The Legend of Stamford Continues…

Warren Klein is new to the Stamford scene but is here to share how his new move turned out better than expected. He gets by with a little help from his new Zog friends. 

When I moved to Stamford in September without knowing anyone in the area, I half expected to spend my evenings like an old cat lady, without the cats: talking to myself and shuffling around aimlessly.  Don’t get me wrong, I have great conversations with myself, but I always know what I’m about to say and finish my own sentences, which can be frustrating since I hate being interrupted.  I knew I needed to reach out into the city of Stamford and see what I could find; otherwise a trip to the looney bin may have been in order.

Enter Zog, no, not the gate keeper, nor the key master, but a great organization that sweats fun, and bleeds awesome.  I found them at the recommendation of a friend from New York. This was apparently a new extension of the organization into Stamford and they clearly led with their best foot forward.  The GM Devin is an effervescently bubbly league manager who is consistently seen laughing, answering questions about the league, and playing a mean game of beer pong.  The refs for our games are knowledgeable and fun to shoot the sh*% with as well.

I have to say, as great as the staff is, the league itself is what makes ZogSports tick. Put simply, the organized games are designed to facilitate fun.  Putting together a group of 10+ strangers can sometimes be a recipe for disaster, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a warmer group of people that fit together so well with so many different personalities.

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We began the year on a high note, with a few of us meeting for drinks before the first game was played.  This established the tone for the season: this league was about meeting young fun people in the Stamford area.  The pre and post game trips to the sponsored bar became a weekly release of stress for all of us who participated in the epic “Team Dodge Burgandy” experience.  Bar nights progressed to game nights at the various team members apartments, and even a Super Bowl party at my place (which admittedly was an abysmal failure because Peyton Manning forgot to put his big boy shoes on before leaving his hotel that morning).  Seriously, what a terrible Super Bowl.

Through the season the hilarity continued; we discovered two of our teammates had irrational fears of the Sleepy Hollow headless horseman. We discovered our self-appointed and self-important team captain, Jay, has a deep seeded childhood trauma from a Taboo game gone wrong, and I have not seen a temper tantrum throw like that in a good 20 years: “TABOO IS THE WORST GAME EVER!”  We discovered that you can lose a phone in the cracks of the bleachers; we discovered that colored headbands make us easier targets for the other team, and last but not least we discovered that we all are very happy to have met each other and participated in this league.

In an attempt to cloud source my work for this blog I emailed the whole team for input, and in an “aww” moment, we realized that what mattered most to all of us was the budding friendships we’d made, the fun we’d had, and a desire to beat the snot out of the red team who embarrassed us on multiple occasions with a coordinated attack involving misdirection, distraction and a ruthlessness unseen in Stamford since the great squirrel invasion of ’97.

I want to cap this blog entry off with my sincerest gratitude for everyone who has worked for ZogSports to make this winter so much more bearable and introducing me to my wonderful teammates (except captain Jay).

Dodge Burgandies will return stronger, faster, and better than before.  Part II begins this spring.

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20 Questions with Shira Weiner

Are you able to recite the  entire alphabet in just one word? ZogSportsLA’s Shira Weiner definitely can. Find out what else this Cheesehead is capable of!

1.         Sports You Ref? Soccershira

2.        When did you start working at ZogSports? Summer 2013

3.        Guilty Pleasure? Netflix, all of the Netflix, and McDonald’s French fries.

4.        Hometown?  Madison, WI, I’m a Cheesehead

5.        Hidden Talent?  I can say the entire alphabet in one word

6.        Favorite Sports Team? Wisconsin Badger Football, Go Badgers!

7.        If you were a drink, what would it be? Why?A beer called Spotted Cow, because it’s sweet and from WI.

8.        Funniest ZogSports Memory? When I played Zog soccer in NY, we had some epic post-game flip cups-educed outings.

9.        If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? Why?“Great things come in small packages.” I’m 5’0’’ on a good day ;)

10.    What’s the last thing you ate? Homemade pizzas!

11.    Which celebrity would you love to meet? Why? Matt Damon. Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite movies. And he’s the cutest. good_will_hunting

12.    What are you listening to right now? The Oscars are playing in the background

13.    Favorite Sneakers?I have to buy kid’s sneakers (size 2.5) so any sneaker that isn’t bright pink or covered in glitter.

14.    How long could you go without talking? Probably longer than anybody would want.

15.    What’s the worst present you’ve ever received?I don’t have my ears pierced, but friends always send me earrings. I usually end up re-gifting them.

16.    What’s on your fridge door? So many save the dates. All my friends are getting hitched. Some roomie pics, graduation pics and magnets from cities I’ve visited.

