Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Two Best?

In the battle between possibly the two best Jewish basketball players in the nation Jon Scheyer and Sylven Landesberg, it was Scheyer's Blue Devils who came out on top. Unfortunately, Landesberg sat out the game while Scheyer dropped 20 points, dished out 3 assist, and pulled down 3 rebounds.

Purim Pictures

In honor of Purim we posted some funny pictures of your favorite Jewish athletes, coaches, and sportscasters. Enjoy and Happy Purim!

Jewish Player Tournament Results and Round 2

The opening round, like real March Madness had some upsets.  Tennessee and Steven Pearl lost to Davidson and Jake Cohen. Maybe the results would have been different if people would've seen Tennessee beat Kentucky. Today begins round two of our poll to find the best team in the nation that has at least one Jewish player. Below are the results and new matchups. Voting takes place on the right hand side. Happy Voting.


RESULTS
#1. Syracuse Orange (Brandon Reese) defeated #16. Loyola Marylan (Brett Harvey)

#9. Arizona State Sun Devils (Derek Glasser) defeated #8. Nevada Wolf Pack (Adam Carp)


#5. Cornell Bears (Eitan Chemerinski) defeated #12. Michigan Wolverines (Josh Bartelstein)


#4. Temple Owls (Carmel Bouchman) defeated #13. Pacific Tigers (Reed Kamler)

#14. Davidson Wildcats (Jake Cohen) defeated #3. Tennessee Volunteers (Steven Pearl)

#7. Florida Gators (Nimrod Tishman) defeated #10. Harvard Crimson (Peter Edelson)

#6. UNC Charlotte 49ers (Charles Dewhurst) defeated #11. Virginia Cavaliers (Sylven Landesberg)

#2. Duke Blue Devils (Jon Scheyer) defeated #15. UC Santa Barbra Gauchos (Jordan Weiner)

ROUND 2 MATCHUPS: 
#1. Syracuse Orange (Brandon Reese)
#9. Arizona State Sun Devils (Derek Glasser)

#5. Cornell Bears (Eitan Chemerinski)
#4. Temple Owls (Carmel Bouchman) 

#14. Davidson Wildcats (Jake Cohen)
#7. Florida Gators (Nimrod Tishman) 

#6. UNC Charlotte 49ers (Charles Dewhurst)
#2. Duke Blue Devils (Jon Scheyer)

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

Tennessee and Bruce Pearl Upset #2

John Calipari can do all the shady things he wants. He can leave a program and take all their recruits. He can help players pass test. But he can't get passed Bruce Pearl and the Tennessee Volunteers who last night upset the #2 ranked Kentucky Widcats. Pearl's son, Steven, played 14 minutes contributing 4 rebounds and 1 assist.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Rainy Shabbat Shalom

It is a crazy rain storm out here in Jerusalem and I still have to buy bagels for Shabbos. Anyway back to sports.

Interview month came to an end with Craig Breslow. I hope people read it. He has a great story. Also, a big thank you to Jason Horowitz.

A post right before this is about Jewish High School basketball. While March madness is right around the corner, but High School Bball is in full gear. Stay tuned for updates.

POLL:
Keep voting for the tournament going on. We are working on some interesting tournament stories.

TGR News:
Great stuff coming up. We just interviewed Speedskater Tani Mintz. Her interview will be up soon enough. We grew up together and she is a great girl.

In really big news, it looks like we are going to be collaborating with JewishJournal.com which will help us with mass appeal. We are very excited for this partnership.

Also, we should have something in the works with HEEB magazine.

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

High School Basketball Tournament Time

Earlier in the year we ran an interview with Zach Spellman, Adam Seidenberg, and Aaron Cohen. Well the boys have done well. So well that they won their regional championship. Congrats to CJHS! Good luck in Sectionals. Click HERE for more from the Daily Herald.

In a less uplifting story but just as important Northwest Yeshiva High School of Mercer Island was forced to forfeit a game because it was scheduled on Taanit Esther (the Fast of Esther). Something really needs to be done about this. Click HERE to read more.

Lastly, the Red Sarachek tournament teams are set. CJHS is in the field as is my Alma mater Ida Crown Jewish Academy. Click HERE to read more about it. 

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

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Interviews: A's Pitcher and Great Guy Craig Breslow

Our final interview of February (aka interview month) comes from Craig Breslow. I saved Breslow for last because it is probably my favorite interview to date (tied with Colt Cabana). Besides being one of the most productive relievers in baseball last year, Breslow is doing amazing things off the field. I think Jewish sports fans everywhere should really rally around this guy. I wish him good luck. Thanks to Craig Breslow. Enjoy the interview.


1) Last year I saw you pitch at U.S. Cellular (you were awesome). I was wondering which is your favorite stadium to pitch in?
Is there one player you would love to pitch against (former or current)?  I really enjoy the older ballparks, for a number of reasons, but primarily because of the rich history that they hold.  For that reason, I like pitching at Fenway, the old Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium.  I have not been to Wrigley, but we go there this year for interleague, so I'm sure I'll add that to my favorites.  

2) Last year you had really a breakout year and became one of the top relievers in baseball. You were second in the AL in appearances. To date, what has been your biggest accomplishment as a baseball player?  
I think the thing that I am most proud of is that I have persevered despite being released 5 times, always being told that I'm undersized, doubted, etc.  I believe that I have entrenched myself in the Major Leagues through hard work and determination, and I take great pride in overcoming some physical shortcomings.  

3) As you know we are a Jewish sports blog. What does your Jewish connection mean to you? What was your Jewish life like growing up? Has the Jewish community supported you through your career?
Being Jewish is something that I am very proud of.  However, I believe that when I enter the clubhouse I am a teammate and a baseball player just like everyone else around me.  I believe that a lot is made of ethnicity, religion, color, and how certain athletes are expected to champion causes on behalf of these traits, and perhaps this is true to a degree, but I also believe that it is an individual's right, or even obligation, to fight for the causes he chooses, not those that are expected of him.

4) What are some of you personal goals on the field? How are the A's looking this season? 
I am hoping to continue to build upon the success of 2008 and 2009 and continue to establish my role as a top left handed reliever.  


5) Was there a special connection when you played for the Red Sox in 2006 with 3 other Jewish players Kevin Youkilis, Gabe Kapler, and Adam Stern?  
There was a connection among us for a number of reasons.  Judaism gave us an instant commonality, however, so too did playing for the Red Sox, being teammates, and sharing a common goal.

