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.

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.

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.

Neil

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 Evan Strand

From sunny California, Evan Strand is here to share  his favorite things with his ZogSports friends. From his 3 wishes to his celebrity idol, Evan tells all.

1.        Sports You Ref? SoccerEvan

2.        When did you start working at ZogSports? Winter 2014

3.        Guilty Pleasure? Candy … I love Candy

4.        Hometown? Huntington Beach, CA

5.        Hidden Talent? Ballet, (18 years) Archery, Martial arts (10+ years), I can whistle like a cricket

6.        Favorite Sports Team? Bruce Lee

7.    What’s the last thing you ate? Tacos

8.     Last movie you saw? 12 Years a Slave

9.    If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? A Ball, soccer most likely, hunting equipment, and my best friend.

10.    Which celebrity would you love to meet? Why? Freddie Mercury if he was still with us. I just idolize him. Now, Tom Hanks because I want his career.

11.    What are you listening to right now? La Chute, Yann Tiersen

12.    Favorite Sneakers? Red Snake skin Supra’s with gold laces.

13.    If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for? The ability to grow a mustache like Tom Sellek instantly, The Millennium Falcon, Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum.

14.    How long could you go without talking? 4 days… had to. Had pharyngitis. Lost 20 pounds in that 4 days too.

15.    What’s your favorite joke? What do you call a fish without an eye? FSH.

16.    What’s on your fridge door? A magnet that says if older is better; I’m reaching magnificent

17.  Fav food? Ribs. They’re just so good.

18. What’s on your mouse pad? I have a Laptop… but check out my awesome background  by Elena Vizerskaya.

evan2

19. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on TV? If so, where? Haha yes. I have stilts and had pants and a vest made and crash the HB 4th of July parade every year! Everyone ends up loving me… I’ve been kicked out once but make the front page every year!

20. Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why? My trip to Thailand. We spent a week sitting on the beach, snorkeling, riding elephants, drinking weird cocktails, and just having a wonderful time. One of the few travels that actually felt like a ‘vacation’.

Capturing ZogSports One Zogger at a Time

Jon Michael Kondrath can be found either playing, refereeing or capturing photos during the ZogSportsLA season. Now he gives Zoggers a glimpse into his life as an ultimate Zogger:jon2

As a youngster in middle school and high school, I always loved playing sports and taking photos. I did both as hobbies and for fun; I didn’t like playing on varsity because it was too competitive and my photos went as far as yearbooks and school papers. After high school, I expected my sporting days were over and I fell out of photography for a time.

Both sports and photography reentered my life several years ago, because of volleyball (finding a pickup game which lead into social sports and attending a USC volleyball game which lead into sports photography). Social sports brought back what I loved about playing sports when I was young, playing a game with friends.

Over the years, I’ve met many great people and good friends through social sports. I’ve played in different leagues and different sports. Some were great for a while and then fell apart, others didn’t feel like the right fit, and some sports I just wasn’t that into the league.

As one of the leagues I was previously in was slowly spiraling downward, I was introduced to Zog in its second season in LA. That season was a trial period, test out this new kid in town and see what it’s made of. I knew what a good social league could be and should be, so I had high expectations.

Although some of my teammates were skeptical of the league, I immediately fell in love with it. New people gathering for sports and for social interaction afterwards, a league that cares about its players and the greater community, and something I hadn’t seen before – photos posted of us playing. I’m used to taking photos for USC and posting those, because they are a big school with athletes who have dedicated their lives to a sport. But, here we are, social sports enthusiasts, with a chance of having a moment of glory captured and forever immortalized. jon3

In my next season, I immediately immersed myself in the league. I joined all four of the sports offered in Los Angeles and became a ref for beach volleyball (because who wouldn’t want to spend more time out on the beach?). During the beach volleyball season, I would bring my camera gear with me on occasion because I would have it for the weekend due to some sporting event I was shooting. I didn’t know who the Zogsports photographer was or if they would show up to our games, so I figured I would take some photos and share them with my teammates and the friends I was making. After posting some on Facebook, the LA General Manager asked if he could post them on the Zog Facebook page. I have no shame in admitting I love to see my photos posted up by others and seen by as many people as possible.

Enter season three with Zog, and I am now taking photos at as many of the games as I can. Some weekends my gear isn’t available or I may be too busy to take photos, but otherwise my camera is out capturing moments of athleticism, victory, and camaraderie. Every weekend, I meet new people who come up to me to say they saw a photo I took of them. Sometimes the comment is about the funny face they are making and to “next time get a photo when I’m looking better.” Other times it’s pure excitement for snapping the lucky moment of a game-winning play. Most of the time it’s to say thank you because they enjoyed looking at the photos. (I have no shame in admitting I love the Facebook likes and the positive comments of perfectly captured action, as well. So keep them coming!)

The reason I love photography, and social sports, is the sharing. Sure I love being complimented on a great photo or a great play on the field. But more importantly, I play sports and take photos for the interaction. Playing sports in a league where people show up and then go home, or only interact with their own team to practice and play in the game, is not fun for me. In a similar fashion, photography would not be enjoyable if I just took the photos and then kept them to myself. It’s the people that make both so precious to me: the people I play with, the people I socialize with on and off the field, and the people that are sharing and enjoying the photos. I am happy to have found ZogSports and its community of players and staff and I am proud to be able to contribute to the growth of the league in Los Angeles.jon1

That’s Not My Name…

A typical day at the ZogSports headquarters involves customers emailing, calling and of course picking up team shirts. One person may come to get tees for their ZogSportsNJ soccer team, “Man-Chest-Hair United”; you may think the entire office falls silent when they say their name. Surprisingly, that’s not the case. Hearing team names such as the one mentioned has become part of the jargon at ZogSports. Sometimes Zoggers come in and are embarrassed to say their team name and we have to lower the music to try to hear them. “Nothing Butt Hole” is the way we roll here at ZogSports. Take a look at some of the good, the bad and the ugly team names here at ZogSports.

One may wonder how Zoggers choose what name they want to be for an entire season. Well for one team it was an obvious choice. With a baby on the way, the captain knew she had to warn her competitors.  “Leggo my Preggo” was officially born. This team definitely caught the attention of ZogSportsLA with their creativity in the name as well as the captain’s gear!

Future Zogger in LA!

Future Zogger in LA!

Some Zoggers take what is all over the news onto the field. Whether it was related to Charlie Sheen or Occupy Wall Street, pop culture exploded the rosters over the past few years. This season, ZogSportsDC already has some Miley Cyrus classics such as “Twerkaholics” or “End Zone Twerkers”. We just hope ‘twerking’ stays as the team names rather than making an appearance at the games or happy hours! One ZogSportsNY team stands out from the rest.* Taking a reference from a pop culture classic, SNL, the “Kernal Angus and the Cork Soakers” have set the bar high for all you NYC Zoggers. Time to start planning for next season Zoggers! Catch up on all of your pop culture and maybe you can make it into our ZogSports Name Madness Fantasy League.

ZogSports Name Madness!

ZogSports Name Madness!

Whether your ZogSports team is “bust[ing]-a-nutely” or “Butt-Fumblers” out on the field, the ZogSports staff thank you Zoggers for making our jobs a hell of a lot more entertaining each season.

*One tip of advice to grab our attention, try not to do anything with the words, “blue” and “balls” we have seen a few too many of those!