Friday, October 30, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Hey Everyone,
I hope you enjoyed the college football stuff this week. Next week is going to be huge! A posting every day about the upcoming College Basketball season. I have spoken with players, coaches, and have some good articles coming up. Let me know your feedback.

Casspi was awesome in his debut. We will try to continue updating people

Thanks to Drew Goldmsith for the interview.

Poll:
Gatorade vs. Powerade. Vote Now.

Upcoming:
COLLEGE BASKETBALL ALL NEXT WEEK!!!

Other TGR News:
New Oy Article coming November 18th about Israeli/Jewish basketball.

People have begun buying shirts. Click on the right side to check them out!!

Also, we are in the works with Fantasy Dash on doing some promotions and other cool stuff. It is going to be a revolutionary website.

Have any story ideas? Wondering if someone is Jewish? Send in ideas and questions to info@thegreatrabbino.com

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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Opening Night Numbers

Omri Casspi made a huge splash in his debut scoring 15 points in 19 minutes.

Jordan Farmar scored 4 as the Lakers beat the Clippers.

Interview: Penn's Drew Goldsmith

After searching and emailing the entire country for the best Jewish college football players in the country I have gotten to know and email with a few of these talented athletes. One of the nicer guys of the group was Penn's Drew Goldsmith (his brother Neil is also a football player). Drew was nice enough to grant us an interview. He has a bright future whether it happens on or off the field. Below is an interview with one of the TGR All Americans.
 

INTERVIEW:
The Great Rabbino: Hey Drew thanks for joining us on The Great Rabbino.

Drew Goldsmith: Hey It’s an honor to be here.

TGR: Tell us a little bit about your college football career. Were you highly recruited in High School?

Drew: Out of high school I made it my priority to use football for a great education so I didn’t pursue any D-1 offers. I was highly recruited by both Penn and Harvard and ultimately it came down to Penn. We’ve had a few tough years here, many close losses but the program is getting much better. Last year was my first year starting and I feel like I played pretty well, led the team in sacks. I gained a lot of weight this off-season but during camp I was diagnosed with a blood clot and will be red-shirting this year. It was a huge disappointment for me but I’ll be back next year.

TGR: Can you evaluate Penn Football season so far. What is the biggest game of season for you guys?

Drew: We’ve had two games. We lost a close one to #2 ranked Villanova and lost in overtime to Lafayette. They are both great teams but so are we, I think we will do very well this season as the ivy schedule starts up this week. Princeton has been a great rival for years but I would say the games we look forward to the most are against Harvard and Yale.

TGR: Which football player does your game most resemble? Who is your favorite player of all-time?

Drew: Personally I like to think I play like Jared Allen, he’s a great pass rusher and that’s what I enjoy the most. My favorite player of all-time is definitely Tom Brady though, I was born in Boston so I have a right to be a Pat’s fan.


TGR: Besides football what are some of your favorite activities?

Drew: I’m a huge movie buff, so between football, class and watching movies there’s not much time for anything else.

TGR: What was your Jewish life like growing up? Did it ever conflict with Football?

Drew: Growing up I would go to Hebrew school twice a week and my grandparents would host all the holidays. I had my bar mitzvah in a small town where we were the only Jewish family. There weren’t many conflicts with football, but it was strange being the only Jewish football player on the team, until I got to college that is.

TGR: What do you see yourself doing after your football career is over?

Drew: I would definitely pursue pro football if I have the opportunity in two years but more likely I will get into Sales and Trading with my Finance degree.

TGR: Drew thank you for spending some time with TGR. We will follow the Quakers closely and hopefully you guys will finish the season strong.

Drew: Thank you very much.

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


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NBA Openers

Players:
Omri Casspi and the Sacramento Kings open tomorrow night (Wed. Oct 28th) on the road vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Jordan Farmar and the LA Lakers open the season tonight (Tuesday Oct 27th) at home vs. the LA Clippers.

Coaches:
Larry Brown and the Charlotte Bobcats open tomorrow night (Wed Oct 28th) on the road vs. the Boston Celtics.

