Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 7 Jewish Sports Stories of the Decade - #2


Story #2 might sound like a repeat from 1965. As well all know, maybe the most well known Jewish sports story of All time, Sandy Koufax did not pitch game 1 of the World Series because of Yom Kippur. To think about what that meant to not only the Jewish youth but Jews everywhere is remarkable. Koufax's decision said to the world my faith is as important as my fastball. That Jewish students, Jewish athletes, and Jewish workers can for a moment forget about their daily rituals and focus on God and their Judaism. It gave people courage and made them feel an undeniable sense of pride.

In September 2001, Shawn Green took Koufax's lead and did not play on Yom Kippur. Green said he considers himself "a role model in sports for Jewish kids." At the time the Dodgers were competing for a playoff spot (not quiet the World Series) and Green led the team with 49 home runs. While some of you may feel that this doesn't deserve the #2 ranking, think about it this way. Michael Jordan's amazing dunk from the free throw line was ridiculous. As it any less ridiculous because Dr. J did it first? No, amazing is amazing. And not playing baseball on Yom Kippur is just that, amazing.

Before the game was loaded with Jewish ball players there was a long break of standout players. Sure now we have Kinsler, Braun, and Youkilis but Green bridged the gap between them and Koufax, Greenberg, Stone, and Holtzman. So, story #2 of the decade goes to the message sent by Green by taking off for Yom Kippur something Kinsler, Braun, and Youkilis have yet to do.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top 7 Jewish Sports Stories of the Decade - #3

How can we say enough about the story of 2009...Omri Casspi? The "King of Israel" is story #3 of the decade. So, first we were excited that Casspi got drafted into the NBA. But do you know how much nachas we feel because Casspi is good. Instead of just simply telling you about the fact that he has moved into the Kings starting lineup or how he is averaging in double figures or how he is going to clearly receive votes for Rookie of the Year we have decided to just include a bunch of articles and videos (below) about the new King in the NBA. I cannot tell you how many articles I receive about Casspi about how good he has been. Kings games are shown all over Israel (even the embarrassing come back against my Bulls). He also makes Sportscenter with Tyreke Evans on a weekly basis.  Casspi arriving in the NBA, simply put, has been Awesome.

Articles:
Sports Illustrated
Ha'aretz
NY Times
US Today
Bleacher Report

Highlight Videos:








Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 7 Jewish Sports Stories of the Decade - #4




For the USA the 2008 Olympics meant two things, the return to basketball dominance and the insane accomplishments of Michael Phelps. And as much as basketball swept the nation because of its popularity it was hard for anyone to not watch the pool. Phelps captivatity an entire country before, during, and even after the Olympics.

But the Jewish story was the success of his teammate Jason Lezak and female swimmer Dara Torres. Both were the oldest swimmers on their teams, but that didn't stop them from coming home with medals. Lezak won gold in the 4X 100 freestyle relay and his team set a new world record. Lezak stood out is in the final leg he took the lead from the French. It was an amazing race. He was took home a bronze in the 100m freestyle.

Torres won three silver medals (50m freestyle, 4×100 medley relay, and 4×100 freestyle relay). She added these medals to her already large trophy case, having won 9 medals before the 2008 Olympics including four gold medals. 2008 was her 5th Olympic games dating back to 1984. She did not race in 1996 or in 2004.

Together they made quiet the splash into mainstream culture. Maybe on the same level as this story was the fact that Lezak missed 2009 World Aquatics Championships to compete in the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel. Lezak was given the honor of lighting the Maccabiah torch at the Opening Ceremony. He came home with four gold medals.

These two truly brought Jewish Americans a lot of pride. They come in as story #4 of the decade.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 7 Jewish Sports Stories of the Decade - #5


The #5 story of the decade is very near and dear to my heart. William Davidson, a Jewish philathropist, owned the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Shock, and the Tampa Bay Lightening. And something miraculous happened in 2003-2004. All 3 of Davidson's teams won their respective championships. He became the first sports owner to win 3 championships in 3 different sporting leagues. This was really an amazing accomplishment.

Davidson passed away in 2009. Besides being a sports team owner he has given so much back to the Jewish world. His interests include Israel and Jewish education. He gave millions of dollars to those two causes notably the entrance at Robinsons Arch near the Western Wall and the JTS School of Education.

William Davidson was a special human being and 2003-2004 were special years for this amazing man.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Korean Jew

Ryan Sadowski has left San Francisco and Houston. He has decided to move to Korea. Click here to read the story.

Top 7 Jewish Sports Stories of the Decade - #6


Today we bring you story number 6. If it were the late 90s this story would have been number 1, almost for sure. But the story was dying down by the year 2000, yet it was strong enough to put here at number 6.

In the late 90s Tamir Goodman did for basketball what Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg did for baseball. He turned it into a Jewish phenomenom. There wasn't a Jew who didn't know of Tamir Goodman. Labeled the "Jewish Jordan" by Sports Illustrated he found himself on magazine covers and television shows.

But eventually the "Jewish Jordan" turned out to be more like the "Jewish Sam Bowie"...and that is even stretching it. By 2000 Goodman was no longer holding a scholarship to then top program Maryland. He was reduced to going to Towson University. There he found little success on the court. After a little more than a season Goodman moved to Israel. He began playing in the Holy Land for several years on a few teams.

This year he announced his reitrement from the game of basketball. Goodman's career never lived up to the hype. But Goodman brought many Jewish fans to the game of basketball. He still works on getting kids excited about basketball and helping them realize they do not have to choose between the ball and their tefillin.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Top 7 Jewish Sports Stories of the Decade - #7

Over the next week we will be posting the top 7 stories of the decade. Normally, we go by a Jewish calendar here, but this is a special occasion. This list is totally of the opinion of TGR but we are fairly confident that we made the right choices. We felt the top 6 stories were pretty obvious. The 7th (today's story) we struggled with. Just so you know the stories that were thrown out were Bar Refaeli making the cover of Sports Illustrated. Trust me it was hard to take her accomplishment off the list, but we felt our reasoning for keeping it had little to do with sports. Also, just coming up short were Andre Tippett's induction to the Football Hall of Fame and 2008 Baseball All Star game having three Jewish players. So what is number 7. One word.

GOLDBERG.


No not the hockey player from the Mighty Ducks, but rather Bill Goldberg of WCW/WWE fame. Now people might not be happy with number 7 and think that we here at TGR love wrestling too much (at least I do), but hear me out.

After Bill Goldberg, probably one of the most famous and recognizable wrestlers ever, left WCW (or WCW died) he was out of a job. Goldberg, after much dispute and months/years of negotiations finally joins the WWE in 2003. Soon thereafter he wins the World Heavyweight Championship at the pay per view titled Unforgiven.

So why is this so important or worthy of the 7th slot. Goldberg, unlike many Jews, has never concealed his Jewish identity. From day one, everyone in the wrestling world knew that Goldberg, a fomer NFL Linebacker, was Jewish. And that made Goldberg special to the Jewish world. Finally, a Jew kicking ass all over the world. He speared the crapped out of everyone from Hulk Hogan to Ric Flair.

TGR decided to give Goldberg slot number 7 because of his Jewish pride and never backing down from a fight (even the fake ones).

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Shameless Plug For Myself

So besides blogging every week/day I am also in rabbinical student. I recently gave a 2 minute Dvar Torah that was featured on Koach's website (Koach is the Conservative Jewish group on college campuses). If you want to check it out (note it has nothing to do with sports) go to www.koach.org. Click near the corner with my picture. If my picture is removed click on the podcast and you will see my name. I was responsible for Parashat Vayigash.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Its been a while since there has been a Shabbat Shalom post. Bust lots of great stuff coming up that I wanted to inform you about.

