Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Twins Gettin' Dogged

It's official. MSP Kosher and the Minnesota Twins will be making supervised kosher hot dogs available this season. To learn more about MSP Kosher click HERE.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Interview: Author and Baller Aaron Pribble "Pitching in the Promised Land"

He is a baseball player and author. And a Jew. Aaron Pribble took time out of his busy schedule to speak about his new book "Pitching in the Promised Land."


1) Tell TGR a little bit about yourself?

I was born in San Francisco and raised just across the Golden Gate Bridge, which makes me a Giants, Niners and Warriors fan. After receiving a scholarship to the University of Hawaii, I pursued my dream of playing professional baseball, which included two seasons of independent ball and one final summer in France. Thinking I was headed to law school, I decided while in Europe to become a teacher rather than a lawyer. Three years into my new profession I learned of a baseball league being formed in Israel. Since I’m Jewish and had played a little pro ball, this seemed like a natural fit. The rest is, as they say, history—and hopefully an entertaining story.

2) What is your book about?
“Pitching in the Promised Land” is, as the subtitle makes clear, a story of the first and only season in the Israel Baseball League (IBL). Or Bull Durham in Tel Aviv, if you like. Sandy Koufax is drafted in a symbolic gesture as the last player, there are six teams attempting to play six games a week on three nearly playable fields, the league runs out of money, players nearly strike, one nearly dies, and Dr. Ruth throws out a first pitch. My teammates include a DJ/third baseman from the Bronx, a wild-man catcher from Australia, an erudite Israeli pitcher, and several journeymen Dominicans who are much older than they claim to be. But baseball is also a lens through which to view a story about the politics and culture of the Middle East, about what we’re willing to sacrifice in pursuit of a childhood dream. There’s also a little romance with a tall, slender Yemenite Jew named Yael. She was pretty hot. In the end, after a successful if bizarre summer of baseball in the desert, I’m faced with the decision to give up a career in teaching in order to become the first player from the IBL to sign a professional contract back in the US. It is a heart-wrenching decision.

3) What was your experience in the minor leagues and how did it compare to pitching in Israel?
I played for parts of two summers in the independent Western and Central Leagues. In the Western League I pitched for the Sonoma Crushers under boyhood idol Kevin Mitchell and in the Central League I won a title with the Jackson Senators. Though independent ball is not affiliated with Major League organizations, the talent level is usually considered tantamount to Single A. Baseball in Israel was somewhat different. The rudimentary metric I uncovered was this: the more Jewish the player, the less talent he needed to posses. The IBL wasn’t quite sure whether it wanted to be the best Jewish league, or the best league in a Jewish country, so it settled on some amalgamation of the two. There were some incredible players, several of whom singed professional contracts after the season, and some other guys who might not have made a good college squad. “Bifurcated” is a word that comes to mind.

4) What was the highlight of your baseball career?
Tough one. I’d say signing my first professional contract, but that’s not really playing. Winning a championship with the Senators was the best, highest quality baseball in which I took part, but leading the IBL in ERA and finishing second in wins was also a huge thrill. Though to tell the truth, my two high school league championships are the most visceral, maybe the most sacred of them all, which is either pathetic or endearing. I still dream about fans chanting “MVP! MVP!” That’s heavy stuff for an impressionable, goofy eighteen-year-old kid.

5) Who is the best player you ever pitched to? What happened?
I hit several times against Mark Pryor in the California High School North-South All Star game, but that’s not the question. The best player I ever pitched to was Chase Utley of the Phillies, then playing for UCLA, which occurred during the first inning of my freshman season at Hawaii. He ripped a double to right off a loopy curve. Welcome to Division One baseball, meat. That guy can flat-out hit.

6) What are you doing these days?
I signed a contract with the Texas Rangers after my summer in Israel, and I’ve been with the Double A Frisco Roughriders for the past three seasons. Last year my ERA was—just kidding, that would be a story for Hollywood. Instead, after the IBL I returned to teaching high school history just north of San Francisco, choosing the more practical path over one last shot at my boyhood dream. (Not to give away the ending or anything.) I’m also coaching varsity basketball with my little brother Alex, former captain of the Cal basketball team, who teaches with me as well. It’s pretty awesome. The Schnitzel & Humus book tour will jump off once school ends in June.