Lawrence Frank and the New Jersey Nets open tomorrow night (Wed Oct. 28th) one the road vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Midseason TGR College Football All Americans


It is the middle of the College Football Season and we realized that we have not posted anything about the College football season (besides an article about our man Taylor Mays). So TGR wanted to give you its 2009 College Football All Americans. A lot of research went into this project but the results were amazing. There are some really good football players on this list who go to major programs throughout the country. So if you are a college football fan and Jewish the Kvelling starts now.


TGR 2009 College Football All Americans (*Projected TGR Player of the Year):

Defense:
* Taylor Mays - Free Safety - USC Trojans - Senior:  Don't believe it? How could the best defenseman in the country be Jewish? He is. In fact he is Bar Mitzvahed. Mays is a two time All American and is a lock to be a three time. He will be nominated for every defense award in the country. TGR is officially obsessed with the Jewish Deon Sanders. Obsessed.


Sam Frist - Defensive Tackle - Kent State - Senior: His coaches call him the toughest guy on the team. Former roommate of NFL Wide Receiver Julian Edelman, Frist will be hoping his senior year production leads him to the NFL as well. As a starter and the heart and soul of the Kent State D-Line we predict he has a stellar season, so far he has.

Drew Goldsmith - Defensive Tackle - Penn - Senior: Lead the Quakers in sacks as a Junior. Goldsmith is one of the leading defensemen on the team. His skills and senior leadership make him a TGR All American. We place him on this team because of his accomplishments (and we want you to get to know him), but unfortunately Goldsmith will be red-shirting this season and we wish him the best of luck next season (probably will be on this list again).



Erik Loring - DE - Standford - Senior: He was a former Tight End who moved to DE. Last season he had 39 tackles (19 solos) and 3 sacks.


Max Suter - Strong Safety/Kicker Returner - Syracuse - Junior: He has the second most return yards in SU history. He was 2007 FWAA Freshman All-American and 2007 All Big East Second Team. In 2008 he played in every game for the Orangemen.



Offense:
Gabe Carimi - Offensive Tackle - Wisconsin - Junior: Some sources list him as one of the top five offensive linemen. Should be entering next years NFL draft. He was nominated during the preseason for the Rotary Lombardi Award for the nation's top lineman. Carimi has started all 23 games he has played in.


Special Teams:
Ryan Lichtenstein - Kicker - Syracuse - Freshman: Mostly known for his last second kick that beat Northwestern. So far Lichtenstein has missed only one field goal all season.


Zach Nolan - Long Snapper - Stanford - RS Junior: One of the better long snappers in the country. This is his sole position. Last season his kicker converted 14/17 FGs and 35/37 extra points.


Honorable Mentions:
Nathan Bernstein - OL - Brown - Freshman

Jon Cohen - Tackle - Navy - Sophomore
Bryan Finkel - Linebacker - San Diego State - Senior

David Goldberg - Defensive End - Colorado - Sophomore
Neil Goldsmith - Linebacker - Louisiana at Lafayette - Junior (IR)

Sean Goldstein - Linebacker - Miami  - RS Freshman

Adam Gottschalk -  Safety - Arizona - Sophomore
Zach Heller - Linebacker - Penn - Junior
Aaron Levine - Linebacker - Cornell - Senior

Matt Pachan - Defensive Line - Florida - Sophomore

Jason Schmucker- Defensive Back - Penn - Sophomore
Sam Schwartzstein - Guard - Stanford - RS Freshman
Sam Spitz - Fullback - Wisconsin- Freshman
Josh Weinstein - WR - Northeastern - Sophomore


There are several players we got in touch with who happen NOT to be Jewish. So if you are here for the Jews know that Matt Steinbach (Northern Arizona - Safety), Eric Stein (Navy - LB), Matt Rosenbalm (La Lafayette - LS), Eric Schwartz (USF - K), Jordan Weingart (West Virginia - OL), and  Jake Schwartz (Texas AandM - RB), David Cone (Michigan - QB) are NOT Jewish.


There are also a hand full of players we did not receive confirmation from on their heritage/religion. If we find out more we will pass along the information. As for now this is the best of best for the 2009 NCAA College Football season.

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

Jew in the 2009 World Series?

While no one on either of the Phillies or Yankees rosters are Jewish. Jewsinbaseball.blogspot.com confirms that Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is in fact Jewish. His mother happens to be an Hispanic Jew. We here at TGR are officially rooting for the Phils! (no word on Yankee GM Brian Cashman's religion, but not believed to be Jewish).

