Monday, January 30, 2012

The Jewish Royal Rumble

Long time TGR fan Henry Bernstein tweeted The Great Rabbino wanting to know about Jews in the Rumble. Last night Sheamus won the 25th Rumble, making the Jewish wrestlers 0 for 25 trying to win the rumble. But...that doesn't not mean we have come close. Below are some of the Jewish Royal Rumble highlights. All wrestlers are believed to be Jewish according to (Note: Marc Mero and DDP have been removed from the list).

1989 - The first Jew to compete in the the Rumble was Randy Macho Man Savage enter at #15 in the second ever Rumble. He was later to be tossed over the top by Hulk Hogan. Along the way he Savage eliminated Tito Santana, Greg The Hammer Valentine, and Shawn Michaels.

1990 - Savage entered as #5.

1991 - Savaged was supposed to appear in his third Rumble but he never made it to the ring. I guess that means he never went over the top. But never fear Brian Knobbs, one half of the nasty boys, showed up at number 28 and was eliminated by best real life buddy Hulk Hogan. Thus far Hogan has dominated the Jews in the rumble.

1992 - The other half of the Nasty Boys, Jerry Sags enters at #4 and Savage at #21. Savage lasted over 22 minutes while Sags was only in the ring for a mere 1 minute ans 6 seconds.

1993 - Knobbs and Sags both appeared, as did Savage. Sags lasted almost 22 minutes, nearly tying Savages' Jewish record. Savage, who enter #30 was the runner up losing to Yokozuna.

1995 - Diesel (Kevin Nash) made his first appearance lasting 17 minutes and eliminating 6 competitors before being thrown over the top by 5 men (Bigelow, Mabel, Plugg, Michaels & Crush). Savage also appeared entering and leaving as #11.

1996 -  Barry Horowitz enter at #25 and lasted 10 minutes. Isaac Yankem (Kane) entered at #27. Diesel was the runner up being eliminated by Shawn Michaels. All three Jewish competitors were in the ring at the same time.

1997 - Diesel entered at #23.

1998 - Steve Blackman enter at #10 in his first Rumble appearance but was the 4th man eliminated.

1999 - Blackman enter #7 and again was the 4th person to exit. Kane enter as #18 and eliminated himself 53 seconds later.

2000 - At Madison Square Garden, Blackman lasted until number 6 after entering at #7. Prince Albert entered at #22 and was eliminated by fellow Jew, Kane who entered at #28. Kane eliminated 3 competitors before being thrown over the top by X-Pac.

2001 - Another Jewish runner-up Kane was tossed over by Stone Cold Steve Austin but not before eliminated a record 10 wrestlers (7 in a row). Albert entered at #17, Blackman at #10, and Raven in his first Rumble at #7 were all apart of Kane's destruction.

2002 - Albert entered at #14. Kane entered at #28 and was thrown over by Kurt Angle in his first Rumble appearance. Angle become the 4th Jewish Rumble runner-up losing to Triple H.

2003 - Kane and A-Train both competed. Kane eliminated A-Train. This is also the third different name Albert competed under (Prince Albert, Albert, and A-Train).

2004 - Kane, Angle, and A-Train entered and lost. Angle fairing the best. #30 was Goldberg in his first Rumble appearance and he was eliminated by Angle.

2005 - Kane and Angle both competed.

2006 - Kane enter as #9 and was thrown over the top by Triple H after only 3 minutes and 33 seconds.

2007 - Kane appeared in his record setting 9th consecutive appearance and 11th overall breaking his and Rikishi's record.

2008 - Kane finished 4th.

2009 - Kane was thrown over by all 3 members of Legacy (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr.).

2010 - Kane was eliminated by Triple H early on.

2011 - The return of Diesel and Kane entered at #30, finishing 26 and 34 respectively in the 40 man Royal Rumble.

2012 - No Jews competed. First time since the inaugural Royal Rumble.

Hopefully, we get over the runner up syndrome. Maybe Kane can squeak one out one of these days.

Some notable Jews who were active WWE wrestlers and never competed in the Royal Rumble were Dean Malenko, Scotty Goldman, Billy Kidman, The Genius, and Matt Striker.