17.  Last movie you saw?American Hustle

18. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Flip cup. All the way.

19. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on TV? If so, where?Yes, in high school a few times in the local newspaper and my only TV appearance was in Ecuador I ended up in a friends fashion show. I think there’s still YouTube evidence of that one.

20. Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why?I just visited New Orleans this year for the first time and fell in love with the music, food, sounds and the great people I met.

20 Questions with Sadie Clark

Sadie Clark is next on deck! Did you know this ZogSportsNYC elevated field team member has been Zogging for 8 years?! Keep reading to find out more about Sadie!

1.        Sports You Ref? – A combo of Soccer and Football Field Managingblogpic2

2.        When did you start working at ZogSports?  - 8 years ago!

3.        Guilty Pleasure? – Binge watching Harry Potter Movies

4.        Hidden Talent? – Every now and then I can pull off a round-off back-handspring

5.        If you were a drink, what would it be? Why? Espresso Martini, Because we are classy, peppy, and cool

6.         How long could you go without talking?  - without talking?  NO idea, but I can go hours without texting/checking my phone.  I think that’s pretty impressive

7.    What’s the last thing you ate? McDonalds McChicken Sandwich with French fries and a large coffee.  Finished with a chocolate bar  #Caseofthemondays

8.  What’s on your mouse pad?  Do people still have mouse pads?

9.    If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? A library, A fully stocked Costco, and my crush

10.    Which celebrity would you love to meet? Why? – Oprah.  I think I want her to be my life coach, or I’d love to share a dance with Ellen too.

11.    What are you listening to right now?  - someone in the ZogSports HQ whistling and Football Ref Keith Gitlitz singing chili’s baby back ribs

12.    Favorite Sneakers? – Pair of purple sketchers I got in high school.

13.    If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?  - I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller, I wish I had a guy who looked good I would call her…er…him.

14.   Funniest ZogSports Memory?  - A soccer team called Tickle Time was playing.  One of their guys scored and as his team ran on the field to congratulate him, he took off in the other direction.  When they finally caught him, he was promptly tickled.  Laughed for the rest of my shift.  The goal scorer looked TERRIFIED as his team rushed toward him.blogpic1

15.    What’s your favorite joke? – A photon walks into a hotel. The bellhop asks “Can I carry any of your baggage?” The photon replies, “No thank you, I’m travelling light.” (pg rated J)

16.    What’s on your fridge door? – A map of my grocery store, Best Yet Markets, a note from my dad, 2 political cartoons, and random magnets.

17.  Fav food? – Bagel with cream cheese, scrambled egg and bacon in an open faced sandwich.  Also, chocolate

18. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? SLAP CUP!  But in lieu of that, flip cup

19. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on tv? If so, where? – I won $1350 on cash cab after dark in 2007.  I was also on the front page of the Binghamton Sun Press my senior year of high school

20. Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why? – Japan in 2008.  Went with my best friend I met from our study abroad program in Spain.  Kevin Alex and I based our Japan trip around food we had to try and saw sights based around the food.  Best trip ever!

Are you Up For Whatever?

This past week ZogSports announced the winner of the #ZogToWin #UpForWhatever contest. The lucky Zogger, Garrett Rothstein, is currently in Dallas having the ultimate basketball experience at the Bud Light hotel. While he is enjoying himself over there, here at the ZogSports HQ we got a hold of the moment Garrett found out he was a winner.

 

Finding Love in a Zog Place

 Taylor and Aaron are not your average couple. The two ZogSportsLA football players met off the field only a year ago. Having ZogSports as common ground, these two avid players took their shirts and traveled the world together. Taylor and Aaron are here to share their story! 

“Ready….hike!”  And so began the relationship between Aaron and Taylor.  We met during the first scrimmage game of the first season of ZogSports Los Angeles.  After the game, teams were encouraged to head to a designated sports bar for fun and socializing.  Since we were on opposing teams during the scrimmage, this is where we had our first friendly conversation…that lasted 5 hours!unnamed

 

Those five hours covered all of the typical questions and more, starting with “so what do you do?”  Aaron:  I’m a theoretical mathematician.  Taylor:  I’m an MRI technologist (oh yeah and a former NBA dancer).  Aaron:  A former NBA dancer??  Taylor:  A theoretical mathematician??  The explaining went on and on between them as they swapped stories about everything from Aaron’s time living in England while receiving his PhD at the University of Cambridge to Taylor’s recent USO-style trip to Kuwait riding above the deserts in Chinook helicopters and performing for soldiers stationed at various U.S. military bases in the country.  All of the sudden, it was five hours later and we had certainly hit it off!  Date #2 was scheduled for later that week.rome

 

Time flew by with some notable events:  Taylor fractured her elbow playing in a Zog game, they went to the 50th anniversary Rolling Stones concert, set a Guinness world record for “largest gathering of people wearing rally wigs” at an Anaheim Angels game, and some jet-setting to places all over the world including Australia, Vancouver, Cancun, Italy, England, and more has kept us active and enjoying life together. We recently got engaged in Geneva, Switzerland at CERN (site of the world’s largest particle accelerator).