7) Kinsler, Braun, or Youkilis?
Has to be Youkilis, that’s easy. Not only is he supersaturated with charisma, he was also a college teammate of my third baseman in Israel, the DJ/street artist Nate Fish. Both Youkilis and Fish are veritable characters, the former sans hair and the latter overflowing with shoulder-length curls. Fish once said Youkilis has never, ever, swung at a pitch outside the zone. He was not lying by much.


“Pitching in the Promised Land” is available online and at your local book store. Aaron also recommends we see “Holy Land Hardball.” A film about the summer of baseball in Israel.

Thank you to Aaron.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fuld on Board

Of course the mighty Cubs couldn't find a full time spot for him, but the Rays could (go figure) Sam Fuld has, according to Josh Borenstein and Tampabay.com has made the Rays opening day roster. Click HERE to read more.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Aces are Back

There are a few times during the year I get super excited for sports. Opening day for the White Sox. The NFL draft. And March Madness. Yes, in the NCAA but also at Yeshiva University. Every year, since I was in High School, YU has held what is called the Red Sarachek Tournament. It brings 20 Jewish high schools, mainly Orthodox, to YU for an amazing tournament. I participated for 3 years and have gone every year I have been in NYC. While this might be my last year attending for a while, this year I went to see family friend Ari Bressman and the Ida Crown Aces. The gym was packed, as Ida Crown brought a huge crowd. Click HERE to read about the game

For those who love basketball and March Madness I suggest attending. Its competitive and a great Jewish experience. This year I stayed to watch MTA guard, Yisrael Feld, who has gotten plenty of press. He dropped 23 points but looked solid throughout. Also, Valley Torah who has been a big story in the Jewish sports world plays tomorrow. College prospect Aaron Liberman will be featured in that game. To follow the tournament check out www.macslive.com and to read about the tournament checkout www.yu.edu/sarachek1.

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2 Coaches. 1 Job.

Tennessee might have lost 1 Jewish coach in Bruce Pearl but look who might be replacing him. Click HERE. Nothing would make us happier here at TGR.

VCU Jews?

Apparently, there are a few TGR fans pulling for VCU. And why not? This year has been crazy with low seeds winning. As long as Kansas doesn't win I am happy. So here is a little TGR love to Jackson Salasky and VCU (although I still think Duke repeats).

Am I Happy or Sad About Pearl's Departure?

By now people have probably read that Bruce Pearl has been fired. Obviously, this was breaking news worthy as Pearl has been the most successful Jewish coach on any level over the last 5 years. Here is my take (I waited to post this to let things settle):

I truly have mixed feelings. Is it bad for the Jews to have one less coach? Yes. Was he successful? Of course. But he broke the rules. So I am less than thrilled with that and he probably got what he deserved. Do other coaches do the same thing? Yes. Do some do worse? I am sure. But many years ago Pearl built his name as a whistle blower on Illinois and Deon Thomas. I am clearly on the fence with my feelings about Pearl. I love him as a Jewish coach. I have heard he is a great guy. I am not so happy with his ethics or him calling out my Illini.

All that being said, he is a fantastic on the court coach. He will sit for a year, maybe two. But then he will be back in the saddle at a somewhat smaller school that is trying to play with the big boys or a school with a winning tradition that has struggled for a few years. So this isn't the last we have seen of Pearl and hopefully he has learned his lesson. Play fair, it always pays off.

