Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yes Jake Cohen is Jewish

Here is an interview we conducted with him a little while back.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Experts NCAA Picks Via Twitter

We took to Twitter to find out who some "experts" have ending up in the Final Four. Here is what we got:

Portland Pilots Assistant Coach Michael Wolf (@CoachMikeWolf) responded with Gonzaga, Michigan State, Georgetown, and Miami

Creator of Elliot Steinmetz (@ElliotSteinmetz) has Louisville, Wisconsin, Miami, and Georgetown.

Former Tennessee baller Steven Pearl (@StevenPearl22) took Louisville, Ohio State, Miami, and Georgetown.

Harvard Crimson Assistant Coach Yanni Hufnagel (@yhufnagel) when asked if Harvard could make the Sweet 16 he responded: Why not?

Tamir Goodman, former Townson baller, wasn't sure yet but wished TGR a Chag Sameach.

Here at @TheGreatRabbino we got Louisville, New Mexico, Florida, and Indiana.

Good luck to everyone on their brackets.

Monday, March 18, 2013

NCAA Watch

Here is a list of some (maybe all) of the Jewish Ballers and Coaches in the NCAA Tournament

Josh Bartelstein - G - Michigan - Senior
Jake Cohen - F - Davidson -  Senior
Andrew Goldstein - G - Ohio State - Junior 
Nate Lubick - F - Georgetown - Junior

Harris Adler (La Salle Explorers Ass. Basketball)    
Jason Donnelly (Villanova Wilcats Ass. Basketball)
Scott Garson (UCLA Bruins Ass. Basketball)
Scott Greenman (Georgetown Ass. Basketball)
Greg Gottlieb (California Bears Ass. Basketball)
Darren Hertz (Florida Gators Director of Basketball Operations)
Yanni Hufnagal (Harvard Crimson Ass. Basketball)
Josh Pastner (Memphis Tigers Head Basketball)

The key (Jewish) storylines of the tournament:

Can Pastner continue to make a name for himself?

Will this be Hufnagel's last hoorah as an assistant at Harvard? Will he become a head coach next year?

Will Jake Cohen stock rise enough to give him a shot at the NBA?

Can Nate Lubick get noticed on a national level? 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Demers on the Ice

Thank you to Ron Kaplan for confirming that San Jose Shark, Jason Demers is Jewish. Excited to have him on the time. Click HERE for more.

MLB Moves

Looks like Aaron Poreda's once very promising MLB career might be coming to an end as he was released by the Pirates. Click HERE for more.

Nate Freiman continues to impress and battle for a team spot. Looking good for this slugger who is having a nice Spring. Click HERE for more.

NFL Moves

Jewish NFLers are moving around.

Unfortunately, Geoff Schwartz is leaving Minnesota for another Midwest team, the Kansas City Chiefs. Wishing him the best. For more click HERE.

Antonio Garay is on the move as well. After being cut by the San Diego Chargers he has landed with the Jets. For more click HERE.

Julian Edelman has been linked to several teams including the Rams and 49ers. HERE is some insight.

Good luck to these players in their new homes.

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

Friday, March 15, 2013

Interview: Super Bowl Champ Alan Veingrad

Tuesday March 12th 2013 I sat down with former Super Bowl Champion Alan Veingrad. Veingrad has been all over the world speaking about his NFL experience and Jewish story. He was a true mensch during the interview, signing a football and plugging TGR. I even offered him to come over for a Pesach meal down in Miami, but not sure he will take me up on his offer. Our conversation discussed his playing days, Michael Irvin, and of course kosher restaurants. Interview is below.

Tell TGR a little bit about your playing days:
I went undrafted out of East Texas State (now Texas A&M Commerce). I was an undrafted free agent with Tampa Bay for 11 days and then 3 weeks with the Houston Oilers. Eventually I went home to Miami and got a phone call from my college coach to come back to school, finish my degree and help coach the team. A year after that I called my sports agent to give the Packers a call. They signed me and I became a smarter football player. That is why I was able to make the Packers. I had great coaches including, who Vince Lombardi once called the greatest player he ever coached, Forrest Gregg. I was from the same area so I think he saw me as kinfolk.

