Sunday, June 04, 2006

Furthermore...

If lightweights were heavyweights, and prone to self-congratulatory awards, the crew of the year would likely be Georgetown. To some, a move from fourth to second doesn't seem like that big of a deal. We all know better. Most obviously, it's a move from no medal to a silver medal. Even bigger though, is the fact that Georgetown had become a reliable fourth. Plugging along never quite able to see the big three ahead of them and always worried about Stanford to the rear. No longer. Despite the fact that the light women were the most successful program at Georgetown, they never seemed to get the respect they deserved in their own boathouse. They can't be ignored any more, can they? With a silver medal around their necks and a coach of their own, they've shown what some focus can do.

Another crew that I think should be mentioned is MIT. Earlier in the year MIT lost to Dayton by 20 seconds and URI by 17, both of whom MIT beat in the petite final. With some injuries in the boat, MIT didn't enter an eight at Sprints, so it was something of an unknown coming into IRAs and it showed that it had clearly done some work over the last three weeks.

Cliffies and Princetonians no doubt lament the days when they could win five national championships in a row and then simply trade it off with the other. Those days are gone. This is a new, much more competitive world. Although the Wisconsin dynasty is threatening a similar reign, the deck below is getting shuffled. Wisco's three championships now, are more impressive than Radcliffe's and Princeton's runs in past years because of this new competitiveness. As more dedicated lightweight crews come into existence, the in-season racing gets tighter and more frequent creating momentum for even more programs to enter the fray. Although some would have us think otherwise, this season has once again shown that women's lightweight rowing is growing stronger every year. [See comments for a nice view of the regatta.]




As the inevitable criticisms begin to roll in of my last post, I need to address the lane kerfuffle one last time. I thought long and hard about mentioning it in my post because I knew I would open myself up to accusations of Princeton partisanship and an intent to belittle the achievements of the medalists. I had planned not to mention it, particularly when I saw the row2k report - until I looked at the results. Clearly, there was a problem. In no way does this mean that I think Princeton would have won or medaled in a different lane. I have no idea. The rest of the field may have gone even faster with a faster boat on their tail. There are no asterisks in rowing. There are, however, regatta committees who must make decisions at next year's regatta. At the risk of sounding like Stanford, if no one points out the obvious, they'll think they can continue to fool all of the people all of the time. This went beyond the women's event and into the heavyweight and lightweight men's as well, affecting Yale and Navy. I regret that a full explanation took up so much space, but if I was going to mention it I had to justify it. Remember, it could be you in lane one next time. There, I'm done with it. Shoot the messenger if you will. I've been waiting for it and I've put on my armor in anticipation. Read the comments for opposing views and be civil when you post. Passion is good!

By the way, I may mention it again. Next year. Someone has to stir the pot, right?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Before Saturdays Lightweight 8 Final at the IRA’s I Bumped into a recent X Hoya Rower and we briefly chatted. I don’t remember the exact conversation but knowing myself. I’m sure I was kidding her about Georgetown’s chances today, Especially after seeing the amazing heats and Reps the day before, And probably, how their recent Sprints success must have been a Fluke as well. After the race we literally crossed paths again and - Wow! She was all Teeth. Georgetown might as well have won. Which, in my mind they did. All those close fourth place finishes were ancient history. Bye looking at her, You would have thought she had just competed with her X teammates. - What an Athlete, what a Teammate what a Person! No team in recent memory was as deserving as Georgetown was this day. They never complained of Unfair lanes or heat seedings or anything else the Mens crews always cry about. That’s not to say tears were never shed. Sadly, I have seen my share amongst ALL the Lightweights in the last five years, but she, Nor Georgetown ever Quit or gave less then 100%. She, and the many other current and former Rowers like her, are what Women’s Light Weight Rowing is all about.

With that said, I can’t tell you how proud I am of the Georgetown Girls this year. They earned this one and it was no Fluke! Three Weeks ago on the Awards Dock at Sprints, happy but in Shock, I asked them what are you guys doing here? Did somebody fall out of the Princeton boat I asked? I told them I think it’s a Fluke and, Laughingly challenged them to Prove me wrong. I am now proud to say they did just that, Three weeks later on that same awards dock their Coach Proudly took my hand and with a grin as wide as hers told me that it most certainly was NOT a fluke and that I had been their unofficial inspiration for the past three weeks. He told me how they trained their Asses off to prove me wrong and that this was the Proudest day in Georgetown Women’s LW rowing history. To that I say Job well-done Girls! And Thanks Coach that means a lot. At least somebody took my inspiration and Redeemed themselves.

P.S. - To the Proud Smiling Wisco Assistant who returned the Trophy to me earlier in the afternoon, So we might Re-Present it to its Rightful X Owner. Remember I said you won’t be getting in back? Maybe you should have taken that bet. Congratulations Wisco! To the trio of Ex Badgers who once again rubbed my face in my prediction of their demise, I once again concede and Congratulations. To the three separate groups of Rowers who approached me this weekend and asked me if I was “FightintheDog” and then encouraged me to check this blog out - Thanks but Obviously Im not, As you can see I exhibit ZERO writing skills. And to those Tigers I also teased over the weekend - You have a whole year to Redeem yourselves and I look forward to eating crow when you do.
Congratulations to Every Crew who rowed their Asses off this weekend and all year - you made everybody proud. See all of you next season and to those who graduate. Don’t be strangers you are always welcome back and encouraged to do so. You are the future of this sport

Anonymous said...

Amen, sister! I'm new to the lightweight women's rowing "drama," but what a ride this year has been!

Thanks, Mr./Ms. (?) "Fight in the Dog!"

spectator said...

As a long-time spectator of all sports... I've never heard of lane assignments going in order of 1,2,3,4... typically, the center lanes are the top choices in many racing events for the obvious reasons. While lane assignment laments are really the last thing to be discussed in a sporting event, they do have a large effect, which I believe was felt in many races this past Saturday. I would like to propose a solution to the committee: fastest times from the qualifying heats, in order, are allowed to choose their lanes.

Congratulations to all of the crews and I look forward to watching again next year. -Thanks for making it interesting.

Anonymous said...

Where is Wisco's LW women's coach going?

JW Burk said...

Huh? Tell us more...

Anonymous said...

There was an email sent to the CRCA list that the Wisco lightweight women's position is open. The full posting is expected later this week.