Sunday, August 30, 2009

3 TGR Updates

Every so often TGR runs a story that reappear in the news. Obviously, there are certain stories that update constantly like The Youk’s stats and my obsession with anything Jewish/White Sox related. But this past week 3 previous stories in particular took different twists. It started this week when I received an email/invite from Tamir Goodman that read, “Tamir Goodman Retirement Press Conference Announces His Plans For the Future”. I had two immediate thoughts. One, why was I getting this email? Two, do you need to announce your retirement from mid-level Israeli basketball? I mean I think Tamir is a good guy, a great role model for young kids, and a pretty good baller (at least last time I saw him play in High School). Clearly, he has accomplished a lot, but I feel like attending a press conference for this would be like going to Jose Valentien’s retirement press conference. Sure he was good and I enjoyed watching him play, but… Thankfully, Tamir will continue using his basketball connection to help future Jewish kids. He will be taking the job as director of Haifa Hoops for Kids charity program.

Next I read on, “The lack of a new lease with Glendale prompted the NHL to take the unusual move this week of submitting a bid to purchase the franchise. The league acted while its preferred purchaser, a group headed by Chicago sports entrepreneur Jerry Reinsdorf, pulled out because it had been unable to reach a deal with Glendale by Tuesday's court-imposed deadline for submitting a firm offer”. Last month we ran a story about Reinsdorf possible purchase of the Coyotes, but it seems to have hit a big bump in the road. But there is a catch, “The NHL plans to resell the team outside of the encumbrances of bankruptcy court. Could that buyer be Reinsdorf? ‘I wouldn't rule anybody out,’ Daly said”. So there is still hope for another Jewish owner in the Hockey world. We will try to keep you posted on the progress of Reinsdorf and the Coyotes.

Lastly, one of our first stories ever was about David Kahn, the president of the Minnesota Timberwolves. In what is normally a town not known for its basketball team (except that one year KG dominated and the TWolves blew it in the playoffs). Now Kahn has people talking TWolves bball. He drafted 4 guards in the first round, which raised some eyebrows, but also made his team more explosive. The centerpiece to that is Spanish Sensation Ricky Rubio. The Rubio saga continued, “The Spanish website reported earlier in the day that Regal Barcelona had reached a buyout agreement with Rubio's team, DKV Joventut for $5.3 million. The report said Rubio would sign a six-year deal with the team that included an affordable buyout in 2011 that would allow him to come to the NBA. But Kahn issued a statement saying no deal has been reached. ‘Based on the information I have attained today, no team in any league has reached a deal with DKV Joventut concerning Ricky's buyout, which must be accomplished before Ricky is released from his contract with DKV Joventut,’ the statement read.” – (as noted on

The money situation gets complicated for Kahn and the TWolves. The European leagues can offer more money, but Rubio can definitely make that up and more with endorsements in the USA. New coach Kurt Rambis would like his future point guard in camp be the beginning of training camp, which is drawing closer. Tensions seem to be high and tons of uncertainty surrounds Rubio and his decision

These three stories have been headlines on every major sports news outlet (well not the Tamir story). TGR will continue to follow their progress. Let’s stay interested in the Reinsdorf and Coyotes storyline, let’s hope for Kahn and as basketball fans that Rubio comes to the NBA soon, and we bid farewell to the Jewish Jordan and hope he continues to make young Jewish ballers excited about basketball and their Judaism.

And Let Us Say…Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Nice week for TGR. But a better week for JMF, as I got married and I am currently in Miami enjoying married life. It started off amazingly as I saw Jermaine O'Neal at O'Hare airport. Visiting the Bulls perhaps? I was unable to secure a promo from him. Actually, I think I have seen or talked to a famous athlete every week that I have written this blog.

Looking Ahead:
Next week we have an update on three previous stories. Also, we will look at Michael Vick and Jeff Lurie (Jewish owner of the Philadelphia Eagles) situation. On Tuesday it will be the biggest day ever for TGR as we finally will be posting my interview with DDP, a former Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Poll Results:
Due to unfortune circumstances I will not be posting the winner of this week's poll. Here was the question and potential answers:
In honor of my wedding (August 23rd) who was the best Chicago Athlete to wear number 23 (besides Michael Jordan)?
1. Jermaine Dye
2. Ryane S&%@*berg
3. Devin Hester
4. Robin Ventura

I want to wish you all a good Shabbos from Miami.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Thursday, August 27, 2009

