Posted by Jeremy Fine
Recently TGR was featured the Chicago Jewish News. We are super excited about the exposure. The Article is below.
At the beginning it mentions how the blog got started. I want to make it clear that I was totally JOKING when I mentioned not having say in my wedding. I did. My in-laws are wonderful people and my wife is the best. Having been my first interview I should have realized that jokes do not always sound as good on paper.
Thanks for reading.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
A REAL (JEWISH) SPORT…
By CJN staff (03/26/2010)
Like many young Jews, Jeremy Fine always loved sports and was fascinated by Jewish athletes.
But it took a wedding - his own - to lead him into creating what is now a popular Jewish sports blog.
It wasn’t really the wedding but the preparations for it that spurred him into the blog world, Fine said recently in a phone conversation from Israel, where, as a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, he is spending his obligatory year of study.
“I was getting married (last) summer, and my wife was busy dealing with details of the wedding, which didn’t interest me so much or she didn’t let me be a part of,” Chicago native Fine says. “I wanted something to do, so I thought about my two loves, Judaism and sports.”
The two had sometimes been in conflict as Fine had to decide “whether to go to Hillel or go to a sports event” and the like.
He soon started a blog, writing three times a week at first. “I noticed a lot of people were reading it, so I launched it as an official Web site,” he says. “It’s just taken off. Now it has almost 20,000 readers and has been picked up by a lot of other blogs and sites.”
It’s called the Great Rabbino (www.TheGreatRabbino.com), a takeoff on one of Babe Ruth’s nicknames, the Great Bambino, and features a picture of Ruth wearing a tallis on its logo (Photoshopped, of course). “My friends and I were going through names of what we could call it and it kind of just came to me - because I’m going to be a rabbi,” Fine says.
The blog/Web site features news about Jewish athletes and coaches, college and professional, in all sports, as well as interviews that Fine and a few volunteers conduct, such as with the Cubs’ Sam FuldYuri Foreman, plus popular polls where readers can vote for their favorite players, then order a TGR T-shirt. Before the start of the NCAA tournament, for instance, Fine listed all the Jews on teams playing in post-season tournaments. The site also features lists of Jewish sports resources, Jewish sports Web sites, kosher stadiums and more.
“In the Jewish (sports) blog world, there are a few of us, and we talk to each other, confirm who is Jewish, share stories. It’s this kind of social club through the Internet,” Fine says.
“People love following Jewish sports, and I don’t feel there is enough press about it,” he says, adding that fans of the site range from “young people through college age through retired people.”
He recalls that when he wrote a column about Harry Shuman, an obscure Jewish baseball player who was in the major leagues from 1942 to 1944, “his granddaughter wrote in, saying how wonderful it is that people know about him.” His favorite interview, though, has been with , whom he calls “no doubt the greatest Jewish basketball player who ever lived.”
Fine sees sports and Judaism as being alike in many ways.
“Tradition and faith are the two big words,” he says. “In baseball, you always root for the same team; you don’t switch, and you have faith that every year they’re going to win. For Jews right now (the sports world) is so exciting. Omri Casspi (the Israeli basketball player now on the Sacramento Kings, and the first Israeli to be drafted into the NBA) is a huge deal, and in this past Olympics you had two Jewish swimmers.
“If you go back to (Sandy) Koufax, some people consider him the greatest (baseball) player of all time, and there’s a lot of pride in that. Anyone who is Jewish is going to root for the Jewish player,” he says.
In sports, he adds, “it’s an area where your religion, your race, your ethnicity doesn’t matter so much. If you’re a good athlete you’re going to have a chance.” As for Fine, his Chicago baseball allegiance might surprise some, considering his North Side-north suburban cred: He grew up in Deerfield and graduated from Solomon Schechter Day School and Ida Crown Jewish Academy. But his heart belongs on the South Side of the city.
“I’m the biggest White Sox fan you’ll ever meet,” he says. “We had two rules in our house: Marry Jewish, and never bring home a Cubs fan. My wife is not much of a sports fan but she knew the number one rule was, no Cubs clothes. The first present I bought her was a Sox hat, and one of our wedding presents was these amazing White Sox seats.”
