Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Amare Stoudemire School of Jewish Studies?

Appearantly Amare is interested in starting a Hebrew day school? Read more HERE.

Top Jewish NBA Stories of 2012 (and a little of 2011)

Oh, how I missed you. I missed your dunks and dishes. I missed your poise and effort. I missed your improving skills and fearless leadership. I missed you Derrick Rose.

Anyone else as excited for the NBA? Well, its time to count down the Top 10 Jewish NBA Stories of 2012 (and a little of 2011).

10) Maccabi's Influence in the NBA
Now that Maccabi Tel Aviv is a powerhouse in Europe, will that mean more NBA players coming over from Israel. Regardless, if they are Jewish or not Israel has had an impact on the NBA and helped develop many players.

9) Lebron and Kobe at JCCs
I am not sure if this means anything for the Jewish people or for Jewish basketball, but maybe just maybe Lebron and Kobe bring more attention to the game. Maybe JCCs can becoming practice facilities for the NBA?

8) Will the People Follow Omri to Cleveland
With Omri Casspi being traded to Cleveland, will he see the same response and following from the Cleveland fans? Will Israeli flags be out at each game? Will he been seen eating at the Kosher Subway?

7) Arison and the Heat Need More
Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. Is there anyone else on that team. Arison will need to buy some more bodies to help the Big 3 help.

6) Amare Judaism
According to Jewish law Amare is not Jewish, but he has brought just as much attention to Judaism through basketball than maybe anyone else. What will his next step be? Will he open Jewish schools? Play with a kippah on? Not sure, but excited to see more.

5) Cuban to Assemble Repeat
The Mavs were great down the stretch and didn't even have Caron Butler. If Butler returns or if the Mavs make more deals, can they repeat? My vote is anyone but the Heat.

4) Frank Back on the Saddle
The Pistons have been down and out. Enter Lawrence Frank. Will that make a difference? Will they sign Tayshun Prince or start anew? Regardless, good luck to Frank its going to be an uphill battle.

3) Farmar's Success
Now that Farmar got to go over to Israel and show he can lead a team in all ways (scoring and passing) at a high level, will the Nets give him a chance? Can he get in with Deron Williams in the way? Farmar certainly has something to prove and some new found confidence to help him out.

2) Casspi's New Challenge
Casspi had a solid Rookie season, but faded last year. Some believe he was in Paul Westpaul's doghouse. Will a new scenery mean more minutes and opportunities. With the Cavs hoping to run with Kyrie Irving, this should benefit Casspi.
1) Stern Post Lockout
I think the most interesting story is what David Stern's role and image will be post lockout. How will he handle the new situation? What trouble will brew from a shorten season? Will the deal hold up?

Mark your calendars for December 25th, not because of Hanukkah or Christmas, because finally the NBA can restart. Who else is excited for a DRose crossover?

"I wanna go higher." - Stacey King

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

Baseball and Wrestling Team Up

Recently Craig Breslow's Strike 3 Foundation hosted an event and some WWE stars made an appearance. Click HERE to see more.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kobe at JCC posted this footage of Kobe Bryant playing at the JCC.

Click HERE for more.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Farmar and Casspi Return to the States

Now that the NBA lockout is over (so excited to watch DRose), it looks like Maccabi Tel Aviv will be without Jordan Farmar and Omri Casspi.

Casspi will return to the Cleveland Cavs, but will be recovering from a knee injury. To read more click HERE.

Jordan Farmar, who had been leading red hot TA, will return to the states. In his last game he dished out 13 assists and added 11 points. To read more click HERE.

Certainly Maccabi will miss them both and looked to be a powerhouse in Europe, but NBA fans should be ready. Also, we might finally get to see Jon Scheyer receive some minutes.

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tamir Goodman's Sport Tzitzit

Breaking News: Braun NL MVP

Mazel Tov to Ryan Braun on becoming the NL MVP. First Jewish blooded MVP (hitter) since Hank Greenberg. Well deserved. For more read HERE.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Where Are They Now: WWE's Albert

Albert or A-Train as WWE fans remember him, probably neglect that his real name is Matt Bloom. Albert arrived on the WWE scene with piercings to protect Droz and acted as his personal tattoo artist. Droz later suffered an injury and Albert was recruited by Trish Status to team with Test and form T & A. After splitting with Test, he formed a stable with Justin Credible and X-Pac called X-Factor. That eventually dissolved and Albert competed as a singles wrestler, where he became an Intercontinental Champion. But the highlight of his career was that he wrestled the Undertaker and Big Show at Wrestlemania XIX.

