Monday, March 3, 2008

Max Kellerman's Monday Musing Vol II - Jets Moves, Mets/Yanks Popularity Issues and Sickness

Today's Max Kellerman show had many different topics during the three hour program. Of note, there was more than a fair amount of football talk, including discussions of the Jets newly remade offensive line and the Giants (at least temporarily) resting on their accomplishments. I was glad to hear some discussion about the Jets and the strides they are making in the quest to Manginize the roster. Whether or not Mangini did the right thing by not trying to adapt his system to the players on the roster, at least the Jets seem to be making positive moves in bringing in talent that should fit the system that Mangini wants to play.

Of course, as any long suffering Jets fan knows, the mere fact that certain lauded players are brought in as free agents or by trade hardly means that they will work out as Jets --regardless of their accomplishments prior to arriving here. Hey just look at some of the more recently released players - Justin McCareins (brought in for 2nd Round pick) Andre Dyson (big ticket free agent signing) or Sean Ryan (brought in for a 7th Round pick to try to mitigate the disaster of trading a first rounder for Doug Jolley). Well, only time will tell if this year's crop of headliners is any better than most of the mercenaries the Jets bring in.

There was also some conversation regarding territorial rights of the Mets and Yankees in the New York area and Brian Kenny correctly pointing out that when we grew up on Long Island the Met hat was the dominant one worn by kids and the tide has shifted. (OK I didn't grow up with Brian as he is about six to eight years older than I am, but the memories he evoked with his comments about the Mets of the 80's are of my pre-teen and teen years and are certainly still strong in mind).

There was also a considerable amount of talk about sickness. Louie Gold called in sick and blamed it all on Lundberg who apparently came in to work sick one day last week and infected Louie. Louie sounded genuinely ill and what was worse was that his baby (Payton) has caught it too. As much as they rip on Louie about his family life (that week about him not looking for his wedding band after he lost it on the beach was priceless) he really cares about his little girl. I remember the first conversation that I had with Louie and I asked him how it was to be away from Payton for five days. While many new dads would probably say that it was a relief to be away from the screaming and to be able to get a good night's sleep, that was not Louie's reaction. Instead, Louie answered immediately that it sooks (well he actually did not use the Max phrase as the conversation was not on the air). It really made an impression on me at the time and showed that Louie truly cares about his little girl.

But back to the talk about sickness - Max and Brian also talked about a dinner that they went to with their fathers. Max mentioned that Brian's father (Charlie Kenny) looked really good and that you could not tell that he had just recently recovered from a heart attack. [I was very glad to hear about this - from the very short time that I spent with him, Brian seems like a good guy and I wish his dad only good health]. Max also mentioned that if Brian's father had been Jewish he would have been brought in a wheelchair complaining about his health. Max then talked about Brian being of hearty Irish stock before moving on to another topic.

As is wont to happen, Max's discussion about the stereotypical old Jewish man with his health complaints made me stop and think. I recalled recently reading about R' Meir Abichazira in the Sefer Abir Yaakov. There is a story there about how he did not want to go to doctors but only did so in order to put his family's mind at ease. After his death, they found all the prescription bottles neatly lined up in the cabinet. He did not feel that he needed the doctors or the medicines, but "humored" his family to make them feel better. He also never complained about his failing health, except when his condition prevented him from being able to devote full concentration to his Torah study.

Max's thoughts also evoked a hashkafa discussion that I recall hearing/reading about many times, but I was unable to locate the source in my library this evening. The concept goes something like - if you are feeling ill and someone asks how you are doing, do not respond that you feel lousy. Instead let them know that you are OK, but your body is a little under the weather. The actual statement is much more powerful than my paraphrasing can do justice to, but you get the picture.

As always, Max Kellerman's show always makes it way into Torah thought...

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