He Traded His Helmet for a Kippah

So I am finally married and on my “funnymoon” (my wife doesn’t think Miami counts as a honeymoon so we will be taking a trip later this year). Anyway…like most of you I am in that awkward stage of still rooting on my baseball team (White Sox) and getting excited about my football team (Bears). Also, I just finished by fantasy football draft (I am going to once again dominated Adam “Orlando not Pace” Katz). In the spirit of the upcoming football season I decided to post one of the coolest Jewish Youtube videos I have ever seen. It is about a former Packer who is now a Chabadnic. The other reason I am posting this is because Packer fans need something to be happy about, now that their golden boy Mr. Favre went to a NFC North rival. Wouldn’t it be funny is Favre wore his Vikings jersey into his Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Enjoy the video below:

And Let Us Say…Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

INTERVIEW: The Boys Behind the Dong

Sports blogging started long before The Great Rabbino…believe it or not. My good friend from High School Eric Sugar-Remis and his little brother Jeffrey have been sports blogging for quite a while. Their blog, entitled Luol’s Dong, centers around Chicago Sports. It is very funny and has an interesting obsession with former White Sox CF Brian Anderson. I spoke with the boys behind the Dong to find out more about their site (this is a cross promotion so check out TGR on Luol’s Dong).

The Great Rabbino: Hey guys glad we could help each other out. I am sure plenty of TGR readers will enjoy you blog.

Luol’s Dong: I think Tadahito Iguchi was Jewish, so it all works out.

TGR: For people who don’t know, what is Luol’s Dong all about? Why did you choose the name Luol’s Dong?

LD: There isn't anyone that doesn't know about the Dong. What a stupid question.

TGR: So, how did you get your start? And what made you want to start your blog?

LD: We got our start picking pockets and selling nick-nacks in train cars. We worked our way up to giving tours at the Taj Mahal and stealing shoes to sell on the black market. Soon enough, Gepetto got caught up in the underground drug trade and I tried to make ends meet as a tea server at a local call center until I won Who Wants to be a Millionaire. After I spent the money, I somehow woke up with a blog.

TGR: Your blog has done very well. Where is your fan base coming from? What are some of the things people can expect from Luol’s Dong?

LD: Of course the blog has done well - we write about Chicago sports and everyone knows Chicago fans are the best in the world. Also, if you hate Boston and New York coverage as much as we do, it's a welcome change.

TGR: Readers of Luol’s Dong will know that you are obsessed with Brian Anderson formerly of the Chicago White Sox. Why? And how are you guys dealing with the fact that he was traded to the Red Sawx?

LD: Would you ask J.R Tolkien why he's obsessed with hobbits? Rashaan Salaam and weed? Pacman Jones and strippers? I didn't think so. As for "dealing" with it, if going through the trouble of finding a positive spin on the Pawtuckett Red Sox isn't a cry for help, I don't know what is.

TGR: Who is your favorite Chicago Jewish sports athlete or sports personality?

LD: Shawn Green. He's David Kane's cousin and David Kane is my cousins cousin.

TGR: What is the long-term goal for the site? Anything interesting coming up that TGR readers should know about?

LD: World domination. You should probably know about that.

TGR: Where can TGR readers find you stuff and anything you would like to add?

LD: and nothing like a nice hot serving of Dong to get the day started.

TGR: Thanks guys for spending your time with TGR. Hope to hear from you guys in the future.

LD: Thanks. Give our best to Derrick Rose when you see him on Rosh Hashannah.

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

Sunday, August 23, 2009

She Wore Number 22

Since I started this blog about two months ago my sister, Dana, has been driving me nuts about doing more stories on female athletes. She was happy with the story about Maiya Chard-Yaron, but she wants more. Dana herself was quite the athlete in high school basically setting all her school’s girls records, going to state twice for the 3-point contest, and having the second most 3-pointers in a game in state history with 10. She was awesome to watch. Dana was flat out filthy from beyond the arc. Arguably the only person in the world I refuse to play horse with. But Dana didn’t take her skills to the next level, but there is another Jewish ball player who did.

Shay Doron comes to my mind as the only Jewish player ever to play in the WNBA. You might remember her as the little Israeli point guard who led the Maryland Terrapins to a National Championship in 2006. Doron’s career in the WNBA thus far has not amounted too much. She was drafted 16th by the New York Liberty (if you know the WNBA at all that is a good place to play). A Jewish girl on a New York team sounds like a good publicity move. But after one season she moved back to Israel to play for Elitzur Ramle. There she has had plenty of success, winning the Israeli league in her first season and making the semifinals in the Euro-league.