His traces his family’s antipathy to the North Siders to his great-grandfather. “He came over to this country and went to Wrigley Field, and there was a sign there that said, no Jews or dogs allowed,” he says. “That was a no-brainer,” he continues. “My ancestors have a lot of Jewish pride, and that was a big one for them.” His family even subscribes to the Chicago Sun-Times because “the Tribune owns the Cubs.”
This year, “I think (the Sox) have a really great chance,” Fine says. “They have a different look and the feel of a real team. They have the best pitching staff in baseball, and their offense is exciting. They have some really young, talented guys who are still pure and haven’t been swallowed up by the game. And they still have (Paul) Konerko and (A.J.) Pierzynski. I see them winning the division and getting into the playoffs, where they would have to deal with Boston and New York. But I don’t think anyone would want to face us.”
As for the Cubs, “they have two Jewish players (Fuld and John Grabow), and I will quietly root for them,” Fine says. “This is the first time since I’ve been alive that they were kind of quiet in the off-season and didn’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars on broken-down players.”
He also likes the Blackhawks’ chances of being in the Stanley Cup finals. “There are some really really good teams they are going to have to face, but this team is set for a while and will be able to compete for many years,” he says. “If they don’t win this year, they’ve got these guys locked down for a long time. I have no reason to believe they can’t do it, that they shouldn’t be at their very best.”
Fine, meanwhile, will be finished with his year of study in Israel this summer and hopes to live in Chicago after his graduation. And then, the Great Rabbino will indeed be written by a rabbi.
8.25.13 at 7:26 am | One of the toughest women you will ever. . .
7.9.13 at 6:50 am | TheGreatRabbino.com went out and got a hold of AJ. . .
4.8.13 at 8:17 am | On the eve of another end to March Madness, TGR. . .
3.4.13 at 1:40 pm | Meet Stanford OLineman - @TheGreatRabbino
1.31.13 at 11:50 am | The man behind Jewish High School Basketball.. . .
1.17.13 at 7:21 am | Welcoming the Bears New Head Coach Marc Trestman. . .
March 28, 2010 | 3:07 pm
Posted by Jeremy Fine
At The Great Rabbino (www.TheGreatRabbino.com) we interview Jewish athletes of all kinds. We have interviewed professional wrestlers, major league baseball players, and sports broadcasters. Today we are bringing to the Jewish Journal an interview with Tani Mintz. She is an old friend of mine from way back in the day. Tani is attempting to qualify for the Olympics in Speedskating. Besides being a great athlete she is a nice Jewish girl. Oh yeah did I mention she is sponsored by Powerbar!? Below is my interview with her.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved with Speedskating?
My name is Netanya Shira Mintz, I’m 25 years old, and am extremely proud to say I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I went to private Jewish school my whole life until junior year of high school when I switched to public school. Athletics and sports have always been essential in my life. I was a diehard Michael Jordan fan since I can remember. (The two of us even used to hang out at the Multiplex when the Bulls practiced there! OK, maybe not hang out, but he knew my name and I hugged his knee. ) In junior high I played basketball and ran track. I also ran track at the Maccabi Games in 1998 and 2001 and earned a total of 12 medals: 3 bronze, 5 silver, and 4 gold. And in 1999 I played basketball at the Maccabi Games, and despite having a team of 6 (yes, 6 players total on our team!), we finished in a strong 4th place.
I started speedskating much later in life relative to other speedskaters. When I was 17 my family and I went to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Olympics. We all had tickets to see alpine skiing events because we are a family of skiers, but I really wanted to see a short track speed skating event as well. Admittedly, I totally bought into the Apolo Ohno hype and was super excited at the opportunity to see him live in action. It was at the Delta Center one night during the Olympics, watching Apolo win the gold, that changed my life forever. I knew I wanted to be a part of the Olympics. Now that I had experienced what it was to be a part of the crowd feeding the athletes the energy, I wanted to actually taste the energy. In an instant, I wholeheartedly believed I would be an Olympian one day. I would pursue speedskating the second I got home to Chicago, and I would make it happen.
2) What was in like to tryout for the Olympics?