Back to Back! (Sorry Jeff).

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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yankees' Ronan Tynan Makes a Mistake

Recently, tenor Ronan Tynan who is famous for singing "God Bless America" at Yankee games was "benched". This was due to anti-Semitic remarks he made while talking to a Jewish doctor on the Upper East side. Below are the stories run by nbclosangeles.com and CZABECAST (video). No comments by TGR, just passing along the news.


Article







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

TGR Motzei/Post Shabbat Update

I think this was the first time I have not done an update before Shabbat. That is thanks to Nat Sager, Sarah Hoffman, Sevonne Cohen and Tel Aviv. Anyway here is what is going on at TGR.

I will have two more Oy Chicago articles before the end of the year (Nov. 18th and Dec. 16th). I welcome any ideas for stories to run.

I spoke this week with the grandchildren of Harry Schuman. TGR ran a story about him a few weeks back. We hope to do a larger piece on Harry. Super cool catching up with his family.

TGR Poll:
So far Gatorade is in the lead. People seem to be pretty happy it is becoming kosher.

Future Stories:
There have been so many current events stories that I have not been able to post some cool interviews I have done. So stay tuned for an interview with Drew Goldsmith of Penn and Randy Colman of 6 Points Sports Academy.

The next big thing TGR is doing is a preview to the college basketball season. It is going to be a week long TGR special. I am really excited about it. We have a bunch of cool interviews with Syracuse coach Bernie Fine and a few of the top Jewish players in the country. We will also be awarding our first Jewish All American team.

That's it from here.
Shavua Tov/Have a good week.
And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Game Another Loss

Another game and another loss for Maccabi Tel Aviv in America. This time Maccabi Tel Aviv fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 108-96. They played a little better than they did against the Knicks and they did not lose their coach in the process. Also, there were no Rabbis running onto the court. Chris Kaman lead the way for the Clippers with 18 points while the number one pick in the draft Blake Griffin had a double double scoring 13 points and collecting 10 rebounds. For Maccabi Doron Perkins recorded a triple double 16 points, 12 rounds, and 10 assists. Perkins was a former D1 star at Santa Clara.

Below are the highlights from Tuesday's game:




The biggest story surrounding the game was the return of native Calfornian David Bluthenthal. Bluthenthal grew up in Westchester Califonia and went to USC where he played his collegiate ball.

Also, the game (and the game against the Knicks) was played for a charity called Migdal Ohr (which is run by Rabbi Grossman...the Rabbi from the Knicks game). It is a charity that helps fed, clothe, house, and educate thousands of immigrant children. The organization is amazing and doing big time mitzvot (good deeds).

Hopefully, next time Maccabi Tel Aviv comes to the NBA they can go home with a victory like they did in 2005 against Raptors (I'd even be okay with it if it were against my Bulls).

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

Monday, October 19, 2009

Attack of the Rabbi - NY Knicks vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv

So I had planned onwriting about the results of Sunday's New York Knicks vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv game. Here is where I would be telling you about the score (106-91 in favor of the Knicks) and the game's leading scorers (Nate Robinson with 19 for the Knicks and Alan Anderson with 20 for Maccabi). I would somehow have discussed how much progress Maccabi has made and how they represented Israel pretty well. But then this happened:



The team had 4 techincals in a minute? And if that wasn't weird enough, coming out of the stands to help the ejected Maccabi coach was none other than Rabbi Grossman??? What? Even I am clueless on where to take this story. I am not sure if there is a good Jewish message here or this was just another way for people to make fun of rabbis? Imagine what the players on the court were thinking. Umm...where did that Rabbi come from?

The funniest part of the video, I think, is Maccabi coach Pini Gershon talking with Nate Robinson as if they are buds. "Shalom Nate, Shmi Pini." "Sup man, I'm Nate but my friends call me Kryptonite."  

I can't wait to see what happens Tuesday at the Maccabi vs. Clippers game. Maybe Maccabi will win? That would be weirder for sure.

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Not the NFL. Not the AFL. Not the XFL. THE UFL.