Congrats to Jason Marquis on finding a new home in Washington.
Also, thanks to Yaniv Simpson for the interview.

Poll Results:
Looks like Sandy Koufax was the no brainer. Glad to see Dolph Schayes and Mark Spitz getting some votes.

Upcoming TGR News/Stories:
Next week is going to be great as we count down the top 7 stories of the decade. Normally, we run on a Jewish calendar but we made an exception.

We interviewed former ATP player Paul Goldstein and we should have that article up soon.

We also hope to have some bowl predictions from Kent State Defensive Tackle Sam Frist.

TGR is in the works trying to get a hold of Sam Fuld and Dolph Schayes. I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your fingers crossed.

As 2009 is coming to an end we would like to thank everyone for reading thus far. In February we will try to do some more work on the site including interviews and promoting. We are nearing a legit10,000 hits which is a major accomplishment, thanks to everyone who has helped out.

Shabbat Shalom for Jerusalem.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tiger Tiger Woods Ya'll


I would be so impressed if anyone got my obscure movie reference in the title. Yes, it is from Down to Earth starring Chris Rock and Stifler's mom. But seriously the biggest sports story in the world is Tiger Woods. Except this story doesn't surround the Masters or a knee injury, rather it is the affair he had on his wife. Woods' actions changed his world and subsequently the world of golf for an unknown period of time.

So TGR what is the Jewish connection here?


As much as we hate to admit it, Woods' mistress Rachel Uchitel is...well..a MOT (member of the tribe).


Uchitel's grandfather was Maurice Uchitel who was a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine who had a successful shoulder pads business. His success in the shoulder pads business eventually lead to him owning the famous Eden Roc hotel in Miami and El Morocco nightclub in Manhattan.

According to my sources Rachel Uchitel was raised Jewish and had a Bat Mitzvah.
 
 Obviously, we do not feel adultery is okay in any way (please don't think TGR feels that way) but a story is a story. And Tiger Woods stories are rare in the Jewish world.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jason Marquis Signs

We are glad to report that Jason Marquis has signed a two-year deal worth $15 million dollars with the Washington Nationals. This is move drastically improves the Nationals rotation which...let me put it this way...stinks. While Marquis would not be considered an Ace on most teams, he will almost for sure be the Nationals opening day starter. He won 15 games last season and posted a 4.04 era (solid numbers for Coors Field).

Yuri Foreman's Punch Out


Yes Dimitriy Salita got pummeled. But never fear Jewish boxing fans. Meet Yuri Foreman. He is an Israeli middleweight boxer and the current World Boxing Association Super welterweight Champion.

Born in Belarus, Foreman and his family moved to Israel when Foreman was 9 years old. He trained in Arab gyms. The stares made him tougher. He quickly became an amteur boxer and won 3 national boxing championships. He took his skills to New York and in 2001 he won the New York Golden Gloves. As an amateur he went 75-5. As a pro he is 27-0.

The craziest part of Foreman's story is that he wants to be Rabbi. He says both boxing and Judaism are spiritual outlets for him. He currently studies in the morning at the IYYUN institute.

So it would be cool to one day call Foreman a colleague . Obviously, not because of my boxing skills. Foreman is really a Jewish inspiration, not just because he wears a Jewish star while he knocks out is opponents, but because he continues to further his Judaism while not compromising his job and other passions.

Keep and eye on Yuri Foreman. He is definitely won of the most inspiring Jewish athletes of today.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Run Fred Run


Fred Lebow, born Fischel Lebowitz, loved running. He loved running so much that he founded the New York City Marathon. A huge feat for a Jewish boy from Transylvania, Romania.

Lebow, who died in 1994, would be proud of how much the marathon has grown. The first race in 1970 had 55 finishers. Lebow finished 45th running it in 4:12:09. Two years after being diagnosed with brain cancer in 1990, Lebow ran the marathon at 5:32:35. He was 60 years old at the time.

In 2009 there were 43,660 finishers in the NYC marathon. It is a totally different race today and even more of an amazing accomplishment. The marathon is now one of the largest in the world.

Lebow was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2001. He also formed the Empire State Building Run Up, the Fifth Avenue Mile, and the Crazy Legs Mini Marathon. He served as the president of the New York Road Runners Club for 20 years.

After his death 3,000 mourners came to the finish line of the NYC Marathon where a memorial service took place. There is now sculpture of him East Side Central Park Drive at 90th St. But every year the statue is moved near the finish line of the Marathon.

Lebow is remembered by runners everywhere. He should also be remembered as an amazing Jewish athlete and inspiration for Jews everywhere.

For more information on the New York City Marathon click here.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jewish Minor Leaguers of 2009

Once again Josh Borenstein wrote an amazing piece. This time on Jewish minor leaguers. Instead of trying to outdo his article (which I would never do justice to) I am just giving you the link.

Click here for 2009 Jewish Minor Leaguers

http://jewsinbaseball.blogspot.com/2009/12/minor-leaguers-in-2009.html

Thursday, December 17, 2009

HS BBall Tournament

Jewish High School Basketball Tournament. Check it out this week.

www.cooperinvitational.com

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Article on Oy!

Click here for my article on Chicago Jewish High School Basketball.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yossi Benayoun - "The Kid" Can Play

So I need to honest with everyone who reads this. I am not a soccer fan. For the most part I find it boring. I would rather play ping pong, swim laps, or work on my basketball skills than play soccer. Maybe its my bad ankles or maybe its because a high scoring game is 3-2, I just can't really get into soccer. But recently I got an email from an old friend, Justin Ziemba (Sir Yes Sir), about an Israeli soccer player named Yossi Benayoun. Apparently, he is really good and as Justin put it "Right now, one of the hottest players is Yossi Benayoun." So if that is true TGR feels it is our job to give you the scoop of the Israeli soccer phenom.

Originally from Dimona Israel Benayuon was nicknamed "The Kid" because he started his career at age 9 playing for Hapoel Be'er Sheva. By age 11 Benayoun was already considered a soccer star landing on the cover of magazines. Soon Benyoun moved on and began playing for Maccabi Haifa. In 2002 he left Israel and began playing all over the world. Now he plays for Liverpool as an attacking middle infiedler. He is signed to play their through 2013. Since moving over to the premeir league he has a total of 23 goals, not bad for a middle infielder. But what is so impressive are how crucial the goals and assists he scores/dishes out are.

Benayoun is still drawn to his Israeli roots and serves as the captain of the Israeli Nathional Team. By Israelis he is known as the kind of player who puts his body on the line. In 2001 he won the Israeli Premeir League MVP and Maccabi Haifa won its first of back to back titles.

Well I repeat I am not a big soccer kind of guy. But if there was anyone worth following it would be Yossi Benayoun. Jewish. Israeli. And straight up good.

For more information on Yossi Benayoun click here or you could watch his highlight video below.



And Let Us Say...Amen.

- Jeremy Fine
Photo by: Jose Porras

Monday, December 14, 2009

College BBall Note

Davidson's Jake Cohen leads his team in scoring with 13.4 ppg and in rebounds with 5.4 rpg. The absence of Stephen Curry has launched Cohen to the top of the team's stat sheet.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Meet Yaniv Simpson


 So we had college basketball week awhile ago, but we want to keep bringing you NCAA news. Here is an interview with Monmouth's Yaniv Simpson. And Israeli baller everyone should be watching.



