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.

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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’.

20 Questions with Christina Galente

Today we have ZogSportsNYC’s Christina Galente sharing some of her favorite things with the Zog family. From “Stepbrothers” to Italy, Christina reveals all.

1.       Sports You Ref? Field Manage for Football; Referee for CornholeChristina

2.        When did you start working at ZogSports? July 2011?

3.        Guilty Pleasure?  Watching Stepbrothers on a weekly basis

4.        Hidden Talent?  Whistling

5.        Favorite Sports Team? NY METS

6.        If you were a drink, what would it be? Why?  A Guinness.  I’m easy-going, can look heavy, but be deceptively light (in character), tasty, fun and Irish people love me.

7.        Funniest ZogSports Memory? Watching Adam Riff try to ref a football game in his roller blades (he bladed to the game and forgot his sneakers).

8.        If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?  DJ Clueless-ask Joey in the Zog office

9.    What’s the last thing you ate? Greek Yogurt-Chobani-Blueberry

10.    If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? A book (The Count of Monte Cristo or The Alchemist), sunblock & fresh water

11.    Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why?  Italy…no explanation neededimages

12.    What are you listening to right now? Clueless Soundtrack

13.    If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for? 1) Eternal happiness for myself, my friends and my family, 2) to eat anything I wanted and never worry about the consequences 3) know what I was meant to be

14.    What’s your favorite joke? Inappropriate,  it’s from the movie Boondock Saints and the punchline is, “I’ll have a coke.”

15.    What’s on your fridge door? A ton of save-the-dates, magnets with funny sayings and pictures of other people’s children.

16.  Fav food? PIZZA!Christina 3

17.  Last movie you saw? Dallas Buyers Club

18. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Neither…Beirut

19. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on tv? If so, where? Sure, debuting my amazing volleyball skills in high school-The Poughkeepsie Journal

20. Which celebrity would you love to meet? Why?  Leo Di Caprio-so he can propose to me face-to-face

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

20 Questions with Marvin Yates

Our next referee featured is ZogSportsDC’s very own, Marvin Yates. A dessert lover and wannabe comedian, Marvin reveals a few secrets to his fellow Zoggers.

1.        Sports You Ref? Basketball, Softball and Dodgeballunnamed

2.        When did you start working at ZogSports? December 2012

3.        Guilty Pleasure?  Sweets!!! I love cookies, cakes, donuts, and other desserts even though I shouldn’t be eating them lol

4.        Hometown? Detroit, MI

5.        Hidden Talent? I am secretly a comedian and have thought about doing stand-up.

6.        Favorite Sports Team? I don’t have just one lol…All Detroit Professional Teams (Pistons, Tigers, Lions), Lakers and Michigan State Basketball and Football

7.        If you were a drink, what would it be? Why? Cognac on the rocks, because I’m dark, strong, and smooth! lol

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8.        Funniest ZogSports Memory?  There was a rain-out during softball season. The field was muddy and unplayable, but the teams didn’t want to leave. So they stayed hung out, played a little (unofficially) and slid around in the mud for an hr or so.

9.        If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? Why? Veni Vidi Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered). That would be the title because in everything I do, I try to be the best, takeover and leave a lasting impression!

10.    What’s on your mouse pad? I don’t have a mouse pad, maybe I should get one. (calling IT now to get one brought to my office)

11.    If you could only bring three things with you to an island, what would they be? A woman (my girlfriend if Beyonce wasn’t available jk), a bottle of my liquor, and a boat so when we are ready to leave the island we can!

12.    Which celebrity would you love to meet? Why? Jay Z. I appreciate, respect and admire his grind. To grow from an inner-city impoverished youth, to a successful entertainer and business man with his hand in a number of different ventures. And on top of all of that he’s married to Beyonce, has to be great!

13.    Favorite Sneakers? I have a few: Jordan Retro X’s (all colors), Gucci Brown Leather GG Canvas Sneakers, Prada All Black Patent Leather Low-Top America Cup Sneakers… I love shoes!!!

14.    If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for? Wish 1: To be rich, Wish 2: To be happily successful, Wish 3: An unlimited amount of wishes

15.    What’s your favorite joke? Why did the chicken cross the road?

16.    What’s the worst present you’ve ever received? All white briefs (underwear) for Christmas

17.  Fav food? Chicken… any kind of chicken!!!

18. Beer Pong or Flip Cup? Beer Pong, but with liquor instead of beer

19. Have you ever been in a newspaper or on tv? If so, where? Was in the newspaper all the time back in Detroit in high school for sports. Was on TV and in the newspaper in East Lansing and the state of Michigan for my efforts as a student at Michigan State trying to get a piece of legislation called “Medical Amnesty” supported passed in the State of Michigan

20. Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why? Carnival Cruise 2 years ago to Key West, Oho Rios and Grand Cayman. Cruises are the best types of vacation if you just want to relax, see a bunch of different places briefly, and eat and drink until you are ready to explode!