A new era in football began October 8th 2009 when the Las Vages Locomotives defeated the California Redwoods. This was the inaugural game of the United Football League. As of now, although there is major talks of expansion, there are four teams. One, the Florida Tuskers, is owned by Stuart Sternberg (also the owner of the Tampa Bay Rays). Sternberg and company have put in millions of dollars to start this new league.

The league as of now is attempting to "complement" the NFL, as opposed to competing with it. Some say it has the makings of a solid developmental league. The 3 of the 4 teams are coached by former big name NFL coaches Dennis Green, Jim Haslett, and Jim Fassel. There are also several former NFL players headlined by Simeon Rice, Koren Robinson, Todd Sauerbrun, and Jermaine Wiggins (a former fantasy player of mine). The position with the most recognizable names is quarterback. Some of these players were even starters in the NFL last season including JP Losman, Brooks Bollinger, and Mike McMahon.

There are also former NFL greats helping in the booth including Doug Flutie and Kordell Stewart. All of the games will be shown on the television station Versus.

There are some rules that are different than the NFL. If a game goes into overtime each team receives at least one possession to score. To speed up the game there will be a 25 second play clock (as opposed to the NFL's 40 second play clock). Also, the league has done away with the No Tuck Rule and Intentional Grounding.

So Sternberg and company might actually have something here. The league is just in its beginning stages but there is already interests from other cities, including outside of the country. Guatemala and London both are in talks with the UFL right now. I think the UFL is a great thing for new owners, new/old players to play their sport, and to provide cities that lack football teams a chance to go to games and root for a home team. Good luck to Sternberg and company.

For more information go to their official website here or the wikipedia page here.

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

I am extremely tired from walking Masada on 1 hour of sleep. But Shabbat Shalom and here is the usual Shabbat News.

TGR News:
1) Colt Cabana interview got great reviews. He posted on my facebook wall so check it out.
2) I did a couple interviews with Jewish College Basketball players. TGR is prepping for a huge week off all college bball.
3) Gatorade news...sick.
4) Apparently there is a 3 on 3 tournament in Jerusalem next week that I may be entering with my good friend Avi Taff, so I will keep people posted on the tournament.
5) Check out the New Tshirts!

Poll Results.
New poll up. Vote Away.

I am proud to announce that we had over 70 votes for the last poll. I am happy to announce the winners:

TGR Sportsman/Athlete of Year....Kevin Youkilis

TGR Best Sports Moment/Accomplishment of the Year...Omri Casspi gets drafted by the Sacramento Kings (just edged out Lezak)

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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kosher Sports Drink

One of the greatest announcements in the history of my life!!! No more Powerade!!!




KosherToday Exclusive: Tootsie Roll, Gatorade Will Soon Have Major Kosher Certification, Sources Say
New York…Although there is yet to be a formal announcement, sources told KosherToday that Tootsie Roll and Gatorade will be the next icon food brands to acquire a major kosher symbol. For kosher consumers, such news has become less frequent than in the 90’s and early 2000’s when many major brands made the move. They included Nabisco’s Oreos, Keebler, Entenmann’s and other national brands that kosher consumers had considered “forbidden fruits.” More recent members of the club include Topp’s Bazooka and Jelly Belly. Tootsie Roll, a Chicago-based company, has grown to become one of the country's largest candy companies, with operations throughout North America and with distribution channels in more than 75 countries. Gatorade is a brand of flavored non-carbonated sports drinks manufactured by the Quaker Oats Company, now a division of PepsiCo. Pepsi’s competitor PowerAde, owned by the Coca-Cola Co., has OU certification. Kosher sources explain that news of a major brand going kosher is rare these days “since most of them already have a major kosher symbol.” One certification agency told Kosher Today: “We are rapidly approaching the day when every major US food brand that can be kosher certified will be kosher.” 


And Let Us Say...Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
Photo by Vibrantspirit

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TGR on Oy! Chicago

TGR is today's feature story on Oy! Chicago. Check it out!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Interview: Deerfield's Own Colt Cabana


TGR had the awesome privilege of emailing with Professional Wrestler Colt Cabana (WWE's Scotty Goldman). I am a big fan of his, not only because we grew up in the same suburb, but also because he is an awesome wrestler. If you were ever a wrestling fan, Colt gives you that old school feeling. He has great charisma, solid in-ring skills, and loves the sport. In my opinion he didn't get a fair shot in the WWE. So while the internet is buzzing about Colt getting a chance in TNA Wrestling, TGR caught up with him to find out more about the young wrestling superstar.