Shay’s biggest personal accomplishment was having her jersey retired by Maryland. Number 22 (just like my sister).

Personally, I think having someone like Shay Doron around for young Jewish women is a great thing. While the guys look to Braun and Kinsler and take ownership of baseball, maybe the females can do that with basketball. I do wonder whether Doron would have more affect on Jewish girls in the States or in the Holy Land? For now I am glad there is someone for young women to look up too and realize that they can play anywhere in the world.

I would also like to mention that while doing research on Doron, which includes some intense reading on wikipedia, I came across her charity, which I think is worth a plug. Check out the link below:

For more information check out Shay’s website and see her video below.

And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
Photo by: Noam Galai

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekly Review

Another fun week at TGR. Huge interview with Tamir Goodman. Also, we recently interviewed Diamond Dallas Page (a former WCW World Heavyweight Champion). That interview with will up in two weeks. Next week check out our first cross promotion with Luol's Dong.

In other news this is my last post as a single man. I am getting married on Sunday and then I will be on my "Funnymoon" with my beautiful bride. But don't worry I will still be posting all week long.

Poll Results:
Who would you like to see most in a TGR promo video?
Sandy Koufax
4 (44%)
Jay Fiedler
1 (11%)
Shay Doron
1 (11%)
Dolph/Danny Schayes
1 (11%)
Kevin Youkilis
2 (22%)

Sandy edged out The Youk. I will see if I can make this happen.

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

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Temple Braun

This past Sunday my sister Dana and I headed to Miller Park. After having been to County Stadium in Milwaukee about 10 years ago (with Milwaukee-ian David Peckerman) I finally got out there to see the new stadium (thanks to amazing seats provided by Mike Schwartz). Besides seeing the new stadium and rooting for the Brew Crew, Dana and I had one goal, to find out if Ryan Braun’s Temple is Jewish friendly (notice below they do do Bar Mitzvahs).

First, we set out to find a Hebrew Hammer T-shirt. We walked the entire stadium. We checked the big store in the front, we looked in left field where Braun lives, and finally went to the superstore…but to no avail. In fact, unlike The Cell, Wrigley, and Fenway this stadium had no one even selling funny T-shirts outside the stadium (except one guy with Cubs Suck shirts…classic). Finally, we asked a store clerk about the T-shirts and we were told that they only sold Hebrew Hammer shirts on various websites. Sorry guys, if you want a Hebrew Hammer Braun shirt you will NOT find them at Miller Park. You will however find a stadium and fan-base truly devoted to their young stud of an outfielder. There are tons of shirts, bobble-heads, and other baseball goodies with the slugger’s face on it.

Once we realized that there were no Hebrew Hammer T-shirts we decided to see how we could keep kosher at Miller Park. As reported two weeks ago, Miller is not one of the stadiums with official kosher food. So Dana got a pretzel and of course got my Minute Maid Lemon Chill. But we did find something uniquely kosher-ish at the stadium. They had baked potato bar a little to the left of the entrance behind home plate. There I was able to get a baked potato, individually wrapped, with veggies. I found this to be a suitable option and very filling. See below:

No real luck with the T-shirt or Kosher food, but Jewish attributes of Miller Park aside it is an amazing ballpark. I was very impressed (Robin Yount Statue below...idolatry at its finest).

It was a great place to watch a game. The place was sold-out. The fans were into the game. The stadium was very fan friendly, especially for children. In the outfield there was a video arcade and tons of games for children. For adults or drinkers there was a vibrant bar in leftfield. Also, there was tons of interesting food options.

So Jewishly Miller park gets a D (what can you expect from a stadium that races sausages)

but as a stadium for a baseball experience I give it an A-. So if you get a chance you should definitely check out Ryan Braun’s Miller Park just remember to bring your own kosher dogs (or your Moses sign).

Lastly, Dana and I stopped at a vegetarian restaurant on the way home. It was in a shady neighborhood and we were not so into the Co-op thing, but the food was excellent.

And Let Us Say…Amen.

Monday, August 17, 2009

INTERVIEW: Catching up with the Jewish Jordan

While I was in high school Sports Illustrated ran a story about the “Jewish Jordan.” The man under that nickname is Tamir Goodman. Goodman got tons of publicity due to his scholarship to Maryland to play ball even if it meant not playing on Shabbat. Eventually, Goodman went to Towson University to play D1 ball without abandoning his religious beliefs. TGR had a chance to catch up with Goodman.

The Great Rabbino: What was it like being dubbed the “Jewish Jordan”?

