MetroSports Magazine Jan-Feb 2022

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January-February 2022


Professional Bull Riders Return to MSG in NYC U.S. Star Games Army vs Navy Basketball 2022 Puppy Bowl

Jordan’s Princess Zeina Rashid in Support of PingPongParkinson


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4 Professional Bull Riders Return to NYC’s Madison Square Garden After missing the 2021 season because of NYC’s shutdown during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Professional Bull Riders Return to Madison Square Garden 10 A Royal Celebration for Five Years of PingPong Parkinson Her Royal Highness, Princess Zeina Rashid of Jordan, a two-time Olympian, visits the New York Metro region to celebrate the fifth anniversary of PingPongParkinson 18 Army-Navy Star Series Basketball Doubleheader at West Point Perhaps not as well known as the annual Army-Navy Football Game, the Star Series tradition of men’s and women’s Army vs Navy Basketball took place at the U.S. Military Academy of West Point 24 The 2022 Puppy Bowl Features NY Metro Area Competitors on Super Bowl Sunday

Cover Photo by Warren Rosenberg, MetroSports Magazine | 1

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MetroSports Magazine (MSM) is published six times a year by the New York Sports Photo Group. MSM is available online and can be downloaded in electronic format for viewing on tablet and hand-held devices, laptop and desktop computers and purchased as full-color glossy print editions. Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Art Director: Warren Rosenberg Publisher: New York Sports Photo Group: Editorial Director / Sales: John Chuhran Writers: John Chuhran, Warren Rosenberg Director of Photography: Clark Thompson Social Media: Clark Thompson, Warren Rosenberg Photo Contributors: -Clark Thompson, -Warren Rosenberg Advertising: For rate card contact Please direct all inquiries to: Visit us on the web at:

MetroSports Magazine accepts and welcomes photos, short articles, opinions and letters from our readers. There is no guarantee that unsolicited contributions will be published and MetroSports Magazine assumes no responsibility for failure to publish or for editing published contributions. The Contents of MetroSports Magazine consist of copyrightable and/or copyrighted material and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of the publishers. MetroSports Magazine | 3

Professional Bull Riders Return to NYC’s MSG by Warren Rosenberg and Clark Thompson


hey call it The World’s Most Famous Arena. Over its life it has hosted competitions featuring the world’s best in basketball, boxing, hockey, mixed martial arts and wrestling and has hosted undefeated, world-class athletes the likes of Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson. On the weekend of January 7-8, 2022 in front of large and enthusiastic crowds, a young athlete who had traveled north from his home in Punta Gorda, Florida, went up against two of the best athletes in the world and won. He left in the early morning hours of January 9th to head back home, victorious and undefeated in his first contest at Madison Square Garden. This athlete goes by the name ‘Big Whiskey’ and his two opponents during the weekend were Cody Jesus and Ezekiel Mitchell, two of the PBR’s top 35 bull riders in the world. He was not a human athlete; he was one of many of the world’s top bucking bulls to wow the fans and challenge the riders as the PBR returned to NYC and a Covid-19 induced year-long absence. After missing the 2021 contest at MSG due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Professional Bull Rider’s ‘Monster Energy Buckoff at The Garden Presented by Ariat’ returned for its 19th run in New York City. While the 22-year old PBR Bull Rider, Kyler Oliver won his first PBR Elite Tour contest of his

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Professional Bull Rider, Silvani Alves, under attack by Codigo with Bullfighter Lucas Teodoro coming to the rescue.

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Above: Big Whiskey tossing rider Ezekiel Mitchell with Bullfighters Cody Webster (white hat) and Cooper Waln (black hat) stepping in to help

career, we’re more focused on another champion of the event, the world’s 9th ranked bucking bull from the Tex Brothers Ranch, ‘Big Whiskey’ who went undefeated for the weekend and holds a 100% buckoff percentage for the season and an 80% career buckoff percentage. Not more than one mile from Madison Square Garden, beginning at the corner of 9th Avenue and 16th Street, the City’s now upscale Meatpacking District was once home to approximately 250 slaughterhouses and meat packing plants. The fate of many of Big Whiskey’s ancestors on their first and last trip to New York City was much less pleasant. With the knowledgeable New York sports fans enthusiastically cheering them on, and with the dominant 6 | January-February 2022

performance of bulls like Big Whiskey, these athletes have taken have taken a step toward avenging the horrors faced by their ancestors.