INTERVIEW: 
1) Can you explain your Jewish/Israeli background? Have you been/lived to Israel? 
I was born in Brighton England and moved to Israel when i was 6 years old. I lived there until I was 21 then moved here to Monmouth NJ. My Mother is Israeli and my father is British. I hold dual citizenship.


2) What do you expect to do once your days at Monmouth are over?

I had rough injuries back in Israel. I tore my ACL twice on my right knee. In 2003 I played for the Maccabi Tel Aviv youth club at the European Championships. The main reason I came to the states was to get an education while playing D1 basketball. The plan is to go back to Europe and play pro baksetball either in Europe or Israel D1.






3) How do you feel about the upcoming season both for yourself and the team?
The team is looking very good. We have a lot of talent. We are no longer young so we are looking to have a successful season overall. Both coaches and players have high expectations so we just wait and see. As for myself, I am currently injured. My ankle is suffering from a pretty bad orthopedic injury. Hopefully, I will avoid surgery and be able to play this season where I would expect to be an important factor in our success as I started for the team the past two seasons. 


I know Gal Mekel that used to play at Wichita State. He now plays for Maccbi Tel Aviv.

5) What has been your greatest accomplishment, thus far, on the court? What are your goals?
I scored 26 points and 7 Rebounds at a game last year my junior year. As mentioned before I have been basically on and off injuries before and since I’ve gotten here. I would love to have one whole season without getting injured which doesn’t seem that realistic this season giving the current circumstances. My main goal is to get healthy for this season and win the NEC championship.
 




6) How do you feel about your Israeli/Jewish heritage? What is your biggest connection? 
I am Israeli, proud to be a part of a unique country and culture that is like no other in world. My mother is 1 of 11 children in her family which also consist of 34 cousins on that one side so we are a very big family that is also something to be happy about.

7) Can you tell me a little bit about yourself in general?

 I am 24 years old. Basketball has always been my dream. I also play the piano. I enjoy travelling a lot and experiencing new cultures. My favorite athlete of all times is Michael Jordan. Dwane Wade is my favorite player that is still active. I am very connected to both my parents and my brother who lives in England.
 

8) How do you feel about the rise of Israeli basketball both in Israel and in the States? 
I think that it is very important for young Israelis that would want to experience something slightly different. Is makes you a better player and a better person. It offers you an opportunity to get a degree and play basketball that is all sponsored by the University. Not many get to experience such a privilege. Omri Casspi is also our first israeli basketball player to make it to the NBA. I’m sure he will do an honorable job at representing us and I wish him all the best!


9) Who are some of your favorite players or players you look up to the most? Who do you model your game after?
Michael Jordan – all time
Dwane Wade – active platyer.
Lebron James – Absolute beast
Kobe – best in the world.

Being a shooter I can't help it but to think of Ray Allen, best shooter in the NBA. Reggie Miller, however, was the best shooter of all-time.


TGR thanks Yaniv for his time and we hope he gets better soon.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Colt's Championship Match

Colt Cabana lost in his non-title match against Ring of Honor Wrestling Champion Austin Aries this past Saturday night. This match took place in Chicago Ridge. Below are both parts of the match.

Part 1


Part 2


Hopefully, Colt will bring home some championship gold soon.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Thursday, December 10, 2009

BCS is BS

Okay, raise your hand if you hate the Bowl Championship Series. Know that all of your hands are raised you can put them down. But maybe things will get better (aka a playoff system). College Football's BCS has hired Ari Fleischer (Jewish) to change its image. You might remember Fleischer as the press secretary for President George W. Bush.

Fleischer currently runs a firm that assists athletes and various sports organizations on media relations. In 2008 he was hired by the Green Bay Packers as a consultant. He also serves on the board of the Jewish Republican Coalition.

The BCS is a disaster. Fleischer is just the big name and capable person to clean up its image. It will take a lot of work because probably everyone who is reading this (or in the world for that matter) thought about raising their hands.

Good luck to Fleischer and please change the BCS now!
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hanukkah Sale!!!


 In honor of Hanukkah TGR is having a sale on ALL TShirts!!!
"My shirt makes me more Jewish and a better athlete just by wearing it"
- Satisfied customer Adam Katz

Click on the Tshirt on the right hand side of the site or here.
Happy Hanukkah.

CJHS 3 Headed Monster



Two weeks ago we had High School sports week. TGR reached out to three juniors (Aaron Cohn, Adam Seidenberg, and Zach Spellman) at Chicagoland Jewish High School. They have been playing together ever since I have known them. Whether it be camp, school, or the Maccabi games these three are always together with a ball in their hands. I have witnessed all of their games improve and I am quite impressed. I interviewed the three about their basketball lives and what it means to play for a Jewish high school. There was what they had to say:



1) 1) How long have you all been playing together and where?
Cohn: Zach, Adam, and I have been playing together since 4th grade at the JCC basketball league.  I played there through sixth grade playing on house league and travel teams, and then in 7th grade all three of us made the Schechter basketball team.  All three of us made the team again in 8th grade.  Freshman and sophomore year, the three of us played both JV and Varsity together on the CJHS basketball team, attending the YU tournament in NY freshman year and the Cooper Yeshivah basketball tournament in Memphis sophomore year.  After sophomore year, Zach, Adam and I all made the Maccabi basketball team. This year, the three of us play Varsity together and are all on the starting lineup, and are excited to once again attend the YU tournament in March. 

2) Who is the go to player on your team?
Spellman: This year our go to player is up in the air, its between Aaron Cohn and Daniel Eisenberg. Whoever is hot in the game will get the ball from me.

3) How has it been being the new kid of the block with Ida Crown and Yeshiva around?
Seindenberg: It is tough being new with ICJA and Yeshiva. Freshman year we got killed by Ida crown every time we played them for JV. And we beat Yeshiva once and lost once. Last year we beat Ida crown for the first time since CJHS created a JV and varsity team. This year’s games should be really close. Also, my close friends from Schechter go to Ida Crown so it is very strange playing against them.

4) What is it like playing for a Jewish school? Have there ever been any issues caused by other teams?
Spellman: I think it’s a very unique opportunity to represent a Jewish school. While we may not always wear kippahs when we play, we have a reputation for being Jewish. In the past few years we have had some struggles with the Muslim schools we have played. There have been numerous occasions on the court where elbows or even punches were thrown, and last year there was an incident off the court where they wrote degrading and racist slander on one of our teammate’s car. This caused us to drop out of the league we were previously in.

5) Do you have pregame music, snacks, or rituals?
Spellman: When we have away games somebody usually gets pizza for the bus rides, but that’s cause we're pigs. I always listen to music before the games. Before the games I listen to chill music like Dave Matthews, but come game time and warm-ups I like listening to Rap and Hip Hop. During then I typically listen to Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy.

6) Who is the best Jewish player you have ever seen?
Cohn: The best Jewish player I have ever seen is a kid named Max Feldstein, a Senior at Ramaz high school in New York.  I saw him play in the YU tournament freshman year, and randomly met him on the courts in Jerusalem during a Pesach break, and again at maccabi two summers ago.

7) Why is basketball important to you?
Spellman: Besides the fact that its an awesome recreational sport, I’ve learned many things from it. It has instilled upon me a work ethic and determination that I would never have obtained. Also, it’s a great game to play with friends and I enjoy just playing pickup whenever I can with my buddies.

8) Why is it important playing for a Jewish team?
Cohn: It’s important to me to play for a Jewish team because it is a way of representing the Jewish community at large. A lot of the schools that we play against do not have a lot of exposure to Jewish culture, and by playing those schools we give them a taste of what it is.  However, this also comes with responsibility.  If we aren’t respectful during the games, we could skew their view of Jewish people forever because this might be their only opportunity to be with Jews.
  
