Jewish Journal


July 16, 2009

Polo Mom Poolside at 18th Maccabiah


The games go on.  It’s Day 5 of the Chai Maccabiah and box scores can be found for most events in the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.  Just as the games go on, so do the snafus and foul-ups., 

On Tuesday morning, just as the Israel-Mexico softball match was under way, local cops showed up and stopped the game.  Seems like the Maccabiah officials hadn’t procured the necessary business license from the local municipality.  After a battle of quotes in local papers,  the problem was sorted out when the necessary license was procured and the softball series resumed today.

The Indian delegation of cricketeers handily dispatched the Israeli cricket team.  Steve Soboroff, who put together a 45-minute email fundraising campaign to bring them to Israel, said that this was the only time he was glad to hear that Israel was defeated. 

Jamie McCourt (nee Luskin) was in Tel Aviv from L.A. as part of the Committee of 18 delegation that is attempting to help bring U.S. sports marketing and promotion expertise to the Maccabiah World Union.  She also made a significant donation to support the event.  On Tuesday, after a morning meeting which took her, Steve Soboroff and others on the committee to meet with Shimon Peres at the president’s house in Jeusalem, she went back to Tel Aviv to throw out the opening pitch of the baseball series.

Anywhere you go in Israel, you will see groups of Maccabiah athletes and supporters—at the shuk in Tel Aviv, at Yad Vashem and at the Kotel.  They are here in large numbers and not all Tel Avivians are thrilled about the extra congestion they bring to already clogged city arteries.  Hard to believe, but traffic here is much worse than L.A.


But I’m here as the mother of an athlete, so my time is spent schlepping by sherut out to the Wingate Institute (the country’s national sports facility) to watch the water polo matches.  And a disclaimer:  I’m also not a sports reporter, although I’ve spent a lot of time in bleachers over the years watching my boys play baseball, basketball, soccer and water polo.  So if I give offense, by deviating from customary observations, please excuse.  Unlike hockey moms, we’re not pitbulls with lipstick—but we do have our opnions.

The US men’s team beat the Canadian team 18-12 on Tuesday.  The Canadian players are, shall we say, “mature”—with many of them in their mid-30s and one of them meeting the mid-century mark.  They were out-swum by the US team which is younger and far fitter.  Let’s just say nobody will be calling the Canadian team to do a calendar shoot, with a few exceptions.

On Wednesday, the US took on Brazil, which gave a good effort, but went down to defeat 14-5.  Brazil put the first ball in the cage, but soon Adam Metzger and Nestor Dordoni scored two apiece and ran up the score to 4-1.  By the end of the first quarter, the US was in control.  By the end of the game the score went like this:

Adam Metzger (Cal ’00) 2
Jamie Neuwirth (JHU ’10) 1
Nestor Dordoni (UCSD ’09) 3
Brad Roslyn (Bucknell ’06) 1
Kevin Platshon (Cal ’07) 3
Zach White (Cal ’11) 4


Things could get interesting in the water polo final.  The US team just beat Israel 8-6.  The US team has not won the final against Israel since 1973.  Seventeen-year-old Spencer Borisoff, called “mighty mouse” by his teammates scored two points.  Spencer is from La Canada in L.A. County and will be joining his older brother, Devon, on the USC squad this fall.  He is the youngest of the three SoCal brothers who all play at high levels of competition.  Their counterparts in NorCal are the Platshon brothers—Kevin, Aaron and Scott—who respectively play or played for Cal (’07),  Bucknell (’05)  and Stanford (’13) and all of whom have berths on this Chai Maccabiah squad.  Ever reliable Nestor Dordoni scored 2; Zach White scored 1 and Kevin Platshon scored 1.  The final will be played at Wingate after havdallah on Saturday. 




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