So if we put all the Jewish wrestlers in the ring (Savage, Knobbs, Sags, Diesel, Horowitz, Kane, Blackman, Albert, Raven, Angle, and Goldberg, plus Malenko, Goldman, Kidman, The Genius, and Striker) who wins? I think its safe to say it comes down to Savage, Diesel, and Kane with Kane finally getting his shot at Wrestlemania.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Interview: Former 'Cuse Player Ross Diliegro

A while back we interviewed, then, New Hampshire center Dane Diliegro. Dane was an excellent player, but apparently he learned it all from his big bro. While Dane was in High School, Ross was at Syracuse with Eric Devendorf leading the way. More recently Ross participated in the Maccabi games and he told us all about his experience.

1) Tell TGR a little bit about yourself?
I’m originally from Lexington, MA, went to school at Syracuse, and now live in NYC. 

2) You played at Syracuse. What was that experience like? How was it playing for Jim Boeheim?

“Played” is a very generous term for my experience at SU. Yes, I was on the team, but that was mainly for comic relief and to boost the average GPA. 

Just kidding. Kind of. It was incredible – to be able to play for a hall of fame coach and be part of an elite program is something I certainly didn’t take for granted. People in Central New York bleed orange, and the support the show to the team is unparalleled anywhere. I’m proud to have been a part of the program for four years as a player and one as a student assistant coach (while in grad school), and I wouldn’t trade my experience there for anything. 

3) Can the Orangemen win it all this season?

They can. And they will. 

4) Your brother played at New Hampshire. One on one who wins?

I think the last time we played was around 5 years ago, and if I remember correctly, I won. If we played now things would probably go differently. He’s a lot better at basketball than I ever was. Not to mention, he’s an absolute beast. 

5) What do you do these days? Do you still play basketball?

These days I work as an energy consultant in NYC, helping companies and buildings become energy efficient, sustainable, and green. Besides playing for team USA in the Pan-American Maccabi games a few weeks ago, the extent of my basketball playing is limited to rec leagues and pickup games in the city. 

6) What was your experience like playing in the Maccabi games? Was it hard to shake off the rust?

It was amazing. We started preparing for the games fairly early, with our initial mini-camp in July, and subsequent camps in September, November, and right before we left for the games in December. We had an amazing coaching staff and they weren’t taking things lightly. In addition to the mini-camps, we had to send weekly reports tracking our workouts and the progress each of us had made, which ended up being a great motivational tool to get in the gym. By the time we got to Brazil, we had a tight-knit group with chemistry on and off the court. While we spent a lot of time at the hotel and the Hebraica where we played our games (essentially a college campus-sized JCC), we did get a chance to take a tour of São Paulo and visited some great places throughout the city, like Ibirapuera Park and the Mercadão, or municipal market. The team consisted of 1 current and 11 former college players from all over the country, a great group with a few TGR vets on the squad – Sean Wallis, David Liss, Adam Carp, David Fine, and Jon Greenberg. 

Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and Israel also entered teams into the Open Men’s division that we played in. Our team played well and went 4-0 in group play (including a 3-point buzzer beater for the win against Brazil that was featured on Sportscenter’s top 10 plays click HERE to advance, and beat Israel in the semifinals then Canada in the finals. Winning the gold medal was the icing on the cake to an experience I’ll never forget. 

7) Any future basketball plans?

I have an NY Urban league game next Tuesday. At this point, that’s about it. 

8) Who is your Final Four this year?

Syracuse, Kansas, Michigan State, Nevada (for Adam Carp

Thank you to Ross for his time. Interested in playing on my Urban team next season?

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Under The Radar

I am not sure how this got by me. It has all the things I am passionate about. Jewish education (Solomon Schechter no less) and a major college basketball team.

Meet Jacob Susskind, alumnus of Solomon Schechter/Golda Och, freshman for the Maryland Terps. Click HERE to read more. Thank you to Richard Lerner for sending this in.

Leading Jewish Scorers in the NCAA

Below is a looking into how the Jewish college players are scoring up until this point. We are a little over a month away from March Madness. Hopefully, all of these players and teams turn it up a notch.