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

Monday, March 21, 2011

Interview: Dalia Rivkin - The Youngest Jewish Skater Around

Recently we caught up with one of the youngest and brightest Jewish athletes Dalia Rivkin. Dalia is quickly becoming a top skater. We thought rather than our traditional interview, we would hear from Dalia and her mother Cheryl. This might lend some insight to those of you with talented young children (my wife already knows that my future children will be basketball stars...so hope she is reading). We asked Dalia the tough questions about skating and of course Bieber Fever. Enjoy!
Dalia’s Answers:

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 11 years old and will turn 12 on August 6th. I have a 17 year old brother, 15 year old sister and a 7 year old brother. I have two dogs; one is a 180 lb. Newfoundland and the other is a 7 lb. Bichon Frise named Addie (which is short for adrenaline). A few years ago when I begged my parents for a Bichon Frise, they casually said that I could win one with a national skating championship. I am sure they thought they would not be making good on this for years since I haven’t been skating very long. I play the piano (and have not managed to escape practicing even with my skating). I LOVE listening to music (but not to Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus). I have been homeschooled since last June. I love to read, every moment I am not on the ice.

2) How did you get into skating?
It was all an accident. I was 7 years old and had been invited to go skating, and as soon as I went I just loved it. From there everything took off.

3) Are there any skaters you look up to?
There are some skaters that I like more than others, but I think that every skater has something to offer.

4) What are your goals in life both skating and outside the rink?
My goals for the rink are to win the 2018 Olympics. When I am older I would like to become a forensic scientist.

5) When you aren't on the ince or in school what do you do for fun?
In my free time I like to go on the computer and video chat with my friends. It’s pretty easy to keep up with everyone nowadays.

6) Have you seen "Never Say Never" and are you a bigger Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus fan?
I have never seen “Never Say Never”, and I do not particularly listen to Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus. I like Bruno Mars, Enrique Inglasias, Avril Levigne, Katy Perry, and anything with a beat for dancing or skating.

Answers from Mom:

1) What has it been like being a parent and watching your daughter perform at such a high level?
Watching Dalia compete at such a high level is extraordinarily exhilarating—but not until after it is extraordinarily stressful. I have always had a tough time watching our kids perform (I can’t breathe when they play piano, for example), but skating is even worse. At least a child playing the piano can only hurt their pride. The stakes are much higher for a skater. When we are not at the moment of competition, there is a lot of work for a parent. While we don’t have time to watch Dalia practice each day as some parents do, I am constantly working to arrange competition opportunities. This involves locating competitions, speaking with them to try to figure out whether and how Dalia might be able to participate without skating on the Shabbos, booking hotels within walking distance of the rink (or a camper to sleep in by the rink), tons of paperwork, driving, hauling equipment, packing kosher food for the road, getting costumes made, etc.

2) What is your role as she continues to skate?
Our role as parent is to facilitate—we spend just a ton of time on logistics as described above. We work on Dalia’s school work with her as she is homeschooled. I drive—a lot—and spend a lot of Jewish Sabbaths and holidays in hotels awaiting sundown so Dalia can skate. We work like crazy to finance her skating, and we are working now on publicity in the hopes that we will find some sponsorship help for Dalia. A lot of our time together is spent not only on schoolwork, but also on the psychology of competition. Dalia works at this as adults work at building a career. Although we fell into the world of skating completely by accident, we work hand in hand with Dalia and her coach, Julia Lautowa, as Dalia methodically plans her success.

3) How do you build make sure she has a Jewish identity with her little time she has outside of the rink and school?
I think Dalia’s Jewish identity is more vibrant now in some ways. I know that every time she steps on that ice, she is confident in who she is and what she represents. People constantly comment that Dalia skates with more conviction than anyone they have ever seen. I think that conviction comes from Dalia’s skating from a higher purpose. I can’t say that it has not been challenging. Sometimes Dalia cannot skate in a competition at all because of a timing conflict with a Jewish observance. Other times, she has skated a first round, only to not be able to skate the final round for which she has qualified. I think she has handled it at times better even than I have. We have certainly, along the road, spoken to lots and lots of people about our Judaism, and about how we observe. It is a most unexpected role of emissary.

From an educational perspective, we keep up with Dalia’s Limudei Kodesh studies with the help of a wonderful tutor—she was the favorite of both of our daughters at their yeshiva. Dalia has her for one-on-one lessons now, lucky girl! Dalia keeps up with her Jewish friends through the web, phone, texting, video conferencing—and Bat Mitzvah season.