INTERVIEW:
The Great Rabbino: Hey Colt Cabana, it is a pleasure having you on The Great Rabbino. I am a big fan of both Colt Cabana and Scotty Goldman.

Colt Cabana: Oh...Shalom!...wait, that's probably too obvious huh?...Oh...thanks!

TGR: You are the second wrestler we have interviewed, the first being Diamond Dallas Page. How do you think you would fair in a match with DDP?

Colt: To be honest, I don't think Page is Jewish. So if the match was a game of dreidel, I think I'd own him! If it was a game of yoga, he'd probably beat me. I think it'd be a toss up if the match was a comparison of who had the best mullet back in the 80's.

TGR: So many of our readers would have seen you during your stint in the WWE. How was your experience there? Would you have changed anything?

Colt: Would I? Really? What do you think? Here's one change I woulda made....I woulda not had me SUCK! LOL. WWE was a blast while I was there. It was a short, but fun stint. They wanted me to embrass the Jewish culture, which I didn't mind. Im just hoping my next run's a little more successful.

TGR: So you are wrestling for Ring of Honor, what is that like? Any plans of wrestling in TNA or the WWE again? How are the Indys and small venues different than WWE?

Colt: Right now you can watch me on ROH which is on Mark Cuban's HDNet every Monday at 7ct. I actually love wrestling in intimate settings (or smaller venues) because I love interacting individually with the crowd to make them part of the show. That's a real strong point in my performances.


TGR: How did you break into the business? Where did you get your start?

Colt: I started training with two local guys on the north side of Chicago on Irving Park rd. It was called the Steel Domain and it's since closed. I did that while attending Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. Id train on my breaks and during the school year. It was a blast, I wouldn't of changed a thing.

TGR: As an alum of Deerfield High School (Illinois), same school as my wife, what is your favorite restaurant on the North Shore? Were you a Northbrook court or Deerbrook Mall guy?

Colt: My number one favorite place of all time is Barnaby's Pizza in Northbrook on Skokie blvd. I've literally been all over the world and Barnaby's is my favorite pizza. I also love Tony's subs of course on Waukegan RD and Jerry over at Players grill in Highland Park on Deerfield Rd. always takes care of me and my family. I was both a Deerbrook and NBC guy, but Deerbrook's basically now become a joke.

TGR: Growing up did you have a Bar Mitzvah or have any religious affiliation? If so, what was more nerve reckoning being on the Bimah or being in the ring?

Colt: I definitely had a Bar Mitzvah. North Shore Congregation. I remember I got braces like a month before it, I was pissed. I remember making jokes while on the Bimah. That was my first real show I guess, lol. We had a good house! I wasn't and am not nervous for neither.

TGR: Who would your dream match be against? Would would be your dream tag team partner?

Colt: I actually recently fought in my dream match. I wrestled European legend, Johnny Saint (now 67 years old) this June in Shefield, England in front of over 1,000 fans. My dream partner would be the Boogie Woogie Man, Jimmy Valient!


TGR: Who is the greatest Jewish wrestler of all time; Macho Man Randy Savage, Kevin Nash, Goldberg or Kane?

Colt: To be honest, I believe Goldberg is the only Jewish wrestler out of the ones you've named. So I'd go with Goldberg, although he wasn't that good, lol.

TGR: Thanks for your time. It was great having you on the blog.  Is there anything else you want to share with the TGR audience?

Colt: Please support and learn a little bit more about me at www.myspace.com/coltcabana or follow me on twitter.com/DrColtCabana. Thanks and....Shalom!

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

Monday, October 12, 2009

New TGR Shirt for Cubs Fans =)

For the new Herzl TGR Shirt Click Here or on the TShirt on the right hand side of the site.

TGR Re-launch Featured on Kaplan's Korner

The link below takes you to Kaplan's Korner where TGR was featured for our re-launch. Click Here.

Baseball Year in Review

For a recap of the Jewish baseball year in review click here. 

