Tuesday, April 29, 2014


What do we talk about here at Bleeding Yankee Blue? Well, besides the New York Yankees, we discuss working hard, being successful and becoming a champion... in baseball, in life.  Work hard will give you success, but you need to want it for yourself.  No one is going to hand it to you.

I believe in drive. Many of us do.  I was recently taken by a young man named Shane Varga who is in his 3rd year of remission, recovering from cancer and living for his family.  His interview with BYB was titled THE FIGHTER.  This guy has the guts others dream of. He knew he had his back against the wall and instead of giving up, he literally fought for his life.  By his side was his family; his wife, his mother and his sister Lisa Varga.

(In Photo: Amy, Shane and Lisa Varga)
Shane, Lisa and I have since communicated regularly. We're fast friends and I appreciate that very much.  As far as drive goes, it must be in the Varga genes, because Lisa is just as energetic and determined as Shane.  I decided that because they both have an amazing drive to be the best, I wanted to share Lisa's story with you as well.  She's not only the sister of Shane Varga, she's a huge Yankee fan, an actress and a Sports show Host and trust me when I tell you... it won't end there.  You may not know Lisa Varga right now, but you will.  

I bring you our interview with Lisa Varga, a great gal with alot of spunk. Oh yeah... and she's a huge Yankee fan! 

Enjoy this, I did:

BYB: Lisa, first off, many of our BYB audience read about Shane and his cancer ordeal.  Tell us how often you hang out with Shane during his remission?

Lisa Varga: I hang out with Shane a lot! And if we're not hanging out it's probably because I'm traveling or working on a show. No matter what, we always talk on the phone and stay in touch. We have a blast when we're together. I can truly say he's my best friend. He's so special and I'm incredibly proud of him. He happens to be one of the funniest people I know and he makes me laugh all the time. We get so silly when were together. And he’s so smart.

If I ever need advice or someone to listen, Shane is the person I go to. We have a great brother-sister relationship and he has taught me so much throughout my life. He had a great impact on my life when he was going through cancer. I appreciate things so much more now and the experience has made my life more meaningful. My brother is a gift and I cherish our time together always. He's the best brother a girl could ever ask for...and a Yankees fan too! Plus he and his wife Amy just had a baby who is the love of my life - so now I have one more reason to visit and spend time with him!

BYB: As you know, I was taken by Shane's story, and you me and Shane continue to chat on occasion.  How important is it that people, BYB readers and regular people, believe in themselves? I ask that because I was so inspired by Shane and your story.

Lisa Varga: We all have to believe in ourselves!  If we don't believe in ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to?  So many people will let us down throughout our life, so it's important to develop confidence and independence at a young age. I think sports play a big part in that. It gives us the opportunity to succeed at something, to be challenged, to learn discipline and to know the meaning of winning and losing and it teaches us how to get back up if we lose and how to celebrate when we win.  If you're lucky enough to have family and friends who believe in you, that's huge!  Shane and I were fortunate enough to have an amazing family who loved us and who believed in us no matter what. They were always supportive and that built our confidence up. But not everyone has that luxury, so it's important to learn how to believe in yourself.  My faith is also what has gotten me through everything and I know Shane will tell you the same. There is someone even greater than ourselves who will always believe in us so that's a comforting feeling. I truly value family and friendships and it's a blessing when you hear someone say "I believe in you" but the real question is do YOU believe in you, and if you don't, then you have to  find a way to start trying. Nothing comes easy in life, but if we have heart and determination and we truly believe that we can accomplish something... then we will.

BYB: The Yankees and the Vargas. You are a Yankee family. Who was the first Yankee great you heard about in your household and what drew you to the team?

Lisa Varga: Oh, that's an easy one. The late and great Thurman Munson. He was my Dad's favorite player so his name came up quite a bit in my home growing up. Of course, I heard the names of Babe Ruth and all the other Yankee legends, but Thurman Munson was the name I remembered most.  Reggie Jackson was another family favorite. Remember when Reggie Jackson came out with a candy bar named after him - The Reggie Bar! 

That was awesome. I just remembered that. Haha.  We went as a family to a game one year and they were handing them out in the stands, and from what I can remember of that candy bar, it was pretty awesome; Peanuts and caramel dipped in chocolate. How can you not love that!  Sorry, I got side tracked,  but yes, I'd have to say Thurman was the Yankee I heard the most about. When he died so tragically, our entire family was devastated.  I remember crying and seeing my Dad cry too.  I remember that day vividly. We took the Yankees very serious in our house. Thurman was a legend.  I remember when they retired his number #15 in 1979 right after his death. 

