The Evster Kicks Ryan Braun Out of the Tribe

The Evster Kicks Ryan Braun Out of the Tribe

I don't think you realize how devastating this whole Ryan Braun steroids thing is to Jewish people. To most non-Jews, it was just "another dude on PEDs" and doesn't matter because "the Milwaukee Brewers aren't even a real team" and another reminder that "I have to go to the dentist". But to an entire population of people whose greatest athletic achievement revolves around Corey Pavin's sweater vest collection, it was the ultimate kick in the pants.

And don't talk to me about Sandy Koufax! All us Jews have heard enough about Sandy Koufax! We're all very proud of Uncle Sandy thank you very much but dude hasn't painted a corner since the Johnson administration. And Hank Greenberg, yeah he was cool, probably as cool as you could be with a last name like Greenberg, but I'm not entirely convinced he wasn't juicing either. The guy had forearms like a mule. He might have actually been a mule. Sports medicine wasn't really a thing back in the 30s, so there's a very good chance that Hank Greenberg was in fact a mule. Ryan Braun though? Not a mule ... good-looking ... or at least not mule-looking ... Home Run Champ! ... MVP! ... Rookie of the OMG do you know who he's engaged to?!

Now that Braun's suspended for the year, we're left to cheer on Ian Kinsler as our best active Jewish ballplayer. Do you have any idea what it's like when a guy hitting TWO EIGHTY EIGHT is the best you've got? Remember in the 80s when you PRAYED that Von Hayes could get his average above .300 so that mayyyyybbbbeeee he could get his stupid name in the league leaders column? That's what it's like. Ugh, his hair was horrible. There's also Jason Marquis (who just had Tommy John surgery!) and Kevin Youkilis, known best for that ridiculous batting stance I mean seriously what are you doing dude just put your damn hands together and ugh, that goatee. Embarrassing.

Sue Birdenberg

Basketball's even worse. Amar'e doesn't count (but if he did, OH, BUT IF HE DID), no living person has ever seen Dolph Schayes play, and Omri Casspi straight up suckssssssss. So it basically comes down to Sue Bird. Not that I'm complaining about Sue Bird, I love Sue Bird -- as a player, not as a sex object (but also as a sex object) -- but c'monnnnnnnnnnn.

Football? Wanna talk football? Lyle Alzado is another guilt-ridden Jew who was all 'roided up. There's Sid Luckman, who was a phenomenal quarterback in an era when no one threw the ball. And the two-headed monster Dolphins QB Combo Platter of Jay Fiedler and Sage Rosenfels, who very well could be the same person. Also, I'm not kidding, there used to be an offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns whose name is ... and I'm being 100% dead serious here ... are you ready for it ... this is real ... his name was ... Lennie ... Friedman.

LENNIE FRIEDMAN.

HIS NAME WAS LENNIE FRIEDMAN.

FIRST NAME LENNIE.

LAST NAME FRIEDMAN.

NO COOL PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD HAS EVER BEEN NAMED LENNIE FRIEDMAN.

Swimming though, we've got some great swimmers! Dara Torres, Jason Lezak and MARK SPITZENBERG. But then again, swimming! This might be a good time to mention that Olympic Gymnast Mitch Gaylord is Jewish. Then there's Goldberg, the wrestler, who was a fantastic champion in a sport centered around the wonderful world of make believe.

Bonkers

In The Bleacher Report's list of the 25 Greatest Jewish Athletes of All-Time, #13 was Marty Hogan, A RACQUETBALL PLAYER. Now don't get me wrong, racquetball is intense, but I guarantee you that the 13th guy on the bench of the 1990 UNLV Runnin' Rebels was a far better athlete than Marty "Blue Balls" Hogan.

And I'm not trying to disrespect racquetball, I'm really not. That sport is bonkers. I played last week with a friend and almost died. At first I thought I was going to die from a good ole fashioned backhand to the throat, but turns out the easiest way to die on the court is heart palpitations. You know those movies from the 80s where some hot shot Wall Street exec invites the sweet, young up-and-comer to play racquetball in an attempt to humiliate him and let him know who's boss? That was me, except in the movies, the young guy who struggles at the start eventually gets his wind, figures out the angles and ends up giving his boss a run for his money. The longer I played the more time I spent doubled over in the corner, weeping. When I wasn't chasing after balls and bashing into solid plaster walls, I was chasing after balls and bashing into solid plate glass windows. Later, after taking a shower in the locker room, I didn't realize LA Fitness is B.Y.O.TOWEL, so I had to dry myself off with my shoe. I also witnessed an old Asian dude blow dry every part of his body besides his full head of hair, even going so far as to PUT HIS FOOT UP ON THE SINK to dry off his nibblers.

He was very agile, this Asian fella, very agile.