 

We’ve played touch football every season since the start of ZogSports LA and literally take a picture in our Zog shirts in every location we visit.  We’re so thankful for the amazing people at ZogSports and are having a blast planning our wedding! Switzerland CERN Zog

20 Questions with Alexia Penna

Today we have ZogSportsLA‘s Alexia Penna sharing her likes and dislikes with us the ZogSports community.  Alexia loves making memories with her LA team and is happy to be a part of the increasingly growing LA Football and Volleyball leagues.

  1. Sports You Ref? Football and VolleyballAlexia
  2. When did you start working at ZogSports? Fall, September 2013
  3. Guilty Pleasure? Chocolate
  4. Hometown? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  5. Hidden Talent? I know how to eat!
  6. Favorite Sports Team? UCF’s Immortals
  7. If you were a drink, what would it be? Why? Spiced Old fashion because I love bourbon/whiskey
  8. What’s the worst present you’ve ever received? I got an ugly shirt for Christmas one year that I ended up exchanging for an awesome part of printed pants and a great dress for work so it ended up being a great present.
  9. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? Why? Wandering with a Purpose
  10. What’s the last thing you ate? Ferrero Rocher
  11. If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? The BF, Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23, and a working private jet.
  12. Which celebrity would you love to meet? Why? Jason Mraz because he is the man!
  13. Last movie you saw? Frozen! frozen
  14. If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for? Travel to every country with those I love, go back in time to 2009, and that my family may be healthy and happy!
  15. What’s your favorite joke? Don’t really have one. I crack myself up all the time but do not have a go to joke.
  16. Funniest ZogSports Memory? Most of my favorite Zog memories have been made outside the fields with the teammates that have turned into really great friends.Alexia2

  17. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Flip Cup
  18. What are you listening to right now? Animals- Martin Garrix
  19. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on tv? If so, where? Newspaper: In high school for football recognition for my Flag Football team, also have been given photo credit for food photography countless times and been photographed for high profile events in Florida.  TV: CBS National Intramural Championship interview as captain of flag football team; featured extra in Sydney White trailer nationally.
  20. Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why? Studied abroad in Paris and fulfilled my dream of being Parisian for a summer speaking French, eating chocolate and drinking wine followed by spending an amazing time in Istanbul and the south of France for a few weeks.

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 Warren Klein

Calling all Stamford Zoggers! Warren Klein is here to give you some info you likely did not know about him. For example, did you know he was from San Fran? Have you heard about his trip to Cambodia? Or, maybe we can start up his childhood nickname again…

  1. When did you start working at ZogSports?  I don’t, I had to pay for the privilege of blogging.  However the cost was included in the league dues so I really feel like I’m coming out a winner here.warren1
  2. Childhood Nickname:  Dubya- I had to stop going by that between 2000 and 2008.
  3. Favorite Food: Burrata Mozerella cheese and tomatoes with some balsamic glaze
  4. Guilty Pleasure:  Drinking with strangers, it makes every story I have ever used new again.  After about a week or two of hanging out though I’m out of material and I need to find new friends.
  5. Hometown: San Francisco, CA.
  6. Hidden Talent: I don’t really have any hidden talents, if I’m good at something Ill tell you about it.
  7. Favorite Sports Team: SF Giants
  8. Funniest ZogSports Memory: So far?  Being the first person in line waiting to get into the game of dodgeball, we were down to our last player WHO CAUGHT IT!  I came in and I saw the other team slump their shoulders in defeat as I strode confidently onto the court and proceeded to drop the first ball sent my way, losing the game for my team.  Sorry guys, really dropped the ball on that one.
  9. Last Movie You Saw: Transformers II Dark Side of the Moon.  Michael Bay is the best director in the history of film bar NONE!
  10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? Adventures in Leisure: The Warren Klein Story warren
  11. What’s the last thing you ate? I’ve been drinking my meals for quite some time now… I don’t even know what day it is.
  12. If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? Kate Upton, a hot tub, and a fully fueled helicopter to get home.
  13. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Pong, but I’m liking flip more and more in my advanced age.
  14. What are you listening to right now? ESPN Radio, the Derek Jeter Retirement Press Conf.
  15. Favorite Sneakers: Ski Boots or baseball cleats.  Sneakers are for training… that’s why the Brits call them trainers, I prefer the footwear of action.
  16. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on tv? If so, where?  San Francisco Chronicle twice, Marin IJ once. The IJ and once in the Chronicle for pitching a perfect game for my high school baseball team, once in the Chronicle for securing a large award in a financial dispute between a broker and an elderly client for my law school’s Investor Justice Clinic.
  17. What’s your favorite joke? Inappropriate for publishing.  Ask me after a couple drinks.
  18. What’s the worst present you’ve ever received?  Deodorant.
  19. What’s on your fridge door? Family photos.
  20. Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why?  In 2010 I went to Cambodia for 6 weeks and worked with the Document Compilation Center associated with the International War Crimes Court while they were trying and convicting one of the leaders of the Khmer Rouge.  It was not only tremendously good work, but I really got a taste of the culture while there, and I got to see the famous wonder of the world, Angkor Wat.cambodia