6) What has been your favorite moment as a player? Any words of advice for young players who are trying to make it to the big leagues?  
I grew up a Mets fans, so along with that came an appreciation for Doc Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, to name a few.
7) Which baseball movie do you prefer Major League, Major League 2, Little Big League, Bull Durham, or Field of Dreams? And why?  
Field of Dreams is one of my favorites, mostly because I read the book before viewing the movie, and it has stuck with me.   Baseball is definitely the sport about which the best movies have been made.
8) Can you tell us about 3 Strike Foundation and why it was started?  
The Strike 3 Foundation started a little over 2 years ago, and mobilizes support, heightens awareness, and raises funding for pediatric cancer research, in honor of my sister Lesley, a 15 year thyroid cancer survivor.  In its short existence, the Strike 3 Foundation has raised over $200,000 for leading pediatric cancer research centers in Connecticut.


For more information on the 3 Strike Foundation click HERE.


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

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PTI - Time Out

Mr. Tony Kornheiser has gotten himself into big trouble. While I am a huge PTI fan, in fact I watched it last night and wondered where Kornheiser was, Kornheiser stepped over the line on this one. His comments on Hannah Storm's outfit was inappropriate. I know Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon for that matter often discuss pop culture and go on tangents not related to sports, but I hope they both learn from this. Kornheiser is a great sports personality. I am confident he will come back and be the same funny Jewish guy we have grown to love. Click HERE for more on this story.

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

Shapiro Getting a New Role

Mark Shapiro, the GM of the Cleveland Indians, will be promoted into the role as team president. After this season he will be succeeded by his protege Chris Antonetti who has been his assistant for the last 9 years. To read more about this click HERE.

The Boys - Ozzie, Kenny, and Jerry

The guys behind the guys of the Chicago White Sox are Kenny Williams, Ozzie Guillen, and Jerry Reinsdorf. Together the three will star in a new reality TV show. Click HERE to read more about a TV show which looks like it was created just for me. Go Go White Sox.

Olympic Update and Israeli Sports

The Zaretsky's finished 10th in the pair skating. Click HERE to read about it in JPost.

Also, HERE is an article about Israeli sports that people might be interested in from Haaretz.

Lastly, we found two more Jewish Olympians. bobsledder Steve Mesler and ice dancer Charlie White. White (and partner Meryl Davis) won the Silver Medal. Mesler has yet to finish his sport.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Matisyahu's "One Day" Serves as Olympic Song

Here is an article discussing the song "One Day" by Jewish singer Matisyahu which is serving as one of the theme songs of the 2010 Olympics.

Below are videos. Great press for Matisyahu and Jewish music. Just wish we had more athletes!

Olympic Video


Official Music Video


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

Monday, February 22, 2010

Interview: ESPN's Dream Job and CBS Sportsline's Jason Horowitz


You may remember an ESPN tv show called Dream Job. It pitted hopefuls to be the next Sportcenter anchor. It literally was a dream job. One contestant was Jason Horowitz. Jason did not win. But since the show he has gone on to have success. He is all over CBSSportsline (my go-to sports website). He covers college basketball, the NFL, and anything else you could imagine. Jason was nice enough to spend some time with TGR. After talking with him and having friends in common, I got the feeling he deserves all the success he has had. Thanks Jason.


1) You were on the ESPN show Dream Job, which every sports fan wanted to be a part of. How was that experience? What did you take from it
Dream Job was certainly an unusual beginning to a career, but the experience was extremely valuable. It’s not that what we did each week on that show is what I do on a daily basis now, but I learned a lot about handling pressure situations and really enjoyed being a college student getting the opportunity to compete on national T.V. This question often comes up and I always say that ESPN gave me opportunities outside the show that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. After that it was up to me to take my career wherever I could.

2)You work for CBSSportsline (my favorite sporting news site). How did you get that job? What do you do for them?
I began working for CBSSportsline.com in August 2005. That summer I met a man who at the time was the President of CBS Digital Media, and he informed me that CBSsportsline planned to become the first over-the-air network to shoot video exclusively for the internet. So I submitted my resume tape and have worked for CBS ever since. Our first show was an NFL postgame show on September 11, 2005 with 2 separate, 15 minute shows. The Net has obviously evolved since then and most of what we do now is on-demand, shorter segments about all sports including weekly previews of every NFL game and many college football and basketball games. However, I also host our Live full length coverage including Fantasy Football Today and March Madness On Demand at the Half.

3) What else do you do besides work for CBSSportsline?
Aside from hosting videos for CBSsports.com, I am the studio host for Westwood One’s Coverage of college football, college basketball and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. I have also worked for MSG in the past hosting the network’s nightly show, college basketball weekly, and calling games for the New York Liberty.


4) In college you covered the Syracuse Orangemen. Are you still an SU fan? How do you like their chances this year?
I will always be an SU fan (yes even football). I liked the team even as a high school kid growing up in Michigan. I loved John Wallace and Jason Hart, then enjoyed covering the team with Carmelo, McNamara and Warrick. They had some great teams while I was there, and I think this year’s has the chance to be a National Champion as well. The 2003 team that won the title had 2 things: a superstar and a lengthy 2-3 zone. This team has an emerging star in Wesley Johnson (not saying he’s close to Carmelo Anthony). It also has a lot of experience and an even longer 2-3 zone. Couple that with the fact that there isn’t a lot of separation between the top 10 teams or so and I think SU can win it again.

5) What advice do you have for up and coming sports writers and reporters?
To remember the reasons you decided to work in sports. Like a lot of industries that are competitive, it’s easy to lose sight of why you wanted to have this type of job in the first place. So just take a moment every now and then to remember that sports are supposed to be fun. They were when you were a kid, they’re still fun now, and it’s important to cover them that way.


6) Does your job as a sports reporter ever conflict with your loyalties to your favorite teams?
I embrace the teams that I grew up enjoying and analysts usually know that. Whether Pat Kirwan throws in a crack about the Lions during a preview (we have done one for every NFL game the last 4 years), or Eddie George cracks on Michigan during one of Westwood One broadcasts, I always think it adds a little flare. It’s one thing to cheer for a team during a broadcast, but we all got into this business because we love sports and have favorite teams, so I think it adds a little color and personality into what we do.


7) If you could interview one player. Any sport. Any era. Who would it be and why?
Without a doubt, it would be Jackie Robinson. I don’t think any single person has influenced sports as a whole in a more positive or dignified manner than he did. With the exception of Joe Frazer, I have never been in awe of an athlete that I have interviewed, but Jackie Robinson (or Joe Louis) would certainly have that influence, and I would have loved to have a chance to just sit and listen to his stories.