Keep up with Youkilis, Marquis, and Ausmus in the playoffs by visiting jewsinbaseball.blogspot.com.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Stern's NBA Expansion


Recently, NBA Commissioner David Stern (Jewish and a Sammy) announced that he envisions an NBA expansion. Now certain cities might be excited to hear the news. Maybe a return to Seattle? Maybe a 3rd LA team? Maybe in a big city that has never had a team like Las Vegas? But Stern was not discussing US expansion, rather he wants to take the NBA to Europe.

This announcement came up at a press conference Taiwanese capital of Taipe before an exhibition game between the Denver Nuggest and the Indiana Pacers. While there is no timetable for such an expansion Stern made it clear that with the development of basketball in European cities the NBA sees an overseas expansion.

If the NBA expands to Europe expect the NBA as we know it to look very different. Imagine if your favorite player got traded to Europe. How weird would it be watching games at weird hours of the night just to see him play? Like a Derrick Rose crossover taking place at 2am in London. Of course the clothing would be awesome (imagine Deron Williams in a Jerusalem jersey).

There would also be a large impact on the players themselves. Now, if a player gets traded to Orlando he can move his family pretty easily, but it wouldn't be so easy shipping out to Paris.

So we will have to wait and see what happens. Maybe trades will be regulated or maybe rules will be different (larger lane, longer shot clock, etc), but ultimately I personally would be for it if one of the new teams landed in Israel. The Jerusalem Juggernauts? The Tel Aviv Titans? The Haifa Hurricanes? That would be awesome.

And Let Us Say..Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
Photo by: Cody Mulcahy

Friday, October 9, 2009

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

What a great week here at TGR. I want to thank everyone who helped out with our new website. We also announced that we  will be featured on Oy! Chicago and Schmooze Magazine. We have some great articles coming up soon. An interview with Professional Wrestler Colt Cabana and hopefully some insight to the upcoming college basketball season with some coaches of some pretty major Universities.

POLL RESULTS:
Our poll will still be open for a few more days. Both polls are close and we will have the results by next week.

TShirts:
TShirts are starting to take off. We had our first purchase of about $100 worth of items. New Yorkers check out our new Patrick Jewing TShirt.

TGR News:
We are almost at 5,000 viewers. Thank you to everyone for reading. I am in Israel for the next 9 months but TGR will still be up and running.

Stories:
If anyone plans on going to the Knicks vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv game, I am looking for someone to report on the game.

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

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Joe Gordon Update

One of the first articles TGR ran was about recent Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gordon. Reports are saying that he is in fact NOT Jewish. Since there are conflicting opinions and as The Baseball Talmud's author Howard Megdal says "Well, that's not exactly what I said. What I said was I hadn't come across any reliable evidence that he was Jewish. So hence, I didn't include him in my book.
However, I didn't come across any pictures of him on his knees praying, so it is hard to say definitively either way., TGR has decided to eliminate Gordon from our weekly poll.

Michael Jordan -Part 1/3

As a sports blogger or writer based in Chicago it seems obvious that I would have a desire to write about the Greatest Chicago Athlete. While Chicago has had some unbelievable athletes there is one who stands above the rest. No I am not talking about Walter Payton (who was the greatest running back of all time…I don’t care what others say) or Dick Butkus (the greatest linebacker of all time) or even Mark Prior (the Cubs version of Jesus Christ). I am talking about Michael “Air” Jordan. To grow up during the Jordan era was truly remarkable. It was as if fans truly believed we could never lose. Night in and night out Jordan would come out with a shot at the buzzer, go on a 12 point run like he was playing against nobodies, or have an emphatic dunk over another NBA elite. So in honor of Michael Jordan’s induction into the Hall of Fame I decided to write a three part piece about the greatest basketball player who ever lived (no questions asked).

So my dilemma is of course…how do I write a Jordan story with a Jewish connection? Obviously, Jordan was not Jewish nor were his parents or his wife. Jordan did live in Deerfield/Highland Park Illinois, which has many Jewish residents, but that was not enough to write about. I did not know of Jordan ever visiting a synagogue or giving to a Jewish charity. But Jews surrounded Jordan’s tenure, three in particular who helped make Jordan more than just a basketball player.

