I have an admission to make: I DID NOT watch last Sunday's first episode of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones.

I have a second admission: I have NEVER watched an episode of Game of Thrones.

And even worse, at least in the eyes of some, this admission: I didn't know anything about the series. I have often wondered if it was based on a video game. Or, I thought, maybe it was about a king and a queen on a throne, or perhaps a prince and/or a princess.

As long as we're doing admissions, I will admit wondering through the years why I didn't run across one of the episodes when I was channel surfing during commercials of shows I was watching. And now I know why after doing a little research: It's on HBO, a channel I don't have on my television. I know, I know - that's likely criminal in the eyes of some. But I just don't have HBO.

Last Monday, both on television and radio, there was so much talk about the Sunday airing of Game of Thrones that I began to feel negligent, like I had missed out on something that was, to say the least, earthshaking. And later that day one person asked me about the show and I threw up my hands and pleaded guilty to not having tuned in.

Today, as I did research to cover up my sinful ways, I found that it's based on a 1996 book written by American novelist George R.R. Martin who, I'm sure, didn't realize what he had done. The series began in 2011 with 2.5 million watchers the first year, and during the seventh season in 2016 there were an estimated 32.8 million watchers.

One source says the series, taking place on a couple of fictional continents, has central themes of power and violence. Another source said that sex and violence, including sexual violence against women that has drawn some criticism, is a big part of the series.

All I know is that people can't seem to stop talking about the series. Maybe it's just trying to keep up with the Joneses or the Smiths. Maybe I'm out of the loop, while fans of the show are in the loop 

I took a look this Friday morning at what television shows ruled the Nielsen ratings the week of April 8-14 and Game of Thrones didn't appear on the list. So I realized the listing must not include cable shows.

Topping the list was the NCAA basketball title game on CBS between Texas Tech and Virginia on April 8. I did watch that, although there have been years when I wasn't very interested in the game. NCIS on CBS  was second and 60 Minutes, on CBS, was third. I watch that show most weeks.

I didn't do very well on the rest of the list of the top 20., except for No. 5 Blue Bloods, a show I watch most Fridays if I'm home. That's a CBS show and CBS had seven of the top eight shows on the list, 13 of the top 17, and 15 of the top 20. I didn't realize CBS was that dominating. I tuned into only three of the 20 in that week and one of those  — the basketball game — was a once-a-year thing. Some of the shows I missed were God Friended Me, American Idol, The Voice, The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon. As you can tell, I'm not a TV junkie, or perhaps I just watch the wrong shows. I regularly watch newscasts, the weather and sports, as well as baseball games from around the country this time of year.

Maybe i can find someone who has HBO so I watch that final airing of Game of Thrones on May 19 and see what I've been missing the last nine years. Or maybe not.

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Easter spending off the charts?

According to the National Retail Federation the spending for Easter in America will reach $18 billion. 

The estimate shows that 81 percent of Americans will spend money for Easter, $2.4 billion of it on candy and $2.87 billion on gifts. Food and clothes take up the rest of the expected craziness.

Get this: The estimate is that the average American will spend $151 apiece on Easter. I mentioned that figure to a friend and he said the gas to drive to church and the money he places in the collection plate will be his only Easter expenditures, thus someone else will have to spend the rest of his $151. "It's a religious observance," he said, shaking his head. Someone else is going to have to spend my $151 and, I'm sure, the $151 of millions of others to get to that $18 billion figure. 

I do know someone who said she spent about $400 getting ready for her gathering this Sunday that includes seven or eight people. But $151 per person in the U..S.? That seems unrealistic, even considering the purchase of Easter bonnets and dresses that used to be a part of the landscape. Or maybe they still are.

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PRINCETON SPORTS MEMORIES

April 23, 1959 - The Princeton American Legion post voted to spend $250 for the summer youth recreation program.  

April 23, 1964 - The second annual Princeton Track Invitational was scheduled, with the Princeton Jaycees assisting. Prelims were to be at 4 p.m., followed by a training table meal at 5:30 for athletes of the 11 competing schools, and finals were set for 7:15. Tickets were 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for students.

 

April 23, 1969 -  Ron Deglmann pitched a two-hit shutout  and struck out 10 in a PHS 6-0 win over Spring Lake Park. He threw only 80 pitches . . . Lee Steinbrecher won both the shot put and discus in a triangular win over Mora and Milaca and, the next day, duplicated the feat in a five-team meet at Albany.

April 24, 1974 - Paul Trunk was the winning pitcher in a 5-1 win over St. Francis, Pete Steinhagen shut out Ogilvie 19-0 and he and Kevin Young each got three hits, and the Tigers beat Mounds View 9-7 as Steve Bakken hit a triple and double and drove in four runs.     

April 26, 1979 -  Princeton beat Mora 11-3 as winning pitcher Mark Tadych struck out 10. The Tigers had 18 hits, four straight by Scott Knoll, Sophomores Steve Wankel and Les Nelson each had three. 

April 19, 1984 - Tim Vagle pitched a no-hitter for PHS against Milaca, striking out eight in a 13-0 five-inning win. Brian Dorr homered twice, his third time in 17 games with two homers . . . The PHS softball team tied with Braham 25-25 in a game called after three hours because of darkness. Princeton led 18-5 after the first inning. 

April 27, 1989 - Judy Bornholdt led with a 42 as Princeton beat Mora in golf . . . The boys golf team edged Mora, 182-183, as Troy Anderson shot a 38 at Mora. 

April 28, 1994 - Jeff Haehn had a hole in one on No. 8 at Rum River Golf Club . . . The PHS boys golf team tied North Branch twice in one week, shooting a 164 at a meet in North Branch . . .The 5-0 PHS softball team finally gave up its first run of the season in a 7-1 win over Grand Rapids. Marnie DeWall pitched a one-hitter in that game and had twice left games after four innings with a no-hitter in progress.  

April 22, 1999 - Perrin Warner won the shot put (50'6 1/2") and discus (137'9 1/2") in a four-team meet at Sauk Rapids at which PHS placed second . . . The PHS baseball team beat North St. Paul 4-3 in a tournament as Erik Walker had two hits and Ian McVey got the win in relief.     

April 29, 2004 - PHS grad Jenny Cartwright, a junior, won the No. 1 singles title and No. 1 doubles title as her University of North Dakota team won the North Central Conference championship . . . Jason Dufner had a stroke average of 39.8 for the week as the PHS boys golf team won there of four matches.

April 23, 2009 - Kadie Savage won the 300 hurdles at the Dawn Hurni Invitational in Princeton with a time of :47.8 that coach Tom Ostroot thought might be the best in the state to that date . . . Taylor Murphy shot a 75 to finish third at the Becker Invitational and then tied for third at the Bunker Hills golf invitational with a 74.  

April 24, 2014 - The girls golf team was third at a five-team M8 meet at Falcon Ridge, Mikayla Brooks leading the way with a 90 good enough for second overall and sisters Bri and Kelsey Dorr second and third on the PHS team . .. . Joe Bernard had three hits, including a homer, in a 9-8 PHS baseball loss to Becker.

Dorr is the former editor of the Princeton Eagle (2 years) and Princeton Union-Eagle (31 years), and has covered sports in the Princeton area for 52 years.

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