JuggleStar breathes fire for NY Jets and judges TLC cases for the City of New York
By Justin Rocket Silverman
Published in New York Daily News
Thursday, September 10, 2015, 5:22pm
See original story with pictures here
He brings the heat for Jets fans — and for city cabbies.
Meet David Fraiden: a taxi violation hearing officer during the week and a flight-suit-wearing, bowling-pin-juggling, unicycle-riding, fire-breathing performer at MetLife Stadium when Gang Green is home.
In his sideline gig, he goes by JuggleStar.
“I'm the only NFL juggler!” he said during a lunch break from hearing a taxi case in Long Island City. “Performing at the stadium for the 82,500 fans means the world to me because I can add to fans’ game day expedience in a positive way.”
Working in a court or on the sideline seem like different skills, but for JuggleStar, they’re hardly mutually exclusive.
“Juggling will train the brain to act quicker,” he said. “It's one of the only activities that has been medically proven to increase brain mass after adolescence.”
Fraiden, 40, is hopeful that that increased brain size will eventually lead to a civil or criminal court judgeship. Until then, he limits his clowning at hearings to making the occasional balloon animal for a bored kid.
The personable, easygoing Fraiden grew up in the Bronx and graduated Brooklyn Law School. After an ill-conceived post-9/11 bid to become a DEA agent, he decided he wanted to represent America in the Olympic Games. Only problem: he wasn't an athlete. But somehow he persuaded the U.S. fencing coach to let him try out.
He didn't make the team — to repeat, he is not a fencer — but was so endearing that he got hired as a videographer and traveled the world with his Olympic heroes. When he returned to New York, he used the same charm to get the Jets to hire him.
“David is an integral part of our fan engagement strategy, elevating New York Jets game day for fans of all ages to enjoy,” said Seth Rabinowitz, a senior VP with the team. “We are happy to have him as a part of the Jets experience.”"
First the fans, then the franchise. Fraiden said his new mission is to get players like Geno Smith and Darrelle Revis juggling.
“A two-hour juggling clinic would prove invaluable,” he said. “My instincts have become reflexive. When things are dropped off a table, I grab them like a ninja.”