What was this post about again?

Right, Ryan Braun.

The thing is, yeah, we love controlling Hollywood, and dominating the comedy scene, and the Beastie Boys have done more for our people than Moses himself, but sports, everyone just wants to be good at sports. When you're good at sports, people like you. Chicks wanna bang you. Dudes give you dap. As I sit here at my cubicle, typing on this stupid computer while my co-worker Lorraine talks into her HANDSFREE HEADSET, I still have to believe that there's no sweeter life to lead than that of an all-star athlete. (Well, except for being a rap star or a giraffe photographer.) And Ryan Braun was doing that, as a Jew, representing an entire nation of scrubs -- and he was actually good! Really good! A lot better than Shawn Green and Mike Lieberthal and he even had potential to be better than -- hold your breath now, Jewish people -- Sandy Koufax.

And there's a gaspppppppppp from the congregation.

Please be seated.

But now Braun is a liar, and a bum, and a disgrace to the chosen people, relegated to the status of just another corny Jewish dude named Ryan. We all know Ryan. He works at his dad's law firm. He has a weirdo kid who he posts pictures of on Facebook. He hangs out in Margate. He sucks at softball.

So the search is on for the next great / decent / somewhat better than mediocre Jewish athlete. It doesn't seem like Jordan Farmar's career is gonna pan out quite the way I once envisioned. And it turns out that Max Scherzer is actually not Jewish (which we should have known by his 14-1 record and 3.14 ERA). I'm starting to think that maybe Amar'e Stoudemire is Jewish? Pretty sure I went to Hebrew school with a guy named Amar'e. Mighta been Ari. Mighta been like 45 different kids named Ari. But did you know that Amar'e is currently an assistant coach for the Canadian Maccabi team? You gotta be pretty friggin' Jewish to wanna hang out with that many other Jewish people. I don't even know what that means, but I'm pretty sure that with a little convincing, Amar'e could easily become my Uncle Ivan's favorite athlete of all time.

Well, except for Sue Bird.

Whose mother is Christian by the way.

Is there any way that one day racquetball becomes one of the four major sports?

How 'bout dentistry?

I cannot tell you, how absolutely ecstatic I am, that Shawn Bradley is a Mormon.

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

10 observations from Eagles OTA practice Tuesday

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10 observations from Eagles OTA practice Tuesday

Finally some nice weather.

The Eagles began their second round of OTAs on Tuesday under the beaming sun, in near-80 degree temperatures. That’s a departure from the first day of rookie camp and the first day of last week’s OTAs, which both brought rain.

So without the confinements of the practice bubble and without a slick football, we got a chance to see the 2016 Eagles in desirable conditions Tuesday.

Here are 10 observations from Tuesday’s practice:

1. Overall, a pretty sloppy day for the defense. As soon as the team portion of the practice began, Sam Bradford got the defensive line to jump about three times in the first several plays of practice. Late in the practice, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz had enough and ripped into a second-year defensive back.

During his nearly 30-minute press conference after practice, Schwartz was asked about his past experience grooming a first-round quarterback (Matthew Stafford), but said he doesn’t have much time to worry about Carson Wentz.

“We’ve got enough worries on defense right now,” he said.

2. If you’re looking for a bright spot on defense, we’ll offer up rookie defensive back Jalen Mills. On Tuesday, Mills got a chance to work against the first-team offense in the Nickel package. When Mills came on the field, Ron Brooks moved inside, while Leodis McKelvin remained outside.

Mills made the defensive play of the day, when he got in between Jordan Matthews and a deep sideline pass.

“He’s been impressive so far,” Schwartz said of the seventh-rounder Mills. “But we haven’t even really started yet, to tell you the truth.”

Schwartz said the team wanted to see how Mills would look going against veterans; before Tuesday, he had mostly been going against rookies.

“We don’t have a depth chart right now,” Schwartz cautioned.

While those three worked with the first team on Tuesday, there could be different players there Wednesday. And Nolan Carroll, who’s still recovering, isn’t yet able to do team drills.

3. Rueben Randle (gallbladder surgery) and Ryan Mathews (illness) both missed practice on Tuesday, which gave some other guys more reps.

At running back, it meant Kenjon Barner worked with the first team, while rookie fifth-rounder Wendell Smallwood worked with the twos. With Mathews out and with Darren Sproles still away, the team had just three running backs suited up on Tuesday. Barner looked pretty good with the first team on Tuesday.

The starting widouts were Nelson Agholor, Josh Huff and Jordan Matthews. When all three were on the field, Matthews was mostly in the slot. But one guy who did a lot with his reps on Tuesday was free-agent signing Chris Givens. Now, obviously, these guys are still in shorts, but Givens showed off his speed and hands. He’s making a push for the roster as the last receiver to make the team.