Tamir Goodman: At the time I did not realize how important the Sports Illustrated article was. Once the attention to spread hit had a large impact on my Judaism and I wanted to use it for goodness. Ultimately, the article turned out not to be for or about me, but it was a way to use the media to inspire other Jewish kids. That is why I wore my Tefillin in the picture. I made sure I was in it. It became a tool to inspire others.

TGR: What exactly happened with Maryland and why did you end up not playing there? Were you happy at Towson?

Goodman: I was very happy at Towson. I only played there for one year but it was great. The reason I gave back the Maryland scholarship was because they wanted me to play on Shabbos. But I wanted to become the first observant Jew to play D1 basketball. At Towson I won the Coach’s Award for on and off court commitment. It was meaningful that Maryland won the National Championship that year. While I would have gotten a ring that day instead I got Shabbos forever.

TGR: I saw you drop 55 in the Yeshiva University tournament in high school. Did you ever contemplate playing for YU?

Goodman: Most young Jewish ballplayers think about playing there but my mission was to play D1 in America without playing on Shabbos. I did not want to settle. I love Yu and the tournament. I am in touch with them. The tournament is amazing and provided me an atmosphere similar to a college one.

TGR: Any message you have for young players who struggle with the idea of not playing top-level competition at a Jewish day school as opposed to a public school?

Goodman: Personally, I graduated from a Christian school. My mission and goal was to try sanctifying Hashem through basketball. I could’ve played anywhere. When making such a decisions it depends what basketball means to you. If it isn’t the biggest thing in your life, then a Jewish education is extremely important.

TGR: Has basketball ever gotten in the way of your Judaism? Are there ever moments where you think your Judaism helps you on the court or basketball helps you with your relationship with God?

Goodman: Basketball has helped me 100%. I always think about how God gave me this gift and why. Judaism teaches us that everything we do is for Hashem. We learn Jewish messages through basketball, no days off (during the work week), pushing yourself, and hard work. Judaism requires all of these things. I have a lot of Jewish pride wearing my kippah and tzizit on the court.

TGR: What are you up to these days? Anything we should know about Tamir Goodman these days?

Goodman: Last year I played in Haifa. I also started a company called Haifa Hoops, which helps under privileged and America’s Jewish youth through basketball. I have coach and taught over 24000 Jewish kids. Next year I will be back in Haifa either playing or working for them. I am currently battling an injury but I hope to feel better

TGR: I want to thank Tamir Goodman for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions. He clearly, has made his life a mission to help Jewish kids through basketball. For more information on Tamir check out his websites and the video below:

And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Senior Year Abroad

As we approach 1,000 readers I realize that I have yet to write about what exactly is defined as Jewish sports story. What makes a story Jewish? As for now I believe a Jewish story is anything with a Jewish connection. The reason I am writing this is because last time I wrote about Anthony Parker I received a few emails asking why I posted the story if Parker isn’t Jewish. My response was simple, Israeli sports are an important part of the Jewish Sports world.

This leads me to today’s story, which is about High School basketball phenom Jeremy Tyler. Tyler is making headlines because he has forgone his senior year of high school, first player to do so, to go over to Israel and play for Maccabi Haifa. Tyler is touted as the number one player in the country. He stands 6’11 and weighs 260 lbs. And he is taking that frame to Israel, which continues to grow as an attractive place for NBAers to take their skills.

Tyler’s agent, former Bull B.J. Armstrong is helping Tyler through the process. "It's a huge step for him and his family and the things he's about to get into," Armstrong said. "The basketball will be the easiest part in this equation. Now he's got to get things adjusted off the court to what a professional does, how he lives. It'll be a challenge. The rest will take care of itself." – Associated Press.

Tyler traded his senior prom for a one-year $140,000 contract. He still plans on entering the 2011 NBA Draft. Good money and experience for the kid. I can’t say I blame him. If this is what he wants to do and can make a good amount of money doing it…bless his heart. "I think I made the right decision," Tyler told The Associated Press on Wednesday evening. "I think this team is a good fit for me and it's the right country."

Clearly, this is good press for Israel. Not just that they received a future NBA All-Star, but also for the county’s reputation. When players, top players, come to Israel to play it allows the world to see Israel as a safe environment. Israel is now a place without all the issues that the media forces down our throats.

It turns out that Tyler will also be a teammate of Tamir Goodman, the “Jewish Jordan”, who TGR will be posting an interview with later this week. If you want to see a little bit of what Tyler brings to Maccabi Haifa check out the video below.