4) What are your ambitions for her?
We are ambitious that Dalia live up to her fullest potential. She is a great skater—but that is mostly because she is a tireless worker and strong, stubborn, competitor. She should take these characteristics into all of her activities. We are waiting to hear where the 2018 Olympics will be. Mnich is one of the three choices, and it is choice full of meaning and memory for Jews.

5) What is next for Dalia?
Next up for Dalia—more work! She has moved up a level in skating from Juvenile to Intermediate. She is incorporating her first triple jumps into her program this year. She has her first upcoming show on April 3, 2011 at Rockefeller Center in New York, and then the competition season opens for her. She has new, tougher programs, and new dresses (nothing fits from last year), and she still has to practice piano—She’ll be playing piano (G-d willing) in Merkin Hall in June.

Thank you to both Dalia and Cheryl, for taking time out of their schedule. Good luck and hope you keep TGR updated on your progress.

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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2011 NCAA Jewish Bracket - Picks

Like last year, this year we are back trying to use some Jewish connection/logic/numbers and random hope and prayers to figure out the NCAA tournament. Yes, like last year, this is crazy and makes no real sense, but last year it won my bracket. So why not try it again. So here we go again. Good luck to everyone on their brackets.
 
EAST - ROUND 1
1) Ohio State vs. 16) UT-SA – Like last year all 1s win because 1 is for God.
8) George Mason vs. 9) Villanova – Nova's got Assistant coach Jason Donnelly. A Jew. 
5) West Virginia vs. 12) Clemson – Been to the synagogue in Wheeling West Virginia. Sweet Jewish library.
4) Kentucky vs. 13) Princeton – Calipari once spoke at a Kentucky Jewish fundraiser (found it on Google...I needed something).

6) Xavier vs. 11) Marquette – 15 undergraduate Jews on Xavier campus. I smell upset.
3) Syracuse vs. 14) Indiana St. – Reserve guard Brandon Reese gets Cuse through.
7) Washington vs. 10) Georgia – Booth have the same amount of undergrads on campus. Washington has more grads and a first round W.
2) North Carolina vs. 15) Long Island – Lots of Jews in Long Island but UNC has a new Hillel director who is a good friend of mine. That helps them through.
WEST - ROUND 1
1) Duke vs. 16) Hampton – Monotheism.
8) Michigan vs. 9) Tennessee – Tennessee’s Steven Pearl helps the Vols get ahead.
5) Arizona vs. 12) Memphis – Coach Pastner is headed to the 2nd round.
4) Texas vs. 13) Oakland – Hook’em Shofars.
6) Cincinnati vs. 11) Missouri – Home of the Reform Movement. Cincy Winsy.
3) Connecticut vs. 14) Bucknell - Bryan Cohen and Co. pull off the upset.
7) Temple vs. 10) Penn St. – Penn State was voted one of the nation’s top Hillels for public universities. That carries them for the upset.
2) San Diego St. vs. 15) No. Colorado – According to the Hillel website Northern Colorado has 0 Jews. Which means 0 chance in this bracket.
SOUTHWEST - ROUND 1
1) Kansas vs. 16) Boston U. – I think God might hate Bill Self, I certainly can’t stand him. But true to tradition #1s always rep God and move on.
8)  UNLV vs. 9) Illinois – Shalom Beit.
5) Vanderbilt vs. 12) Richmond – Vanderbilt has a growing Jewish studies program.
4) Louisville vs. 13) Morehead St. – Not sure where the Jewish connection is going to come from, but I know Jews from Louisville. So for Sasha, Rachel, Colter, Julian, and Ellie the Cards move on.
6) Georgetown vs. 11) VCU - Nate Lubick helps Georgetown move on.
 3) Purdue vs. 14) St. Peter's – Peter caused the Jews some trouble. Purdue wins.
7) Texas A&M vs. 10) Florida St. – Texas vs. Florida Jews. Florida’s got the experience.
2) Notre Dame vs. 15) Akron – Akron's coach Dambrot is Jewish but I just hate Lebron.
SOUTHEAST - ROUND 1
1) Pittsburgh vs. 16) NC-Asheville – Led services at Pitt 2 years ago.
8) Butler vs. 9) Old Dominion – If you go to the OD website they are having a recycling tournament. Tikkun Olam speaks to me.
5) Kansas St. vs.12) Utah St. – Kansas State only has a few Jews on campus, Utah State has no Hillel. So way, close, but Kansas State rolls.
4) Wisconsin vs. 13) Belmont – I have slept in a shul in Madison. Badgers move on.
6) St. John's vs. 11) Gonzaga – St. Johns. NYC. Jews.
3) BYU vs. 14) Wofford – More interfaith love. And Jimmer of course.
7) UCLA vs. 10) Michigan St. – Coach Scott Garson helps State fall early.
2) Florida vs. 15) UC Santa Barb. – Coach Larry Shyatt over player Jordan Weiner.
EAST - ROUND 2
1) Ohio State vs. 8) Villanova - Schottenstein center helps them pull through.
5) West Virginia vs. 13) Kentucky – My Jewish sister and brother in law help pray for the Mountainers.
11) Marquette vs.3) Syracuse – TGRer Rabbi Erez Sherman bleeds Orange.
7) Washington vs. 2) North Carolina – The new JCC in NC has something to celebrate.
WEST - ROUND 2
1) Duke vs. 9) Tennessee –Bruce Pearl's scandals holds them back.
12) Memphis  vs. 4) Texas - Pastner takes the Tigers to the Sweet 16.
6) Cincinnati vs. 14) Bucknell - Cincy has a Rab school, which is cool.
10) Penn St. vs. 2) San Diego St. - This victory is for soon to be Abba (the future Rabbi) Efrem Reis.
SOUTHWEST - ROUND 2
1) Kansas vs. 9) Illinois – I pray hard and Illinois pulls off the upset.
5) Vanderbilt vs. 4) Louisville – Vandy has a better Jewish studies program.