Unknown to many of the fans enjoying the competition at Madison Square Garden was the highly organized logistical transport of the bulls from their overnight accommodations in the pastures of New Jersey, through the Lincoln Tunnel, and to MSG for each day of competition.

Counter Clockwise from Above Left: Loading aboard their transport of overnight “lodging” in New Jersey; traveling through the Lincoln Tunnel; unloading at MSG. Photos courtesy: Renato Texiera - Tex Brothers Ranch

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Above: PBR Bullfighter Lucas Teodoro places himself in harms way to protect the fallen bull rider.

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Above (left) Bullfighter Lucas Teodoro distracts ‘Slice of Heaven’ and (right) rider Daylon Swearingen of New York rides ‘Smooth Cat’ Below (left) Bullfighter Lucas Teodoro enjoying some family time and (right) Daylon Swearingen on the NY Knicks court at MSG (via social media)

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A Royal Celebration of PingPongParkinson Her Royal Highness or Jordan, Princess Zeina Rashid, a two-time member of the Jordanian Olympic Team, helps celebrate the 5th Anniversary of PingPongParkinson Warren Rosenberg


he arrived without fanfare. No chariot, no entourage, no red carpet.

All that accompanied her on her visit to the Westchester Table Tennis Center in Pleasantville, NY, was a paddle in hand and her close friend and colleague, the Croatian-American internationally recognized recording artist, composer, peace activist and the founder of the PingPongParkinson® movement, Nenad Bach. Yes, she is royalty. Yes, she is a two-time Olympian. Yes, she sits on the Board of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Foundation, the Jordanian Olympic Committee, and PingPongParkinson®. But she is as humble, gracious and sincere as can be. Her Royal Highness, Princess Zeina Rashid of Jordan, visited the WTTC on Sunday, February 6th 2022, as the first stop on her visit to New York metro area to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the global non-profit PingPongParkinson® followed by a visit to CRUSH Table Tennis in Greenwich Connecticut the following Monday.

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U.S. National Champion, Amy Wang and doubles partner Nenad Bach, PingPongParkinson founder (far side) in a charity exhibition match against two-time Jordanian Olympic competitor, Her Royal Highness Zeina Rashid and Will Shortz, owner of the Wetschester Table Tennis Center and NY Times Crossword Puzzle Editor on the near side.

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Married to Jordan’s Prince Rashid El Hassan and mother to Prince El Hassan bin Rashid and Prince Talal bin Rashid, Her Royal Highness Princess Zeina is an accomplished scholar, athlete, and promoter of the benefits of sport. Educated at the Amman Baccalaureate School, she went on to earn the Bachelor of Science in Economics at the Royal Holloway College of London University and a Master of Science in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics. Originally training and competing as a gymnast, she went on to win the gold medal at the Junior Arab Cup Table Tennis Championships in 2003, silver medal at the 2003 Asian Junior Championships, the bronze medal at the Pan Arab Games in 2005, the gold medal at the Ladies Arab

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Cup in 2005 and to compete in the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The purpose of Princess Zeina’s visit to the New York Metro area was to participate in celebrating and promoting the growth of PingPongParkinson®, founded and headquartered at the Westchester Table Tennis Center (WTTC), and its expansion into Connecticut. While in New York, she met with colleagues and fellow Board members of PPP, Nenad Bach, the world renowned composer and musician, Will Shortz, owner of the WTTC and crossword puzzle editor of the New York Times, Dr. Art Dubow, and Dr. Warren Rosenberg. Ever the and athlete, Princess Zeina took paddle in hand and showed off her Olympic-level athletic

skills by taking on Nenad Bach, Will Shortz and Amy Wang, no lightweights when it comes to the sport of table tennis. Nenad Bach is just months from having returned from Berlin as the Doubles Champion at the 2021 International Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Tournament. Will Shortz is the Guiness Book of World Records holder of the most consecutive days playing table tennis. Amy Wang, winner of the 2021 women’s U.S. National Table Tennis Championship and of the 2021 Junior Pan Am Games Team Trials.