Unlike most American wrestlers Albert headed to Japan and more importantly has stayed there ever since. In 2005 he worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling. Then he made his way to New Japan Pro Wrestling where he has become a major player. While at New Japan he began wrestling under the name Giant Bernard. In 2006 he won the New Japan Cup. He is also a two time IWGP Tag Team Champion, once with Tyson Tomko and currently with Karl Anderson.

While it is in Japanese, click HERE for his New Japan profile.

Before he was Albert or Giant Bernard, he was Matt Bloom, as Jewish kid who attended Peabody High School and later went on to attend the University of Pittsburgh. After playing briefly in the NFL he went on to become a teacher. Eventually he fell in love with wrestling.

Us Jewish wrestling fans would love to see Albert back in the WWE or TNA, but for now he is in Japan for Hanukkah.

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

Forget Salita and Foreman: Meet Carolina Raquel Duer

Carolina Raquel Duer has been making headlines. The Jewish Argentinian female boxer is World Boxing Organization’s super flyweight champion. 

Click HERE to get to know this female knockout.

Bears Hurting

This post is late, and yes Jay Cutler's injury is much tougher, but the Bears have also placed Gabe Carimi on IR. Frustrating start for the #1 draft pick. For more read HERE.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Farmar and Scheyer: 2 Different Stories

He's back! TGR 2010 Summer Intern Yuval Klein writes about Jordan Farmar and Jon Scheyer's current situations in Tel Aviv:

            On Thanksgiving Day, Jordan Farmar will mark his third month in Tel Aviv playing for the European powerhouse, Maccabi Tel Aviv. With the point-guard came another Jewish-American basketball player to Maccabi, Jon Scheyer. While Farmar looks like the big player everyone in Israel thought he would be, Scheyer struggles to make his mark in the Nokia Arena.
            Last Thursday Maccabi played in Turkey against Anadolu Efes who presents Sasha Vujacic from the Lakers. Farmar, a former teammate of Vujacic, scored 18 points, and delivered six assists in Maccabi’s win. The point guard continued his good performance last week against Real Madrid, which gave him the player of the week award.
            Although Farmar’s last two performances were great, the beginning was not as smooth as people thought it would be. Because he plays in the NBA, the expectations were extremely high. In his first games in Tel Aviv, the point guard struggled taking over as leader, and the go-to-guy Maccabi wanted him to be. He finished with six points in his first two games. In the past, Farmar has successfully faced those expectations in college where he played for UCLA. But in his recent years in the NBA, he had to come from the bench to deliver some good defensive efforts and give Derek Fisher (Lakers) or Deron Williams (Nets) some needed rest. Some including ESPN NBA Analyst Marc Stein argued that without Farmar’s Jewish identity, Maccabi would not even look at the option of bringing him to Nokia Arena.
            Farmar feels very good in Tel Aviv. He likes the city and his teammates and this environment gave him a lot of confidence in the last month. “I’m not trying to be the star of the team” says Farmar to Walla! Sports, “I’m trying to play basketball and contribute to the team, be a professional and play hard. I love my situation in Maccabi, the guys are great and we are all pros. We all have the same goal and we are trying to achieve it together”.  His ability to penetrate and go to the basket allowed him to adjust quickly to the European game, where one-on-one plays are less popular. Today he is ranked fifth in the Euroleague rankings, and Maccabi fans are hoping this lockout will never end because they found their leader this year. As you might know, Farmar’s contract with Maccabi ends the minute the NBA lockout ends.
            The situation with Jon Scheyer is very hard to describe. Actually, it is very easy because Scheyer does not play or most of the time has not dressed up for the games. Coach David Blatt is very disappointed from the former Duke player and the team is considering loaning him to a different team so he can get more minutes which will allow him to get back to his old form. Scheyer has no interest in moving and is ready to stay in Tel Aviv and fight for his position. Last night Maccabi played in the Adriatic League, one of three leagues Maccabi is taking part in, and Scheyer did not played again.  But because Maccabi are playing in three different leagues, the team needs a deep roster. The more the season will progress, Scheyer will get his opportunity because of injuries and fatigue. All the shooting guard needs to do is keep working hard and wait patiently to get his chances.
            So far Maccabi are looking great and tonight Yahoo Sports reported that Kevin Durant considers an offer from Maccabi. They lost only one game this season in Milano and they have the chance for revenge it in two weeks in Tel Aviv. Let’s hope that at the end of the game, Farmar, Scheyer and the other five American players on the team will celebrate Thanksgiving after another yellow-and-blue win. 