6) Georgetown vs.  3) Purdue - Lubick still the man.
10) Florida St. vs. 2) Notre Dame – Interfaith love. Notre Dame moves on.
SOUTHEAST- ROUND 2
1) Pittsburgh vs. 9) Old Dominion – Fellow Jewish sports blogger Ravid Tilles helps them through
5) Kansas St. vs.  4) Wisconsin – Wisconsin has the Jewish summer camps that the Kansas-ites go to.
6) St. John's vs. 3) BYU – JTS and St. Johns have one thing in common. NYC!
7) UCLA vs. 2) Florida – China Bistro. Best Kosher Restaurant out there. Go Florida.
EAST - SWEET SIXTEEN
1) Ohio State vs. 5) West Virginia - OSU is booming Jewish campus.
3) Syracuse vs. 2) North Carolina – Coach Bernie Fine is a Cuse mainstay.
WEST - SWEET SIXTEEN
1) Duke vs. 12) Memphis - Jon Scheyer's legacy lives on.
6) Cincinnati vs. 10) Penn St. - Sticking with the Reform Jews.
 SOUTHWEST - SWEET SIXTEEN
9) Illinois vs. 5) Georgetown - My prayers stop being answered. Georgetown wins.
3) Purdue - vs. 2) Notre Dame – Notre Dame keeps the religious-ness of this tourney going.
SOUTHEAST - SWEET SIXTEEN
1) Pittsburgh vs. 4) Wisconsin - Both places have a strong Hillel. Pittsburgh has Squirrel Hill. Winner.

6) St. John's vs. 2) Florida - NYC Jews over Florida Jews.

EAST - ELITE EIGHT
1) Ohio State vs. 3) Syracuse - Schottenstein Center

WEST - ELITE EIGHT
1) Duke vs. 6) Cincinnati - Scheyer's Support

SOUTHWEST - ELITE EIGHT
5) Georgetown vs. 2) Notre Dame - Interfaith love

SOUTHEAST - ELITE EIGHT
1) Pittsburgh vs. 6) St. John's - NYC

FINAL FOUR
Ohio State vs Duke
Notre Dame vs. St. Johns
FINALS
OSU vs. Notre Dame - This sets up a finals with a very Jewish campus vs. a very non-Jewish campus.
WINNER
Also, check out the TGR "celebrity" picks.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

End of the Year NCAA Awards

Congrats to the  five players below on being named to the TGR NCAA All American Team.