I'm sure he's watching every game from Yankee heaven right next to Babe Ruth and all the other Yankee greats. There was a beautiful quote from Steinbrenner that said "Our Captain and leader has not left us today, tomorrow, this year, next...Our endeavors will reflect our love and admiration for him." 

BYB: Have you ever been to a World Series game?

Lisa Varga: I have been to 2 Yankees World Series games.  The first one in 1998 against the San Diego Padres and again in 2003 against the Florida Marlins. I’ve been to the original Yankee Stadium, but never been to the new one. Hopefully soon!  

BYB: What drew you to BleedingYankeeBlue.com?  

Lisa Varga: Your love for the Yankees and the honesty and integrity in every story you and your staff writes.  I really connected with your words and thought to myself"This person is really cool and knows his stuff"!  Not only in baseball, but with life in general. You clearly love your family and that also grabbed my attention! It's just an all around great site!  BYB is loaded with information, compelling stories, fun pictures and of course awesome interviews with some pretty incredible people. 

BYB: Tell the audience how you and I met through Twitter and how important it is to network in this crazy world of the Internet.

Lisa Varga: We live in a day and age where social media is not only fun, but can be used as a very powerful tool in networking and making contacts with people of similar interests. Ours happened to be the Yankees. I've connected with some really cool people and actually gained some very good friends who I stay in contact with to this day.  I can't stress how important networking is, especially in my business which is entertainment and sports.  And every once in a while we find that diamond that impacts our life and changes everything.  I have actually gotten some golden opportunities because of relationships I have developed because of Twitter and also gained some life long friends. I consider BYB one of them! Twitter has changed my life and I've had so many great experiences. The only problem is that it becomes very addicting, but it's worth it!   

BYB: Lisa, you help out with the company True Rivalry, who you also met on Twitter. Tell me about their charity work?

Lisa Varga: True Rivalry is a sports apparel company that has a charity line of t-shirts. A portion of the proceeds go to the charity of the participating athlete's choice. The athlete agrees to help design the t-shirt, they choose their favorite charity, they get involved in social media and photo shoots and then the "True Rivalry" begins; that’s when the athletes compete with each other to try and raise money for their charities by selling the most t-shirts. Usually teammates join forces to make things more fun and interesting. It's all for charity and it's a really cool concept. I support True Rivalry however I can. We’ve became friends on Twitter and have kept in contact ever since.     

BYB: Tell the BYB audience about your career in front of the camera?

Lisa Varga:
I started off as a model at the age of 16, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and television. I was in LA for 15 years and then worked in Florida and New York for a few years. I had a very successful career in front of the camera. 

I co-starred in some great movies, landed the starring role in an indie film, and was also on an Emmy award winning TV series. Then, I got into hosting. 

I loved it and had a lot of fun. After hosting for several years, I took up sports journalism and that's how I came up with my new series called "The Offseason".  I brought sports, entertainment and charity together in one show and now as the host, creator and producer, I can truly say that I'm living my dream. I had to come up with a way to reinvent myself and get back into the biz after my 5 year journey helping my brother Shane get through cancer. It's been a blessing and I'm having the time of my life. Now I'm doing quality work that I enjoy while giving back and helping to educate my audience on ways they can make a difference in the world.  

BYB: Besides Derek Jeter, what other New York Yankee would you like to interview for your show “The Offseason”?

Lisa Varga: Well Derek Jeter is definitely on the top of my list. Mostly because I love what he does off the field with his Turn 2 Foundation. And also because he has such a great reputation and fans everywhere love him. He also comes from a wonderful family and has great values. He has a positive outlook on life and is absolutely perfect for the show I'm doing. I think I have something very special and unique that fits his desire to get more involved with philanthropic work after he retires. Maybe he will read your article and give it a thought. As I said before, I dream big.

The other Yankees that would make my wish list are:

Jorge Posada - Not only because he's a legend, but because he also seems like an all around good guy and loves his family. Plus he has a great foundation that I think people need to learn more about . His wife Laura is also an incredible woman and would be perfect in an episode with him. What a great couple!

A few others would be: Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia.... Because they have the key ingredient to what my show focuses on along with what Jeter and Posada bring to the table.

BYB: Do you have anything you want to say to BYB?

Lisa Varga:  You should be proud of what you do! I know how time consuming writing can be, so to juggle family, work, life, and to make every Yankee story interesting, you deserve the highest praise, my friend. I hope everyone spreads the word about BYB and appreciates all the hard work you put into it.  

Lisa, thanks. You're the best and thanks for taking the time! The best of luck in all you do!  

You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store!  Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on Bleeding Yankee Blue.