After a busy Thursday cooking and cleaning at home, then lighting the Chanukiyah, Chanukah Menorah, for the third "day" of Chanukah, I went to Jerusalem to watch, and cheer the Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions, at the Chanukah Bowl.
It's an IFL tradition that those two strong Jerusalem teams, reigning national champions, the Lions, and former champs, the Rebels, play each other on Chanukah. There is a powerful rivalry between the two teams, especially because the players come from the same neighborhoods in many cases. In the decade of American Tackle Football in Israel, these two teams are both considered among the "best" in the league.
That was clear throughout the game, which was a nail-biter almost to the end. In the fourth quarter, again, the Lions showed its superior staying power and pulled well ahead to win 32-44. The Lions, bli eyin haraa, have been thriving under its young coach who's in his third year now. The team consists of some of the league's most veteran players, such as Binyamin Schultz, plus much newer ones. One of the new ones, Moshe Shear, had davka previously played for the Rebels, which lent a special energy to his playing and explained the strange green sleeves sticking out from his borrowed Lions uniform top.
As fans and Jerusalemites are getting used to the new Kraft Stadium, near the Ramot Junction, more people are showing up both to cheer and out of curiosity. There still isn't the great "carnival" atmosphere, which we enjoyed at the old Kraft Stadium, but more on that in another post.
Shabbat Shalom and enjoy the rest of Chanukah. The next game is 23/12/17, 8pm.