Jake Cohen - Cohen was the preseason player of the year, but in my opinion under preformed. He is only a Sophomore and still has tremendous upside. He finished with 12pts and 6rbs a game. Most likely he will be next year's preseason player of the year again. Talented. Big. Good guy. We wish him luck in the BCI Tournament.

Chris Wroblewski -  Wroblewski's team did not have nearly the season they had a year ago. But he was great. He definitely got consideration for player of the year. With a line of 14pts, 5assists, and 3 board it was a great year for him.

Bryan Cohen - Cohen's numbers aren't huge with only 7 points a game. But he helped Bucknell get to the big dance. Most importantly he was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year.

Co-Players of the Year 
 Zach Rosen - Rosen, for the second consecutive year, was named All Ivy league. He was Penn's best player averaging 14 points, 5 assists, and 3 boards. In what was an improve Ivy League with Harvard, Princeton, and some of Cornell left in place Rosen held his own all year.

Jared Mintz - Mintz had the best year out of all the Jewish ball players. He is in a poor conference but he dominated at times. He was named First Team All Patriot League averaging 16 points, 2 assists, and 5 boards. Great year for Mintz.

Congrats to all the players. Great years. I hope they continue the trend and go on to play in Israel.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Rest

Jake Cohen and Davidson are hosting a game in the BCI tournament.

Seth Greenberg and the Virginia Tech Hokies got a 1 seed in the NIT.

Celebrity Picks

Today during March Madness week TGR gives you some Jewish sports "celebrity" picks. We have a sports radio host, two Jewish sports bloggers, a Latke cup MVP, Director of a Jewish sports organization, and of course one of last year's NCAA tournament stars. Hope this helps inform your bracket. Tomorrow we will have the Jewish picks.

Ari Taff - Latke Cup MVP - Final 4: Ohio State in the East (Everyones favorite including Vegas making them a 7-2 winner for the tourney). In the West I have to go with my wildcats, I may be a bit bias because I atteneded UofA, but I know my wilcats are hungry after letting Isah Thomas and the Washington Huskies beat them in a nail biting over time game for the PAC 10 championship. In the Southwest I'm taking Rick Patino and his Louisville Cards. Not only cause we all love Rick Patino, but they had a solid win over Ucon on the road this year which shows a lot. Finally the Southeast Im going with Jimmer Ferdette "The best scorer in the world" according to Kevin Durrants Tweet after the win over SDSU Aztecs earlier this year. Ohio St.,Arizona, Louisville, BYU. In the end it will be a battle between Ohio State and Arizona with Ohio St. comming out on top in a 62-58 Victory. They are too big and too good. As far as upsets I like Justin Harper (This kid has to go to the NBA) for the 12 seed Richmond over 5 seed Vandy. Im sorry Pac 10, but I like 10 seed Mich St. Over what I feel is an overrated 7 UCLA.
David Lasday - Director of Bring it in Israel (www.bringitinisrael.com) - Final Four: Ohio St, Pitt, Kansas, and UConn. Final Ohio St. vs. Pitt. Winner: Pitt. On a side note, Bring It In - Israel was chosen as one of the causes for the 20th Annual Jewish Community March Madness tournament: http://bit.ly/JewishCommunityMarchMadness. 

Jasmine Marcus - Sports Radio Host (Catch Jumpshots with Jasmine, that would be great. It airs on www.israelsportsradio.com every Tuesday morning from 11am-1pm EST!) - Final four: Ohio State, Kansas, SDSU, Pitt (Me and Jon picked separately, it's just a coincidence we have the same final 4!). Final game; Ohio State vs. Kansas. Winner: Ohio State
Besides SDSU over Duke in the Elite 8, my other upsets aren't so major: Marquette over Xavier, Oakland over Texas at the beginning and St. John's in the elite 8.