8) Final question: Better post game interview - Dennis Green's "They are who we thought they were", Allen Iverson's "Practice?", or Jim Mora's "Playoffs?"?
All were great because all were honest emotions and thoughts, but the best in my mind was Jim Mora. Dennis Green was mad at the question, Jim Mora just hated his team

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jewish Player NCAA Tourney

Right around the corner is March Madness, which is basically the best time to be a sports fan (also the best day to miss work and ditch classes). So, I have decided to try something here at TGR which could be fun. I had this concept that I would take the top 16 teams that have at least 1 Jewish player on the team. I would then pit them together in a bracket style 16 team elimination tournament. This is just for fun and to see which is the best team with a Jewish player. We will be doing some real March Madness coverage, but this is to get everyone in the mood. So, below are the top 16 teams ranked by me with help from CBSSportsline, RPI, Coaches Poll, and AP polls. The voting will take place on the side panel. Each round will last a week  and you decide the winner. The teams were ranked as of Feb 13th. but each decision can be made to include total body of work. Reminder you are VOTING FOR THE BEST TEAM not best player. We will have voting for the top player and more March Madness articles in the coming week.
Jewish "March" Madness begins now!

Ranking. Team. Player
1. Syracuse Orange (Brandon Reese)
16. Loyola Marylan (Brett Harvey)

8. Nevada Wolf Pack (Adam Carp)
9. Arizona State Sun Devils (Derek Glasser)

5. Cornell Bears (Eitan Chemerinski)
12. Michigan Wolverines (Josh Bartelstein)


4. Temple Owls (Carmel Bouchman)
13. Pacific Tigers (Reed Kamler)

3. Tennessee Volunteers (Steven Pearl)
14. Davidson Wildcats (Jake Cohen)

7. Florida Gators (Nimrod Tishman)
10. Harvard Crimson (Peter Edelson)

6. UNC Charlotte 49ers (Charles Dewhurst)
11. Virginia Cavaliers (Sylven Landesberg)

2. Duke Blue Devils (Jon Scheyer)
15. UC Santa Barbra Gauchos (Jordan Weiner)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sweet Gig - Olympic Rabbi

I found this article about a Rabbi serving as a Olympic clergy. Click here to read more. Also, if anyone wants to write to the 2012 committee suggesting me at the rabbi for the Olympics feel free.

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

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shabbat Shalominess

Hey everyone.

Interview month continued with Binnie Klein and Yuri Forman. Thanks to both of them for sharing their stories. We still have MLBer Craig Breslow and Sportsline's Jason Horowitz next week.

Also, looking ahead TGR will have a special article Sunday creating our own NCAA Jewish bracket. We picked 16 teams, all with at least 1 Jewish baller and are letting the fans decide who is the best team in the country with a Jewish ball player. Should be fun.

POLL Results:
The nation (aka TGR fans) voted Igor Olshanky as this years NFLer of the year. While I highly disagree, actually Olshanky  would've been my third pick, the people have spoken. Congrats to Big Igor.

TGR News:
Things are looking up for TGR. We have spoken with Heeb Magazine and Jewish Journal.com about featuring TGR on their sites. Looks like we should be working with both of them. Very exciting.

If anyone has seen this months Schmooze Magazine, could they let me know if TGR is in it near a sports section. We are supposed to have an article, but since I am in Israel I have not seen a copy.

Lastly, we got to interview the GREAT Dolph Schayes this week. We will be posting this interview at the appropriate time. But it was great getting to know the legend himself.

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

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Yankees Want Foreman

Thank you to Zeke Fraint for sending in this article. Apparently, The Yankees have finished spending tons of money on overpriced baseball players (C.C. not included) and are going after Yuri Foreman? Click HERE.

Oy! Chicago Olympics Article

HERE is my Oy! Chicago Olympic article.

Interview: Boxing and Writing Binnie Klein

For interview month we met up with author Binnie Klein.  She is releasing a book about her journey through life which includes some time in the ring. I suggest you all give it a read. She sounds like a really nice woman with an amazing story. Below are links if you want to purchase it. Enjoy!

INTERVIEW: 


1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been a psychotherapist in private practice in New Haven, Connecticut since 1984.  As a Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University, I supervise mental health trainees.  I trained at Smith College School for Social Work.  I wear a few other hats, as well – I’ve been writing and publishing (poetry, essays, articles) since the 1970s.  I produce and host a weekly music and interview show on WPKN, a listener-supported radio station in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  I’ve interviewed many authors and personalities.  Some of these interviews can be heard at www.archive.org. My show airs Thursdays from 9 AM until Noon and can be streamed online at www.wpkn.org.

2) What is your book about?
“Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind” (Suny Press) is a memoir about my unexpected midlife journey into the world of amateur boxing.  I was quite the unlikely contender – quite sedentary – and certainly did not come from a background of athleticism, growing up in Newark, New Jersey in the 1950s.  One day, while training with my coach John Spehar, a former middleweight state champion, and quite a history buff, I asked: “John, where there ever any Jewish boxers?”  I was amazed and fascinated to hear about the 26 champions between 1910 and 1940.  For reasons I could not fathom at the time, the existence of these Jewish athletes was very important to me, and led me to research their lives and their achievements.  Along the way, I came in contact with aspects of my own heritage and history that had been long buried.

3) Are you going on a book tour? How is the book being received?
I’ll be doing select readings and signings.  So far, reactions to the book have been wonderfully positive.  I was also fortunate to have terrific blurbs, among them famed sports historian Bert Randolph Sugar, and novelist Katherine Weber.  The Forward published an excerpt, and asked me to write an article covering the recent Salita vs. Khan fight in England.  These pieces can be read at my website.

4) What is your Jewish life like?
I’m not particularly observant, but I feel a tremendous connection to my ancestors and to the struggles of the Jewish people.

5) Where can the TGR world find your book?
My book can be ordered through Amazon via my website www.binnieklein.com.
Also other online bookstores, and independent bookstores.




Thank you to Binnie Klein for helping us out here at TGR. Good luck.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Big Hurt Frank Thomas

4 Days. 4 days until pitchers and catchers report. 4 baseball until Jewsinbaseball.blogspot.com stops vacationing. 4 days until my White Sox begin their quest for a title. 4 days until having Jake Peavy for a full season makes me happier than a kid in a candy store.

To be honest as much as Peavy excites me there is no one who made me as excited for baseball year in and year out as Frank Thomas. I mean the man was a beast. His first 7 season were Ruthlike. And recently Thomas did what most of us thought he should've done a few years ago, hang it up. In 2014 he will enshrined into the Hall of Fame, wearing a White Sox cap. It will be an amazing HoF class...Thomas, Maddux, and Glavine should all be first ballot Hall of Famers.

So how is Frank Thomas Jewish?

Well, he is not. Despite IMDB.com suggesting that he converted, it is just not true (to mine and anyone else I know's knowledge). The only thing Frank Thomas should be on IMDB for is his amazing role in Mr. Baseball.

