20 Questions with Caitlin Brandes

Next up is ZogSportsLA’s  referee, Caitlin Brandes. You may think her talents can only be seen on the court, but beware…  this Nebraska girl has a whole lot more to bring at the bar!

1. Sports You Ref? Volleyballcatilin

2. When did you start working at ZogSports? Fall Sand Season 2013

3. Hometown? Central City, Nebraska

4. Hidden Talent? I’m really good with a sling shot and I studied classical piano for 15 years

5. Favorite Sports Team? I’m from NE so Cornhuskers!!

6. What’s the last thing you ate? A stuffed roasted bell pepper.

7. Funniest ZogSports Memory? When my team manager announced that the reason I had hurt my neck was from extracurricular activities in the shower with my husband. The team coined the term ‘sex neck.’

8. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? Why? The Fairy-tale of the Corn Picking Disney Princess. That’s my nickname at work!

9. If you were a drink, what would it be? Why? A shot of Fireball Whiskey. I’m a redhead who is sweet and a little fiery! fireball_cinnamon_whisky_l

10. If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? Sunscreen, my kindle, and more sunscreen

11. What are you listening to right now? I am really digging Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’

12. Favorite Sneakers? Dark Purple Nike’s—they show no wear and tear, and are sooo comfy!

13. How long could you go without talking? I would say a day—but anyone who knows me would probably say maybe 5 minutes.

14. What’s your favorite joke? Grasshopper hops onto bar-stool, orders a drink, Bartender says, “hey, we have a drink named after you.” Grasshopper replies, “you gotta drink named Steve?!”

15. What’s on your fridge door? Pics of my nieces and nephews. So many!

16. Fav food? Mama’s home cooking.the-lego-movie-poster-full-photo

17. Last movie you saw? The Lego Movie, adorable and hilarious.

18. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Chesties!!!—it’s a hybrid of the two along with some quarters thrown in. CRAZY!

19. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on tv? If so, where? Yes, Newspaper in HS and college for plays/musicals and HS for volleyball—state champs senior year. TV/Film—extra work

20. Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why? Wyoming—Yellowstone National Park with my family. Lost my first tooth on that trip and tried cheesecake for the first time. Plus all the great time outdoors!!

From NYC to SF, a Zog Perspective

 Going from East to West, John McCartney knows a lot about making moves. Though he left his NYC team behind, he was able to continue his ZogSports journey in San Fran. Today he shares how it all began…

It has been a thrill to be involved with ZogSports for all these years.  I was first introduced to the league by a friend who informed me her team, “Rule 76: No Excuses, Play Like A Champion”, had some open spots on the roster. I was glad I made the cut.

Being involved with the “Rule 76” team had a profound effect on my life as it afforded me with the opportunity to meet some really kick ass people, most of whom have become dear friends of mine. After having an enjoyable first season, I continued to play in as many seasons as possible. Granted, a few injuries here and there couldn’t compare to the joy of being on the same field as my friends. I was always looking to get that win week in and week out and then, of course, hit the bar for some Flip Cup, Beer Pong, Civil War, and Ring of Fire.

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Few of the Rule 76/Lock It Up members from throughout the years, Social Bar & Grill, NYC, December 2010

From my first NYC Zog football team in 2008 to my last one in 2013, “Fargin Iceholes”, I am so lucky to have had so many memories over the years through Zog. The competition, the rivalries, making the playoffs, and of course happy hour made my NYC lifestyle all the more exciting!

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Fargin Iceholes, Octagon Field, Roosevelt Island, NYC, March 2013

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Fargin Iceholes & Tom Brady’s Tears, Tammany Hall, NYC, March 2013

When I made the decision to move from New York to San Francisco for work towards the end of 2013, I knew that somehow I would get involved with the Zog SF league.  I introduced myself to Nick, the SF General Manager, inquired about the winter season and the potential to become a league football referee.

No Punt Intended

No Punt Intended

We’ve just finished the third week of the ZogSportsSF winter football season and I’m fortunate to be part of “No Punt Intended,” a team comprised of individual players. From top to bottom everyone has been so supportive of each other and we are having fun along the way. In addition to playing I now have been able to become a part of the “Zog Referee” family.