And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Friday, August 14, 2009

Weekly Review

Huge week again for TGR. Rowdy Piper Promotes the blog, I saw another Bulls player in Deerbrook Mall (this time Randy Brown), plus the Jewish world found out about Dov Grumet-Morris, and The Youk stormed the field. Also we became the second result under Jewish Sports Blog on google.

Looking ahead:
Next weekend is my wedding. So to celebrate TGR will publish its biggest interview yet. I spoke with Tamir Goodman and he gave me the dish on what happened at Maryland and what the Jewish Jordan has been up to.

Also, TGR is in works with a cross promotion with another blog. And we are still working on a few other really cool interviews.

Now that the blog has taken off, we are going to a 3 article a week format. We are also still working on our new logo.

Poll Reults:
Kevin Nash 0 (0%)
Macho Man Randy Savage 6 (40%)
Goldberg 7 (46%)
Kane 0 (0%)
Diamond Dallas Page 2 (13%)

Looks like Macho Man needed another slim jim. Thank you to everyone for voting.

MOST IMPORTANTLY!! We are nearing our 1,000 reader. Thank you to everyone who has been reading, emailing, and commenting.

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Revenge of the Youk

Many people have asked me about when I will be writing about Kevin Youkilis. I tell them, when I have something to write about. Eventually we will do a story about The Youk, but today I want to focus on the recent news Youkilis is making. If you haven’t heard the Youkilis got a five game suspension for this:

MLB hands out fines and suspensions left and right. Youkilis is another victim. Yes, I said victim. If someone threw an object 95 mph at my head, you better believe I would storm the mound. Although I hope I didn’t end up like Robin Ventura when he took on Nolan Ryan.

Unlike Youkilis, his new nemesis, Rick Porcello will appeal his suspension. Both of them got five games. How in the world is that fair? Porcello threw a ball at a man’s head. What Youkilis did was retaliate. By running after Porcello, Youkilis was defending himself and his teammates. I am not defending Youkilis because he is Jewish, I am defending him because he apparently is not allowed to. What if Youkilis got hit in the head? He could’ve ended up like Randy Johnson’s opponent.

This year it has been a little bit crazy with all the hit batsmen. This isn’t hockey. This is baseball. You can of course brush people back. Even hit them on the butt. But please stop aiming for the head, especially one that is supposed to have a kippah on it.

I hope Youkilis gets back on the field soon and dominates Porcello and the Tigers. Maybe he hits a ball up the middle? Then what? All I am saying is, MLB should protect the hitters far more than the pitchers.

And Let Us Say…Amen
-Jeremy Fine

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

INTERVIEW: Greatest Schechter Athlete of All-Time Dov Grumet Morris

It has been 13 years since I graduated Solomon Schechter. There were many interesting people in my class. We had up and coming filmmaker Josh “Jish” Freed, business mogul Marc Fiedler, and the future Mr. Sarah Hoffman, Nat Sager. But the most famous of us all was Dov Grumet-Morris. And even back in our Saved By The Bell watching days we knew Dov had a special talent. While I was doing the funky chicken at bar mitzvahs, Dov was off with Team Illinois hockey protecting his goal from the rest of the country. I remember when we all found out Dov got drafted to the NHL and many of us ran to ESPN or Sportsline to check it out. Today we catch up with the greatest athlete the Solomon Schechter school system has ever produced (my apologies to Eric Kirschenbaum who is a close second).

The Great Rabbino: Hey Dov so glad you agreed to have TGR to interview you. Can you believe it has been 13 years since we graduated Schechter?

Dov: It feels like yesterday that we were out at Northbrook in Mr. Arava's class.

TGR: So you have been playing serious Hockey since I have known you. How did you get your start?

Dov: I started hockey when my father took me to the local ice rinks to go to open skating. I just kinda of learned to work my way around the rink by holding on to the boards.

TGR: You were a stud goalie at Harvard, what was it like playing hockey and going to an Ivy League school?

Dov: I loved playing Division One. I think that college athletics is the best part of an athlete’s career.

TGR: What was in like getting drafted to the NHL? Who was around you when you got the call and who was on the phone telling you the good news?

Dov: I was actually at the draft in Toronto in 2002 with one of my roommates from college. We had a great time that weekend and it was definitely an experience that I will never forget.

TGR: What has it been like since you got drafted? Is your goal to still play in the NHL?

Dov: Pro hockey is a very fun but competitive industry. At the top of the pyramid, there is very little room for error and the demand for performance put on players is extreme. But the quality of life is great.

TGR: You are playing in Europe these days, how is that different than the States? Are you enjoying it?