But Frank Thomas does have two Jewish connections. First, he was brought in by Jerry Reinsdorf. You might be thinking that TGR uses Reinsdorf to write about so many non-Jews...true...but Thomas has another connection. That connection is his legacy... his kids not his stats. Thomas was married to a Jewish woman named Elise Silver. She was the niece of Maury Silver who was a baseball pioneer in Rochester New York. Since Thomas has divorced Silver and remarried, but he has three children with Silver named Sterling, Sloan, and Sydney. If Sterling or Sydney have half the talent their father did, they we will be seeing them in the Majors one day.

So keep an eye out for these two. And also congrats to the Big Hurt and his White Sox career. Line Shot for Life.

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Interview: Boxing Champ and Future Rabbi Yuri Foreman

One of the biggest and brightest Jewish sports stars is Yuri Foreman. He is literally knocking out the competition. TGR did a piece on Yuri a few months back check it out HERE. Bu for interview month (which we are in the middle of here at TGR) we got a hold of Yuri.

He began by telling us how he got is start. Yuri said,  "I stared boxing at age 7 after I had been bullied by bigger kids in city's swimming pool. My mom took me to boxing gym after that." Like most people interested in Yuri's story of Judaism and boxing we discussed how we was able to balance his Jewish beliefs and the time commitment it takes to be a rabbi with his boxing schedule. Yuri suggested reading THIS article from Seconds Out.

Many Jewish boxing fans would love to see a Yuri Foreman vs. Dmitriy Salita fight, but unfortunately Yuri said there is no fight in the works and that he has never even really thought of fighting him. He is more focused on his biggest goals, which are to "win and represent my country."

From there Yuri answered some personal questions. Yuri has no plans on entering the world of MMA. We thought it would be awesome to have a rabbi in the octagon. He said, choosing boxing "is a personal choice, I personally like boxing." He told us that if he could fight one person ever it would be  Iron Mike Tyson at the Junior Middle weight division. He loved that idea. Lastly, we had to ask him a crucial question, which was his favorite Rocky film. Yuri went with Rocky IV. Personally, I think he would crush Brigitte Nielsen.



Thanks to Yuri for answering some questions for TGR. Keep beating the crap out of the world!
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Monday, February 15, 2010

2010 Olympic Update #1

Unfortunately, Laura Spector finished 77th in the biathlon with a time of 23:18.1. Good try Laura. Hope to see you in 2014.

Win One Lose One

Omri Casspi's All Star Weekend extravagansa began Saturday.

First he played HORSE against returning champion Kevin Durant and Celtic guard Rajon Rondon. Unfortunately, Casspi was eliminated first. Durant repeated as champion. Click HERE for ESPN's video.

As for the rookie game, Casspi was on the winning side. In a rare defeat of the sophomore's the rookies were led by Dajaun Blair who grabbed 22 rebounds and MVP and King's teammate Tyreke Evans. Casspi was 5 of 14 from the floor for 13 points. HERE is an article that covered Casspi and Evan's participation.

We here at TGR cannot wait to watch Casspi the second half of the season.

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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Interview: Football and Lingerie with Eliese Zukelman

Happy Valentine's day. That's right we are celebrating Valentine's day here at TGR. Now I know it goes against most of TGR's beliefs, but I also have a wife so I am obligated to celebrate. So, I needed to do something special for the men on the day they have to do all this lovey dovey stuff. I decided to do some research about the most beautiful women in sports. And guess what I found? The Lingerie Football League. Many years back you may recall a half time special that included women in lingerie playing football. Well now it is a league. Check it out www.lflus.com. How many of you just bookmarked it? Anyway, there are ten teams mostly consisting of beautiful women who played sports at some point in their lives.

TGR began emailing the crap out of the league looking for a Jewish connection. And we found one. Eliese Zukelman. She plays for the Tampa Breeze. She is Jewish. And she probably just stole every Jewish male Sportsfan's heart. Below is my interview with her. Enjoy and Happy Valentine's day.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 21 years old, Born in Miami lakes Florida. I'm almost done with my associates in Journalism; I also ride horses and am head over heels in Love with football.


2) What got you into Lingerie football?
The aspect of both looks and athletic ability, It was such an interesting concept that I thought had mass appeal. My first thought was what a great feeling to be a part of something in its inaugural season.


3) Did you play sports growing up? 
I did, I was a gymnast and played recreational flag football in my local community in Palm Beach.

4) How does Lingerie football help your career and what type of exposure/ perks are there to being in the league? 
I really don’t look at it as a career, how you can call something a job when you love it so much. I’m not going to lie I’ve had some exposure from it and it’s nice but it isn’t why I am a part of it


5) How does the team look? Do you have any personal and team goals this year?
The Tampa breeze team looks amazing, we have so many athletes on our team it is unreal, really talented girls that love the sport just as much as I do. Our goal is to make it to the playoffs and win it all.


6) What do you do besides play football?
Go to school for journalism, I have a lot of time for both family and animals :)

7) Can you tell me a little bit about the league and how it got started? 
The league is still in its early stages this being the inaugural season and all, but there is already in the works expansions with the Orlando team next season.


8) What is your Jewish life like? Did you grow up in a Jewish home? 
When I was younger there was a lot of temple in my life as I’ve gotten older not so much which is unfortunate but we still celebrate the holidays together.

9) I am sure most of my readers will want to know...are you single? What do you look for in a nice Jewish boy? 
Yes I am, They have to pass the parent test ,which is only the first check on their list , Someone that is responsible , has career goals and shares good values on life ,just an all around great person , That’s not too much to ask for right ? :)

10) Lastly if you could play against one NFL player who would it be?
Tom Brady, and for that I might just stand still in aw, that just may be the reason I understand why men come and watch us play lingerie football.

Thanks to Eliese for the interview. And to make all you guys jealous...she is my facebook friend =)

And Let Us Say...A...Please pray for my wife not to be mad at me.
-Jeremy Fine

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Who are the Jews in the 2010 Winter Olympics?

 
I have had some fans write in asking about the 2010 Winter Olympics and its Jewish representation. We know that Tamar Katz isn't there, but who is? To be honest not to many. Below are the 4 participants that we have tracked down.

Israel is sending 3 participants. Two of them are the brother and sister pair of Alexandra ad Roman Zaretzky. They are entered in the couples skating competition. "The Zaretskys emmigrated to Israel from Belarus in 1991, and the kids grew up skating on the ice at the Canada Centre in Metulla." - www.canadasisrael.ca

The third member of the Israeli delegation is Mikail Renzhin who is a downhill skier. Israel is hopeful that they can bring home two medals. For more on the Israeli delegation click HERE.

 Besides Israel we have been able to track down one other Jewish participant. Laura Spector will represent the USA as part of the Biathlon Team. The biathlon is a combination of cross country skiing and rifle shooting. For more on Laura click HERE.

We will keep searching for more Jewish participants as the games continue. We will also have articles on the Olympics so keep reading...if that's your thing.