Realistically, I know there’s no difference between the New York and San Francisco Zog leagues.  However, I will make three general observations having been lucky enough to experience both:

1. Weather. This winter season I am definitely happy to be on the West Coast! The weather has been very good, sunny and mid 60s. I’ll gladly take this weather over what I experienced in New York!

2. Level of competition. Being a newly minted Zog football ref has given me the chance to see a number of teams play, and I have to say that there are a few San Francisco teams who would give the New York teams a run for their money. On the other side of the spectrum, there are a number of new teams with no prior Zog experience who could use a little extra practice time! The San Francisco league is still pretty brand new, all in good time.

My new Zog ref shirt, Galileo Field, San Francisco, February 2014

My new Zog ref shirt, Galileo Field, San Francisco, February 2014

3. Happy hour. It saddens me in a way that there is no “Parlour” in San Francisco. I truly believe that the Zog happy hour is an absolute important piece to the overall experience; it’s where you can meet other Zog players, make new friends and new memories! I am looking forward to recreating this and calling a local bar a ZogSports home of our own.

The San Francisco league has so much potential for growth and it’ll be exciting to see where we end up in the years to come!

20 Questions with Shreyas Parikh

Next up on the 20 Questions series is NYC ref, Shreyas Parikh. Besides reffing ZogSportsNYC Football and Bowling, you can find him eating chicken and rice at his favorite foodie hot spot while watching his NY Giants tearing up the field. ref

  1.  Sports You Ref: Football and Bowling
  2. When did you start working at ZogSports? Fall 2009 (I think) to pay off my MBA
  3. Favorite Food?  Chicken and rice (53rd and 6th)
  4. Guilty Pleasure... Right now, Synders honey roasted pretzel
  5. Hometown? Valley Stream, NY
  6. What are your favorite sports teams? NY Knicks and NY Giants ny-giants-nfl-betting
  7. What’s on your fridge door? Pic of my 2 year old nephew
  8. What is your Funniest ZogSports Memory? Losing a flip cup bet and having ice water poured on me
  9. Last Movie You Saw: The Internship
  10. What’s the last thing you ate? Caesar salad
  11. What’s on your mouse pad? Don’t have a computer, use a tablet
  12. If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? Family, friends, and a ton of food
  13.  Ocean or Pool? Pool
  14. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Flip cup
  15. What are you listening to right now? Jay-Z & JT – Holy Grail
  16. Do you have any pets? No pets
  17. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on tv? Nope
  18. How long could you go without talking? 15 minutes…max
  19. What’s the worst present you’ve ever received? Hand me down from my sister, a purple mountain bike that was too big for me at the time
  20. If you were a drink, what would it be? Jameson, that’s my drink of choiceimages

20 Questions With Carlos Hawkins

20 Questions continues with one of our awesome ZogSportsNYC football refs, Carlos Hawkins! If you’re not Zogging with C-Hawk, he might be watching his favorite reruns of Sex and the City or cheering for the New York Jets. Check out what Carlos revealed to Zog!Carlos

1)  What sport do you ref? Football

2)  When did you start working at ZogSports? Oh goodness, can’t remember the start date! (guess it’s been that long!)

3)  Hometown? Queens, NY

4) WCarloshat is your guilty pleasure? Enjoying some Sex and the City reruns

5) Got any hidden talents? Cooking

6) What is all time favorite sports team? New York Jets

7) If you were a drink, what would it be? Whiskey on the rocks

8) What is your funniest ZogSports memory? That moment when you get tagged while your shorts are coming down and slip on the track after you scored. (#awkward)

9)  Any childhood nicknames? C Hawk (like the bird)

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10) If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? The Big Brother

11) Quick! What’s the last thing you ate? Sweet Potato Fries

12)  If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be?  1) Beer 2) Sunscreen 3) Biographies

13) Which celeb would you love to meet? Angelina Jolie

14) Think fast! Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Beer Pong!

15) What are you currently listening to? Jagged Little Pill. Yep I totally just threw it way back with some Alanis!!

16) If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for? 1) Give every Lois Lane a hug 2) Catch a football pass from a NFL quarterback 3) Have a house in every corner of the country

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17) What is your favorite joke? Anything that Sheldon Cooper says from “The Bing Bang Theory”…bazinga!!

