Monday, October 27, 2008

Max Kellerman's Monday Musings Vol XXIX - Giants, Jets and Roses

Although I am sure that today's Max Kellerman show focused on more than just football, the limited portions which I was able to listen to were dominated by football. With this in mind, I'll give you my two cents on some of the points Max made on today's show.

Max had a recurring theme which compared the 2008 Giants with Muhammad Ali and his fight with Sonny Liston. Max noted that the Giants have been tested since they lost their top two defensive ends (one to injury and one to retirement) and have been utilizing a wide receiver (Plaxico Burress) who is a prima donna. Max compared this to Ali's getting some of the liniment from Liston's gloves in his eyes and being forced to overcome "blindness" in beating Liston. Max theorized that the same way that Ali needed to adapt to deal with the blindness, the Giants were dealing with adversity thrown their way this season. (More on that later).

Max also had some kind words for Jets fans. Although the Jets did win their game against the hapless Kansas City Chiefs, Brett put up another stinker of a game as he threw three interceptions. Max remarked that the Jets fans who were upset with Brett Favre's performance should wake up and smell the roses, "you need some fertilizer at first to grow nice roses." Max's line was cute, but Louie was more on point with his everyman's analysis of the game. Bottom line, two eminently winnable games against AFC bottom feeders and the Jets come away with a loss and a last second victory. No one can explain why after turning Leon Washington loose on the first scoring drive, the Jets went with pass play after pass play. Yes, Thomas Jones did pick up a TD with some power running at the goal line, but against a poor run defense (and especially when leading in the fourth quarter) the Jets were thinking pass first. One has to wonder whether Brett Favre or Brian Schottenheimer is calling the plays out there.

This of course is not to absolve the defensive coordinator. After the Chiefs lost their "starting" running back (I put this term in quotes since Charles was a back up who was forced into a starting role when the Chiefs deactivated Larry Johnson), everyone but the Jets defensive coordinator knew that the Chiefs were going to be passing on nearly every play (they only ran the ball eight times in the second half). Still, the Jets were putting eight men in the box on most plays. Why? Beats me.

Max also had his usual moment when (in deference to Howard Stern) he let the listeners in on some personal factoid. I know its just me, but I would have rather heard about Erin's birthing classes then find out that Max has facial dandruff.

As usual, the Max Kellerman show had an element of Torah thought. In discussing the issue of overcoming adversity and working with a problem to make something better out of the situation, Max reminded me of a story which I recently read about R' Moshe Feinstein. When R' Moshe was living under the communists in Russia, he was the Chief Rabbi of the Town of Luban. Obviously, the communist leaders made it difficult for Jews to observe their religion. Still, when R' Moshe heard about a project being proposed by the local party leaders he was able to turn it into an asset for the Jewish community.

When the local party bosses wanted to build a large sanitary facility for the residents to use for bathing, R' Moshe convinced the laborers that it should be built in such a manner so that it could also function as a mikva (ritual bathhouse). R' Moshe then addressed the local party leaders and explained that although the State was providing such a wonderful resource, there were some older Jews who might resist using the bathhouse if there were not some times with separate hours for men and women. The local leaders obliged R' Moshe and did set some separate times. Not long after, the local leaders were praised for the efficiency of their bathhouse and the fact that women from many far off towns were travelling great distances to use the facility.

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