When I first began speedskating in 2002 the thought of competing in Olympic Trials was right up there on the “cool” meter behind actually competing in the Olympics. I remember the day in 2005 when I qualified to skate in the 2006 Olympic Trials. It was a blur of emotion because it didn’t sink in when I crossed the line and saw my qualifying time. It didn’t even sink in when I told myself “Hey, you just qualified to skate in the 2006 US Speedskating Olympic Trials.” It sunk in when my coach skated by me and said, “Congratulations. You will be skating in Olympic Trials.” What takes many skaters a decade or more of hard work to accomplish took me a short four years – albeit a daily routine of intensive training, full-time schoolwork, and a little Starbucks on the side, but a short four years nonetheless.
Two months later in December, I skated my fastest races ever at the 2006 US Speedskating Olympic Trials. Not fast enough to make the team, but that didn’t matter (well, I can say that now, of course at the time I was a little disappointed). It didn’t matter because I realized sometime during that competition that I truly was capable of fulfilling my Olympic dreams. I had just proved to myself that hard work and dedication will lead you to success. As long as I was in control of my life the Olympic Games would be mine one day. The 2006 Olympic Trials was just another opportunity to gain some competitive experience so that next time I would be even more prepared.
Fast forward four years later and I’m at the starting line of the 2010 US Speedskating Olympic Trials. The past four years (2006-2010) had felt the most uncertain and unstable of my life. The only thing I learned to expect from life was the unexpected. Having only known a world of constants and stability, I decided to redirect my path along one with more certain outcomes. I retired from speedskating in 2007 and pursued law school. Slowly but surely the competitive fire came back, and with a vengeance. After being accepted to a couple law schools, I decided to put that avenue on hold and come back to speedskating. In September of 2008 I moved to Utah to train with no expectations of qualifying for any national, let alone international, competitions the next couple years. Three weeks later I qualified for every single national competition between Sept. 2008 and March of 2010… including the 2010 US Olympic Trials. I also finished 3rd overall. Again, I didn’t place high enough or skate fast enough to make the Olympic Team, but I did renew my sense of confidence that the Olympics will be mine… next time.
3) Are you hopefully for 2014?
4) What do you do in when you are not skating?
I don’t train on Thursdays and Sundays, so those are the days I usually work 5:30am-2:00pm at Starbucks. (Yes, on my off days I wake up at 5am!) To be honest though, Starbucks doesn’t feel like a job. It’s my social life! And there’s no better place to be at 5:30am than a coffee shop. And when I’m not at Starbucks or training I’m devoting all of my attention to the cutest, cuddliest, and craziest puppy in the world – Capone.
5) What are some of the coolest/most interesting experiences you have had because of skating?
Another loaded question! Where to begin? I remember my first race in Salt Lake City. I was trying to qualify for the 2003 Junior Nationals. My best shot was in the 1000m. I signed up for time trials that weekend. Saturday rolls around and I take a look at the pair sheet. Chris Witty – Inner Lane, Netanya Mintz – Outer Lane. Are you kidding me? My first race ever in Salt Lake City and I’m paired with the Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in the 1000m? How cool and ridiculous was that? I told myself, “Just keep her in your line of vision and you know you’ll be having a good race!” She did stay in my line of vision (barely), but I just missed the qualifying time by a couple seconds. Oh well! Cool experience!
Speed skating also took me to Torino, Italy in 2007 for the World University Games. Skating on another Olympic track (even if it was a year late!), was very inspirational. Not to mention the cool opening ceremonies I participated in that felt like a mini-version of what to expect some years down the road…
But probably the most interesting experience I’ve had because of speedskating actually has nothing to do with, well, speedskating. In 2005 Starbucks began an Elite Athlete Program. Long story short, I became their sponsored athlete. When I retired from speedskating in 2007 I asked Starbucks to please keep me involved in any future endeavors they pursue regarding health and wellness. Passion for my sport may have dwindled, but passion for maintaining a healthy lifestyle never has and never will. Starbucks realized my dedication to health and wellness and in May of 2008 called on me to participate in the Nike+ 10k Human Race – a race held on August 31, 2008, hosted in 25 cities around the world to benefit three global charities. More specifically, they wanted me to be Chicago’s ambassador to the program, if you will. Starbucks partnered with Nike in promoting the race, and Starbucks assigned me the duty of getting as many people in Chicago to run the race as possible. Through microchipped bracelets and shoe sensors and Nike+ iPods, Chicago racked up the most miles out of the 40 U.S. cities participating in Starbucks’ competition. Because my city won, Starbucks selected me to fly with Nike on their privately chartered Air New Zealand jet to Melbourne, Australia on August 29, 2008, run the race on August 31 at 8:31am, and then immediately jump back on the jet and fly to LA to run the last leg of the worldwide race beginning at 8:31pm. All in one day. Totally awesome one-of-a-kind never to be duplicated again experience? I’d say so.
