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Archive for the ‘Jews and football’ Category

 

And now, the rest of the story (UPDATE)

Posted on: May 16th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan No Comments

To take a page from Paul Harvey (no relation to major Mets disappointment Matt)…

I have been majorly remiss in not reporting on anything but baseball. So let’s address that now.

NBA

Omri Casspi has laid up his final shot for the Warriors. (Photo: Facebook)Omri Casspi was waived by the Golden State Warriors just before the end of the regular season, thereby terminating his chance to make it into the playoffs. It’s not a stretch to say that the timing sucked. Casspi — the first Israeli to make it to the NBA — was a pretty good guy to have coming off your bench, regardless for whom he played. Obviously it was too late in the season for another team to pick him up, but here’s hoping we’ll see hime again next season. By the way, T.J. Leaf may be the first Israeli to make it to the post-season, but he’s not a MOT.

NHL

At this point, Andre Burakovsky (Washington Capitols) and Brendon Leipsic (Las Vegas Knights) are the only two Jice-men still active.

Burakovsky — whose connection with Judaism has been an issue over the last couple of years (he claims he’s not Jewish but the Jewish Sports Review stands by their “ruling” that he is based on their qualifications) —  appeared in 56 games for the Caps (49-26-7, third in the Eastern Conference), putting 12 pucks in the net and assisting on a baker’s dozen. Washington leads the Tampa Bay Lightning two games to one in their conference matchup. They beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, four games to two. In the next round, they put away the Pittsburgh Penguins, also 4-2.

Leipsic, a 23-year-old rookie, had five goals and 17 assists in 58 games for the amazingly successful expansion Knights, who ended their inaugural season with a mark of 51-24-7, good for third place in the West. They are tied with the Winnipeg Jets in the Conference Finals at 1-1, having knocked out Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild in the first round. The Knights then ousted the San Jose Sharks, 4-2, in round two to move to the next-to-last step.

Zucker had an outstanding season for the Wild (45-26-11, fourth in the Western Conference). He appeared in all 82 games and led all Jewish players in goals (33) and assists (31). Zucker did not put up a point in the series with the Jets. He is also a finalist in the running for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, given to “the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune,

Zucker and his wife, Carly, raised funds for the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, a space that allows children and their families to watch Wild games in a game-like setting. They donated $160,000 to start the project, and also contributed $1,600 for each goal Zucker, who wears No. 16, scored (33) this season. In seven months, the project has raised more than $900,000.

Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs made great leaps over the last two seasons. They came in at 49-26-11, fourth in the East. Compare that with 29-42-11 in 2015-16 and 40-27-15 last year. They were eliminated in the first round of this year’s playoffs by the Boston Bruins.

Michael Cammalleri — at 35 the senior statesman among Jewish NHLers — appeared in a total of 66 games, split between the LA Kings (15 games, three goals, four assists) and Edmonton Oilers (51 games, 4/18), to whom he was traded in mid-November. The Kings finished in the seventh spot in the West with a record of 45-29-8. They were swept by the Knights in the first round. The Oilers were pretty awful, however, 36-40-6, eighth in the West.

Jason Demers appeared in 69 games for the Arizona Coyotes  (29-41-12, last in the West), contributing six goals and 14 assists.

Jakob Chychrun, also a member of the Coyotes, had his share of injuries, appearing in just 50 games with four goals and ten assists.

Josh Ho-Sang was a lightning rod for the NY Islanders this year. For some reason, he was constantly in the news, an indicator of why the team was doing poorly, even though he scored twice and assisted on 12 in just 22 games. He spent most of the year with the AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Some said he had a bad work ethic, a bad attitude, etc. Others say he was injured and didn’t want to let on. Let’s just hope for better times ahead. The Isles finished 11th in the East at 35-37-10.

NFL

Not much to report since the Arizona Cardinals selected Josh Rosen as their No. 1 pick (10th overall) in the NFL draft, much to the former UCLA QB’s annoyance. And that annoyance has stirred up something that may or may not be there, as far as anti-Semitic sentiments go. Tablet Magazine took a tongue-in-cheek approach in this piece.

