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.
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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.

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.

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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

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.