18) What’s the worst present you’ve ever received? A gift card…to IHOP. Sheesh!

19) What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Bacon wrapped asparagus

20) Is the glass half full or half empty? The glass is half full

Families That Zog Together – Stick Together

This week’s post comes from our Atlanta GM, Brian Caldwell. After having an awesome time in Vegas, Brian is here to share with you what it was like to be reunited with his Zog family once again.

As the Atlanta general manager, I’m the only full-time ZogSports employee for 640 miles, so it’s easy to feel like I’m on an island and disconnected from my colleagues in the other cities.  Since joining the Zog team in January, I’ve gotten to know the other remote General Managers, Kendra (DC), Matt (LA), Nick (SF) and the HQ crew in NYC, through our daily 30-minute video conferences and weekly General Manager calls where we learn, share, and brainstorm ideas.  Yet, there has only been one time in the last year when all twenty full time ZogSports employees were in the same place to learn and hang out together. Brian Vegas

When I found out Zog was sending the entire full-time staff to Las Vegas I must admit I had mixed feelings of excitement and reticence. On one hand, I was psyched to have the opportunity to spend time with the entire staff and support our kickball teams. On the other hand, the last time I went to Vegas was in college, and I found the place to be shockingly overdone and exorbitantly overpriced for my mid-western college town pedigree.  Yet, as weeks went by and excitement grew among the group, I told myself how blessed I am to have a job with a mission I support and awesome perks for its employees.

We hadn’t seen each other since March, but the chatter and inside jokes picked up as soon as the plane landed.  The mood among the staff reminded me of a college roommate reunion; you may go months or even years without seeing one another but you never miss a beat! Events like these make me realize how strong of a bond we have as ZogSports employees.

Continuous Improvement is one of the ZogSports core values, so part of our Vegas trip was spent learning new leadership tactics to take home and employ on the job.  Successful part-time staff management is the single greatest challenge of being a General Manager.  Mike, the ZogSports VP of Strategy & Expansion, shared with us the story of a US Naval nuclear submarine captain who was able to transform his crew from thoughtless followers into free thinking leaders by shifting the language he used to phrase his expectations.  We also learned how to maximize our “Return on Luck,” as Mike (also the resident gambling guru) led a statistics-based seminar on the popular casino game Craps.

The atmosphere was electric as the ZogSports participants competed in the Saturday kickball tournament.  There was a DJ spinning upbeat dance tracks, live play-by-play commentary from a St. Louis Cardinals announcer (“That One Guy”), and an American Honey bar with all of the cocktails a fella could want.

While Atlanta didn’t have a horse in the race, I was adopted by the San Francisco squad—quite fitting as the team colors were the same maize and blue of my alma mater (GO BLUE!).  Unfortunately the SF team was one and done, but the entire ZogSports crew, both players and managers, rallied around team New Jersey as they made it to the semi-finals.

I recall an amazing moment as I watched the game and realized nearly everyone surrounding the court was affiliated with ZogSports in some way, shape or form.  What a true “family” experience to wrap up our company trip to Las Vegas.

20 Questions With Marc Pharel

We love our refs and know you feel the same! Ever wonder what they do when they’re not Zogging? We’re introducing a regular feature that goes behind the scenes with our staff.  From sipping mimosas to playing the trumpet, we’re thrilled to kick this off with 20 things you probably never knew about ZogSportsNYC ref, Marc Pharel.
Marc Pharel

What sports do you ref?  Basketball and Kickball

When did you start working at ZogSports? September 2010

Where can we find you after the games (other than the bar)?  Brooklyn, NY

What is your guilty pleasure? (besides for ZogSports obv) Terrible action movies!

Got any hidden talents? Playing the Trumpet and Trombone

Trumpet_Silhouette_by_Charlie_Trumpet

Tell us your funniest ZogSports memory: Hitting what I thought was the game winning 3 pointer in a game. I was high fiving and celebrating with the whole crowd and then being told that it was a two and had to come out to play OT (still won).