Image result for josh rosen, anti-semitism

Despite the JSR’s declaration that Rosen meets their requirements, this piece from The New Yorker would seem to go against the one about not identifying with another religion. According to the article by Zach Helfand, “Rosen is the son of a Jewish father and a Quaker mother. He had a bar mitzvah but attended a Catholic high school, where he went to weekly mass and gave confession twice a semester.” So unless that confession thing was just going through the motions…

BTW, the question of religious identity is always tricky. A Jewish lad might have a bar mitzvah (although I guess “having” one is a moot point since it’s automatic) but later decide to convert. A Nazi might say, once a Jew, always a Jew. I leave this issue to more enlightened and educated minds.

As for the handful of other JFLers:

  • Ali Marpet preparing for a new position on the O-Line?
  • The NY Giants waived Adam Bisnowaty, who never made it to the official roster. UPDATE: Since posting this earlier today, news came down that he was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions.
  • Also around: Mitchell Schwartz, KC Chiefs, of whom great things are expected next season; and Nate Ebner (New England Patriots), who will be coming back from a season-sending injury.

MSL

Soccer. Ugh.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know my antipathy for the sport. Too much running around with nothing to show for it. Too much moving back and forth of players between teams and leagues. Too much time between games. Zzzzzz. But in the interest of fair play, I should mention the few Jews in the Major Soccer League. Thanks to the folks at JSR and Bob Wechsler for doing the leg work on this.

According to their calculating, these are the Jews of the MSL (standings as of this writing):

  • Steve Birnbaum, Defender, DC United (1-5-2, 11th — last — in Eastern Conference)
  • Benny Feilhaber, Midfielder, Los Angeles Football Club (6-2-2, second in Western Conference)
  • Zac McMath, Goalkeeper, Colorado Rapids (3-6-1, ninth in West)
  • Daniel Steres, Defender, LA Galaxy (2-5-2, 11th — but not last — in West. That’s another thing: 23 teams in the league? They couldn’t have found one more to make things easy?)

Wechsler added in his email on the topic:

  • Andrew Jacobson of Vancouver and Zach Pfeffer of Colorado have retired.
  • Jonathan Spector of Orlando does not identify as Jewish. His Jewish grandfather was Art “Speed” Spector, was the first player ever signed by the Boston Celtics.
  • Kyle Beckman of Real Salt Lake is listed as Jewish in many sources. He recently married a woman in a Greek Orthodox ceremony. From what I hear, you must be willing to be ID’d as Greek Orthodox in order to participate in its wedding ceremony.

So there you have it, folks. I know there are several items I’ve neglected, such as Soren Thompson‘s upcoming induction into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame, and for that my apologies. I hope to do better in the future.

In the meantime, don’t forget about my most recent book, Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War, in this, the 80th anniversary of that special season.

Breaking News: Arizona Cardinals select Josh Rosen as their #1 pick

Posted on: April 26th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

He was the 10th overall selection. Mazel tov, Josh. The Cardinals had traded up to get him.

Here’s the story from the local paper, the Arizona Republic. And the video announcement.

Earlier today the Washington Post published this article, “A guide to Josh Rosen, the best quote in the NFL Draft.”

Josh Rosen to the Cardinals.

Rosen is the first Jewish first-round pick since Harris Barton by the San Francisco 49ers in 1989. Other Jewish first-rounders: Sid Luckman, 1939, Chicago Bears; Merv Pregulman, 1944, Green Bay Packers; Dan Dworsky, 1948, LA Dons; Mike Sommer, 1958, Washington Redskins; Ron Mix, 1960, NFL Baltimore Colts and AFL LA Chargers; Steve Tannen, 1970, NY Jets. HT to Bob Wechsler for the info.

Nice to be included (Josh Rosen)

Posted on: April 25th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

USP NFL: COMBINE S FBN USA INI haven’t been posting nearly enough about UCLA QB Josh Rosen, who is expected to go very nice in the NFL draft. So it was a nice surprise to get an email from USA Today asking for my comments. Here’s the result from Josh Peter’s article “Josh Rosen can join Sid Luckman on short list at NFL draft”:

Rosen’s father is Jewish, and his mother is Christian. He attended a Catholic high school, St. John Bosco in Southern California. But he had a bar mitzvah and he identifies as Jewish.

