The Scroll already noted one of these, but it’s worth saying mazel tov to the seven newest inductees to the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame:
• Bill Goldberg, the popular professional wrestler (yes, that’s the fake stuff, but it requires very real athleticism!). Fact I didn’t know: He was originally drafted into the NFL as a defensive lineman. Fact I did know: He is a prominent animal welfare activist, who has testified in Congress about the issue.
• Jason Lezak, an Olympics and Maccabiah Games Gold Medal-winning swimmer.
• Seth Greenberg, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach. He is stellar: Many, including this ACC fan, believed the Hokies were cheated out of an NCAA Tournament berth this year.
• Rusty Kanokogi, a women’s judo champion (!).
• Russ Rose, Penn St.’s women’s volleyball coach.
• Dick Traum, the founder of the Achilles Track Club, which helps people with disabilities to participate in mainstream athletic competitions.
• And, of course, Alan Veingrad, the former offensive lineman turned motivational Jew.
Goldberg, the professional wrestler (who is rumored to be planning a comeback!), apparently gave the speech of the night at the ceremony in Commack, New York. “What better way to help Jewish youth in dealing with adversity,” he asked, “than to parade around the ring on national television in my underwear, demolishing every single person in my path?” Ah, the redemptive power of sport.
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.