9) What is the Jewish sports world missing? How could you as players benefit from more exposure, camps, tournaments, etc?
Seidenberg: The Jewish sports world is missing height. Jews are typically short and that is why competition isn’t as hard. The Jewish sports world is just as competitive and I don’t think it is missing anything too significant.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Maccabi Haifa Show

On November 12th Versus aired a show entitled Inside Israeli Basketball. The show features the journey of Jeremy Tyler who skipped his Senior season of High School to play in Israel for Maccabi Haifa. TGR ran a story about Tyler a while back. To read it click here. The show will air on Thursdays at 4pm EST and again on Sundays at 2pm and 10pm. Besides Tyler the show will fcous on Maccabi Haifa team throughout the season.

Maccabi Haifa is owned by Jeffrey Rosen of Aventura, FL. They were the runner-up in the Israeli Premier Basketball league last season. The team contains a number of U.S. players, including Davon Jefferson of USC Todd Golden of St. Mary’s, and Jesse Pellot-Rosa of Virginia Commonwealth. Earlier this year Maccabi Haifa announced the reitrement of Tamir Goodman.

For weekly tv times clikc here and for a promo for the show click here.

The show sounds cool. I look forward to watching.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine



76 Seconds

Last night light welterweight champion Amir Khan knocked out (then) undefeated Dimitriy Salita (Jewish) in 76 seconds.

Not good for the Jewish boxing world.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

New Player's Union Leader - Michael Weiner


Donald Fehr has stepped down as baseball player's union head and inserted in his place is Michael Weiner. He sounds Jewish and he is. Weiner's just had his first news conference where he spoke about expanding the first round of the playoffs starting in 2012. The players want it and Weiner wants to give it to them.


"Weiner was unanimously approved as executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association during the annual meeting of its executive board in Scottsdale, Ariz. The 47-year-old Harvard graduate was hired by the union as a staff lawyer in 1988 and was promoted to general counsel in 2004. He succeeds the 61-year-old Fehr, who had been in charge since December 1983 and in June announced his intention.  During bargaining in 2002 and 2006, Weiner was among the union's chief negotiators. He praised management for 'a recognition that the union is a fixture in the game' but admitted some baseball owners may push for a tougher proposals in bargaining to replace the contract that expires in December 2011." -cbssportsline.com 

But Weiner is also proud of his Jewish heritage he has even been teaching Sunday school for fourth and fifth graders at the Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey. His rabbi, Ellen Lewis, said of Weiner “Anybody who can teach Sunday school to a bunch of fourth and fifth graders can handle just about anything.” - nytimes.com

This is a great honor for Weiner and the players union seems happy with their new leader. He brings a quirky smile, a laid back attitude, and intelligence to the position. And most of all he is a big fan of the game (even if its for the Bronx Bombers).

Good luck to Weiner.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

A nice week at TGR. Lots of email this week. Thanks to everyone who writes in.
Big fight coming up for Dmirti Salita. Good luck to him. Unfortunate news for Lawrence Frank.

Upcoming TGR for the next 2 weeks:
Lots of articles coming up in the next two weeks. We sat down with college standout Yaniv Simpson and we will be bringing you that interview. Also, we have some soccer news.

I will be gone for my honeymoon so breaking news might not be posted but there will still be stories. We are also waiting for a few interview replies.

Poll:
Scheyer was the leading vote getter for NCAA player of the year. Although Duke dropped a heartbreaker to Wisconsin this week.
Our new poll asks who was the greatest Jewish athlete of all-time?

TGR News:
My wife and I headed out to Kfar Maccabiah where Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Maccabi games are all run. We had a great time. Got to see this village area and got to see the Maccabi Hall of Fame. There were some amazing pictures. I got to me with the Deputy Director Rabbi Carlos Tapiero. He is a great guy and hopefully TGR will have some big news soon.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Interview: Sports Photographer Steven Freeman


Two years ago I got an email from a good friend asking if I had extra High Holiday tickets (hot commodity I know=)). It was for a man by the name of Steven Freeman. Turns out Steven is one hell of a good guy and a sports photographer (doing a lot of shoots for the Detriot Pistons). I have seen his stuff and it is awesome. In October I interviewed Steven and here is what he had to say:

INTERVIEW

The Great Rabbino: Hey Steven its been about a year hows it going?

Steven Freeman: Things are good. October is one of my favorite months with MLB playoffs, NFL and NBA all at once.

TGR: So, Steven you have been taking pictures for the Detroit Pistons for a while now. How did you get that gig?

Steven: It's an interesting story. I was photographing the writer Adam Rapp for his new book jacket in 2000 and he happened to bring along his girlfriend. I used the last few frames to do some portraits of them together and made a couple 8x10 prints. A few weeks later Adam mentioned his girlfriend gave the prints to her mom who was married to Bill Davidson the owner of the Pistons. Adam commented how much she liked the photographs and said she was going to call me. Truth is, I hear that all time so didnt think much of it. A few weeks later Karen Davidson called and asked if I would be interested in photographing her husband. I did his official portrait as well the team President Tom Wilson. I've photographed for the team ever since.

TGR: What makes photographing athletes fun? Have you ever gotten to play with any of the players?

Steven: Athletes are especially interesting simply because Im such a big fan and appreciate their talents. It's fascinating to see them up close without all the action, see what they are really like in person, and talk sports for real. Very often they ask me all about photography. The conversations are very much the same as ones you and I've had. I've played at the Pistons practice center with Jason Maxiel and Lindsey Hunter, afterward one of the coaches asked if I was a free agent. I said yes I am. He responded "I'm not surprised." It was great fun. I've played with Michael Ray Richardson--he shots 3s from way behind the arc.I've also shot around with different players over the years during. I once stole the ball from Tim Hardaway during a Dream Team 2 session. Rebounded for Shaq. Worked out with Rip Hamilton.

TGR: Who is the best player you have shot? Has any shoot been better than all the rest?

Steven: Part one is easy--Michael Jordan. I photographed him during the 1997 all star game in Cleveland. All the shoots are different, it's hard to pick just one. I photographed Chauncy Billups and Tayshaun Prince having a pregame ritual brunch at a restaurant for SI, it was so cool being behind the scenes with them being themselves, not posing, just being regular guys. No one had ever gone with them before, not even anyone from the team, it was nice to have their trust. I photographed Deion Branch for SI right after winning the MVP of the Super Bowl, it just amazed me how he insisted on calling Mr Freeman all through the shoot. Last season I photographed Ray Lewis for NBC Sunday Night Football, the shoot was geared around cooking for game night, it was a little surreal being around one of the fierest NFL players of all time, seeing for myself that he's actually very funny and down to earth. One more was Mind that Bird who won the Kentucky Derby this year--her photos are some of my favorites.

TGR: Have you ever shot any Jewish players? What was that like?

Steven: During high school I attended the 1981 Maccabiah games and traveled with the American Basketball team. I was really just a young fan so it was a big thrill. Future NBA star Danny Schayes was the the center piece of the team. Willie Sims who was dubbed the Super Six Man at LSU was also on the team, afterward he played several years in Israel. It was such a thrill to be amongst the athletes, in fact it was the early impetus that set my future in motion. A few years later NBA Hall of Fame legend Dolph Schayes who was my neighbor hired me to photograph at his basketball camp, it was my first sports-photographer related job. I first met NBA ref Dick Bavetta there, 9 years later he was pleasantly surprised when we were reunited at the NBA for a shoot. Turns out I just photographed him again this week for the league, the morning after the refs signed their new contract-that was exciting and fun.