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This week’s post comes from our Los Angeles General Manager, Matt Worley. Matt is a long time Zogger and knows the ins and outs of what it really means to be a player, referee and General Manager. Today he shares how he began his ZogSports journey. 

It started with a simple craigslist post:  Looking for sports teams to play with.

That’s all I wrote and the one reply I received was simple:  “Check out ZogSports.com.”

That’s it!  No name.  No hard push.  It was just a simple offer of an opportunity.

In 2004, I joined my first season of ZogSports in New York City playing softball and football.  Softball was like putting on a familiar glove—I can play the game anytime, anywhere.  I loved it, I knew it well and it loved me back.  Football, however, was something I only played in the pick-up games of my youth.  So as an adult, playing football was strange.  Yet, despite my reticence, I dove in and had a blast.  I loved the co-ed teams, liked the rules and appreciated the way Zog refs felt less like authority figures and more like friends on the field.  It all fit together so well.  The happy hour bars were like oases for my young twenty something self who had just moved to New York and was looking to get out and meet new people.  It was great and I wanted more.

Being young and on a lower rung of the economic ladder in a big city made me hungry for ways to make extra money while still having fun.  As luck would have it, I applied and received a job refereeing football and basketball for ZogSports!  I was able to continue playing while also helping and assisting others with having fun and being social on the field and court.  I was meeting and hanging out with so many Zoggers every week that I almost forgot about my other jobs. While I eventually learned to balance my life, the pull towards ZogSports was addictive… and I wanted more.

Matt In Action

Matt in Action

Then, as is the case with life, I was pulled in a different direction.  I eventually stopped reffing and cut back to playing just softball.  The winds of change eventually blew me to the west coast and when I arrived in Los Angeles I found the sports scene to be socially starved.  I tried several “social” sports leagues, but I found them to be unorganized and poorly run compared to my experience with ZogSports in New York.  People showed up to play the game and then went home.  So, I started to create small changes, like getting my team to go out drinking with our competition after the game.  While this served as a social band-aid, I was still unimpressed with the social sports scene in LA. I wanted more.

Then I got the call.

My phone rang one afternoon and when I picked it up I heard, “WORLEY! How are you man?” It was Robert Herzog informing me of the plans to expand ZogSports to the Los Angeles area.  He told me about the search for a General Manager and asked if I was interested in the position. Whoa baby… I thought long and hard about the opportunity, as it would mean heading in a new direction and leaving the acting career I had pursued for over 12 years.  I was unsure, but strangely excited.  So, I went through the eight week interview process and as things progressed, I realized that the job was perfect for me!  I got more excited with each step and consequent presentation.  I wanted the challenge of introducing LA to the organization that had shaped my life so positively in New York City.  I met my closest friends through ZogSports and I knew that the Zog community, with its social aspects, organizational prowess and charitable focus, was something that Los Angeles needed badly.

Finally, I was offered the job!  Something that started with a simple Craigslist post eight years prior led to the single best job I have ever had.  It’s amazing what God can create when you just ask and then follow the signs put before you.

To this day no one knows who replied to my post all those years ago.  If I had not trusted that message from my cyberspace angel, who knows where I would be today?

LA Zoggers Doing What They Do Best

LA Zoggers Doing What They Do Best

Behind the Scenes In DC

Whether you’re camping out to hear your favorite band or waiting to buy the newest smart phone, it feels like you have to wait in a long line for EVERYTHING!  From NYC to LA, there are lines wrapped around movie theaters, malls, sneaker stores and even Chick-fil-A!  Since ZogSports loves to keep up with the latest trends, camping out has become a monthly activity for the GM of ZogSportsDC.  No, Kendra is not getting a new pair of kicks! This camp out one of a kind and happens rain or shine on the first of the month promptly at 3 am! Sounds crazy…but crazy is our middle name. It’s time to let you in on a little secret– We’re headed behind the scenes in DC!

Many DC Zoggers have the privilege of playing volleyball at the Lincoln Memorial Sand Courts, but little did you know that these volleyball courts are in extremely high demand. You’re about to learn what goes on in order to acquire this high value space for every month of our DC sand volleyball season.

As the clock strikes 3:00 am, the DC crew wakes up and prepares to camp out. With charged phones and iPads, camping chairs and food, they set up shop. Some try to sleep until their alarm goes off at 6, while others engage in the friendly argument of, “Who was here first!?”