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If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? All In

What sport team is you’re all time fav? Dallas Cowboys

What’s the last thing you ate? Bacon egg and cheese on a croissant

What’s on your mouse pad?  A picture of my goddaughter

If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? My Kindle, Wifi, and a basketball

 denzel-washington-training-day-jacket 4-700x700What is playing on your playlist right now? Notorious B.I.G. Greatest Hits

Which celebrity would you love to meet?  Denzel Washington (just so I can recreate scenes from Training Day)

What are your favorite pair sneakers? Nike Foamposite

If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for? Infinite wishes X 3

 How long could you go without talking? 2 days

 What’s your favorite joke? How many ______ does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

What’s the worst present you’ve ever received? An empty box

What’s on your fridge door? Magnets from places I’ve traveled

 If you were a drink, what would it be? A MimosaMimosa-Cocktail-Recipe

ZogSports Coming to Stamford, CT

Great news for all of you Connecticut Zoggers, no need to schlep all the way to NYC to get your dose of sports this coming winter. You heard it here first; after years of requests we are finally introducing ZogSports to Stamford!  You can start your New Year’s resolutions early by signing up for either 5-on-5 Basketball or our infamous Zog Dodgeball. Not sure what Zog is all about? We’ll give you all the basic deets of the ins and outs of Zog. Be prepared CT, Stamford has no idea what has hit them.

Now that ZogSports is finally coming out to the suburbs of CT, here are some basics you need to be a Zog pro just in time for the new season.

dodgeball

What is ZogSports?  We refer to Zog as sports leagues for “grownups.”  Whether you’re in it for the sports or the happy hours, we’ve got you covered. Polish off your basketball or dodgeball skills on the courts. Then make new friends after the games by challenging other participants to beer pong and flip cup during happy hour. Your nights (and probably the mornings after) will never be the same.

Haven’t played sports in years?  That’s cool with us! The new season in Stamford is offering two levels of competition (casual and sorta player). So if you’ve never picked up a dodgeball or basketball, no worries…the casual level is calling your name! Zog wants everyone to join the fun!

Played ball in college or high school?  We love friendly competition on and off the court! Bring your skills to the “sorta player” level of ZogSports leagues and you could be the one taking your team to the championship.

High Five

With all of the basics down pat, you can now check out the leagues ZogSportsCT is offering. Whether you opt for basketball or dodgeball, your Monday and Tuesday nights will be changed forever. Don’t worry if the thought of dodgeball brings flashbacks with those red rubber balls flying and ducking for cover. Those elementary school days are long gone! Instead of ending your day with some milk and cookies, you can now head to the bar to wash down your victory with a Miller Lite! Trust us; you will be leaving with a nice workout and smiles all around after every Zog night.

If you’re looking for some fun in Stamford, CT, ZogSports is the place for you. If you and your buddies are interested in signing up, Devin is your CT guy. You can register as an individual, small group or full team. If you have any questions, email Devin at Devin@ZogSports.com or give him a call at 646-237-5327.

Welcome to The Zog Blog!

For all of you Zoggers out there, we’re thrilled to introduce you to our official blog! Now you will be able to find out the latest news and updates circulating the ZogSports team, nationwide. Whether you’re an east or west coast Zogger you can gear up for sports related news happening across our beloved U.S. of A.

For those of you just joining the ZogSports team, we could not be more thrilled to have you. Some of you may be wondering, what is Zogging all about? As a Zogger you can kick, hit, shoot and thro1016785_10151520707091272_597549025_nw in any of our co-ed, social sports leagues.  Looking to ball with your buddies around NYC? ZogSports can hook you up from the UWS to Queens to Brooklyn. No worries if you’re in NJ, we’ve got leagues upon leagues all around the Garden State! Now that we have expanded up and down the east coast, all of you in Atlanta and DC can also get in on the Zog fun. Moved out west? Zog has you covered there too. Located in LA and San Fran you can enjoy ZogSports leagues and awesome happy hours in sunny California all year round.

Whether you’re a new college grad or just moved to a new big city, ZogSports is here to get you out of your living room and into the game…and the bar! You can join as a full team, small group, or individual, so there is something for everyone. Visit ZogSports.com to find out how YOU can get involved. And in the mean time, go get your Zog on!