Type “Israel” into a Google News search box, and your computer screen will quickly flood with stories of fighting and murder and concerns of nuclear weapons in Iran.
That's why many friends of Curran Fudge and Jack Randolph think they're a little crazy for what they're about to do.
The two Oklahoma City men leave this weekend for Tel Aviv, Israel, where they'll live for a year, playing in the Israel Football League and coaching American football in a Tel Aviv high school league.
“A lot of people have a fear of the unknown,” said Fudge's father, Chip, who has traveled with his family to other countries on previous occasions. “But our experience has been that it isn't always what you see on the evening news. You don't hear a lot about attacks in Tel Aviv. We didn't really have many concerns.”
In fact, it was Fudge's mother who presented him with the idea. She read a story about Edmond native Evan Reshef, who played in the IFL and helped start the high school league in Tel Aviv a couple years ago.
“I thought about it for a month or so, and it just sounded like an opportunity I couldn't pass up,” said Curran Fudge, known by most of his friends as Banning.
He had been working on the logistics of the plan for a few months when he bumped into Randolph last November.
Randolph, an international business graduate from the University of Oklahoma, was looking for an opportunity to spend some time overseas, so the idea intrigued him.
“I wasn't 100 percent sure I wanted to do it until about six weeks ago,” he said. “But the way I see it, this is the adventure of a lifetime and possibly the best career move I could make.”
Fudge played football at Heritage Hall, then spent a season at Tulsa in 2010 before giving up the game to concentrate on his education at Oklahoma State. He's looking forward to getting back on the field in the IFL, an eight-man American football league sponsored by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
For Randolph, the football aspect will be a little different. He hasn't played since his senior season at Bishop McGuinness in 2004.