- Yuval Klein

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Green, Ausmus, and Kapler on Board

ESPN posted this amazing article. No need to do anything but post it. Wow! Israel could actually be a contender in the WBC. Click HERE to read. Picture below is Shawn Green, Gabe Kapler, Brad Ausmus, and of course Mario Lopez.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Koufax LA's Finest

The LA Times wrote a story about the great LA sports figures of all time (Click HERE to read). Sandy Koufax is atop that list. That is pretty impressive considering he beat out Magic Johnson, John Wooden, and the NBA logo Jerry West. Personally, with LA's obsession with the Lakers and Shaq, Kareem, Van Exel, Glen Rice, Devon George, etc I was shocked to see Koufax in the top 10. He was even picked over Tommy Lasorda, the beloved manager.
Obviously, Koufax was amazing, probably the most dominant pitcher of all time (certainly in his prime at very least categorized as unhitable). But over Wayne Gretzky, over Kobe Bryant, over Jerry Buss.

Well hats off to LA for being bold. Also, I would say even making the claim that LA is really at its heart of hearts a Dodgers town. Only player I would have maybe added (maybe because he was a White Sox as well) was Bo Jackson, who could've been the greatest.

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

Interview with (Almost) Lingerie Football Player Julie Farby

A while back we interviewed a player from the newly formed Lingerie Football League, Eliese Zukelman. I thought that would be it for the LFL. But recently, I was flipping through my channels and saw a LFL game on MTV2 (don't worry I don't frequently watch that channel). Yes, the women are dressed in less than modest attire, but once the whistle is blown they hit hard and bruise just like the men. It dawned on me that I had heard rumors that a former campmate of mine was on the Chicago team. Turns out that wasn't entirely true. Julie Farby, the girl all the guys had crushes on at Camp Ramah, had tried out but unfortunately did not make it. Farby was always an athlete. She was one of the stars of the girls basketball and softball team and we were on sports staff together as counselors. Farby took her passion for sports to the field in her tryout and here is a her experience.

1) Tell TGR a little bit about yourself. Did you play sports growing up?
I always loved playing sports. You name it I played it. Basketball, softball, tennis, volleyball, pretty much my entire childhood consisted of me playing some organized sport or another. Sometimes that included me being the only girl on the team, which I didn't really mind, though I'm not sure how the boys felt about it. No one likes being shown up by a girl, but I think once the novelty wore off, they treated me like anyone else on the team.

2) What made you decide to try out for the Lingerie Football League?
I honestly didn't even know the league existed until like a month before the tryouts when I saw a video of one of last year's LFL game online. I was pretty much blown away by the idea that there was actually a league where girls got payed to play real tackle football live on MTV2. It was right up my ally. As a journalist, I was used to skimpy pay, the skimpy uniforms, on the other hand, would take some getting used to. But it looked like so much fun, I couldn't resist.

3) What were tryouts like?
Tryouts were really intense. Athletically, I hadn't done much since playing Lacrosse my freshman year in college, and some intramural softball and basketball leagues after that, so I wasn't sure what to expect. About 160 girls showed up to the tryouts, where we had to run the 40, do a variety of strength, skill and endurance tests, including pass, catch, and tackle drills, and by the end of the day, they had cut all but 35 or so of us. Those who made it past the first round were invited back to an increasingly intense week of mini camp, where they narrowed the field even more. The remaining 30 of us were invited to come back to an even more grueling training camp, which lasted two more weeks, until they had the 20 players they needed to fill their roster. With a bunch of returning veterans, roster space was unfortunately limited, and as a result, my LFL journey ended after training camp. But for someone who had never played football in their life, wasn't a marathon runner or a fitness instructor, I think I did pretty well. I definitely learned a lot too. But some skills you can't teach. Like either you are okay with tackling and getting tackled or you're not. I fall into the former. If I see you with the ball, rest assured I'm coming for you, and you're going down one way or another.