6) What will life look like after skating?
What will life look like after skating? First can I focus on what life will look like tomorrow? I have no idea what’s in store for me post-speedskating. I’m sure furthering my education is in my future somewhere. And as of now I intend on settling down in Chicago again, one day… one day… But ah… so many many things to do before I can commit to one plan, one career, one city.
7) Has Judaism ever played a role in your sport? Has there ever been a conflict?
The biggest conflict I experience regarding Judaism and my commitment to training happens only on Yom Kippur. I’ve never been shomer shabbos, so racing on a Saturday morning has never been an issue for me. But since I began speedskating Yom Kippur has always been the one holiday where I feel most connected to my religion, probably specifically because while training I am unable to properly acknowledge the Holy Day – the full 24 hours is a constant reminder of what Jewish laws I am not obeying for the sake of pursuing my dreams. Although friends and family would never judge me for the religious decisions I make, especially on Yom Kippur, I can’t help but judge myself. I guess, ironically, Yom Kippur ends up being exactly what it is meant to be – a day of atonement. I constantly question my decisions on Yom Kippur and battle with myself whether to forego training that morning to go to synagogue, or to stay on track and not lose sight of my goal – not even for a mere few hours at synagogue once a year. Training has always won that battle, but at the heavy expense of extreme guilt the days leading up to and the day of Yom Kippur.
8) You are from Chicago, so what are some of you favorite spots to skate, dine, and hang out?
I love this question. ESPN Zone. Niketown. Millenium Park. Whether I’m home for a week or a day, these three Chicago landmarks are essential in my visit home. Ahhhh… thinking about them now makes me feel nostalgic…
If you want to support Netanya for the 2014 Olympics you can email her at email@example.com.
Thanks to Tani. Best of luck.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
March 25, 2010 | 12:47 am
Posted by Jeremy Fine
The Great Rabbino recently caught up with Colt Cabana to get his picks for this year’s Wrestlemania. Colt has been traveling the country wrestling and performing his comedy. I plan on hitting up a ROH Wrestling show as soon as possible. Big thanks and shout out to the funniest man in the wrestling business.
Hello all my fellow Heebs. Can I say Heebs? I assume I can. So I will.
It’s me, you’re favorite Jewish WWE wrestler of all time, formerly Scotty Goldman, Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana.
Currently I’m traveling around the world as a professional wrestler and semi-professional comedian. I can be seen every Monday night wrestling for Ring of Honor (rohwrestling.com) on HDNet.
This coming weekend I’m going to be having three giant shows in Phoenix, Arizona. Friday and Saturday will be a great ROH doubleshot and Saturday night I’ll be on stage telling wrestling jokes with Mick Foley for Total Extreme Comedy (totalextremecomedy.com). The biggest event of the weekend though, of course, is WWE’s WRESTLEMANIA 26.
Jeremy Fine, The Great Rabbino himself picked up his shofar-phone and gave me a call. He wanted to know if I could bless all his fine fans with my WM 26 picks. I consider it a Mitzvah to do it. All I ask is you don’t blame me when you loose all your gelt money when I get the picks wrong! Am I getting too obvious jewey?!!?!...OYE…too easy….ok fine (Jeremy), here you go…
WWE Unified Tag Team Title Match
John Morrison & R-Truth vs. The Miz & Big Show
CC: I think this one’s easy. Morrison & Truth have kinda just been thrown together. I think they’ve done a great job on TV lately though trying to tell you that they’re a legitimate team, but a strong bet would be SHOWMIZ FTW.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. MVP vs.Jack Swagger vs. Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston
CC: I’d love for it to be my old roomie, Evan Bourne. He’s definitely gonna be the highlight of this match in more than many ways. In my mind it’s a toss up between Christian and McIntyre. Since they’re pushing Drew as the “star of tomorrow”, I’m gonna say Drew McIntyre wins and makes his push as the next WWE champion.