TGR: If you could shoot one athlete who would it be and why (former or present)?

Steven:It would be really interesting to photograph LT, he was so intense and possibly the best Linebacker of all time. Smokin' Joe Frazier would also be a great subject. I'm a golfer so add Tiger to the list. Top three, ok?

TGR: What kind of other stuff do you shoot? How can people find your work?

Steven: Lately I have been photographing three different cookbooks with Chef Emeril Lagasse. I have photographed politicians for the US State Department including sessions with President Clinton and President Bush. In fact the first day on the job I photographed Prime Minister Ehud Barak when he was in NY for the UN meetings. I've also photographed various celebs and business people for magazines such as People, Time, Entertainment Weekly, NBC, Nike and many more. People find my work on my site: www.steven-freeman.com

TGR: Last and most importantly...how in the world can you be a Pistons fan?

Steven: That's easy. The Pistons are one of the rare teams in sports who play the right way, as a team, and play hard. They're also a bunch of great guys. There's nothing like the noise in The Palace of Auburn Hills!

TGR: Steven thanks for joinging us on TGR. We will keep an eye on your stuff. Talk to you next Rosh Hashanah?

Steven: Absolutely! Have a great year. Good luck with your Bulls. Go Pistons!

Below are some of Steven's pictures. Great stuff.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine


Jared Mintz vs. Georgetown

Sent in by TGR fan Beni Gliksberg:
Jared Mintz of Lafayette led his team with 16 points and had 4 rebounds in a loss to 18th ranked georgetown.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Jewish Rocky


He is undefeated. He is about to fight for the light welter-weight title. And the one thing I know is that this fight will not take place on Shabbos. Dmitriy Salita, an Orthodox Jew, is going to be fighting Amir Khan for the belt on December 5th in Newcastle England. This story broke by Haaretz (and Manuel Gliksberg) mentions that Salita deserves to get the first crack at the newly crowned champion (Khan) because of his undefeated streak.

Salita has 30 wins and one draw including 16 knockouts, not bad for a Jewish boy. Nicknamed "The Star of David", was born in Ukraine but currently resides in Brooklyn NY. There is currently a film being made about Salita because of his unique talent and his religious beliefs. Salita will not fight on Shabbos or Holidays and keeps kosher under what must be a strick boxer's diet as well.

His family left the Ukrainan due to the voilence agaisnt Jews. Then Salita began boxing to fight of kids at school who saw a Ukrainan with bad English as an easy target. He has really been fighting off someone his whole life. Well he showed them. Salita loved watching Mike Tyson and has wanted to fight ever since he was a kid. In 2001 he turned pro and on December 5th he gets that chance to fight in front of a huge crowd and with the stakes never higher.

The fight itself is being billed by promoters as the title holding Muslim vs. the undefeated Jew. Obviously, this plays on the political and religious side of the fight. But ultimately it is a fight for the belt. One's first crack at the title and the other's first defense. So there will be nerves and there will be some intense punches.

Jews everywhere if you can watch this fight you should. Not only will it bring us much naches but it is going to be a great fight. Salita is a Jewish athlete we should all rally around both because of his commitment to his sport and his religion. Salita has been quoting saying, "Anyone who wants a good whuppin' from me is just going to have to wait until sundown." -www.haaretz.com


And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
Photo from boxnews.com.ua

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lawrence Frank Fired

TGR brings you the news that after an 0-16 start New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank has been fired. This means that Larry Brown is now the only Jewish head coach in the NBA. The Nets fired Frank in hope to avoid a NBA record 0-17 start. Assistant Tom Barrise will take over as coach.

Espn.com reports "I want to thank Lawrence for more than a decade of service to the Nets, first as an assistant coach and then as the head coach for the past six and a half seasons," Nets president Rod Thorn said in a statement. "Lawrence always approached every day with a passion for his craft that was infectious, and his dedication to the game as well as his work ethic are to be both admired and appreciated. I wish he and his family only the best of good fortune in the future."

Frank took over the Nets job for Byron Scott and won his first 13 games. And now he ends on a 16 games losing streak to start a new season.  His career record was 255-241. But even his winning record wasn't enough to save his job.

I wouldn't blame this whole season on Frank. The Nets lack talent and have dealt with several injuries. The Nets of old had a good Richard Jefferson and a still vibrant Vince Carter. Oh ya and a guy name Jason Kidd. This team has Devin Harris followed by...Brook Lopez?

We here at TGR wish Frank the best. Maybe now it'll be easier for us to try to get an interview with him.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

UC Davis - Todd Lowenthal

We just received confirmation that that UC David Guard Todd Lowenthal is Jewish. Lowenthal is a Junior averaging 3.3 ppg for the Aggies. Good luck this season.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Shabbat and TDay

Shabbat Shalom and happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Quick notes this week.

Looks like the country likes Jon Scheyer. But I am glad to see people are taking notice Dane Diliegro and Bryan Cohen. Both are having great seasons.

We are backed up on stories again. We have a bunch to bring you next week that are outside the baseball/basketball sports world.

For you fantasy football lovers check out www.fantasydash.com

Also a quick side note. There are reports out there that AL MVP Joe Mauer is Jewish. As far as I know there is no truth to this rumor.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Thursday, November 26, 2009

TGR Birthday Edition


When I was 4 my teacher asked us on Thanksgiving what we were grateful for. My entire pre-school class said the obvious answers He-man toys, Thurdercats toys, and Barbies. But I was different (some would say I still am). I said my sister.

Today my birthday, as it did the day I was born and Bar Mitzvahed, coincides with Thanksgiving. I thought long and hard about what I should write about for my BDay post. And like in pre-school I have decided to turn my attention to my sister.

Often I write about famous athletes, up and coming athletes, and even retired ones. Dana, my sister, never played in college (although I know she could have) but she was one hell of a High School player.  I have seen and coached girls basketball players. Many were faster than her and even stronger than her. But no one ever had a better shot than my little sis. She could, and actually still can, shoot the lights out. Don't just take my word for it. Her numbers don't lie. She made the varsity team as a Freshman at Ida Crown and was probably the best player in the school at that point. She also is probably the school's All-Time leading female scorer but her stats were never really kept. As a Junior she became the first ever player from Ida Crown to go down state in the State 3-point contest. Something she again accomplished her Senior year. Now, many of the girls who make it down state do it with scores of 4s or 5s. Dana was doing it with 7s-10s. She also has the third most (at the time second most) 3-pointers made in a single game in Illinois state history. Below is from the IHSA record books.

Most 3-Point Field Goals Made, Game

*[1.]  12, Kassie Drew, Anna (A.-Jonesboro) vs. Chester, Dec. 2, 2003
[1.]  12, Courtney Weibel, Rockton (Hononegah) vs. Rockford (Harlem), Dec. 14, 2006
[3.]  11, Angie Sapp, Williamsville vs. Mason City (Illini Central), Feb. 7, 1990 (11 of 23)
[3.]  11, Kassie Drew, Anna-Jonesboro vs. Vienna, Dec. 21, 2002
[5.]  10, Mandy Cunningham, Bridgeport (Red Hill) vs. Robinson, Feb. 4, 1988
[5.]  10, Tracy Specketer, Normal (Community) vs. Champaign (Centennial), Dec. 15, 2001 (10 of 13 att.)
[5.]  10, Dana Fine, Chicago (Ida Crown) vs. Chicago (Cristo Rey), Dec. 22, 2001 (10 of 14 att.)