When asked about her interest in serving in leadership positions on the Jordanian Olympic Committee, the ITTF Foundation, and PingPongParkinson, Zeina told us, “It’s wonderful to be here, my first time in Westchester. I really felt at home. I’d like to thank everyone, to thank Will for his hospitality, and of course Nenad. I broke a sweat, really had a good workout, I really enjoyed it. It was an honor to play with Amy, she’s an amazing player, an amazing touch, a great person as well, an amazing talent, a great pianist and a great ping pong player. She went easy on me, we had a chat before the game.” As to the outcome, Zeina and Will defeated Amy and Nenad, 11-4.

Above and Below: The celebration continued with an exhibition match and reception at CRUSH Table Tennis in Greenwich CT. Above. from left: Princess Zeina Rashid, Nenad Bach, Will Shortz, and Michael Tolle, founder of CRUSH Table Tennis. Below: Autographed paddle for auction signed by Princess Zeina and Amy. Amy and Princess Zeina showing off the PPP colors.

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Above: The multi-talened Princess Zeina preparing a drawing of Will Shortz which was presented to him during the event Below: Nenad Bach, Princess Zeina, Will Shortz and Warren Rosenberg posing with the book documenting the 1st PPP World Championshp

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Army - Navy Star Series Basketball at West Point Army’s Men’s and Women’s Teams Split the Doubleheader with Navy by Warren Rosenberg and John Chuhran


t is a rivalry that dates back at least 132 years. Quoted in a 2016 article published in USA Today, Navy football athlete, Andrew Thompson summed up the rivalry this way. “Army-Navy means unity. Without fail, West Point and Annapolis continue to produce some of the country’s finest young military officers. After their respective playing days are over, Army and Navy football players answer the nation’s clarion call. Far from the spotlights and pageantry of the game, they serve together in every clime and place. Their sense of duty unifies them in the pursuit of national victory. They support and defend our homeland without complaint, in a spirit of discipline, toughness, intelligence and character.” While so much of the attention is drawn to the annual Army-Navy football game, this historic rivalry plays out across many other sports. On Saturday, February 12, 2022, the men’s and women’s Army and Navy basketball teams tipped off against each other on the hardwood court of the Christl Arena on the campus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. This doubleheader was part of the Star Series that will be covered in greater depth in the upcoming January/February issue of MetroSports Magazine.

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Besides competing for the 2022 Star among rival military academies, both of the Army and Navy basketball teams compete in the collegiate Patriot League of the NCAA where they also vie for bragging rights. Saturday’s games evened the score for both the men’s and women’s squads with the Army women defeating Navy, 70-66, in a nail-biter of a finish going down to the final seconds of the game and avenging their loss to the Middies last month. The Black Knights men’s team fell to Navy, 52-49, setting them even after Army’s victory on January 22nd. tFor those who follow local New York Metro area athletes, players on the Army and Navy basketball teams include: Jada Strippoli, #0, Ossining, NY, U.S. Army Black Knights Women Hope Brown, #14, Phillipsburg, NJ, U.S. Army Black Knights Women Natalie Stralkus, #24, East Brunswick, NJ – U.S. Army Black Knights Women Lauren Lithgow, #34, Manasquan, NY – U.S. Army Black Knights Women Brendan Thiele, #2, Kearny, NJ – U.S. Army Black Knights Men Chris Mann, #4, Phillipsburg, NJ – U.S. Army Black Knights Men Kristina Donza, #22, Jackson, NY – U.S. Navy Midshipmen Women

Above: The West Point cheerleaders, band, and 6th man squad helped fill the arena for the annual contest against Navy

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Above: The competitive spirit is on display as the Army and Navy men’s basketball teams fight for posession of the ball.