20 Questions with Neil Loughrie

Neil Loughrie is next on deck to share the good, the bad and the ugly with his ZogSports family. Aside from refereeing not one but two ZogSportsLA leagues, you can find him catching up on his daily dose of celebrity gossip or beating you at the happy hour bar games.

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1. Sports You Ref? Football and Soccer

2. When did you start working at ZogSports? I started last March in the inaugural football season of Zogsports LA.

3. Guilty Pleasure? Celebrity gossip blogs.  It’s like a bad car accident on the side of the road, I can’t keep myself from looking.

4. Hometown? Richmond, VA

5. Hidden Talent? I think I’m a pretty good cook, but I don’t do it very often, so I guess you could say its hidden.

6. Favorite Sports Team? Washington Redskins

7. If you were a drink, what would it be? Why? Bourbon and ginger, mostly because that’s my drink of choice.

8. Funniest ZogSports Memory? This actually happened just last week.  I was reffing a game and the ball took a bad bounce and hit me directly in a certain area.  I’m pretty sure everyone had fun watching me doubled over in the middle of the field.

9. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? Why? Hmm, I don’t know.  “From the South to the Southland” maybe… that’s how I’ve moved around so I think that works.

10. If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? A guitar, a football and my dogBill-Murray-Youre-Awesome1

11. Which celebrity would you love to meet?  Bill f***ing Murray!

12. Favorite Sneakers? Vans slip-ons, preferably checkerboard

13. If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for? Health, prosperity, and to be Batman (if you can always be Batman)

14. How long could you go without talking? Not very long, maybe a day if I had to

15. What’s your favorite joke? Anything that Mitch Hedberg ever said “I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.”

16. What’s the worst present you’ve ever received? A family member sent me a neck-warmer one year….  I live in LA.  I think it’s still in the packaging.

17. What’s on your fridge door? A photo-booth photo from my friend’s wedding, and invitation to another friend’s wedding, and the ticket from a Lakers game I went to earlier this year.

18. Last movie you saw? Thor: The Dark World

19. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Beer Pong. But I’ll beat you at both

20. Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why? Beach week after high school. All my best friends were there.  It was a crazy time.  We still tell stories about it

20 Questions with Keith Gitlitz

The next referee featured is ZogSportsNYC’s Keith Gitlitz. Aside from reffing, you can catch him singing along to Rihanna in the Zog HQ.

1.        Sports You Ref? Football, Bowlingunnamed

2.        When did you start working at ZogSports? Fall 2008

3.        Guilty Pleasure? Nashville on ABC

4.        Hometown? Miami, FL

5.        Hidden Talent? Keeping my talent hidden

6.        What’s on your fridge door? A door handle 

7.    What’s the last thing you ate? A Buffalo Bang sandwich

8.    What’s on your mouse pad? A trackpad

9.    Which celebrity would you love to meet? Why? Sir Alec Guinness, because he’s awesome.

10.    What are you listening to right now? Eminem featuring Rihanna “Love the Way You Lie”

11.    Favorite Sneakers? Reebok Pumps – the original Shaq models

12.    If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for? Wish 1: Unlimited wishes; don’t need to use the other two

13.    How long could you go without talking? As long as it takes

14.    What’s the worst present you’ve ever received? A gun rack. What am I gonna do with a gun rack? I don’t even own a gun, let alone several guns that would necessitate an entire rack.

15.    Favorite Sports Team? Miami Heat

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16.  Fav food? Bacon

17.  Last movie you saw? Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

18. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Beer Pong

19. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on tv? If so, where? Yes, my photo appeared in the Miami Herald as a kid when they put a new playground in at a local park and I was interviewed before Game 3 of the Panthers-Avalanche Stanley Cup Finals and Game 3 of the Heat-Mavericks NBA Finals.

20. Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Honeymoon in Hawaii

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