Friday, March 23, 2018

Jerusalem Big Blue Lions Win Second Championship in a Row 2018

The reigning champs, the Jerusalem Big Blue Lions ran out on the field knowing that it was going to be a very difficult game.

Last year's win was hard, but it meant this this year's games were even tougher than before, because each team who played us knew that they had to really fight, play their very best. The Lions entered the semi-finals without losing a single game. And we crushed the Tel Aviv Pioneers in the semi-finals, which was a very different different game from when we beat them in last year's finals. That game was like a movie script. We had been behind the entire game and only 2 minutes to the end we began closing in. With just six seconds to the final whistle we tied them. Then in overtime we capped the season with a truly championship win.

Last night's final game was a very low-scoring endurance match between two very different teams. The Petach Tikva Troopers have some of the best, most talented players ever seen in the IFL. They also have a veteran, very experienced coach who grew up with the game in America. He's old enough to be the father of the Lions' coach, an Israeli who knew nothing of American football until his post-IDF stay in the states. The Lions great strength not only comes from a few talented players, but its strong "bench," teamwork and family spirit. If you follow the Lions' games the past couple of years, you'll also see that they don't relax or buckle in the fourth quarter. They've had movie-like wins because of that.

The highlight of my recent winters has been attending the Lions home games and cheering the team. This year each time we played one of the stronger teams in the league, I was afraid that one of them will do what we did during the 2016-17 season. We can never take anything for granted. A small mistake, or Gd forbid an injury to a key player, can suddenly change the flow of a game.

I have a couple of things to admit to you. One is that even after about a decade of dedicatedly watching these football games, I still don't know the rules very well. And two, the Jerusalem Big Blue Lions Head Coach is my son, my youngest child. Obviously I'm very proud of him and his wonderful hardworking, fair-playing team.

I pray to Gd that they should all have a restful, healthy summer break to prepare for, Gd willing, another winning season and the Israel Bowl XII ישרא-בול 12.

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