“That’s pretty much the primary consideration for inclusion,’’ said Ron Kaplan, author of Kaplan’s Korner, a blog about Jews and sports. He later added by email, “Here’s wishing him mazel tov (good luck).’’

Short but sweet.

Break them off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar

Posted on: April 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

As in, give them a break.

Image result for pardon the interruptionYesterday’s Pardon the Interruption featured segments on two Jewish sports figures: Josh Rosen, who will be a high pick in the upcoming NFL draft,  and Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler.

The segment on Rosen led off the program as co-hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon opined on whether the former UCLA passer is “too cocky” and the knock on athletes coming from well-to-do families being tough enough to compete on a professional level. (Can’t help thinking that some of this complaining about Rosen’s attitude has at least a little something to do with his Judaism, but that might just be my paranoia).

A few minutes later, the conversation turned to whether Philadelphia fans and media were being too hard on the unorthodox (not being used in the religious meaning here) rookie manager, who likes to use analytics in making his decisions.

You can listen to the program here:

Jewish sports update, January 30, 2018

Posted on: January 30th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors visit the Utah Jazz tonight.

NHL

After the All-Star break, action resumes tonight with Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets; Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Calgary Flames; and David Warshofsky and the Colorado Avalanche visiting the Vancouver Canucks.

Jason Demers is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury as the Arizona Coyotes prepare for their Thursday game against the Dallas Stars.

MLB

Kevin Pillar, aka “Superman” to his Toronto Blue Jay fans, “wants to fly higher than ever before.”

Ryan Braun will indeed start working out at first base for the Milwaukee Brewers to help with their overcrowded outfield situation.

Alex Bregman served as the keynote speaker for LSU’s First Pitch Banquet this past Sunday.

I guess you get stories like this one regarding Gabe Kapler during the off-season.

The Cleveland Jewish News weighs in on the local team’s decision to retire the Chief Wahoo logo. Next year.

Misc.

Quarterback Josh Rosen, who decided not to return to UCLA so he can go into the next NFL Draft, will participate in the 2018 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge this week. The competition will feature 24 players from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The athletes will be divided into six teams based on their college conference. Each team will consist of four players from the same conference who will compete for conference supremacy in a series of skills competitions. The event will be televised on Friday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Former NFLer Geoff Schwartz on “Why everyone loves the underdog Eagles, especially the Eagles”

Soccer clubs across Germany pay tribute to Holocaust victims

Kenyan soccer kids receive Maccabi kits from the Australian contingent

Jewish sports update, January 24, 2018

Posted on: January 24th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Missed the last couple of days, but rather than backtrack, we’re just going to pretend I’m current.

Just a quick congrats to the Robert Kraft-owned New England Patriots and Jeff Lurie-owned Philadelphia Eagles, who will face each other in Super Bowl LII on February 4.

In other football news:

As for the games played on Jan. 23:

NBA

Omri Casspi played just two minutes in last night’s 123-112 win for the Golden State Warriors (38-10) over the visiting NY Knicks.

NHL

Brandon Leipsic played 13:47 without taking a shot on goal for the Vegas Blue Knights in their 6-3 win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

Michael Cammalleri was a scratch for the Edmonton Oilers in their 5-0 loss to the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

David Warsofsky was a scratch for the Colorado Avalanche in their 4-2 loss to the host Montreal Canadiens.

And the “latest” on…

And lest we forget, Red Fisher, widely considered one of the best hockey writers in the game, who died last Friday at the age of 91.

MLB

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed catcher Ryan Lavarnway to a minor league contract. Lavarnway, 30, appeared in six games for the Oakland As in 2017. He made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2011. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, “The Pirates announced a slate of non-roster invitees to Spring Training today, including catcher Ryan Lavarnway, whose minor league deals had not been previously reported. Lavarnway, 30, has appeared in parts of six big league seasons with the Red Sox, Orioles, Braves and Athletics. He spent the 2017 campaign in the Oakland organization, though he appeared in just six games at the Major League level. Lavarnway is a career .201/.262/.318 hitter through 420 MLB plate appearances, but he’s logged a much more palatable .274/.365/.421 slash in parts of seven seasons at the Triple-A level.” HT to Bob Wechsler and Jeff F. for the news.