The first Jewish connection to Jordan is through Jerry Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf (who TGR has written about more than any other Jewish sportsman) was not responsible for drafting Jordan, but he took over as head owner one year after Jordan entered the league (pretty smart business move). Reinsdorf was however responsible for keeping Jordan in Chicago. Reinsdorf signed Jordan to ungodly contracts of $25 million a year and gave the future of the NBA whatever he wanted. Reinsdorf knew he had to keep Jordan happy and he did.

In 1994 Reinsdorf gave Jordan his own home, the United Center. Chicago Stadium was awesome and ornate but the UC was the house that Jordan built (with Reinsdorf's money). The statue outside the UC is a great representation of the twos relationship. Jordan brought the image and Reinsdorf paid for it. But together they made plenty of cash and they won plenty of championships. Jordan and Reinsdorf as we all know won 6 titles together.

And Jordan’s speech at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Jordan thanked Reinsdorf and mentioned how good of a relationship the two had. This is Jordan’s first connection to the Jewish world; his second with Jerry Krause in’t as pretty.

And Let Us Say (for now)…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

TGR Will Be Featured in Schmooze Magazine

TGR will be featured in an upcoming issue of Schmooze magazine.  Check out Schmooze at all major universities.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

TGR Links Up with Oy! Chicago

TGR has been in contact with various publications over the past few weeks. It is offical that TGR will now be writing a monthly blog for Oy! Chicago. Check them out at HERE

Re-Launching with Nancy Lieberman


Welcome to the re-launching of TGR at www.thegreatrabbino.com. To celebrate all the changes here at TGR (web name, T-Shirts, Jewish Sports resources, logo, etc) we are posting our BIGGEST interview to date. Nancy Lieberman, for years, has been one of the best and most well known Jewish athletes ever. It is our pleasure to present our interview with Nancy Lieberman and officially kick off our new site.

INTERVIEW:
1)    What was it like being a part of the WNBA? How did she feel when it first began?

I was honored to be a part of it. In 1997, the inaugural year, I was the oldest player in the league. I had waited all my life for something like the WNBA. For me personally as a player it came a little late but also right on time. Finally, I could play as an athlete in something that was ours.

2)    How has the WNBA impacted young female basketball players?

The WBNA has allowed young players to live their dream and stay focus. In college when you are deciding what do to do professional basketball in the US is an option. Just like anything else. If you chose to write then you could write and now if you love to play ball you can play ball. The WNBA is about dreams, hope, love and being able to do what u do. You can now perform at the highest level. I have told every player I have come across that if you haven’t written David Stern a letter to stay thank you, you should. It is an honor that should not be taken for granted.

3)    How have you she enjoyed her role as a commentator? Do you ever miss being on the court?

There is nothing like playing the game. Playing is the most wonderful thing in the world. After playing I would say coaching because you are still in the trenches. But if you are not lucky enough to playing or coaching then broadcasting is right up there. You get exposure and awareness to what you love. ESPN has been amazing for 28 years. I am very grateful to be apart of it.

4)    What was you biggest accomplishment, on and off the court?

Besides my son, being an Olympian was a defining moment earlier in my career and then being a Hall of Farmer. These were both magical moments. Competing for my country and then when the game says thank you. When I go to Michael Jordan’s induction with my son I hope he understands the significance.

5)    What does your Judaism mean to you? Have you ever thought about playing or coaching in the Maccabi Games?

I have been invited to play in it but it conflicted with USA basketball. So I wasn’t able to participate. I would love the opportunity to coach. I am proud of my heritage and family. I am proud of religion and it is deeply proud of what I do. There is a closeness and protective state amongst family. It is like being a part of a wonderful team. It is an honor to be a Jewish athlete. Playing against Amy Schneider when I was young was amazing. People used to say why was I a tomboy, but I think that has come full circle. I am always around great athletes and I get a lot of respect and love from people for my Judaism.

6)    Could you tell us a little bit about the Nancy Lieberman Foundation?

Send people to the website Twitter.com/nancylieberman. There you can follow what I am doing. I find it fascinating that people are interested in what she cooks her son for breakfast is amazing. There is not a lot of privacy with my job. I have to share myself with the public.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Partick Jewing TShirt

For our new Patrick Jewing Tshirt click on the Tshirt Image on the right hand side of the site.