If Green Bay was such a good environment, why did you head to Dallas?
To be honest they gave me a signing bonus, which in those days was a big deal especially for undrafted offensive linemen. But also my agent was from Dallas and he spoke to me about the larger Jewish community and meeting a wife. This was something ingrained in me, that marrying Jewish and having a Jewish family was important.

Who was better to block for Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, or Michael Irvin?
Well, I didn't really block for Michael Irvin persay, but he was the best teammate I think I ever had. On the field and in the locker room no one was as loyal and as good of a guy as Irvin. He was also fun off the field as well. But on the field he worked harder than anyone. His sweats were never dry, always dripping with sweat. If you were in a pile being hit by massive defensive linemen, Irvin would be the first to pick you up, tell you how much the team needed you, and pat you on the behind. He was the greatest.

Off the subject of football for a moment; what is your favorite kosher restaurant?
My favorite kosher restaurant is Baron Herzog in California. I am a meat guy. so I also like La Marais in New York. Recently I was in Aventura Florida and I went to Sarah's Tent and loaded up on all sorts of kosher food and brought it home. It was great and the kids loved it.

Back to football, what has life been like since you left the NFL?
Well for four years I really did not do much. I did some real estate and was a sales director. I had a new wife and child. Then I got into financial strategy. When I was retired I thought I had a story to tell. My brother was a police officer so I start speaking about not doing drugs or about being Jewish in the NFL. I got a speaking gig at the University of Miami Hillel and it was horrible. So I worked on my speaking and when I became Shomer Shabbos my story starting selling to a wider variety of people.

What do you miss most about the game?
The money, just kidding. Competition on Sunday at that level and that intensity was just amazing. Speaking is also a rush but very different. I also miss the comradery, but the Jewish community has fulfilled that for me. I have a connection, a deep connection wherever I travel. I have stayed with strangers, developed relationships, and people are comfortable feeding you. Its a great feeling knowing that the Jewish community is behind me.

What advice do you have to other Jewish athletes?
Do not make the same mistake I did. I didn't ask the Jewish community what I could do for them. Celebrities and athletes have a tremendous ability to inspire all ages. Connect with the community!

This was the end of our formal conversation. As we left the office and he had finished his pizza I asked him what blessing he said over the pizza. He said for him it was a snack so Mizonot (blessing over non-bread baked items). We were in agreeance that when its a snack its Mizonot and when its a meal its HaMotzei. Overall the conversation was amazing. Veingrad is a class act and a true role model for Jewish athletes. We hope to catch up with him soon.

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

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pastner Top C-USA Coach

Congrats to Josh Pastner for being named Conference USA Coach of the Year. Click HERE to read more.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Veingrad Promo

Video plug from NFL Super Bowl Winner Alan Veingrad. Interview coming soon!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

YU BBall Begins

If you are in NYC and you love basketball and/or Jewish sports, I highly recommend checking out the Red Sarachek Tournament at YU that began today. Visit the website...who knows maybe I am still in the booklet for leading scorers in 1999 and 2000. Click HERE

Where Are They Now? Former Wrestler Brimstone

In 2010 we met Brimstone, a Jewish professional wrestler. We even did an INTERVIEW with him. Through twitter (@thegreatrabbino) we heard that Brimstone had retired from the ring. We caught up with the wrestler to find out what he is up to.