[5.]  10, Jenna Rubino, Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) vs. Joliet (H.S.), Dec. 19, 2002
[5.]  10, Jenna Rubino, Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) vs. Chicago (Vocational), Dec. 21, 2002
[5.]  10, Maggie McCloskey, Riverside (R.-Brookfield) vs. Lemont, Nov. 29, 2005
[5.]  10, Maggie McCloskey, Riverside (R.-Brookfield) vs. Franklin Park (Leyden), Feb. 4, 2006

Dana gave up competitive basketball to go the THE Ohio State University. She has stayed in the sports world coaching at Solomon Schechter, working for the Woman's Sports Foundation, and writing for Nike's Woman's Sports. Now she finds herself back in school getting a masters degree. 

So, for my birthday I want to salute my little sister. One who I miss very much being out here in Israel. I am also very thankful that she has to take care of Mom and Dad this year without me =)

Happy Turkey Day everyone and remember to be thankful for what you got.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine 

Scheyer vs. Glasser

Last nigth Jon Scheyer and Derek Glasser went head to head. Here is how they faired:

Glasser - 13pts, 7rbs, 3ass
Scheyer - 16pts, 4rbs, 5ass

Pretty comparable stats. Both were CBS Sportsline players of the game.

Scheyer got the last laugh as Duke got the last laugh by winning 64-53 and advance in the NIT Season Tip-Off Finals. They will play UConn in the finals.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wizards Owner Abe Pollin Passes Away at 85


In the middle of High School week we have the unfortunate news of reporting that the owner of the Washington Wizards, Abe Pollin, passed away today at the age of 85. Pollin had previously owned the Washington Mystics and the Washington Capitals.

Pollin was a long time supporter of Israel and Jewish causes. He served on the boards for AIPAC, Hillel, and The Israel Project. He was an activist for Soviet Jews. Pollin was also close friends with former Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzchak Rabin.

May his memory be for a blessing.






Picture is from the AP.

JUF Mentions TGR

Thanks to Elissa Ship for sending in this little blurb. It seems that TGR was mentioned in the JUF newsletter.

An Oy!nonymous blogger pours out her troubles with her mother-in-law on Oy!Chicago, while the Great Rabbini rattles off Israeli basketball stars' accomplishments.

While they called it "Rabbini" it is nice to see us getting some more press.

Thank you Elissa and to the JUF.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jewish Hoops America


I have several guilty pleasures in this world. I love the movie Blue Chips. I could eat an entire bag of the Chocolate Chip Cookies made by Chewy...the ones in the red bag. I also love High School basketball. I loved playing, coaching, and just going to watch future college stars play the game. I stumbled across an amazing website www.jewishhoopsamerica.com. These guys keep track of the High School teams across the country. They rank them. They scout them. And they let people like me know everything there is to know about Jewish high school ball. We interviewed JHA below. Enjoy:

 Interview:
1) When and why did you start your website?
WE STARTED THE WEBSITE ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO. AT THE TIME WE WERE RUNNING A BASKETBALL CAMP FOR JEWISH HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS AT THE END OF EACH SUMMER. THE WEBSITE WAS A WAY FOR US TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THE LEAGUE, PLAYERS AND COACHES THROUGHOUT THE SEASON. ONCE WE BRANCHED OUT NATIONALLY AND BEGAN TO COVER SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THE WEBSITE BECAME ITS OWN ENTITY AND A SEPARATE FOCUS. NOW THAT WE NO LONGER RUN THE CAMP, THE WEBSITE IS OUR WAY OF GIVING THE PLAYERS AND THE JEWISH TEAMS THE EXPOSURE THEY DESERVE.


2) How do you judge the rankings for players and teams?
WE HAVE A NATIONAL PANEL OF VOTERS. THE POLL FOLLOWS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FORMAT FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL (WITH FEWER VOTERS). EACH FIRST PLACE VOTE IS WORTH 25 POINTS, SECOND PLACE IS 24 POINTS, ETC. AFTER THE TOP 25, WE LIST ALL THE SCHOOLS THAT RECEIVED VOTES.
THE VOTERS HAVE UNTIL MONDAY AFTERNOON TO SUBMIT THEIR TOP 25'S, THE VOTES ARE TABULATED AND THE NEW POLL IS RELEASED ON THE WEBSITE MONDAY NIGHT.
THE VOTERS ARE SPREAD OUT AROUND THE COUNTRY ALL WITH SOLID HOOPS RESUMES. SOME ARE FORMER OR CURRENT COLLEGE PLAYERS, OTHERS HAVE COACHED HIGH SCHOOL BALL AND SOME ARE JUST LIFELONG FANS. WE TRY TO LIMIT HOW MANY COME FROM THE SAME AREA AND THE ONLY DISQUALIFIER IS THAT A VOTER CANNOT CURRENTLY BE AFFILIATED (COACH, ASSISTANT COACH, OR ATHLETIC DIRECTOR) WITH ANY SCHOOL WE TRACK.

3) Who are the top teams to watch this season?
THE TOP 25 HAS JUST BEEN RELEASED. THE TOP TEN TEAMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY THUS FAR ARE:
RAMAZ - NEW YORK, NY
TARBUT V'TORAH - IRVINE, CA
HESCHEL - NEW YORK, NY
VALLEY TORAH - VALLEY VILLAGE, CA
HAFTR - CEDARHURST, NY
HANC - UNIONDALE, NY
JEWISH DAY SCHOOL - ROCKVILLE, MD
SOLOMON SCHECHTER - WEST ORANGE, NJ
YULA - LOS ANGELES, CA
MTA - NEW YORK, NY

BEING THAT THIS IS THE FIRST POLL OF THE SEASON, THESE WILL LIKELY DRASTICALLY CHANGE IN COMING WEEKS AS THE SEASON PLAYS ON.

4) Who are the top players to watch this season?
LOCALLY, IN THE NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY AREA THERE ARE TWO SPECIAL PLAYERS TO WATCH:
1. BENJY RITHOLTZ OF HANC. BENJY WAS THE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME MVP LAST YEAR AS A JUNIOR. HE AVERAGED 18 POINTS PER GAME AND OVER 20 PPG IN THE PLAYOFFS CULMINATING WITH A 21 POINT PERFORMANCE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. HE WAS THE RUNNER-UP JEWISH HOOPS AMERICA NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR LAST YEAR TO EITAN CHEMERINSKI (CURRENTLY PLAYING FOR CORNELL).
2. YISRAEL FELD OF MTA IS A JUNIOR WHO IS AVERAGING ABOVE 20 PPG ALREADY THIS SEASON. AS A SOPHOMORE LAST YEAR HE WAS A TOP SCORER AS WELL FOR THE VARSITY TEAM. ATHLETIC PLAYER WHO CAN PLAY THE POINT OR SHOOTING GUARD. HE WILL BE AN EXPLOSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH THE NEXT TWO YEARS.

5) Who are the best Jewish high school players and teams you have covered?
RAMAZ IN NY SEEMS TO BE A TOP 3 TEAM EVERY YEAR. THEY ARE MORE OFTEN THAN NOT IN THE TOP SPOT OF THE POLLS. THE ONLY QUESTION YEAR TO YEAR IS WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE ABLE TO GET THROUGH THE PLAYOFFS WITHOUT A LOSS. LAST YEAR THEY WERE UNDEFEATED THROUGH THE ENTIRE SEASON (24-0) BEFORE LOSING IN THE LEAGUE SEMIFINALS. THE YEAR BEFORE THEY WERE THE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS. THIS YEAR THEY ARE RIGHT BACK UP THERE AT 8-0. TARBUT V'TORAH OF IRVINE, CALIFORNIA HAD A SPECIAL SEASON LAST YEAR, ADVANCING VERY FAR IN THEIR CALIFORNIA LEAGUE PLAYOFFS.
AS FOR PLAYERS - THE TWO MENTIONED ABOVE ARE IN ANY CONVERSATION OF GREAT PLAYERS OVER THE YEARS. I WOULD ADD TO THEM JORDAN MARCUS WHO PLAYED FOR SOLOMON SCHECHTER A FEW YEARS AGO. I BELIEVE HE IS NOW PLAYING FOR ITHACA. SOLOMON SCHOONOVER OF MIAMI, FL WAS A GREAT PLAYER TWO YEARS AGO. A 6'5 PLAYER WITH GUARD SKILLS.