Of course, you must understand that when camped out, there is a list of unwritten rules that everyone must follow:

  • The First: No saving spots! First come, first served is the motto of this permit-procurement process.
  • The Second: One person can only reserve one court. While there are some lone soldiers out on these streets, ZogSportsDC needs to secure enough courts for all of our players! So, Kendra and her crew are there to get permits for all of our leagues!
  • The Third: Be prepared to walk away with nothing. With only 30 spots to play volleyball throughout the week, sometimes failure is an option. (That’s why we offer a number of other great beach volleyball leagues!)
  • The Fourth: Bring rain gear!
  • The Fifth: 7 am = Starbucks time! Even if you and your neighbor didn’t speak all night, once the process is done, everyone deserves some caffeinated brew.

Now that you have a glimpse of what it’s like to stake out, anyone interested in joining ZogSportsDC on their next permit-procurement mission?

No? Alright… then just enjoy the leagues.1005574_641165505913079_948975179_n

#HelloJersey

As many of you know, New Jersey has been going through a loss.  With the Nets moving to Brooklyn and not having a Garden State Football team, responsibility of pulling  Jersey through to the professional sport arena falls solely on the Devils and the Red Bulls. So with only two team to follow this coming year, ZogSportsNJ has some exciting news to share with our sisters and brethren in Jersey. While the Nets aren’t coming home anytime soon, we do have some equally exciting news for you Jersey Zoggers. This fall season, ZogSportsNJ is introducing a 23 league season!

Let’s go over the basics:

#HelloNewLeagues: With a brand new Bocce League in Hoboken, ZogSportsNJ is bringing more social to the field.  Thursday nights will now be filled with making new friends in Zog style. This old school game is bringing back the good ole days of calm and casual fun.

#HelloLongerSeason: Bring your ball- rolling skills to the lanes. Our co-ed bowling league in Union City is back! Socializing while you play and enjoying happy hour at the lanes is what Zog does best. This fall, ZogSportsNJ is offering a 10 game regular season in addition to the regular 6 game league. Wednesday nights in Union City will never be the same.That's right Jersey, we are back!

#HelloMontclair: We are happy to be back in Montclair this fall and want to formally welcome back our Dodgeball and Volleyball Leagues. With Volleyball on Mondays and Dodgeball on Tuesdays, your weeknights in Montclair will be filled with sports, friends and beer.

#HelloJerseyFootball: Even though the Jets and Giants play in Jersey, they are still known as New York teams. WTF, NFL? Thankfully, Zog is here to bring you some real New Jersey football this fall. While you watch your NFL team this fall, you can also play co-ed football with Jersey pride. Games will be held on Thursday and Sunday in Hoboken and Saturday in Montclair.

#HelloBergenCounty: Blue Law blues? Say no more! This fall season you can spend your Sunday with the Hackensack Soccer League. Weeknights will also be packed in Paramus with our Volleyball League.

Last but certainly not least:

#HelloFREEkickball: Yes, you heard it here first. ZogSportsNJ is offering the people of Montclair a preview of what is to come on in our kickball league this fall. Join us on Sunday, August 18th for a day of kicking and Zogging. Zoggers will then head on over to Just Jake’s to celebrate Kickball’s arrival in Montclair.

With a lot to look forward to this fall in the ZogSportsNJ world, we’re excited to say #HelloZoggers!  We’re back.

 

 

How to Pret and Zog, all in one day!

This past week, ZogSports had the opportunity to host a unique event for the infamous Pret -A-Manger. Now you may be wondering what  ZogSports and Pret have in common. Well not only do the Zog staff enjoy gobbling delicious chocolate chip cookies from the Pret on the corner of 38th and 6th, we also organize corporate sports leagues and private events for companies across NYC. So instead of hosting the Pret quarterly meeting in a conference room, they decided to bring their hard workers out to Roosevelt Island for some fun with ZogSports.

Doing what we do best, we spiced up their meeting with some activities to keep the Pret staffers moving. We setup shop with booths and games for the Pret staffers to enjoy, and our social sports leagues skills were put to the test. From football to ultimate Frisbee, ZogSports gave Pret a little taste of what we offer during our regular season leagues. And of course, in usual Zog fashion,  the sports activities merged into a huge happy hour. With 150 people in attendance, The River Walk Bar and Grill was ready to kick off the happy hour with open arms. Now Zoggers know that we don’t just sit like adults at a bar, we have to have our usual bar games ready to play. Staying true to our Zog roots, we setup beer pong for all!

We had a blast helping Pret host this event and can’t wait to run an Olympics event for the Pret employees later this summer!

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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!