Jewish Jocks at the Movies: Adam Sandler vs. Adam Sandler

VS.

There are several unforgettable moments in sports. There is Babe Ruth pointing his bat before he hit a home-run, Michael Jordan switching hands in mid air gliding between all 5 Laker defenders, and Joe Montana finding Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone. And then there are moments in film that people will never forget. At the end of Citizen Kane when you see the Rosebud on the sled, when Sally has an orgasm in the restaurant in front of Harry, and Luke stares at Darth Vader as Vader removes his helmet.

Adam Sandler has not made movies like those above, nor has he participated in any professional sports. But Adam Sandler has given us two Sports films. Since Sandler wrote and starred in both The Waterboy and Happy Gilmore I figured they both constitute as Jewish Sports Films.

The Waterboy is about an awkward man-child named Bobby Boucher. Boucher lived with his mother, the very seductive Kathy Bates, and eventually finds his way on the South Central Louisiana State University Football team. Boucher had been the team’s water boy and out of nowhere tackles the team captain. The coach (The Fonz) signs him up to be on the team. Eventually, Boucher plays for the Mud Dogs and they win the big game. The movie itself is old school Adam Sandler. He is goofy, actually beyond goofy.

Happy Gilmore on the other hand is one of the best comedies of my generation. It is about a never-going-to-make-it hockey player named Happy Gilmore who is discovered as a golfer. He is convinced to try out for the tour and agrees in order to help out his grandmother. This movie is filled with unforgettable scenes. Bob Barker punches Gilmore out on a golf course, Gilmore has to beat his nemesis Shooter McGavin, and of course the constant destruction of his trainer Chubbs’ hand.

Together these films helped put Adam Sandler on the map. Waterboy grossed $185,991,646 compared to Happy Gilmore, which grossed $41,205,099. Now of course Waterboy came out two years after Sandler had gotten huge from Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. But still the numbers, taken from wikipedia, don’t seem right because Waterboy pretty much sucks in comparison to Happy Gilmore (feel free to comment if you disagree).

With that being said, Sandler is truly a Jewish Sports Athlete playing both football and Golf (and attempting to play hockey). As fans it is fun seeing Jewish actors or characters in the jock role (even if the character is a bit off) instead of the quirky/dorky friend next door. So, thanks Mr. Sandler for allowing us Jews to get into the game through the movies.

Below are the Siskel & Ebert reviews of The Waterboy and Happy Gilmore.





And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
Photo by: Franz Richter

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Baseball Talmud's Howard Megdal


I stumbled across a book awhile ago called The Baseball Talmud. So I reached out to the author Howard Megdal. He is a very funny guy as you will see from his interview. There is a link to the book's Amazon page below, as well as on the side of the blog. Enjoy.

Interview:
The Great Rabbino: Howard Megdal, let me welcome you to The Great Rabbino. We are excited to have you on the blog.

Howard Megdal: It is an honor to speak to royalty, and I humble myself before The Great Rabbino.

TGR: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Megdal: I'm a 6'3" Caucasian male. I write for SNY.tv, MLBTradeRumors.com, NYBaseballDigest.com and a haiku recapping every Mets game at AmazinAvenue.com. I love corn muffins.

TGR: You wrote a book called “The Baseball Talmud”. Tell us a little bit about the book and why you decided to write on the topic?

Megdal: Well, I've always been intensely interested in Jewish baseball players- the chance to reflect upon all of them, both anecdotally and statistically, was a siren song of a project.

TGR: Why should people read your book?

Megdal: To learn, to laugh, to be entertained. You may even learn to love again- I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

TGR: What are your Jewish and sports affiliations?

Megdal: I am Reform Jew, Orthodox New York Mets.

TGR: Any plans for another book?

Megdal: Indeed- cooking up varying schemes with my agent. Probably, it will be baseball-related.

TGR: Thank you for spending time with TGR. Anything else you would like to add?

Megdal: Yes- I am currently booking Men's Clubs for the fall and spring- happy to provide references upon request. For a reasonable honorarium, I will make your Sunday morning lox taste even better- and it's hard to improve lox. I can be reached at hmegdal@yahoo.com.

To purchase The Baseball Talmud click here.

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

Poreda Day

Happy Bday to former White Sox pitcher and current Padre Aaron Poreda