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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jewish Hoops DVD

I just found this online. I thought some people might be like to check it out.

www.jewishhoopstars.com/about.html.

If anyone has seen it I would love a write up about the DVD.

Duke vs. UNC

In the biggest rivalry in College basketball the Duke Blue Devils beat the slumping UNC Tar Heels. Jon Scheyer led the way for the Blue Devils with 24pts, 5 boards, and 4 assists.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Ageless Jewish Wonder Scott Schoeneweis

Why do we love Scott Schoeneweis? Because he eats up innings in MVP 2005. Also, because he never stops playing. Mr. Schoeneweis inked a minor league deal with the Brew Crew on Tuesday. If he makes the roster, the reliever and occasional starter will earn up to $800,000. For more info click HERE.

TGR wishes Schoeneweis the best of luck. Schoeneweis plus Brew Crew = Jew Crew. Ooooh if he makes the team look out for the new TGR shirt.

Interview: The IBL's Legacy with Jason Bonder

In the summer2007 the Israeli Baseball League was ready to play its first game.  Jewish players from all around the world gathered in Israel to relive their glory days and participate in the first ever season of the IBL. While the league only lasted one summer it drew a ton of attention to Israel and the sport of baseball to Israelis. A friend of mine Jason Bonder was nice enough to answer some questions about his experience. If you want more information check out the league's website here or you can check out the documentary that was made about the experience here.
Save that autograph kid

INTERVIEW: 

1) What made you want to play in the IBL?
Like any athlete, I wanted to continue playing as long as possible. I had always dreamed of playing professionally, but after many years of trying it seemed that professional baseball was not in my future. That all changed when I heard about the Israel Baseball League. I tried out just before I started my senior year of college. It was a thrill to be told I would play in the league. The fact that the league was in Israel was an added bonus for me. Having gone to Solomon Schechter Day School through eighth grade, and as a Jewish person in general, it was a real thrill to be able to mix my love of baseball with a trip to Israel.


2) How did you get involved in the league?
I found out about the Israel Baseball League when I was working at the Hillel House at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. The Hillel Director, Patti Mittleman, showed me an article about the league. I immediately contacted Larry Baras, the founder of the IBL. He gave me information about tryouts to be held in Massachusetts. I signed up and was very lucky to be selected from that tryout to play in the league.


3) Which team did you play for and how do you/your team do?
I played for the Tel Aviv Lightning. We finished in second place at the end of the regular season, but we were unfortunately eliminated in the first round of the single elimination playoff tournament. I am a left-handed pitcher and my main role was as a relief pitcher. I did make a few starts towards the middle and end of the year, and I also recorded a save in the last game of the year. The team was filled with many talented players from all over the world. We had a shortstop and first baseman from the Dominican Republic, an Australian pitcher and catcher, an Israeli pitcher, and players from all over the United States. I learned a whole lot from all of my teammates and my coaches.

4) What was the experience like? Do you keep in touch with teammates?
That summer was the experience of a lifetime. Day to day activities really made me feel like a pro athlete. Most days I woke up, got to the gym for a quick workout. Came back, had breakfast, hung out, did some reading, and left for the ballpark for a pre-game workout and then the game. After the game we would often get to go out in Tel Aviv. Not only was I living the best imaginable lifestyle, I was surrounded by Jewish culture and Hebrew, and I was getting paid to do it! 

I do keep in touch with some of my teammates. It is tough because we are all spread out around the country. Nevertheless, a bunch of us often trade emails and I have seen some of my teammates in New York. I had a really wonderful time with my teammates. It was an honor to play on the field with them and it was a heck of a lot of fun to share a bench and a bullpen with them!


5) Do you think the league will ever reform? Would you play in it again?
I know there are people that are very interested in bringing baseball back to Israel. I don't know enough about it to make a prediction if it will ever come to fruition. But if the opportunity came up, and I was in a position in my life where I could get involved with the league, I'd do it in a heartbeat. A baseball league in Israel basically sums up all of my interests in one scenario. I couldn't turn down being involved in that!

6) How would you change the league?
There were plenty of things that didn't work out for numerous reasons. This, of course, led to the inability of the league to return. But it is very easy to sit back as a player and criticize a finished product without putting in the countless hours to make that happen. I guess if I had to change one thing, I would have used Hebrew names for the teams. So, for example, I would have chosen to use the Hebrew word for "Lightning" as the name of our team. Instead, all of the names were transliterated from English into Hebrew. I think the use of more Hebrew would have invited more Israelis to the games.

7) Have you seen the film Holy Land Hardball? If so, what did you think?
I did see the film "Holyland Hardball." I think the makers of the film did a terrific job capturing the emotions of the players in the league. It was a dream come true for most of us to go and play there, and to show how each person's feelings had distinct differences and yet major similarities was a huge accomplishment. I also loved watching the film because it allowed me to see the work that went into the final product which I experienced. It was very cool to see all the stuff that went on behind the scenes.

8) What have you been up to since the league?
After returning from Israel, I immediately started a master's program in Jewish Studies in the Graduate School at the Jewish Theological Seminary. I was so thrilled I was able to fit the season in between my graduation from Muhlenberg College and the beginning of graduate school. I got a part-time job as a personal trainer in graduate school and I also continued playing baseball in men's leagues in NYC and also on Long Island. It was great to continue playing ball and pursuing my interests in Judaism. I just finished my MA at JTS, and I am currently exploring my next step. I've also gotten into doing endurance races. I have completed three triathlons including the Nautica NYC Triathlon and I am currently training for a half marathon. I find these races to be great motivators to keep me in the gym and hopefully keep me in shape in case the league ever does come back!!

9) Where did you play baseball before the IBL?
Like most of the players in the IBL, I played baseball almost all my life. I went to Plainview JFK High School in Plainview, NY. I was lucky enough to be a member and co-captain of my high school team in 2003 when my team won the Nassau County and Long Island Championships. My team went to the Class AA New York State Finals. We lost the final game but it was one of my most memorable experiences in baseball. I then went on to play division III baseball at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. My team was not as successful as my high school team but the friends I made on the field both in high school and college will be friends I have for the rest of my life. In the end, my teammates from all my teams are what's most important to me about my baseball career.

Thanks to Jason. Maybe we will see you and the IBL once again.


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

C-A-S-S-P-I

While a large attempt to get Omri Casspi in the actual All Star game failed, the super rookie will be apart of the Rookie All Star game and now the 2nd annual game of H-O-R-S-E. Last year's winner, Kevin Durant will defend his title against Casspi and Rajon Rondo. For more information on the game click HERE.

So looks like we will be getting plenty of Casspi during All Star weekend.

Casspi also had 17 pts and 9 rebounds in an overtime win over the Knicks last night. It was Jewish Heritage night at the Garden.