Dov: I played in Austria last season and I very much enjoyed myself. Europe has been a great experience for me both on and off the ice.

TGR: Is it true that you were supposed to play GOLDBERG in the Might Ducks? Follow up question…do you watch that movie for motivation?

Dov: I was never supposed to play in the Mighty Ducks although my wife enjoys watching that movie.

TGR: Just so you know I saved our 8th grade picture with your autograph on it. But really how can Schechter students (and maybe me) buy your jersey?

Dov: I'm sure that if you contact any of the teams that I've played for over the years they can sell you a Grumet-Morris jersey. Fortunately it won't cost that much!

TGR: We want to thank you for your time. Congrats on the marriage. Can’t wait for our Schechter reunion someday.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nerdfest 2009 with Rowdy Roddy Piper

This past weekend I attended nerdfest 2009, otherwise known as Comic-Con. Nerdfest isn’t supposed to bash anyone. Many people there would call themselves nerds, plus I am the one who paid $35 to get in. I am not a big comic book fan, although I was as a child and I was with fellow nerd my best friend Henry Bernstein. I went there to meet some legendary wrestlers. The Honky Tonk Man, The Million Dollar Man (fully equipped with the Million Dollar belt and Virgil), and Jewish wrestler Kevin Nash. This is the second time I have seen Nash (or Diesel from the WWF days). Both times he seemed uninterested in the fans. He, like most of the other wrestlers, was charging a lot of money for taking a picture with them.

So, this article had planned on discussing the legendary wrestling career of Kevin Nash. I hoped to have pictures and maybe even a live interview with him. Instead something rowdy happened. I got in line for one of the greatest wrestlers of all time ROWDY RODDY PIPER. Yes, the Hot Rod, and I exchanged a few words. What a likeable guy. He was the only wrestler with a line waiting to get to him. He was the only wrestler shaking everyone’s hand and doing it with a smile.

I know that many of these guys, and girls (some insanely nice female wrestlers there too), do not want to be at conventions. They do it for the quick buck. But unlike Greg “the Hammer” Valentine and Demolition, Piper was the mingling and that’s why people wanted to meet with him.

Ultimately, what came out of my moment with Piper was our first celebrity advertisement for The Great Rabbino. Check out Piper as becomes a fan of TGR.

And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Big week for TGR. Besides seeing Janero Pargo in Bed Bath and Beyond we had 167 hits in 2 days...I guess more people care about kosher food than I originally thought.

This week we hope to have another interview this time from NHLer Dov Grumet-Morris. Also, we hope to have some cool photos and videos from comic-con.

Also we are in the beginning stages of making a new logo with Henry J. Bernstein.

Poll Results: Apparently, most people think the Peavy/Poreda trade was good for both teams. Only time will tell, but Clayton Richard did have a win for the Padres last night. Big ups to him.

Will giving up Aaron Poreda turn out to be a bad move?
1 (7%)
5 (35%)
Both Poreda and Peavy will help their new teams
8 (57%)
That's what she said
0 (0%)

Keep spreading the word about the blog. Tell anyone and everyone. Also, keep clicking those ads.

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

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Interview: Maiya Chard-Yaron/Maccabi Games

The Great Rabbino: Hey Maiya so glad you agreed to have TGR do an article on you and the team. I miss playing Shabbos softball with you.

Maiya: Thanks for asking me to take part! I love the blog. And I also miss Shabbat softball- it's one of the big things I will miss about JTS next year.

TGR: First question first, how did you ladies do in the Maccabi games?

Maiya: Our record doesn't completely reflect how the Games went for us. We unfortunately finished winless this year in the Maccabiah, but we played in some very tight games, including a 9-inning loss (a game that lasted over three hours!) to Canada in our final game. We also played a tough one against the United States, the eventual gold medalists, holding them to one run until the sixth inning, which no other team managed to come close to doing. It's terrific exposure for the women's game in Israel, so Israeli spectators can see that level of women's softball being played.

TGR: You told me the Israeli team is now competing in the European Championships. How is that going?

Maiya: We just returned from the European "B" Championship tournament in Hoboken, Belgium. We finished in 4th place out of 11 teams, which matches our finish from two years ago in Zagreb. Out of the shoot, we won our first four games (against the Ukraine, Denmark, Switzerland, and Poland), before losing 2-0 to the Croatians. This was our fourth European Championship tournament, and we have come a long way from 2003 when we were a new team on the scene and really just getting our bearings.

TGR: Is there anyone else on your team that people should know about?