6) What are your feelings about the Sarachek tournament?
I THINK THE SARACHEK TOURNAMENT IS A TERRIFIC EVENT AND A TERRIFIC EXPERIENCE FOR TEAMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE ATMOSPHERE THEY CREATE ALONG WITH THE COMPETITION MAKES FOR A TREMENDOUS WEEKEND OF BASKETBALL. IT IS GREAT FOR BOTH YESHIVA UNIVERSITY AS WELL AS THE PARTICIPATING HIGH SCHOOLS. THEY DO A GREAT JOB OF TRYING TO GIVE THAT EXPERIENCE TO AS MANY SCHOOLS AS POSSIBLE WHILE AT THE SAME TIME KEEPING THE LEVEL OF COMPETITION UP AS BEST AS POSSIBLE.

7) What is the main goal and reason behind your site?
OUR MAIN GOAL IS TO GIVE JEWISH PLAYERS, TEAMS AND FANS A FORUM THEY CAN GO TO IN ORDER TO SPEAK THEIR MINDS ABOUT THEIR TEAMS AND SCHOOLS. A PLACE THEY CAN READ ABOUT THEMSELVES, THEIR FRIENDS AND THEIR COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IN A WORD - IT IS OUR ATTEMPT TO TRY AND BRING TOGETHER JEWISH TEAMS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND UNITE THEM UNDER ONE UMBRELLA OF COVERAGE AND EXPOSURE.

Thank you yo Jewish Hoops America. Great site. We will continue to follow you and the teams on your site. For the actual site click here or on our side resources area.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, November 23, 2009

High School Soccer

While at times TGR might seem like a website devoted to basketball and baseball, we assure we cover other sports. One sport we have not paid to much attention to is soccer. Today we bring you a story which we read in the Philadelphia Inquirer that combines soccer and High school sports (we have another soccer story in the works thanks to Mr. Justin Ziemba). Click here to learn more about The Stern Hebrew boy's soccer team. 

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/high_school/20091113_A_winning_season_is_cause_for_celebration.html

Sunday, November 22, 2009

6 Points Sports Academy

High School Week Continues...
How many of you went to Jewish summer camp? My hand is up. And how many of you thought about focusing on your sport all summer instead? I am still raising my hand. What if you could do both? Okay I am in. Finally the Jewish world has an overnight sports camp. It is called 6 Points Sports Academy. We spoke with the director Randy Colman to get the scoop on 6 Points and what it brings to young Jewish athletes.


Interview:
The Great Rabbino: Hey Randy, welcome to the The Great Rabbino it is our pleasure to have an interview with you.

Randy Colman: It is an honor to be speaking with the Great Rabbino!

TGR: So, Randy please tell the TGR audience what exactly is 6 Points Sports Academy?

Randy: 6 Points Sports Academy is a new summer camp experience where our highly trained and professional coaching staff can inspire Jewish campers to achieve excellence in their sport in a warm and encouraging summer camp atmosphere that promotes Reform Jewish values.

TGR: Why did you start the camp? And how did you go about finding funding/backing for the camp?

Randy: The camp was started to provide a resource for campers and their families so they did not have to choose between a high quality sports camp and a Jewish summer camp. At 6 Points, we plan on seamlessly integrating the best of sports and Judaism into a fun summer camp environment.

TGR: What types of facilities, instructors, and resources will the camp have?

Randy: 6 Points Sports Academy is located in Greensboro, NC on the campus of American Hebrew Academy. Situated on a beautiful 115 acre, $100 million dollar campus, the dormitory and athletic facilities are incredible. We will have college or high level high school coaches and Jewish college athletes who will serve as assistant coaches and role models “on” and “off” the field.

TGR: What is a typical day at 6 Points going to be like?

Randy: Sports, sports and more sports! Each camper will spend 4 hours a day in their chosen sport major and then spend an additional 2 hours a day in sport electives for fun, recreation and cross training. Evenings and weekends will be filled with campfires, bunk skits, song sessions and other fun camp activities.

TGR: What will Jewish life be like at 6 Points Sports Academy?

Randy: Everything we do will be from a Jewish perspective. We will use informal Jewish educational methods to seamlessly integrate Jewish values throughout the day.

TGR: In 10 years from now what do you hope 6 Points will have achieved?

Randy: At 6 Points our focus is on each individual camper and it’s about the life skills and values that we can teach them through sports. Our goal is to help create future leaders by integrating the overlapping values that are taught through sports and Judaism. Perhaps 10 years from now we will have a second camp location and while it’s not necessarily our goal, perhaps we will have a few professional Jewish athletes who attended camp here; perhaps a few Jewish leaders who attended camp here, and most importantly, we hope that all of our campers leave camp with a stronger sense of their own Jewish identity.

TGR: Were you an athlete when you were younger?

Randy: I was a 3 sport athlete growing up, Baseball, Basketball and Football. I was recruited to play D1 football for several colleges, but chose to attend the University of Michigan instead. I know what it is like being an athlete and more importantly a “Jewish” athlete.

TGR: What is a better camp movie and why; Wet Hot American Summer, Meatballs, or Indian Summer?

Randy: I can’t say I really have a favorite. I love all camp and all sport movies, especially those that highlight the “underdog”

TGR: How can potential campers and counselors get in touch with the camp?

Randy: They can visit our website at www.6pointsacademy.org or call us at 561-208-1650.

TGR: Randy, thank you for your time and good luck in the future. Hopefully, you will help produce some more Jews in sports so I can keep TGR alive. Can we revisit during the summer and see how things are going?

Randy: I would welcome the opportunity!

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Joe Tadelman -A Man to Remember


I had planned on starting High School sports week with a story about an exciting program or player to watch in the world of Jewish High School sports. But last week I got a phone call from my mother that a very dear friend of ours passed away. Joe Tadelman was a Jewish sports legend in Chicago. As a former coach at Kelvyn Park and Kelly High School, Joe inspired hundreds of athletes to be their best. One of those students was my mother.

It seems only fitting that this week starts off with a story about Joe because for a long time he was high school sports in Chicago. Even when I played, refs and coaches knew Joe, and this was many years after he had retired. Joe had that affect on people. He was able to make you notice him with his big smile, his warm hugs, and his love of life that you just felt when you met him.

Joe was around in my life ever since I was a child. I knew him as my mother's mentor, the director of Golden Arrow Day Camp (a camp I went to at a young age), and most importantly as one of the most gentle souls this world has ever seen. Joe founded Golden Arrow Day Camp which employed hundreds of young students looking to make a buck and helped families afford summer camp. It wasn't anything fancy but it had heart. I loved that camp. There isn't a day that I pass a Forrest preserve and don't think how lucky I was to go to a camp that was simple and felt like family.

Joe also was one of the founders of Bnai Brith Sports Lodge. Bnai Brith has given scholarships and awards to many Jewish athletes and has provided a place for Jews to connect through sport.