On a side note, former Israeli basketball great Tal Brody will be at All Star weekend. So watch out for him in the crowd, probably supporting Casspi.

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

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tribune

Oy! Chicago makes the Tribune.

Check it out HERE.

And Check TGR out on Oy! Chicago. HERE.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday at TGR

Here are some Jewish Super Bowl links. Enjoy!
Kosher Food at The Super Bowl

Jews for Breesus

Jews with Super Bowl Rings

As to the question who is TGR rooting for? Well, there are no Jewish players or coaches in this one. Apparently, the owner of the Colts Jim Irsay's father was Jewish. He is from Lincolnwood Il. so there is a good chance. So, from a TGR perspective it is hard to go against that. TGR is rooting for the Colts. Also, hard to root against Peyton Manning.

But I personally love the Jews for Breesus site and I hate the Colts for beating the Bears a few years back. So, I am rooting for the NFC and the Saints.

Prediction: Colts 34 - Saints 24

Check out the Sam Fuld interview below.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Interview: Current MLB Player and Nightlighty Web Gem Specialist Sam Fuld

So, let's make one thing perfectly clear I am not a Cubs fan. I live and breath White Sox baseball. I made my wife swear to raise our future children wearing White Sox Black. They will treat loving the White Sox like their religion. One of the worst days of my life was passing on tickets to Buehrle's perfect game. It pains me to lose any player and I refer to Kenny Williams as the real Messiah. My favorite player of all time in any sport is Frank Thomas. 2005 was the greatest year of my life. I have been to numberous SoxFests. The first thing I will buy when I move back to Chicago will be season White Sox tickets. The name Ryan Sa&^berg is a swear word in my house.

That being said, occasionally there is a Cubs player, here and there, that I enjoy watching. I was a fan of former Cubs Andrew Dawson (an Expo according to the HoF), I think getting Derek Lee was a great move by the Cubs, and I respect Ron Santo's push for HoF status. There is another guy in that mix named Sam Fuld. Sam Fuld is a human highlight reel. His outfield grabs are web gems every night. The guy can flat out play the field. And he happens to have some Jewish lineage. So, TGR got in touch with his agent, who is a very nice guy by the way. Sam agreed to answer some questions for us. Sam is the first current major leaguer to appear on TGR (Craig Breslow coming up soon). So we are super excited to have him. And we wish him much individual success this upcoming season.
Hope baseball fans enjoy this one.

Interview

1) How did you get started with baseball? Were you always an outfielder?
I played baseball at a very early age, hitting whiffle balls with my grandmother when I was about 3, and then playing for a Little League team coached by my dad at about age 5.  I played a lot of 1st base through Little League, but once I got on the big diamond and once everyone caught up to me in height, I played only outfield (and pitched, too).

2) You made Sportscenters' Top Ten and Baseball Tonight's Web Gems numberous times last season. What is it like seeing yourself on those shows? Is your defense something your take pride in?
It's pretty fun going home after a game and being able to watch yourself on Sportscenter and it's certainly something I never dreamed I would be able to do. I feel like the rise of highlight shows has changed certain sports and individual players, but I promise I try to make great plays to help out our team, not get on TV. That's just a bonus. I've always felt that defense is a big part of my game ever since I began playing outfield. For whatever reason I enjoyed that part of the game, so when I work on my defensive skills, it doesn't feel like a chore to me.

3) What are some of your most meaningful accomplishments as a player? What are some of your goals?
To make the Major Leagues in 2007 was an enormous individual achievement. And then two years later, it felt amazing to finally get my first Major League hit. I'm also very proud of earning a scholarship to play at Stanford University. I rarely set specific goals because I feel they can be limiting, so I keep them simple: continue to improve, never get satisfied and always try to enjoy myself.

4) As a White Sox fan I have to know, what is it like playing for the Cubs? Who did you root for as a child?
I feel lucky and spoiled to come up in this organization. While we've been held championship-less for awhile, the history of the Cubs is impressive, and it's an honor to be around some of the former greats: Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, etc. It speaks to the quality of the organization that these guys are around us every Spring Training and throughout the season. I grew up about an hour from Boston, so I grew up deep in Red Sox Nation. I think the similarities between the two clubs are amazing: the great fan support, the tradition-rich stadiums, the long WS droughts (hopefully we can join them as Champs this year!).

5) This is a Jewish sports blog, so I am wondering what was your Jewish upbringing like? Is there anything about your Jewishhood that you take a lot of pride in?
I grew up with a Jewish father and Christian mother. We always celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas and both Easter and Passover, but my parents pressed neither religion on me very hard. Even though I was never Bar Mitzvahed and do not practice Judaism, I do take a lot of pride in having a Jewish background. 

6) How do the Cubs look going into this season?
I think we'll have a very successful season. We had a lot of our star players have off-years last season and I'm very confident those guys will turn it around. Despite the general consensus that we had such a poor year, we still finished above .500 and in 2nd place. 
  
7) Is there added pressures when playing your crosstown rivals in the White Sox?
I've only played them once (it was a make-up game last year in early September), but you could feel a different energy at the ballpark that day. It was a little more hostile, which was especially noticeable since Wrigley is usually such a friendly place. Even though interleague play, and this rivalry, is relatively new, we still want the bragging rights for the city.

8) Most important question. What is you favorite Chicago pizza place?
Hate to go mainstream here, but Giordano's. I could eat deep dish every night, but I don't think I'd be playing CF too long if I did that. Haven't had a chance to try too many places yet, so I'm always up for suggestions. 

9) Anything else you would like to tell the TGR audience?
I don't yet have a foundation, but I'm a big supporter of JDRF (being a type I diabetic myself). I bought the domain samfuldbaseball.com and hope to have a website up and running in the near future. I'm also running a baseball camp in Portsmouth, NH the weekend of January 30,31: http://www.usatrainingcenters.com/

Again thank you to Sam Fuld for his time. We will be keeping an eye on you throughout the year.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Oy! Chicago Features TGR as Part of Tribune Week

TGR's Tamar Katz story was the featured article as part of Oy! Chicago's feature in the Tribune!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Big Shabbat Shalom from TGR

I am in a great mood. Why you ask? Well, in Israel when you go shopping on Fridays they give you a Shabbat present. Today I got two, one which as a bag tha I could fill to the brim with any fruits and veggies I wanted. It was awesome.

Anyway back to sports.

We had a big week as we started Interview month. Thank you to Dave Pustilnik and Paul Goldstein for helping us out. Also, we were able to get in touch with Tamar Katz and her you unique experience. We wish Tamar the best in the future.

Sunday we have Cubs player Sam Fuld for you. It is our first current Major Leaguer ever. Later in the week we will bring you Jason Bodner's story and the IBL.

We also hope to bring you some news on the Olympics.