Triple H vs. Sheamus
CC: The firecrotch doesn’t stand a chance. HHH by a landslide.
Triple Threat Match
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase
CC: Some interesting ways to think this one. I would hope that Ted Dibiase would get a solid definitive win here and establish himself as the next break out star. Unfortunately, I’ve got a feeling Randy Orton beats them both up the whole match and then grabs himself and easy Wrestlemania victory.
WWE Title Match
John Cena vs. Batista
CC: I wanna make a lot of funny jokes about this one, but I wont. I’m gonna say John Cena stands tall at the end of this one.
World Heavyweight Title Match
Edge vs. Chris Jericho
CC: Edge has really never won the title in a straight up fashion. I think at WM26, Edge gets his first clean championship win. SPEAR!
Career vs. Streak Match
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
CC: I think Undertaker’s not quite ready to give his streak up. Shawn will “retire”, go find god aka vacation in Hawaii, and come back with Marty Jannetty for one last Rockers Reunion.
No Holds Barred Match
Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon
CC: Bret with a Sharpshooter.
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
If Mysterio loses, he must join the Straight Edge Society.
CC: I look forward to this one as it’s my boy Punk’s first high profile Wrestlemania match. Punk’s going to win. Mysterio will join the straight edge society, but he’ll get kicked out of both the SES and WWE when he’s found smokin hella weed with RVD in a Jimmy Johns parking lot in Tuscon, AZ.
Those are my picks.
Maybe they’ll be right on, maybe they’ll suck.
Let me know on TWITTER at @DRColtCabana.
Enjoy all of WM weekend and if you’re out there, stop by either TXC or ROH and say hi.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
March 23, 2010 | 12:49 am
Posted by Jeremy Fine
Forget about who is the best Jewish baseball player out there. What matters is who is the best Jewish fantasy baseball player out there. Which Jews should you be drafting. Here are the player 2010 player pre-season player rankings from ESPN.com.
#4 Ryan Braun- #1 Outfielder
#19 Ian Kinsler - #2 Second Baseman
#38 Kevin Youkilis -#9 First Baseman
#308 - Gabe Kapler
#463 - Sam Fuld
#479 - Josh Whitesell
#619 - Ike Davis
Brad Ausmus - Not Top 1000 - #259 Catchers
#105 - Scott Feldman
#182 - Jason Marquis
#205 - John Grabow
#338 - Aaron Poreda
Craig Breslow - Not Top 1000 (Seriously??)
Scott Schoeneweis - Not Top 1000
And Let Us Say…Amen.
March 21, 2010 | 4:28 am
Posted by Jeremy Fine
Charlie Villanueva. Shaun Livingston. Julian Wright. All have gone to the NBA. All have had mediocre careers. And all have screwed over the Fighting Illini. They would get to their podium to announce their college decision and then leave you me in the cold. And now I hate them all fairly and equally.
But when Jon Scheyer snubbed Illinois and it hurt so much more. First off, Scheyer has a Jewish father. Also, he grew up not far from me. He was the talk of the town as a freshman in high school. Do you know how much nachas I would have gotten from rooting for this kid? Secondly, Scheyer played for the Illini’s coach, Bruce Weber’s brother in high school. So when he decided to pass on Weber’s offer and go with Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devil it was total shock and devastation for Jewish Chicagoans everywhere.
Naturally, we assumed Scheyer made the wrong decision. How would he fit in the fast pace ACC? Being a good Jewish boy from Chicago, wouldn’t he miss a good homemade Matzo Ball soup? But Scheyer proved us all wrong. Every year is numbers and playing time has increased. Because the yid can flat out score the basketball. In this his senior campaign Scheyer averaged 18.6 points a game, grabbed 3.6 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists. All of this while leading his Blue Devils to a number one seed in the NCAA tournament. Compare him to NBA All Star Deron Williams (former Illini God) who also led his team to a number one seed. Williams averaged 10.1ppg, 6.8apg, and 3.6rpg, so Scheyer faired pretty well against the NBA’s best.