4. Fletcher Cox is still not with the team (see story). Last week, during the open practice, Taylor Hart worked next to Bennie Logan in his spot. Tuesday, it was free-agent pickup Mike Martin.

“I’ve been working with them,” Martin said after practice. “We’ve been switching and working both sides. But it’s a great advantage to be able to work with the first-team guys and get those reps.”

5. You’re probably wondering how Wentz looked. He again showed off his strong arm on Tuesday, while working with the threes. Overall, he probably had the best day of the quarterbacks.

He delivered a perfect 25-yard sideline pass to Givens over the shoulder. On another play, he tripped over his offensive lineman’s foot, but was still able to complete an out to Trey Burton while falling. That’s all arm strength, because he couldn’t use his legs to complete the pass.

The one thing we have seen a couple times from Wentz is this: he has a strong arm, but sometimes he has overthrown his targets. Nothing major yet, but something to keep an eye on.

6. Jordan Hicks was back at MIKE with the defense during Tuesday’s team portion of practice, which is a good sign for a team that’s relying on him heavily. Last Tuesday, he was held out with some tightness in his legs.

While Hicks has been playing the middle linebacker spot, Schwartz talked about the versatility of that group.

“All of those guys are pretty much interchangeable, and you have to be now,” Schwartz said.

7. Last Tuesday, head coach Doug Pederson said Cody Parkey wouldn’t be a full-go until perhaps training camp, but the kicker was hitting field goals on Tuesday and looked pretty good.

He did miss about a 43-yarder, but he still has a really good shot to make the team over Caleb Sturgis, who did a nice job filling in last season. It’s not definitely Parkey’s job yet, though. Sturgis looked good Tuesday and that’ll definitely be a competition to watch come training camp.

8. Donnie Jones is the only punter left in the building after the team cut Ryan Quigley earlier this week.

Jones celebrated by booming several punts on Tuesday. He’s still pretty good.

9. Burton has been moving around the field quite a bit in the early going. He’s been lining up on the line as a tight end, in the backfield as a fullback and in the slot as a receiver. It’s pretty clear that in some packages, Pederson and the offense will have a fullback of some kind.

Come training camp, when the hitting begins, Burton will really need to show he can handle that role.

10. Perhaps the most notable change in practice under Pederson, as opposed to Chip Kelly, comes in the form of pace. Under Kelly, the emphasis was on running as many plays as possible in the time allotted, which meant correcting mistakes after practice.

“His approach was to get no-huddle,” left guard Allen Barbre said of Kelly (more on Barbre). “If you stop to correct it all the time, you wouldn’t be getting a no-huddle practice.”

Under Pederson, there’s much more on-field teaching during practice. At one point on Tuesday, Pederson actually stopped the practice, taught technique and made them run it again. Under Kelly, the offense would have been five plays down the line.

National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

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USA Today Images

National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

It's been nearly two months since Villanova won the National Championship in one of the most memorable games in NCAA Tournament history.

Since then, the Wildcats have been honored by the city (parade), the New York Stock Exchange (opening bell), the Phillies (first pitch), the Flyers and the Union. Earlier this week, head coach Jay Wright addressed the Eagles.

But that will all pale in comparison to where the Wildcats will be next Tuesday, when they become the latest championship team to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:10 p.m. and will be streamed on www.whitehouse.gov/live.

In his pool, President Obama had Villanova finally advancing past the second round — "I know that eventually they're going to break through. They've had some bad luck over the last couple of years," Obama told ESPN.com — but had the Wildcats falling to Kansas in the regional semifinal.

He then had Kansas beating North Carolina to win the title.

After surviving the first weekend for the first time since their Final Four run in 2009, Villanova ousted Kansas, 64-59, before shocking Buddy Hield and Oklahoma in the national semifinal, winning by 44. The Wildcats then won one of the most memorable championship games in NCAA Tournament history when Kris Jenkins hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Tar Heels, 77-74.

Union transfer contract of Michael Lahoud to Miami FC

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Union transfer contract of Michael Lahoud to Miami FC

The Union have cashed in on Michael Lahoud.

After terminating his loan to the New York Cosmos on Tuesday, the Union recalled Lahoud and officially sold the 29-year-old midfielder to Miami FC of the NASL for an undisclosed amount.

“Mike always served the club in a professional manner during his time here,” said Union sporting director Earnie Stewart, who loaned Lahoud to the Cosmos this offseason. “We thank him for his service and want to wish him the best of luck in Miami and in his future endeavors.”

Lahoud, whose prorated $115,637.50 guaranteed salary comes off the Union’s salary cap, was acquired in 2012 in a trade with Chivas USA for defender Danny Califf. He made 58 appearances with the Union before being loaned out.