Ari Louis at the TLV1.fm studios. (Photo Credits Maya Hed).

Ari Louis at the TLV1.fm studios. (Photo Credits Maya Hed).

Throughout all the years I have hosted Louis Live, I have interviewed several champions. From World Series champions, Pete Rose and Curt Schilling, to Heavyweight Champion Boxer Roy Jones Jr. and really the list goes on and on. This past Tuesday, I was able to interview another champion on my hit show Louis Live which airs every Tuesday at 19:00 on http://www.tlv1.fm. The man I interviewed is named Alan “Shlomo” Veingrad, a Super Bowl Champion from the 1992 season with the Dallas Cowboys. However, Mr. Veingrad is a unique champion, in that he is a Jewish athlete. Now, let’s put the cards on the table so to speak. I am an expert on sports and I am the only person who discusses sports on radio with a Jewish angle, thus I can tell you it is more mathematically likely for a Jew to own a sports team than to play on one. However, there are some fine Jewish athletes, which is documented in the best-selling book Modern Day Maccabees written by Andrew Gershman. Now with all of this being said, generally the Jewish athlete does not play in the NFL. All the more so, the Jewish athlete does not play offensive line. For those of you who do not know American football so well, the Offensive line is the most important position and ironically the least glorified. Itay Ashkenazi, QB for the Tel-Aviv Pioneers, once told me in an interview “the game is won on the line”. Glory can go to the quarterback, running back, wide receiver on touchdowns, defensive players can get a sack or an interception and even a kicker and get glory on making a game winning field goal. However, outside of saying the name of the offensive lineman at the beginning of a broadcast, you will most likely not hear an offensive lineman’s name. Despite all of this, Alan Veingrad took this challenge on, but for Alan Veingrad, a challenge was nothing new. He was not heavily recruited to play college football after high school as in his own words “was a tall skinny kid.” He eventually got one scholarship, to a small school called East Texas State. He worked his tukus off lifting weights to the point he made it to the NFL and stayed there for 7 years, playing with two of the NFL’s most legendary teams, in the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. In 1991, while with the Dallas Cowboys he helped Emmit Smith (who is the all-time rushing leader) win a rushing title in 1991. Emmit was so thankful he bought Alan a rolex with a personal inscription on it. But while he was in Green Bay, a man in the Jewish community approached Veingrad about celebrating the High Holidays with him and his family. At the time, Veingrad was one of only 5 Jewish players in the NFL, but he was not religiously observant. However, this nice gesture turned Veingrad’s life in a new direction and started his religious journey. Alan’s last year in the NFL was 1992, when he became a champion on the football field. After his career, he desired the structure he had in football and found such structure in Judaism. He now goes by Shlomo and is Shomer Mitzvot, and helps others through public speaking, speaking to others about perseverance and determination, not just in football, but in life. Keep in mind, this is a guy who should have not made it to the NFL according to the odds and the same could be said about be coming religious. Pirkei Avos (Ethics of our Fathers) says a man who runs from honor will have honor run after him. This is shown with Alan “Shlomo” Veingrad, who helped others as a lineman without being in the spotlight, but now honor does come to him as a man who helps others in real life.