Maiya: They should know about everyone!!! But, I will give you a general overview of the makeup of our team. One of the first questions I usually get from people who are familiar with Israel is "I didn't even know there was softball in Israel- is the team all Americans?". The answer is no. It is true that softball is far from a well-known sport in Israel (every time I go through security at the train station on my way to practice with my batbag, I get to give my speech in Hebrew about what softball is and what all the equipment is for). However, the Israel Softball Association has been around for about 30 years. Our players live all over the country and trek to our main field, which is in Petach Tikva.

TGR: Recently, White Sox pitcher Mark Buhrle threw a perfect game. I know that you threw a No-hitter in college for Columbia. What was that like and what was going through your head as it was going on?

Maiya: Buehrle's perfect game was pretty exciting! Those are so special, and I can't imagine the feeling of throwing one at the Major League level. Perfect games and no-hitters are really team efforts though- when they happen at such a high level, there is usually some great defense involved in addition to the stellar pitching. In terms of the no-hitter at Columbia (against Fairfield), it was just very exciting. During the game though, I was incredibly relaxed. I didn't get worked up about it, I just concentrated on each inning and shutting down each hitter. What stands out for me about that game was that the day before, I had a really rough outing in the circle. After the game the previous day, I spoke with our pitching coach about a new mental strategy and some minor mechanical adjustments. So when seven innings later I looked up and realized it was a no-no, it was this crazy feeling, almost like a daze!

TGR: What was the hardest thing about giving up your routine of playing softball every day in college, to now only playing during the summer?

TGR: What will you be doing when you come back to the states? Is your softball career over?

Maiya: Second question first: No, my softball career is not over! I fully intend on playing in the 2011 European Championships. Now that I'm back in the U.S., I am starting a new position as the Program Director for the Hillel of Davis and Sacramento in Northern California. I am really looking forward to moving back to California and digging in to my new job.

TGR: I know that Israel is a big part of your life, as is Judaism, was this something you were raised with or that you found later on?

Maiya: I grew up in a Jewish day school in San Diego, which combined with my family environment gave me a deep passion for Judaism and Israel and the tools to make Judaism a part of my life from an early age. My father grew up on a kibbutz in Israel, and my mom grew up as the daughter of a Conservative Rabbi, so I like to think that my own Jewish identity takes on elements from both of those backgrounds. As a child I remember the two main passions of our family were Israel and softball, so it's amazing to be able to combine those two now with my participation on the National Team. When I got to college, I began to discover and re-discover some elements of Judaism that hadn't been big parts of my life in high school, and became very involved in Hillel, which left a profound mark on my own personal Jewish identity and my professional path as well.

TGR: We want to thank you for your time. Is there anything else you want to say?

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your blog! I will keep you posted on future news with our team...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kosher Food For Thought

This has been a very sad year for us kosher Jews. As we all know Best Kosher went under due to new ownership of Sara Lee. That meant the “best” kosher hot dogs went bye-bye as well. Therefore, U.S. Cellular Field no longer serves kosher dogs. So, today’s article is dedicated in the memory of Best Kosher, my fiance Jessie who loved their dogs, and all of you who ran to the grocery stores to buy the last packs of Best Kosher dogs only to freeze them for a special occasion.

I thought we would look into which other stadiums carry kosher products to help all those traveling from stadium to stadium and need their meat.

Baseball Stadiums:
Ballpark in Arlington (Texas Rangers) - Hot Dogs
Camden Yards (Balt. Orioles)
Chase Field (Ari. Diamondbacks) - Hot Dogs
Citi Field (NY Mets)
Coor’s Field (Colorado Rockies)
Dodger Stadium (LA Dodgers)
Fenway (Boston Red Sox)
Landshark Stadium (Florida Marlins)
Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros) – Hot Dogs
Nationals Park (Washington Nationals)
Oakland Collseum (Oakland Athletics) – Hot Dogs
Petco Park (San Diego Padres) – Hot Dogs
Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians)
Turner Field (Atlanta Braves) – Hot Dogs
Wrigley Field (Chicago) – Hot Dogs
Yankee Stadium (NY Yankees)


Air Canada Centre (Toronto Raptors)
Izod Center (NJ Nets)
Staples Center (LA Clippers/Lakers)
TDBankNorth Garden (Boston Celtics)

College Basketball:
Prudential Center (Seton Hall)

College Football:
Landshark Stadium (Miami Hurricanes)

FedEx Field (Washington Redskins)
Giants Stadium (NY Giants/Jets)
Invesco Field (Denver Broncos)

Landshark Stadium (Miami Dolphins)
Lincoln Financial Field (Phi. Eagles)
M&T Bank Stadium (Balt. Ravens)

Air Canada Centre (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Prudential Center (NJ Devils)
TDBankNorth Garden (Boston Bruins)

Minor League Baseball:
Keyspan Park (Brooklyn Cyclones)

Prudential Center (NJ Ironmen)

National Tennis Center (Flushing NY)

I will continue doing more research on other stadiums around the country that have kosher products. It is important to know that information changes from year to year because of contracts with various vendors. Also, some of these products have various hasgachas (kosher certifications), so I would try calling the stadium in advanced if you have question. Below is a website and article that might help you out.