1) What have you been doing since you retired from the ring?
I'll call it semi-retired... I don't think anyone actually fully retires from the wrestling industry... lol!  I have been extremely busy since taking a leave of absence from the ring; I launched my company Hound Comics, Inc. (Hound Entertainment Group) officially in 2010 with a grouping of key partners who I've worked with for years.  Following the official launch, it's been a complete whirlwind!  We started with our flagship brand 'Brimstone and The Borderhounds' as a comic book series which is based on my wrestling persona (but has nothing to do with wrestling at all).  We released on October 31st, 2010 in Borders Books nationally, then with their demise; re-released in Barnes & Noble and B.Dalton nationally and internationally January 11th, 2011.  We have been on the road supporting ever since from New York Comic Con appearances to the Wizard World Pop Culture tour (to which I'm proud to be a mainstay) and everywhere in-between.  The flagship brand spawned an animated series currently in production, the Border-Pups children's book series, backpack line with Eastsport for Wal-Mart, sauces and seasoning line with CaJohn's Fiery Foods and a plethora of other cool things!  I'm one the the hosts on a popular foodie web series called 'Food Hound:Tidbits' (we just started filming our third season); speaking of which, we are in talks about expanding in a few different directions.  Currently, we are in the sampling stage of Brimstone branded Margarita Mix and Gourmet Chocolate Bars... very excited.  As for Hound itself, we've expanded tremendously under our corporate umbrella with Hound Comics, Hound Kids, Hound Publishing, Food Hound: Tidbits, Cosplay Society, 100 Percent Hound and a lot more in the works... yep, been pretty busy... this stuff doesn't just happen on its own!  ::takes deep breath::

2) We heard you were in talks with TNA. What was that like, what were you going to do?
It was awhile back, in 2007 actually... it was nothing too crazy; but I did appreciate the interest - makes you feel like you are doing something right.  I was training the kids at Pro Wrestling Revolution at the time when I was asked down to Orlando for one of their three day filmings in order to chat with Dixie.  It was extremely casual and it was great seeing and catching up with a handful of friends while out there... I have a few fun stories from the visit as well; but it just wasn't the right move for me. 

3) What do you miss most about the ring?
The physicality... I was a drummer for many years and was always able to get my extra energy out constructively; then came wrestling and for 16 years - I was able to do the same.  Now, albeit with all the running I do on a day to day basis - I utilize that additional energy on my work and public appearances; but I always seem to have some pent up energy that could certainly use release lol...

4) You thoughts on Bruno Sammartino getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame?
He is an icon in the industry and he certainly deserves it.  I'm glad that he and Vince were able to put aside their differences irl in order to make it happen.  Knowing the situation... I'm sure it wasn't an easy walk in the park for Bruno (or Vince for that matter).  

5) Have you been to Comic Con? Which ones and what is that experience like?
As I mentioned earlier, I am a mainstay guest at the major events like Wizard World and NYCC (I generally steer clear of SDCC) and typically do upwards of about 50 - 60 appearances and events throughout the year's tour including Comic Cons and now Food Shows as well.  It is truly amazing to have the opportunity to engage the fans in such a warm and welcoming environment.  I always have a great time meeting new people, making new fans and enjoying those who have crossed over from when I was wrestling regularly.  I seem to get a lot of younger guys in the biz who bend my ear a bit about the industry while I'm on the road; I try to answer their questions to the best of my ability and always encourage them to have a back up plan.  The conventions are also a great place to meet legends in entertainment and upcoming stars.  I've had the honor and privilege to make some pretty amazing friends along the way.
6) What do you have planned in the future?
As a rule... I never forecast; but Hound and Brimstone in general have a lot of big things in the hopper.  Plan on us making a splash wherever and whenever we can! 
Please visit us at and me at
Facebook: @houndcomics @brimstone
Twitter:  @houndcomics  @entrancetohell

 Best of luck with all your work. Still waiting for a Colt Cabana vs. Brimstone dream match.

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Baseball Tweets for the Baseball Season

Here are some Jewish ballplayers to follow on Twitter. TGR will also have baseball news throughout the season and .

Current Players:
Craig Breslow -
Ike Davis - 
Sam  Fuld -
Adam Greenberg -
Ryan Kalish -
Ryan Lavarnway - 
Michael Schwimer -
Danny Valencia -

Former Players/ Minor Leaguers:
Shawn Green -
Gabe Kapler -
Jake Lemmerman -

Jewish Baseball News -
Former Softball Star & Jewish Educator -
Former Israel Ball Player & Rabbinical Student -