Jon Jaques - Former Cornell BBall Star -
Final Four: Ohio State, San Diego State, Kansas, Pit. Final: Ohio State v Kansas, winner: Kansas
Upsets: Utah State over Kansas State, Richmond over Vanderbilt, USC/VCU over Georgetown, Missouri over Cinncinati

Ravid Tilles - Sports Blogger (howaboutthemsports.wordpress.com) - Final 4: Pitt, Duke, Syracuse, Kansas. Final: Duke vs. Pitt. Winner: (I have to) Pitt. Upsets: BYU could very easily get knocked out in the first round. St. John's in the elite 8. I can see Oakland over Texas (though I wouldn't pick it).

Yuval Klein - Former TGR write (follow Yuval on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/yuvklein) - Final Four: Ohio State - Best team in the country. They got everything, inside and outside game, very balanced and very hard to stop. Texas - The final four cannot have all number one seed there so Texas will enjoy this myth and Jordan Hamilton will be unstoppable. Also the final four will take place in Houston and in the last two years the "home" team reached the final four. Kansas - They have an easier way compare to the other number one seed. I love the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson who comes from the bench can be the X-Factor. Kansas St. - Here is the biggest upset. Why? Because on a regular day Jacob Pullen is as good as any guard in college basketball. Prepare yourself for the Pullen Show.
The final: Ohio St against Kansas and the buckeyes will win with a three pointer by Jon Diebler at the buzzer.

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

Monday, March 14, 2011

NCAA Participants

Well this year we, the Jews, have representation but no real stars or players on big time teams. This will make the Jewish bracket's chances much worse (plus we probably won't have cinderella Cornell to help us). But here who is in.

Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner - Pastner got a tough opening round matchup agains Arizona. They will win in the Jewish bracket, but doubtful in my real one.

Bucknells Senior Guard Bryan Cohen - Cohen is the Patriot League's top defensive player. And he will need to be to stop Kemba Walker and red hot UConn.

Syracuse Coach Bernie Fine and Reserve Guard Brandon Reese - Reese is essentially a non-factor. But Fine, an Orange mainstay, should help Cuse make a run.

Tennesse Coach Bruce Pearl and Reserve Forward Steven Pearl - Steven doesn't play too much and Bruce has had of the court troubles. Makes for a wreck unless Scotty Hopson becomes the star he has the potential to be.

Michigan Walk On Josh Bartelstein - Bartelstein will be a non-factor and probably won't even get playing time. But Michigan has a shot to win a game against Tennesse. Both teams run into Duke in round 2.

UC Santa Barbara Jordan Weiner - Weiner has skill but not real numbers. If there was a 15 over a 2 seed that I was going to pick it would be UCSB over Florida. Watch out.

USC Michael Atwater - This freshman, again, is a non-factor. We do expect big things out of him in the near future. USC is also a play in game. They play VCU to get a crack at Georgetown.


Georgetown Nate Lubick - Freshman has come on strong and was probably the most impressive Jewish freshman. Lubick Played in 31 games starting 12, averaging 19.4 minutes, 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds

Akron Coach Keith Dambrot - The coach had a great year but is a #15 seed. It has happened so you never know.

There are also a bunch of assistant coaches including Larry Shyatt (Florida), Scott Garson (UCLA),  Jason Donnelly (Villanova), Ross Condon and Adam Fisher (Boston University).

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

Sunday, March 13, 2011

College Basketball Week Starts RIGHT NOW

Congrats to University of Toledo women’s basketball player Naama Shafir who was named to the Mid-American Conference 1st team. Check ou the article HERE.

Congrats to Jared Mintz for being named first team all Patriot League. Click HERE to read more. Also, Bucknell's Bryan Cohen was named the Patriot League's Defensive Player of the Year.

Congrats to Zach Rosen was named to the Ivy League's First Team. This is the Penn's guard's second selection. Read more HERE. Chris Wroblewski of Cornell was named to the second team (read HERE).

