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.

Instant Replay: UConn 64, Temple 63

usa-temple-uconn-jalen-adams.jpg
USA Today Images

Instant Replay: UConn 64, Temple 63

Temple’s roller coaster season continued with a new low on Sunday afternoon.

The Owls, who led nearly the entire way, allowed UConn guard Jalen Adams to make a reverse layup with 2.9 seconds remaining in a 64-63 loss at the Liacouras Center.

Shizz Alston Jr. missed the potential game-winning shot from half court as time expired.

Turning point
The Owls (14-14, 5-10 AAC) looked like they might avoid blowing a 10-point lead after Quinton Rose responded to Rodney Purvis’ game-tying three-pointer with a three of his own to give them a 63-60 lead with 2:32 left.

However, the Huskies (14-12, 9-5 AAC) responded with a pair of free throws from Adams before he snaked his way into the lane with the clock running down for the game-winner. The layup gave UConn its seventh win in the last eight games.

Big men on campus
The Huskies were led by Rodney Purvis’ game-high of 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting. He also added five assists. 

Adams shot just 5 of 13 for 13 points, but connected with the game on the line. He also chipped in five assists and five boards.

The Owls received a jolt Sunday from their young players, as freshmen Damion Moore and Alani Moore II scored a combined 22 points on 9 of 10 shooting. 

In a solid all-around effort, Temple’s Daniel Dingle scored 17 points, with six boards and six assists. Alston Jr. contributed 11 points, six assists and 5 rebounds.

Inside the box score
• After making 5 of 9 shots from three-point range in the first half, Temple finished the game 7 of 21 from deep.

• UConn's Kentan Facey had a big game in the first matchup between the two teams with 23 points and 10 rebounds. On Sunday, the senior was held to eight points and four rebounds after dealing with foul trouble in the first half.

• Temple couldn’t find any room inside, as the Owls lost the points in the paint battle 26-16.

History lesson
With the win, UConn improved to 9-7 in the all-time series. The victory was the Huskies’ third straight in the series.

Up next
The Owls will continue on a three-game homestand Wednesday at 7 p.m. against UCF.

UConn will stay on the road and play at Houston also on Wednesday.

Flyers skate update: Matt Read's 400th game; Andrew MacDonald scratched

Flyers skate update: Matt Read's 400th game; Andrew MacDonald scratched

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Matt Read did not have to worry about being an NHL draft bust.

He did not impress scouts enough to be drafted at all while playing collegiate hockey at Bemidji State in Minnesota. Instead, the Flyers' winger had to make the NHL the hard way — as a free agent.

“Out of college, I signed with the Flyers and was just doing everything I could to get an opportunity to make the team,” Read, 30, recalled after the team’s morning skate before the Flyers take on the Vancouver Canucks.

His hard work and determination were rewarded here as he drew into the Flyers lineup for his 400th NHL career game.

“If you told me as a 12-year-old self I was playing 400 games in the NHL, I’d be pretty happy, obviously,” Read said. “I don’t have enough words to describe (what the accomplishment means.) Every day in the NHL is a blessing, I guess. You show up every day, work hard and have fun. As a kid, I wanted to be a professional hockey player, and I get to live it out everyday, which is amazing.”

Read originally signed as a free agent with the Flyers in 2011. Unlike many other NHLers, he has played his entire career with the same organization.

“The opportunity to play for the same team for six years is almost unheard of in the National Hockey League these days, so (I) take advantage of it and enjoy it,” Read said.

What has enabled him to stick?

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m just showing up at the rink every day to work hard, have fun, be a team guy and do as much as I can to make this team better.”

Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said he has a “solid level of trust” in Read.

“There’s a lot of different pathways towards the NHL,” Hakstol said. “I think what you see in that guys that are able to hit a milestone like 400 is, there’s a level of dedication and consistency in terms of work habits to get there. Obviously, Matt has demonstrated those. It’s a hell of a milestone. (But) probably first and foremost on his mind, I would think, tonight is playing a good hockey game and helping our team.”

MacDonald gets night off
Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald received the night off as Hakstol made him a healthy scratch. The move was somewhat surprising, because MacDonald has played every game since he was scratched Nov. 19 against Tampa Bay.

Hakstol said MacDonald needed a rest. As a result, Brandon Manning was shifted to the right side from the left and paired with Ivan Provorov.

According to the coach, Manning has not had trouble switching sides this season.

“He’s done a pretty good job,” Hakstol said. “If you look at it, particularly this year, he’s been pretty efficient in making that transition. Is it easy? No.”

Neuvy gets the nod again
Hakstol did not think goaltender Michal Neuvirth needed a rest. He got the nod for his fourth straight start and sixth in the last seven games overall.

“He’s been the guy that’s been in a rhythm for us and he’s done a pretty good job and he’ll go back tonight,” Hakstol said.

Neuvirth was not complaining about the heavy workload.

“It’s good to be playing,” Neuvirth said. “The more I play, the more comfortable I feel. It’s been good.”

He also prepared to be comfortable with the risk of added fatigue.

“It is what it is — you’ve gotta be ready anytime, any day,” Neuvirth said. “It’s a good opportunity for me and it’s gonna be a good challenge.”

Former Flyers coach enshrined
Late former Flyers coach Pat Quinn has been honored with a life-sized statue outside the home of the Canucks. The monument, funded by a group of Quinn’s friends and business partners, was unveiled over the weekend.

Quinn began his coaching career with the Flyers in 1977-78 before holding coaching and managing positions with the AHL Phantoms and four other NHL clubs, including the Canucks. He guided the Flyers to a 35-game unbeaten streak — a record for North American sports — in 1979-80, when they reached the Stanley Cup finals.

Loose pucks
• The Flyers’ .667 winning percentage in Vancouver ranks as their best in any current NHL city. 

• Despite outshooting their opponents in 15 of 20 games dating to Jan. 1, the Flyers are 5-8-2 in the 15 contests.

Scratches: Defensemen Andrew MacDonald and Nick Schultz

Lineup
F: Schenn-Giroux-Simmonds

Weise-Couturier-Voracek

Raffl-Cousins-Read

VandeVelde-Bellemare-Lyubimov

D: Provorov-Manning

Gostisbehere-Streit

Del  Zotto-Gudas

G: Neuvirth