Zach Rosen (Penn) - 18.3
Jake Cohen (Davidson) - 14.9
Tucker Halpern (Brown) - 12.6
Corbin Moore (Pepperdine) - 9.8
Chris Wroblewski (Cornell) - 9.4
Jeremiah Kreisberg (Yale) - 8.0
Eitan Chemerinski (Cornell) - 6.8
Bryan Cohen (Bucknell) - 6.3
Nate Lubick (Georgetown) - 3.8
Ben Resner (Stoney Brook) - 2.7
Jacob Susskind (Maryland) - 2.0
Josh Elbaum (Vermont) - 1.6
Brian Katz (Yale) - 1.5
Danny Rubin (Boston College) - 0.9
Brandon Reese (Syracuse) - 0.6
Josh Barelstein (Michigan) - 0.0
Noam Laish (Maine) - 0.0

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Farmar is Hot

Jordan Farmar continued his hot shooting last night in a loss to the Bulls. Farmar, who plays behind Deron Williams, dropped 22 pts and added 4 assists. This has come on the heels for a great streak for Farmar. With Rookie MarShon Brooks out, Farmar has made the most of his time. He has scored in double figures six times in his last eight games and is averaging 13.5 points over that span. He continues to see around 20 minutes off the bench and is shooting 47% . Hopefully, Farmar can keep it up and revert back to his UCLA days (I added that because its College Basketball Week).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Interview: Stoney Brook's Ben Resner

TGR is kicking off College Basketball week. We begin with D1 player and former Maccabi participant, Ben Resner. His life long dream is coming true and it looks like Stoney Brook could be headed to tournament, so pay attention to Resner and SeaWolves.

1) Tell TGR about yourself?
I'm 20 years old, grew up on Long Island and went to Harborfields High School. I'm also a die hard Knick fan.

2) When did you start playing basketball? When did you realize you were good enough to play in college?

I've played basketball legitimately my entire life. There is a picture of me playing basketball (on a smaller scale) on my first birthday. I eat, sleep, and breath basketball. I went to see Hofstra play when I was around 11 and I always thought I could play around that level if I worked hard and reached my potential.

3) Is it true you played for the Maccabi Games back in the day? What was that like?
I actually played in a couple Maccabi games. I played for Suffolk County for 3 years, the last of which we won gold on a 3 pt buzzer beater I made in the championship. I also played for team USA in the Pan American games where we also won gold. All of them, especially those two  I mentioned were great experiences traveling, winning, and building friendships that I will never forget.

4) How's your experience been at Stoney Brook?
My experience at Stony Brook has been up and down. Im very grateful for the opportunity that the coaching staff has given me, but I have a lot of unfinished goals that I am still trying to reach in the next two and a half years.

5) Does the team have a shot at the NCAA Tournament?

We actually lost to Boston University in the America East championship last year on two free throws with two seconds left. This year, we are in first place in the conference and everyone is expecting this to be the year that we win the championship and make the tournament. If we dont, everyone will see this season as a failure.

6) You played against Indiana to open the season. Do you think they have a legitimate chance of going to the Final Four?
Indiana is a really good team, and they already beat some of the best teams in the country. They were impressive when we played them, and I think they have as good a shot of making a run to the Final Four as anyone.

7) What are your plans after your playing days at Stoney Brook?
After my career is over here, I am hoping to become a college coach at the Division 1 level. I love to scout/recruit, and hopefully one day will have my own team to try and lead to the tournament.

What is your greatest Jewish memory from your childhood?

My greatest Jewish memory I guess has to be my Bar Mitzvah. Becoming a man and having family and friends around to share the accomplishment is something every jewish kid should experience.

9) Do you know any other Jewish basketball players in the NCAA? Any to watch out for?
I know Josh Elbaum, who plays at Vermont, because we basically grew up playing together. I dont know any others personally but I know Jake Cohen from Davidson is a great player.He actually won the Maccabi Gold my second year.

10) Anything else the TGR fans should know?
 TGR fans should look for SBU and follow us as we try to make a run to the big dance!

Thank you to Ben. Good luck this season. We will be watching.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

Friday, January 20, 2012

UJA Event a Big Success

Last night I had the privilege to sit in a room with over 150 other Jewish sports fans and hear the legendary Mad Dog Russo. Mad Dog talked sports and give us insight in some pivotal moments in NFL history. The night didn't end there. Silent and live auctions featuring everything from a Yankees dream outing to a Justin Tuck signed helmet. After dinner everyone gathered for dessert, pool, pop-a-shot, and an amazing poker tournament.

Yasher Koach to Dan Burton (one of the hosts) and the entire UJA group who organized it. The group has brought in the likes of Stephan Marbury and Bob Costas in the past. And every year the group grows.

A tremendous night of sports talk and enthusiastic Jewish people helping the UJA raised money.

Well done everyone.

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

Should Braun Speak Up?

Two days ago I was watching PTI and Wilbon and Kornheiser were debating whether or not Ryan Braun should explain himself at his NL MVP acceptance speech? I too have been wondering this since the disappointing story went public.