4) What was the most surprising thing about your experience?
The most surprising thing about the whole experience was definitely the level of competition. I thought it would maybe be more about looks than anything else, but that simply wasn't the case. These girls are real athletes, some of them have played football before, some haven't, but pretty much everyone was serious about making the team, and it showed. This was not a powder puff league that's for sure. These girls are elite athletes and work as hard as anyone I've seen. The skill level was very impressive. Watch a game and I guarantee you'll agree these girls are the real deal.

5) Do you think Chicago will embrace the team like it has other sports?
Chicago is a great sports town so I can't believe they wouldn't love the Bliss too. The team's been around for like two or three years and seems to be growing along with the league in general, which is obviously good to see. I mean what more could you want than watching a bunch of beautiful, bad ass, lingerie clad women play real, hard-nose, smash mouth football? At the very least, they sure look a hell of a lot better in spandex than some of the Bears. And have certainly been more competitive than the Cubs these past two years. Haha, just kidding. But I honestly think Chicago is one of the greatest sports cities in the nation. Just ask them, they'll tell you!

6) Whats next in the athletic career of Julie Farby?
Hopefully, the next step in my athletic career is actually making it on the active roster and onto the football field. The Bliss have had a rough start this year, currently sitting at 0-2 after two tough home losses, something they had never done before. I'd like to think some Julie Farby is just what they need! In the meantime, I've been working hard to get in shape, hone my football skills, and do whatever I can to ensure myself a spot on the squad. I can't do anything about the fact that at 5'4" 115 lbs, I am definitely undersized, even for a league that plays in glorified bikinis. But while I may not be big, I can certainly play big, and that is exactly what I intend to do.

7) Who is your favorite Chicago athlete of all-time?
Wow, that's a hard question because there's so many Chicago athletes I love. I guess I'd have to say Frank Thomas and Ozzie Guillen (as a player) were some of my old-school favorites, along with the obligatory Walter Payton/Michael Jordan answer because seriously how can you leave those two out? Other than that, I am a huge Brian Urlacher and Paul Konerko fan because they've just been quietly awesome for years now. And of course Chicago's own MVP D-Rose. How can you not love the guy? He is so exciting to watch and will hopefully be bringing some titles home, that is if they ever end the lockout and actually play a game, but that is another story altogether. I think Chicago sports in general have some bright days ahead of them, hopefully the Bliss included.

8) What do you do off the field?
When not taking snaps, I write a blog called Democralypse Now which I like to describe as an equal-opportunity satirist exposing stupidity in government and politics, one hilariously scathing post at a time. Like Stephen Colbert, only hotter.

Thank you to Farby for the interview. Best of luck at next year's tryouts. I am sure TGR fans will be rooting and watching for you.

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

Monday, November 7, 2011

4 Straight for Braun

Ryan Braun won is 4th straight Silver Slugger Award. For more read HERE. MVP next for Braun?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Farmar Euroleague Player of the Wekk

No NBA? Doesn't matter to Jordan Farmar and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Farmar lead Maccabi to a huge win over Real Madrid. Farmar dropped 27 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists and was named Euroleague MVP.

Doesn't look like Farmar needs to be behind anyone in the NBA as he shows he can carry a team at the highest level in Europe.

To follow Farmar and Maccabi Tel Aviv click HERE. At least basketball is being played somewhere.

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bad News Jews

Unfortunately, Julian Edelman has not been in the news much since he replaced Wes Welker in the playoffs two years ago. But he is back and its not for a good reason. Edelman was arrested after a Halloween party for groping a woman. He has a court day on Tuesday.

In other news, Heat owner Micky Arison was fined for $500,000 for comments he made on Twitter about the lockout. To read more click HERE.

Lets hope for better days.

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