Scheyer’s future looks bright. He should get drafted into the NBA this off-season joining Jordan Farmar and Omri Casspi as the only Jews in the league. He should fit in like a Mike Miller or J.J. Reddick type player. Bombing away from 3-point land and serving as a solid backup to the much quicker NBA guards.
While it pains me to say this, and I mean like seeing Zack Morris in anything else besides Saved By The Bell type pain, Jon Scheyer is the best Jewish college basketball player in the country. He might even be in the top five best players in the country, period.
Below is this year’s Jewish All American NCAA basketball team. Keep an eye on Sylven Landesberg who might follow Scheyer’s NBA career path.
Jewish NCAA Basketball All Americans
1) Jon Scheyer – G – Duke Blue Devils – 18.6ppg, 5apg, 3.6rpg
2) Sylven Landesberg – G – Virginia Cavaliers – 16.6ppg, 2.8apg, 6rpg
3) Jake Cohen – F – Davidson Wildcats – 13.3ppg, 5.1rpg
4) Dane Diliegro – C – New Hampshire Wildcats – 8.9ppg, 8.1rpg
5) Derek Glasser – G – Arizona State – 10.1ppg, 4.8apg, 2.5rpg
Jewish NCAA Basketball Honorable Mentions
1) Jon Jaques – G – Cornell Bears
2) Brett Harvey – G – Loyola Maryland
3) Jared Mintz – F – Lafayette Leopards
Enjoy the NCAA tournament. And keep an eye on Scheyer and Landesberg in this year’s NBA draft.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
- Jeremy Fine
For more information on everything Jewish in sports check out www.TheGreatRabbino.com.
March 17, 2010 | 2:30 pm
Posted by Jeremy Fine
So, it is tournament time. Everyone is frantically filling out their brackets, hoping to gain pride and maybe some cash. Everyone has a different strategy for picking the Final Four. Some people pick underdogs, some pick according to mascots, and some pick by what they think is knowledge yet always end up losing. Well, The Great Rabbino has decided to help you out. TGR is filling out your brackets using Jews. I want to state clearly that I am NOT responsible for you losing your pool. This is just a fun, Jewish, and different way of trying to win your bracket. Just remember that God influenced this bracket.
How are we going to do this? We have done tons of research and came up with a crazy and completely illogical system. Teams were considered by Jewish Players/Coaches, seeding numbers relevance to Judaism (#1 = God, 10 = 10 Commandments, etc), the University’s Hillel/Jewish studies program, the number of Jews on campus, the surrounding city’s Jewish presence, Jewish sports alumni, and a slight TheGreatRabbino.com bias.MIDWEST REGION ROUND 1
Kansas vs. Lehigh – While Lehigh has a Jewish player Matt Shamis, all #1 seeds will advance because the number one stands for God.
UNLV vs. Northern Iowa – I believe Northern Iowa was the home to the Rubashkins. UNLV wins by default.
Michigan State vs. New Mexico State –Hank Greenberg’s Michigan roots push MSU ahead to the next round.
Maryland vs. Houston – Maryland boasts one of the best Hillels in the country.
Tennessee vs. San Diego State – Player Steven Pearl gets the Volunteers to round two.
Georgetown vs. Ohio – Even with less Jews on campus Ohio has a Hillel.
Oklahoma State vs. Georgia Tech – Neither school is strikingly Jewish, so #10 gets the nod representing the 10 Commandments.
Ohio State vs. Santa Barbra – UCSB has Jordan Weiner, but OSU’s stadium is the Schottenstein center. Jewish home beats out Jewish player.
WEST REGION ROUND 1
Syracuse vs. UVM – The number one stands for God, which is unbeatable (unless its Ditka).
Gonzaga vs. Florida State – The Christian school wins this one. Let the interfaith dialogue begin.
Butler vs. UTEP – Butler has better Jewish life on campus.
Vanderbilt vs. Murray State – Vanderbilt’s quick growing Jewish population gets them to round 2.
Xavier vs. Minnesota – Sigmund Harris was an All American quarterback at Minnesota and a part of the tribe (yes, that is the best we can do).
Pittsburgh vs. Oakland – Pittsburgh Hillel trumps Oakland’s chances.
BYU vs. Florida – Nimrod Tishman, while not playing much, creates the Jewish/Israeli upset here.