Check out our Tamar Katz story on OY! Chicago as well. It is a big week of OY! and we are their feature story.

POLL:
Please continue voting for this year's NFL player of the year. It is a tight race so far. The fans decide this one!

TGR News:
We might have gotten in touch with Steve Stone which would be a major story for the beginning of the baseball year. We will be speaking soon with Tani Mintz an Olympic hopeful about her experience. Lastly, as Wrestlemania approaches we hope to be in touch with Colt Cabana again about his predictions.

Lastly, if anyone knows someone who might want to donate money to my basketball program that I am working on with the Maccabi games...let me know. Thanks .

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

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jewish Sports Videos














The Biggest Jewish Story of the Year (so far)- Tamar Katz and TGR's Inside Scoop

If you are alive, Jewish, and into sports you should know about Tamar Katz's story. It has been covered by major news outlets including The New York Times and The Jewish Week. For someone like me who is basically Pro-Israel in every way, I think Israel got it wrong on this one. We need these athletes to show the world that there is more than the Middle East conflict going on in the Holy Land. The Olympics are a perfect platform for that. So, TGR got a hold of the Israeli skater to get the inside scoop. Jewish Sports Journalism at its best.

Interview:
1) How long have you been skating? Where did you get your start?
My father used to work for SCD. He was brought to the USA to work here. I was 8 when we moved to Washington D.C. and I began skating when I was 10. We were there until I was 13. When we returned to Israel it was hard to continue skating. There is only one real ice rink in Israel. So, my family and I relocated from Zichron Yaacov to be closer to the rink in Mitulah. It was still difficult to train because its not a great rink and it is shared with the hockey players, free skate, and other events. It was even closed once or twice due to Hesbollah. So, at 15 I moved to new jersey to pursue my dream. My mother came to live with me for a while. I then moved in with Sally Wittmore, a wonderful woman who is also a Holocaust Survivor. Eventually, I moved to Monsey NY. I began training with my coach Peter Burrows. The community around me has been very supportive.



2) Could you have tried to represent the US?
Well, I have both American and Israeli citizenship. I learned English when I was 8 years old. But I will always represent Israel. First I am Israeli, then I am Jewish, then I am American.

3)  Tamar you have been in the news a lot recently, what exactly happened?
I qualified for the Winter Olympics to represent Israel. We had three spots in the Winter Olympics. I was the first person to represent Israel in figure skating. But my spot was taken away by Israel. Israel has a rule that you must place within the top 12 in the European Championships. During the European Championships I had a viral infection. I shouldn't have competed, but I did anyway because it was my dream to represent my country. Unfortunately, I finished 21st. But in September 2009 I qualified for the Olympics at the Nebelhorn Trophy, Olympic Qualifying Competition. There I finished 7th.

4) Why won't Israel let you compete?
Israel has an Internal standard (not that of the Olympic games).  I must finished in the top 12-14 at the European Championships. Israel has said several times that they do not want to send "tourists" to the Olympic games. They want to send people who will bring back medals. Well, I was not intending on going as a tourist and while I might not have won a medal, I think it is important for the world to see Israel compete. That is how a sport grows, through exposure.

5) What are you trying to do now?
My battle is over. Israel decided to recede the spot I got to Australia. So, now I am trying to advocate for future Israeli athletes who want to participate in the Olympic games. I started a facebook group that has over 1,700 members to raise awareness. Also, my story has been picked up by many Jewish outlets.

6) Did the facebook group  work?
It definitely gets the word out there. Israel has never won a medal in the winter games. They won a gold and a few bronze medals in the summer games. Israel makes it all about medals. But I do not think it should just be about medals. This was my dream and many other will have the same dream.  I don't want this to happen to someone else. There are not so many athletes, so we need more to help develop younger athletes. It will inspire younger children.

7) So now that 2010 is unfortunately not going to be a reality, do you plan on trying again in 2014? This is still very hard for me. I am still very upset now. I need some time to think about it. But I am definitely not ruling it out.

8) We are a Jewish sports blog, so I was wondering what your Jewish life is like?
Well I was of course Bat Mitzvahed. Being Jewish is important part to who I am. For the 2006 Olympics there was a qualifier on Yom Kippur. I did not participate. It wasn't even a thought. Yom Kippur is a holy day. 

9) So what is next for Tamar Katz?
I am going to compete at the World Championship in March in Italy. There will be the same competitors as the Olympics but actually more competition. Hopefully, I will do well there and prove something to everyone.

10) Is there anything else you would like to say to the TGR world?  
If you could just add that I've had incredibly support from Boris Chait and the Israeli Ice Skating Federation who fought until the last minute so that i won't have to give up my spot. Also, check out my facebook group (click here).

We here want to thank Tamar for her time. Also, please check out her website  www.tamarkatz.com. We here at TGR are behind her all the way. It would have been nice to have seen Tamar represent Israel on the ice. Good luck and we will be pulling for you in 2014?




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

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Interview: Jewish Blogging the Bullies with David Pustilnik


Our second interview of the month comes from Dave Pustilnik. Dave is a really good guy and his girlfriend Julie is one of the coolest Phisters I have ever met. Anyway, recently Dave started writing a blog about his beloved Bulls. He covers everything thing from Derrick Rose's All-Star appearance to Tyrus Thomas trade rumors to post-game analysis. Bulls fans everywhere check out www.DaBullsEye.com, you will be hooked. Dave was nice enough to answer some questions for TGR about his site and Chicago Bulls history. Enjoy!

Interview:
1) Tells us a little bit about yourself and your athletic career?

First and foremost, I'm a huge sports fan...and also a lawyer in my spare time.  I was born and raised in and around Chicago, and this being the greatest sports city in the world, I had no choice but to enthrall myself in all things sports.  I was born on the Northside, so naturally, I'm a Cubs fan.  I know TGR is a diehard Southsider...so I hope he can forgive me for my transgression. 

Unfortunately, my athletic career was brief --- I was limited to 5 years of Buffalo Grove Park District youth basketball.  I retired at a young age, but I like to think that I left my mark.  I went to an absolutely massive high school, and being 5'9", trying out for the basketball team did not seem too realistic.  Although I do still play pretty often recreational ball and actually play a pretty mean point guard.  Other than that, I live vicariously through the replica of myself I created in NBA 2k10.

2) What is your blog all about?
My blog is about one thing and one thing only: the organization known as the Chicago Bulls.  I provide both news and analysis prior to and after just about every game and give my take on the outcome.  I also provide analysis of all transactions the Bulls partake in as well as any rumors that surface.  If you read the blog, you'll be able to tell that I'm pretty opinionated.  You know the saying "Don't judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes"?  Well I do the opposite of what that saying says to do.  And I'm pretty sure I'm right 99.9% of the time.


3) What made you want to get involved in blogging about the Bulls?