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Above: West Point Superintendent, Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams, poses with the U.S. Naval Academy Cheerleaders Below: Army basketball fans storm the court to celebrate the women’s team win over visiting Navy

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2022 Puppy Bowl Features New York Metro Area Competitors On Sunday, February 13th football fans from around the world were tuned in to catch the best of the NFL compete in Super Bowl LVI. While there were some NFL players with roots in the NY Metro area competing in the Super Bowl, there were at least 18 canine athletes competing in Puppy Bowl XVIII which was televised earlier in the day. Competitors in the Puppy Bowl will include Rob Gronchowski from Utica NY and Odell Barkham from Cincinatti. In our July-August 2021 issue, MetroSports Magazine reported on PepperJack, the bat dog of the New York Boulders minor league baseball team, and on the New York Strongest Man and Woman competition helping to raise funds for

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for the Special Needs Senior Dog Sanctuary in White Plains, New York. The 2022 Puppy Bowl will feature just over 100 dogs competing on two teams, Team Ruff and Team Fluff, for bragging rights and the Lombarky Trophy. Celebrity coaches this year will be Martha Stewart coaching Team Ruff and the one and only Snoop Dogg coaching Team Fluff. The annual Puppy Bowl is held every year on NFL Super Bowl Sunday and features adoptable pets and their shelters and rescue services. It was broadcast on the Discovery+ channel at 2pm on Super Bowl Sunday, February 13th.

Among the ‘players’ with New York Metro area roots were: • S’mores, an Australian Shepard/Poodle mix playing for Team Fluff from New York City’s ‘Rescue Dogs Rock; • Olive, an American Pit Bull Terrier/Miniature Pinscher on Team Fluff from New York City’s ‘Rescue Dogs Rock; • Chorizo, a Dachshund/American Staffordshire Terrier on Team Fluff from the ‘Paws Crossed’ Shelter in Elmsford, Westchester County • Lucy, an Australian Cattle Dog/German Shepard mix on Team Ruff from ‘Rescue City’ in Brooklyn • Ziggy, heritage unknown, on Team Fluff from ‘Rescue City’ in Brooklyn • Tara, an American Pit Bull Terrier/ American Staffordshire Terrier on Team Fluff from ‘Rescue City’ in Brooklyn • Banjo, an American Pit Bull Terrier/ American Staffordshire Terrier on Team Fluff from ‘Rescue City’ in Brooklyn • Mallorie, a Basset Hound/Australian Cattle Dog on Team Fluff from Rescue City in Brooklyn; • Kirby, a Labrador Retriever on Team Fluff from ‘America’s Vet Dogs’ in Smithtown, Long Island; • Jackson, a Belgian Malinois on Team Ruff from ‘Muddy Paws Rescue’ in New York City; • Watson, a Bassett Hound on Team Fluff from ‘Tri-State Bassett Hound Rescue’ • Scout, a Pit Bull/Norwegian Elk Hound on Team Ruff from “Paws CT” in Norwalk Connecticut • Minnie, a Border Collie/German Shepard mix on Team Fluff from ‘Jersey Girls Animal Rescue’ • Faye, a German Shepard/Border Collie mix on Team Ruff from ‘Jersey Girls Animal Rescue’ • Aurora, Team Fluff from ‘Danbury Animal Welfare Society’ • Luna, a Beagle/Basset Hound mix on Team Ruff from ‘Danbury Animal Welfare Society’ • Maribel, a Doberman Pinscher/Boxer mix on Team Ruff from, ‘East Greenwich Animal Protection League’ • Lulu, a Shih Tzu/Pomeranian mix on Team Ruff from ‘Pack Leaders Rescue of Connecticut’ • Sky, a Cattle Dog/Golden Retriever on Team Fluff from ‘ROAR Animal Rescue’ in Ridgefield, Connecticut

Above: 2022 Puppy Bowl coaches, Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart All photos courtesy of ANimal Planet, The Discovery Channel

Above: Clockwise from top right - Smores, Olive, Mallorie and Chorizo. All Photos courtesy of Animal Planet.

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