton and Harvard are tied with 30 seconds left in a fierce basketball game, with the Ivy League lead on the line. As the shot clock winds down in the game’s biggest possession, senior forward Ian Hummer drives into the teeth of the Harvard defense and puts up a tough shot; it rolls off the rim, but he draws lots of contact. The crowd at Jadwin Gymnasium screams for a foul, as does Hummer, until a whistle finally blows — from the Princeton bench, where teammate senior forward Mack Darrow, in charge of refereeing the game, awards Hummer two free throws.
Sounds ridiculous, right? And it would be in basketball, a sport in which three trained, impartial referees are hired to make calls in every game. But that scene would be anything but ridiculous in college squash. Without professional referees, the teams themselves are in charge of officiating regular-season matches — and in a conference as competitive as the Ivy League, players are often put in the uncomfortable position of deciding their own team’s fate.
Column: Blatter, FIFA ruining the beautiful game - Sports
| May 13, 2011
Soccer may be the beautiful game, but FIFA, its governing organization, is the ugliest of the lot. FIFA is probably the most corrupt sporting organization in the world, and its president, Sepp Blatter, is an arrogant hack. The duplicitous leader of the world’s most popular sport has made so many public gaffes that he could easily be deposed on this premise alone. Speaking about women’s soccer, Blatter told the media that “women [should] play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball,” continuing to inexplicably state that if women played with a “more female aesthetic,” they might gain more international fans.
Column: Random facts for a final column - Sports
| May 11, 2011I have literally just completed my last Dean’s Date assignment. This is my last column as a sportswriter for The Daily Princetonian. And all I can think about at the moment is all the weird facts I won’t get to write about. So, because I’ll never write again for this august newspaper, I’m going to list my favorite random sports facts until I run out of space. Freshmen, play intramural sports and enjoy late meal while you can.