Braun is a man, an athlete, and a competitor. I happen to agree with PTI, if Braun feels strongly that he did nothing wrong than he should go out publicly and fight it. Fans might support him. It is about time that we figure out a little better the difference between all performance enhancing drugs. It is not like Braun all of the sudden became a home run hitting machine (see Brady Anderson). Braun has always had power and the ability to hit well. Its time for Braun to be a leader for the league not just his teammates. Maybe more light can be shed on the situation and put an end to the asterisks that are the Steroid Era.

PTI, nice call.

Click HERE for more on Braun's appeal.

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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Then There Was One

With a second round win by the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints and Brian De La Puente were eliminated from the playoffs. There the New England Patriot's Julian Edelman is the sole remaining football player with a Jewish parent. The Patriots destroyed Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos and will play the winner of the Ravens/Texans match-up today.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cammalleri Traded to Calgary

Montreal Canadian and the best Jewish hockey player in the league, has been traded to the Calgary Flames. Cammalleri broke out two years ago as a star during the playoffs. He recently fell out of favor with the Canadians when Cammalleri was rumored to be behind the comments saying his team did not prepare hard enough in practice. In return for Cammalleri, gaolie  Karri Ramo, and a 5th round pick the Canadiens receive Rene Borque, Patrick Holland, and a 2nd round pick.

Click HERE to read more.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Great Rabbino Gets Rabbinic

Recently OY! Chicago ran a feature story about my rabbinic side with some TGR thrown in. Click HERE to check it out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How is Scheyer Playing in Israel?

Thought it was time to check in and see how Jon Scheyer is performing in Israel. As we noted a little while back, the emergence of Jordan Farmar certainly hurt his hype and playing time. Now that Farmar is back in New Jersey, Scheyer has gotten more playing time but not putting up Duke type numbers.

Scheyer has appeared in 10 of the 11 Maccabi Tel Aviv games. He is averaging 2.2 points per game along with .7 rebounds and .7 assists. Not crazy good, but he it'll be a learning curve to play Euro style ball and get back into form.

If you want to follow Scheyer and Maccbi click HERE.

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

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Adam Podlesh Wins TGR NFL Player of the Year

Often we ask people to vote on the awards and sometimes we decide them ourselves. This year it seems to be a clear cut decision that the TGR 2011/12 NFL Player of the Year is:

Adam Podlesh

The Bears punter was really to only Jewish NFL player to put up any significant stats. His season long was 70 yards, 21 inside the 20, an average of 43.9 which is a yard over his career average. He also had 4 touchbacks and a net of 40.4. Check out his website HERE.

All other players considered were Offensive Linemen who do deserve some praise. Kyle Kosier of the Dallas Cowboys and Brian De La Puente of the New Orleans Saints. Erik Lorig and Julian Edleman continue to re-establish themselves and should potential.

Congrats to Podlesh!

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

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Interesting Take on Braun's Situation

I have tried avoided the Ryan Braun issue. I am having a hard time believing it. But I thought this was an interesting article. I plan on standing by Braun until this mess figures itself out. Click HERE for more.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cruisin for a Bruisin

Look at this story on Heat's owner Micky Arison. If you thought losing the Finals was bad.

Click HERE.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Kalish To Miss Start of Season

According to, Ryan Kalish says he had left shoulder surgery in November in addition to his September neck operation, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Kalish may be ready for game action by May or June, but he doesn’t have a clear timetable. To read more click HERE.

Where Are They Now? Josh Whitesell

In 2008 Jewish MLB lovers were introduce to Josh Whitesell. The Diamondbacks first baseman wasn't the biggest or fastest, but many of us hoped he would have some staying power. Unfortunately he didn't. Well that is not entirely true, it just wasn't on American soil.

His raw home run hitting power lead the DBacks organization to keep him around in the minors. After a great spring training in 2009 Whitesell was sent back down to minors. He later signed a contract with the Wahsington Nationals, which began his bizarre turn of events. Whitesell was traded to...Tokoyo and sign a contract with the Tokoyo Yaklut Swallows. 

He played great and the Swallows tripled his salary. He finished the season batting .309  with a .399 on base percentage and a .591 slugging percentage. After all his success, Whitesell became in demand, but again not in America. This past month, The Chiba Lotte Marines announced that they signed former big league first baseman. We are yet to see if Whitesell will make it back to the majors or even America. Best of luck.

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