Well, my passion for the Bulls started at an early age.  Passed down from my father at around roughly the time when the Detroit Bad Boys were handing over the crown to Jordan's Bulls, I was hooked starting in kindergarten.  Yadda yadda yadda 6 rings later and I rarely missed a game throughout all of the 90's.  Then disaster struck.  Jordan retired.  The greatest basketball team ever is dismantled.  The Bulls fell into obscurity for a about half a decade.  Bulls fans jumped ship.  I stuck around, but most of my friends who I'd been able to talk Bulls basketball with in the past no longer followed closely.  Even when the Bulls were making the playoffs consistently in the second half of the 00's with the emergence of the baby Bulls, Chicagoans seemed to lack interest.  My friends seemed to lack interest.

But I figured there had to be fans out there who shared my passion for this team, even without Jordan.  I started looking for blogs, and I found some good ones as well as some average ones.  I also found lots of diehard fans that I didn't know existed.  But I also found that these blogs were not seeing all the angles and some of their analysis were somewhat wacky and just didn't make sense to me.  I had a lot to say, but I couldn't force my friends to become interested in the Bulls.  So who could I share my opinions with?  The other diehards in the blogosphere, that's who.  So I started a blog of my own.  Plus, I figured that maybe if I started my own blog, my friends would become more interested in the subject.  I've found this to be true so far.

Besides that, there was an incident where there was some sort of 35 point comeback that we shall not speak of and I physically got sick afterward.  Whether the illness was actually a direct result of the heartbreak stemming from the loss or not isn't certain.  But I figured that it might be a good idea to have some sort of outlet where I can bang away at my keyboard after tough losses like that. 

4) What are your goals for this blog?

My main goal for this blog is just to be able to share my thoughts on the goings on of the Bulls with as many Bulls fans as possible.  The reason that's appealing to me is because I feel as if I have a pretty good grasp on why the Bulls win, why they lose, what they should have done to win, what trade they should or shouldn't make, who they should draft, etc.  What interests me is whether other Bulls fans agree with me or not.  What better way to find out than to post my thoughts publicly on the internet where tons of Bulls fans can read them and let me know?


5) Who is your favorite Bull of all-time (note MJ does not count)?

I hate to be generic, but really there's only one choice.  And anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves.  Scottie Pippen baby.  The greatest defensive player of all time.  He redefined the position of small forward.  He holds the record for the most career assists by a forward and most career steals by a forward.  One of three players to record 200 steals and 100 blocks in one season.  8 time All-NBA Defensive first team honors and 10 time All-NBA Defensive team honors.  One of the 50 greatest players of all time.  Original Dream Team member.  He was able to play every position except for center and was arguably one of the most versatile players in NBA history.  He continues to be the most underrated player in NBA history, largely in part if not completely as a result of MJ's shadow.


6) If you had to pick one of these players to hit a last second 3 pointer who would it be, John Paxon, Craig Hodges, B.J. Armstong, or Steve Kerr?

Great question.  Definitely not B.J.  Hodges was automatic in the three-point contest, but never hit a clutch shot in his life.  Steve Kerr had a big 2-pointer in game 6 in the 1997 NBA finals to clinch the title for the Bulls and he also won his second of back-to-back three-point contests that year.  But I don't remember him draining too many clutch threes.  Pax, on the other hand, had blood in his veins and was a clutch three-point shooter.  He drained "the shot" in Game 6 of the '93 Finals giving the Bulls the lead with 3.9 seconds left, IN PHOENIX, for their first 3-peat.  My pick?  Paxson.

Honorable mention:  Bobby Hansen, the catalyst and three-point specialist who started the Bulls rally in the 1992 NBA Finals in Game 6 against the Blazers where they were down by 15 going in to the 4th quarter.  Hansen come in for Jordan, and drains a three immediately, then steals the ball on the next possession.  Bulls come back and win their second title that day.  Without him, the Bulls don't win that game, so he gets a shoutout. 
 
7) How good would Pippen have been without MJ?

Pippen would have been great without Jordan.  Pippen WAS great without Jordan.  We have a very small sample size, but just look at the '94 season.  He had a line of 22.0 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game, 5.6 assists, 2.9 steals.  Those are some serious numbers.  He led the entire league in steals that year.  He went on to win All-Star Game MVP honors.  He was selected to the All-NBA First Team.  The Bulls, without Jordan, finished with 55 wins...ONLY 2 LESS THAN WITH JORDAN THE YEAR BEFORE.  The Bulls lost Jordan and mostly thanks to Pippen (and the addition of rookie Toni Kukoc), the Bulls only won 2 less games without the greatest player in the world.  Unreal.  He was a man on a mission...a mission to prove to the world that Jordan was a luxury he didn't really need.  He was possessed. 

If it wasn't for the infamous Hue Hollins phantom foul called on Pippen, allowing the Knicks' Hubert Davis to shoot the game-winning free throws in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, I truly believe the Bulls would have won the title again that year.  Imagine what Pippen's legacy would have been if he won the title without Jordan?  This question that you just asked me almost surely would never be asked by anyone if that ended up happening.  Bottom line...Pippen was a true first-option scorer, team leader, and champion.  I strongly believe he could have led the Bulls to at least one title without MJ. 

8) Were the Bulls better with Grant or Rodman?

Another great question.  This one can be debated for hours and could honestly go either way.  Grant was the far more polished offensive player.  Rodman was the more tenacious rebounder, although Grant was a gifted rebounder in his own right.  But nobody was a better rebounder than Rodman.  He won 7 straight rebounding titles from '92-98.  How he did it at 6'7" or 6'8", who knows.  Obviously it was a gift.  Rodman also is one of the best defenders at his position of all time.  He joined Michael and Scottie on the All-NBA Defensive First Team in 1996, the first time three players from one team were all selected.  Grant was no defensive slouch either, being selected to four All-NBA Defensive Second Teams.  But I have to say the Bulls were better with Rodman.  Rodman was better defensively, he was a better rebounder, and the Bulls didn't really need any offense from him.  He helped the Bulls win 72 games, something Horace never ever could do, so clearly there was something about Rodman joining that squad.  So I have to go with Rodman.

 
9) Your prediction for the 2010 Bulls?

My final prediction is that the Bulls will sneak into the playoffs with the 8-seed right ahead of the Knicks.  Although the current 7-game road trip that they're on surely will not help their case.  I think they'll get bounced in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 6 games and hopefully sign some major free agents this offseason.  I don't think Wade or LeBron are coming to Chicago, but I'm keeping a close eye on Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh, and Amar'e Stoudemire.  If we can sign one of those three, or maybe two (imagine that), nothing but good things for this franchise to come.  But I'm not getting my hopes too high.  That's my inner Chicago sports fan speaking.

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