Kansas State vs. North Texas – My regular bracket won’t have this, but my Jewish bracket does. North Texas has a great Jewish studies program and advances.
EAST REGION ROUND 1
Kentucky vs. ETSU – God is one!
Texas vs. Wake Forest – Current Jewish Major leaguer Scott Feldman plays for the Rangers. Texas pride!
Temple vs. Cornell – We are so upset that Jews are playing each other in the first round. Cornell has two and Temple has one, so upset in the making.
Wisconsin vs. Wofford – Wisconsin is home tons of Jewish summer camps. Not sure what Wofford is known for.
Marquette vs. Washington – The better Hillel moves on.
New Mexico vs. Montana – Umm…so…I have a Rabbinical School friend from New Mexico?
Clemson vs. Missouri – Numbers system. The 10 commandments trump the days in a week.
West Virginia vs. Morgan State – UWV at least has a Hillel.
Duke vs. (ARPB/WIN) – #1 God is with Duke and Jon Scheyer.
California vs. Louisville – Last season California had David Liss. His legacy continues.
Texas A&M vs. Utah State – There are more Jews in Texas. That’s a fact.
Purdue vs. Siena – Purdue has a Hillel.
Notre Dame vs. Old Dominion – Continuing our interfaith theme.
Baylor vs. Sam Houston – Baylor has a Hillel.
Richmond vs. St. Mary’s – Mary was a Jew.
Villanova vs. Robert Morris – Seems to be the interfaith region.
Kansas vs. UNLV – God is still 1.
MSU vs. Maryland – Maryland’s Hillel continues to roll.
Tennessee vs. Ohio – This time it’s Bruce Pearl who leads the way.
GT vs. OSU – Shalom in the Home. OSU marches on.
Syracuse vs. Gonzaga – Player Brandon Reese pushes ‘Cuse ahead.
Butler vs. Vanderbilt – Vanderbilt’s Jewish studies program trumps Butler.
Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh – The Squirrel Hill faithful keeps Pitt in it.
Florida vs. North Texas – Tishman’s prayers keep them alive.
Kentucky vs. Texas – God remains on top.
Cornell vs. Wisconsin – Jon Jaques and Eitan Chemerinski hep Cornell move on to the sweet sixteen.
Washington vs. New Mexico – Yikes again. Washington has more Jews?
Missouri vs. West Virginia – Been to Wheeling WV and it has a nice synagogue.
SOUTH REGIONAL ROUND 2
Duke vs. California – Scheyer will play a huge factor in the tournament. Stay tuned.
Texas A&M vs. Purdue – More Jews on campus.
Notre Dame vs. Baylor – The Hillel beats the Church.
St. Mary vs. Villanova – Mary over her son’s followers.
Kansas vs. Maryland – No Hillel can beat God.
Tennessee vs. OSU – The Pearls cruise.
Syracuse vs. Vanderbilt – Syracuse has Assistant Coach Bernie Fine. Winner!
Pittsburgh vs. Florida – How can Pittsburgh overcome thousands of old Jewish ladies?
Kentucky vs. Cornell – I want to pick Cornell but when Calipari left Memphis it allowed Josh Pastner (Jewish) to move into his coaching spot. So, for Calapari’s act of chesed the Wilcats move into the Elite Eight.
Washington vs. UWV – Marshall “Biggie” Goldberg played fullback for the Steelers, but he was born and raised in UWV (and makes this bracket not totally weird).
Duke vs. Texas A&M – Scheyer keeps them moving.
Baylor vs. St. Mary’s – Lets face it not too many Jews at St. Mary’s.
Kansas vs. Tennessee – Finally, I can stop picking Kansas. Tennessee’s Jew power overcomes Kansas.
Syracuse vs. Florida – Coach Fine and benchwarmer Reese carry the Orange into the Final Four.
Kentucky vs. UWV – Calipari’s help makes me want to keep him going.
Duke vs. Baylor – Scheyer is the best Jewish player in this tournament. Period.
Tennessee vs. Syracuse – Both teams have a Jewish player and coach, but Tennessee’s are better.
Kentucky vs. Duke – Jon Scheyer takes the Dukies to the Finals.
Duke vs. Tennessee –Jon Scheyer wins it all.