But besides all that Joe accomplished in his life, the thing I knew Joe the most for was his love for life. He was sick for many years but that did not stop him from living, from smiling, and from trying. I am a better person for having known such a wonderful man. This world has lost a special person. A person that Chicagoans, Jews, and everyone he ever came across should be proud of.

If this blog has given me anything, it has given me a place to write about a special person. One that everyone should have had the privilege to have known and one we should all celebrate and remember.

May Joe's life have been for a blessing.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Grabow and Cubs Reach Agreement


The Chicago Cubs (boooo) and relief pitcher John Grabow reached a two-year $7.5 million deal. Grabow pitched in 75 relief appearances last season going 3-0 with 3.36 era.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Nice week here at TGR. Welcome back to Scott Radinsky. Radical Rad was a fun pitcher to watch as a kid. Also, congrats to Nancy Lieberman and Ryan Braun.


Poll:
There is a new poll up where people are voting on their NCAA Basketball mvp.

Next Week:
We are doing a week of High School sports next week. We are trying to get some interviews and profile a few organizations.

On a side note its my Bday. Instead of buying presents buy some TSHIRTS!! and wear them.

TGR News:
We have spent some time reaching out to some altheres. We hope to have interviews from future Cleveland Indian Jason Kipnis and former ATP player Paul Goldstein.

Also, we are in talks with the Maccabi games on some interesting stuff. I will keep everyone posted.

Have a good Shabbos.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Braun Seeing Silver


Ryan Braun was awarded his second Silver Slugger award.

Braun's numbers:
H/AB      203/635
Runs 113
HRs 32
RBIS 114
SB 20
BB 57
TB 350
AVG .321
OBP .386
SLG .551


Congrats to the "Hebrew Hammer".
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OY! Article

TGR Headlines Oy! Chicago again. Click here to read.

Scott Radinsky

Former White Sox reliever and cancer survivor is back in the big leagues as a pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians. Radinsky was hired by new manager Manny Acta. He has been working for the minor league team the Columbus Clippers who are the AAA affiliate for the Indians.

Story of the Week - Back in the Saddle


While this story did not make many headlines, recently former WNBA player and coach, Hall of Famer, two time Olympian, and the face of TGR's relaunch Nancy Lieberman accepted a job to coach the new NDBL affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.
This is a groundbreaking move by the Mavericks. There has never been a female coach in the NBA or in the NDBL. She will be the first female coach working with NBA players. Last year the NDBL sent 19 players to the NBA. So Lieberman is breaking a barrier for women everywhere.

Recently, Lieberman has served as a sports analyst for ESPN. But in an earlier interview she told TGR, "There is nothing like playing the game. Playing is the most wonderful thing in the world. After playing I would say coaching because you are still in the trenches." Lieberman's passion is to be on the court in some form and the Mavericks organization is allowing her to continue her passion.

The team will play its games in Frisco, Texas. The team does not have a name yet.

Hopefully, regardless of Lieberman's success she will be opening the doors for females get into coaching at the NBA level. We here at TGR wish her luck and look forward to seeing how it all works out.

The above picture was taken many years ago by TGR correspondent Lauren Abraham when she met Lieberman as a child =) Enjoy.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, November 16, 2009

2009 College BBall Season Begins

A few weeks ago we brought you the TGR All Americans. Here is how they did in the first week of   the NCAA season.

Preseason MVP Jon Scheyer dropped 18 points while grabbing 3 boards and dishing out four assists in a Duke victory. Bryan Cohen also scored 18 points for Bucknell in a loss to Providence.

Derek Glaser scored 10 points in his opener while handing out 4 assists. Zach Rosen filled out the boxscore with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists for Penn.

The Co-MVPs for week one were Dane Diliegro who had a double double (14pts/15rbs) as he helped New Hampshire to start 1-0 on the season. Brett Harvey dropped 23 points for Loyola MD. Both players had feature articles on TGR...which clearly played a part in them getting off to a great start (If I may say so myself). For more information on Diliegro click here and for Harvey click here.

Nice start for all of the TGR All Americans.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Boxing Champ from Tel Aviv


This story was brought to me a long time ago by TGR reader and former Maryland great Howie Labow. Today's story is about Hagar Finer. Ever heard of her? Probably not, because her country barely has. Finer is an Israeli boxer. In fact she is a boxing champion. Unfortunately, for Finer boxing is not such a celebrated sport in Israel, especially for woman. 

Finer is an Orthodox woman from Tel Aviv. And we her at TGR want to acknowledge Finer and her accomplishments of becoming Flyweight Champion both for the WIBF andWIBA.

Below are links to a video featuring Finer's story and her website. I suggest looking at them so you can get to know her and her story. She is truly an inspiration and making a lot of noise in the boxing world. Not too mention she is solely responsible for bringing a sport to Israel.

Video Here.


Hagar Finer's Website.

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

A nice week here at TGR. There was some much news that we couldn't bring you an interview or feature article.

This week we got a hold of Yaniv Simpson and Jason Kipnis and we hope to bring you those interviews soon.

Poll:
Seems like people are pretty excited about Gatorade becoming kosher.

Coming Soon:
We will have some info on the recent hiring of Nancy Lieberman. Also, Ryan Braun winning a Silver Slugger award. And hopefully some news from the boxing world.


TGR News:
We got a big shout out from Jewsinbaseball.blogspot.com. Check it out here

Next week my our second article in Oy! Chicago will be up. Check out my profile on the right hand side of TGR.

Lastly, TGR has branched out and has begun talking to some major organizations in the Jewish world about some really cool projects. We will keep everyone posted if there is more news to report. But for now know there is some exciting stuff going on.

As always, Shabbat Shalom.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Story of the Week - Snyder vs. 'Skins vs. Riggins


Each week we try to bring you an interview with a Jewish athlete or someone involved in the Jewish sports world. But occasionally we are going to start bringing you a "Story of the Week" when something huge happens in the Jewish sports world. When something comes up big enough that it is making major headlines in the national news, TGR is dedicated to bringing you that story.

This past week Washington Redskins owner Dan Synder found himself in the headlines. In what appears to be another disappointing season for the 'Skins, Synder went on record publicly apologizing to the fans. He said, "I feel sorry for the fans. And we're very, very appreciative of our great, loyal fan base. And I'm understanding. I mean, we just feel terrible. We're disappointed, and we're embarrassed. And we hope to get it going soon."- www.washingtontimes.com

Synder has tried to make big splashes in the free agent and trade markets in an attempt to change the losing ways in DC. He has landed Clinton Portis and Santana Moss. This year he paid mega-bucks for Albert Haynesworth. But none of them have really panned out.

Maybe his apology was sincere. He has tried to land special players and coaches, just nothing has worked.

The story didn't end there. John Riggins, former Redskin great, began bashing Snyder. Riggins told the world that Synder was in it for the money. Towards the end of his comment he said, "Let me put it to you this way Cris [Collinsworth], this person’s heart is dark". - www.washingtonexaminer.com

Collinsworth seemed shocked by Riggins comments. But when a former great of any team makes statements about the ownership/management people listen. People will, maybe unfairly, side with the player. When Michael Jordan complained about Jerry Krause, Krause got the boot (even after 6 championships). Obviously, that is not always the case. Most Packer fans have not sided with Brett Farve after all his outbursts about the Packers treatment of arguably the greatest QB of all-time. Still, this spat between Synder, 'Skins Fans, and now Riggins has caught the nation's attention. Maybe that is just the spark the 'Skins need (although they are 0-1 since the comments).

And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
Photo by: dbking's flickr