If more awards come in we will try to let you know.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine






Friday, March 11, 2011

HUGE Breaking News: Colt Cabana is the New NWA World Champion

Congratulations to the New NWA World Champion, Colt Cabana. This is Colt's first major national title. He is the first ever openly Jewish NWA Champion. The title itself has been held by some of the greatest champions ever including Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and Harley Race. The title itself was linked with TNA for a while as well.
Colt joins the ranks of some other great Jewish champions including Goldberg and Macho Man Randy Savage. Colt beat Adam Pearce for the title and we all know he will be a fighting champion. Colt has spent the last year in a heated rivalry alongside El Generico versus Kevin Steen and Steve Corino. Before that we was Scotty Goldman in the WWE after a stint in the WWE training grounds a Florida Championship Wrestling. He has also wrestled as Matt Classic and performs stand-up comedy with the legendary Mick Foley.

Besides TGR loving Colt and being a huge fan, he is also from Deerfield IL (my hometown).

Congrats to Colt and we will be following your title defenses.

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

Monday, March 7, 2011

Valley Torah boys' basketball makes history, wins Div. VI-AA championship

This is great news!!! Check out the article below by Jacob H. Pollon of the DailyNews.com. So great I decided to post it instead of twitting it. If you like High School BBall this is a great story.
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SANTA ANA - The Valley Torah boys' basketball team's season couldn't have been scripted any better than if it were written in Hollywood.

The top-seeded Wolfpack got off to a horrible start in the first quarter and trailed by nine points with 7:30 remaining, but reeled off 18 of the final 20 points to defeat No. 2 Bishop Diego 58-51 in the Southern Section Div. VI-AA championship game at Mater Dei late Saturday night.

The Valley Village-based religious school becomes the first ever Orthodox Jewish program to win a Southern Section championship, and it came in movie-like fashion.

"I don't even know what to say right now," forward Aaron Liberman said. "I am so happy. I don't even know what is going on. I am just trying to soak it all in."

Liberman, as he did in a semifinal victory against Rio Hondo Prep, turned into a beast in the fourth quarter, using his 6-foot-8 frame to take over. His three-point play started the backbreaking run and he finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks.

"Aaron is our backbone and he really came through again when we needed him the most," Valley Torah coach Robert Icart said.
The Wolfpack (23-4) helped their cause by going 10 of 15 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

After Liberman's three-point play cut Bishop Diego's lead to six, Arynton Hardy made two baskets and played great perimeter defense.

Liberman had another three-point play with 3:11 left to tie the score at

46-46, Nataniel Liberman made a putback, Nathaniel Cohen had a layup and the Wolfpack continually got stops on defense and sank free throws.

"We just played such a terrible first quarter and we wanted to comeback and never quit or give up," Aaron Liberman said. "If they got a 10-point lead, we felt like we could get it back and get 10 more points so we could go ahead by 10."

Valley Torah definitely felt the jitters of a championship-game atmosphere, trailing 17-5 in the first quarter.

Turnovers doomed the Wolfpack early, but Yosef Grundman sparked an 8-0 run and seemed to settle down his teammates in the second quarter. Grundman had 12 points by halftime and Valley Torah trailed by only four.

"He was the one guy who was just going out there playing basketball," Icart said. "All the other guys were over-analyzing everything and making mistakes. He kept us in it, for sure."

Grundman finished with 17 points and Nathaniel Liberman had 15. Bishop Diego was led by Noah Tack's 18 points.

"I think we gave hope and dreams to all the other Jewish schools that it can be done," Aaron Liberman said.

It will likely be hard to get ready for the Div. V state playoffs which start Tuesday after the way the Valley Torah contingent celebrated, but the Wolfpack must regroup and focus for what could be another two weeks of games.

"This is awesome right now and we will be ready to play Tuesday," Icart said.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Casspi To Anaheim? But They Don't Even Have A Team.

A close source of mine at JoshTaff.com has reported that Omri Casspi might be on his way out of Sacramento. Check out the article here at JoshTaff.com.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Quiet Please

Carimi Mock Drafted

As the NFL draft draws near (probably the best day of the year) we check in where the experts believe the Wisconsin Badgers Offensive Lineman will be drafted. CBSSports.com has up three mock drafts. Two experts have Carimi going #21 to the Kansas City Chiefs and the other has him slipping to #23 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Below are the mock drafts (I do not believe anyone of them are Jewish). Where do you think Carimi will end up? How about #29 to Da Bears?

Rob Rang

Chad Reuter

Pete Prisco