Lastly, if you are a vegetarian like me there are other options. Almost all big brands of peanuts and ice cream have hehksherim (kosher symbols). Also, my favorite Lemon chills have one too. Most of the Conservative movement is ok with popped popcorn because it is separate from all other food. And recently ballparks have added corn of the cobb, which can be an option.

Hopefully this helps you all when you are out at a sporting event and want to keep kosher. If you have any other parks or stadiums to add please email me and I will update the list. Good luck and happy eating.

And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hulk Hogan's Punching Bag

What some readers of TGR might not know is that my guilty pleasure, my escape from the real world is wrestling. Not me actually wrestling, but rather like WWE (formerly WWF) wrestling. I love it. I love the story lines. I love the entertainment. I love the excitement and unpredictability (yes, there are always surprises up Vince McMahon's sleeve). So often I will write about Jewish wrestlers. Jewish wrestlers you ask? Yes, many of your favorite wrestlers you grew up watching happened to be Jewish. Big Sexy Kevin Nash/Diesel…is a Jew. Macho Man Randy a Jew. Raven…is a Jew.

Besides Goldberg, there has really only been one other open and out of the closet Jewish wrestler and his name is Barry Horowitz. Barry Horowitz was not a champion. He was not at the level of a Hulk Hogan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, or even Razor Ramon. He was a mid card level type guy.

In a legendary match for all Jewish wrestling fans Goldberg fought Barry Horowitz on live tv. Below is the link.

As you can see in the video, Horowitz would pat himself on the back and go into fights and basically lose every time. He won on occasion only so when he lost it made the wrestler he lost to better. He was what most people would call a “Jobber” because he would go into the ring, do his job, and lose. But don’t call him that to his face as you can see on the link below.

Towards the end of his career Horowitz would come out to his theme song, which was Hava Nagila. While Horowitz never gained too much fame as a headline wrestler, today he makes The Great Rabbino’s headline.

And Let Us Say…Amen
-Jeremy Fine

p.s. I hope to be at comic-con this weekend and get a live interview with Diesel Kevin Nash.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Jewish Sports

Jewish Sports

Aaron Poreda My Facebook Friend

Well look who decided to show up. After turning down the same trade months ago, just enough time to get White Sox fans excited about Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda, Jake Peavy now has decided he would like to wear the black and white. So do we welcome him with open arms? Do we give him the Jay Cutler treatment and tailgate hours before his first practice? Not according to this blog. While I am personally happy with the trade, I would rather talk about what we gave up in future starting pitcher, and proud Jewish boy Aaron Poreda.

Before I run down Poreda’s potential I want to make it clear that he is a very close facebook friend of mine.

I guess it is not such a bad thing for Poreda. He is from California so he is closer to home. I guess he can chill out on Pico Robertson instead on Devon Ave. But what did the White Sox lose?

Okay, so Poreda was called up a while back and appeared in 10 games. He had one win, which was in a game I was at. His Era was 2.45, which was much lower before his last appearance, which was really bad. He has 12 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched. Most importantly he was a lefty. He is a solid lefty coming out of the pen and dominating as a starter the minor leagues. I expect him to start next season, if not this season, for the Padres.

What really caused me to facebook the future ace of the Padres was not his pitching ability or the fact that I wanted to use facebook as a legitimate way to stalk him, rather it was all the Jewish stories I heard about him. Apparently during spring training he went up to a scout on the White Sox who is Jewish and asked him where all the synagogues were. Also the man went to Hebrew school and wears a Chai around his neck while he pitches. Not too mention he just looks like a nice Jewish boy.

The White Sox first round pick from 2007 was featured in the Jewish chronicle and the story is below.

I truly wish Poreda good luck. He has talent, heart, and most importantly faith. Good luck Poreda, I will follow your stats and facebook status in the coming months.

And Let Us Say…Amen
-Jeremy Fine