More on…

I have to get a screener of this film about the Israeli National Team at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Remaining Jewish free agents: Craig Breslow, Scott Feldman, Danny Valencia

Tennis

Long story short, no Jewish players are still active at the Australian Open.

 

 

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 18, 2018

Posted on: January 18th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

NBA

Image result for omri casspiOmri Casspi returned to action last night, playing 18 minutes off the bench with four points, four rebounds, and a steal as the Golden State Warriors beat the host Chicago Bulls, 119-112. It was the 14th straight road win for Golden State (37-9). From the Sacramento Bee: “F Omri Casspi played for the first time in a week after being sidelined by lower back soreness. Casspi was available for Golden State’s win at Cleveland, but Kerr held him out. ‘I wasn’t comfortable playing him yet, because he hadn’t really played enough with that bad back,’ [Coach Steve] Kerr said. ‘I’m a little sensitive to bad backs. I wanted him to get a good workout (on Tuesday).'”

NHL

No MOT games last night. Tonight, Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Philadelphia Flyers; Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Tampa Bay Lightning; David Warsofsky and the Colorado Avalanche host the San Jose Sharks; and Jason Demers, Jakob Chychrun, and the Arizona Coyotes visit the Nashville Predators.

MLB

Your regular Gabe Kapler report.

MLB.com puts Atlanta Braves hurler Max Fried at #10 on the list of top lefty prospects.

MLB.com also says the recent acquisition of Ian Kinsler is a major upgrade for the Los Angeles Angels. Conversely, his departure helps make the Detroit Tigers one of the worst teams in the game at the moment, at least according to Bleacher Report. Well at least you can’t blame Brad Ausmus anymore.

NFL

“Despite his first season at center ending prematurely due to injury, Ali Marpet and an effective pass protection effort by the offensive line aided the Tampa Bay offense in setting multiple franchise records in 2017,” according to this player recap on Buccaneers.com.
Tennis

At the Australian Open, Diego Schwartzman and countryman Guido Pella of Argentina lost their doubles match to Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chile) and Andrei Vasilevski (Belarus) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6. Madison Brengle (USA) and partner Monica Puig (Puerto Rico) beat Alison Bai and Zoe Hives (both of Australia), 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, in the first round of women’s doubles.

Jewish sports update, January 16, 2018

Posted on: January 16th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Featuring games from Jan. 15…

NBA

Omri Casspi missed his third straight game after his recent back issues due to as the Golden State Warriors (36-9) beat the host Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-108. Although he had been cleared to play, he was kept out of action as a “healthy scratch.” His next opportunity will be tomorrow night when the Warriors visit the Chicago Bulls.

NHL

David Warsofsky is back! Who knew? He’s on the Colorado Avalanche now but he missed last night’s 3-1 win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks as a scratch. He was recently recalled from the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL. Warsofsky made his debut in 2013 with the Boston Bruins. he has also played for the NJ Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins. The 5’9″, 170-pound defenseman has two goals and four assists in 39 career games.

The professional life-span of an athlete is usually pretty brief; hockey players last five-and-a-half years, slightly less than a Major Leaguer which tops the sports world with 5.6 seasons. So it’s never too early to think about your next career, as Andre Burakovsky is doing. #Flipper.

Although the Arizona Coyotes didn’t play last night, you can still read about Jakob Chychrun.

Tonight’s schedule shows Chychrun, Jason Demers, and the rest of the Coyotes hosting the San Jose Sharks; Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the St. Louis Blues; and Brandon Leipsic and the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Nashville Predators

Tennis

Israel’s Dudi Sela was knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round. Camila Giorgi (Italy) bested Anna Kalinskaya of Russia, 6-4, 6-3. Denis Shapovalov (Canada) beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece), 6-1, 6-3, 7-6,

NFL

Josh Rosen is becoming the subject of a lot of chatter for the upcoming draft. Could he be a good fit for the Denver Broncos?

An Algemeiner Journal headline: “New York Times Places Patriots’ Jewish Owner in Christian ‘Holy Trinity’.” Hmm.

MLB

His post-season may have bought him some time, but how much more patience will the LA Dodgers show for Joc Pederson?

How will the acquisition of Curtis Granderson (one of the class guys in the game and a favorite of mine) impact Kevin Pillar?

ThatBallsOutaHere — a Phillies-centric blog — tells fans why they should be excited about their new manager, Gabe Kapler.

MISC.

Goldberg, the wrestler, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Goldberg

 

 

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 12, 2018

Posted on: January 12th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Games of Jan. 11

NBA

No games last night for Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors. Tonight they visit the Milwaukee Bucks.

The sports management club at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, NJ, recently had the special opportunity to visit the offices of the NBA.

NHL

In the only NHL/MOT game, Andre Burakovsky was a healthy scratch as the Washington Capitols (27-14-3) lost to the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1.

Tonight, the Caps visit the Carolina Hurricanes while Michael Cammalleri and the Edmonton Oilers visit Jakob Chychrun, Jason Demers, and the Arizona Coyotes.

MLB

Mazel tov to Joc Pederson, who tied the knot earlier this month to Kelsey Williams..

Alex Bregman and other athletes helped out at a benefit skills camp.

Could Ryan Sherriff serve as the closer for the St. Louis Cardinals? Max Fried for the Atlanta Braves’ starting rotation? And could Danny Valencia wind up with the Colorado Rockies?

NFL

Mitchell Schwartz, the All-Pro offensive tackle for the KC Chiefs, looks back on an ultimately disappointing season.

 

 

Jewish sports update, January 11, 2018

Posted on: January 11th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

In last night’s action…

NBA

Omri Casspi played 24 minutes of the bench, scoring six points with three rebounds, three assists, and two steals, but the Golden State Warriors (33-9) dropped this one to the visiting LA Clippers, 125-106.

NHL

Just two games last night, both involving MOTs. No such similar circumstances tonight.

Jason Zucker had an assist on the Minnesota Wild’s first goal in their 2-1 win over the host Chicago Blackhawks. It was the 16th on the year for Zucker, who took three shots on goal in 13:33. The Wild improve to 23-17-4. Nice to see he’s making a difference off the ice as wellZucker of the Wild and his wife Carly are partnering with University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital to build a family suite and broadcast studio. That’s Zucker on the left with Michael  E. Jordan and Alex Fenner of the sports apparel firm UNRL.

Former Bear goalie’s firm donates to hospital project planned by Wild player

Zach Hyman took one shot in 19:11 as the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-3) lost to the visiting Ottawa Senators, 3-2.

Breaking (?) Jice news: There’s evidently still some dispute over the Jewish identity of Andre Burakovsky of the Washington Capitols. You may recall there was a bit of discrepancy a couple of years ago as to whether he denied being Jewish. But he’s still listed as such in the latest edition of the Jewish Sports Review and that’s good enough for me. To recap his season, Burakovsky has three goals and five assists in just 21 games due to a combination of injury and healthy scratches. The Caps are first in the Metropolitan Division/ second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 27-13-3.

Image result for jakob chychrunA “new” Jice-man, according to JSR, is Jakob Chychrun, a 19-year-old, 6-2, 200 pound defenseman for the Arizona Coyotes. He has appeared in 16 games this season with one goal and five assists. According to Bob Wechsler, author of Day by Day in Jewish Sports History and The Jewish Baseball Card Book, “His mother must be Jewish, because his father [Jeff] played in the NHL.” Chychrun the younger actually made his NHL debut last year.

NFL

Fair or not, one ESPN contributor picked Adam Bisnowaty as the most disappointing rookie for the NY Giants: “This is probably nitpicking a bit. Bisnowaty was a sixth-round pick out of Pittsburgh. He wasn’t supposed to make an immediate impact. He was, however, supposed to make the roster. Instead, he sat on the practice squad for the first 16 weeks of the season and looked overmatched in pass protection during his one appearance in the finale against the Redskins.”

MLB

Legendary sports writer Irwin Cohen contributed this piece on Jews and baseball to the Brooklyn-based Jewish Press.

MISC.

Sports sandals, anyone? These come from the Israeli firm, Naot.

Source by Naot sandals

 

 

   
 

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