Monday, October 6, 2008

Max Kellerman's Monday Musings - Vol XXVIII - Football, Boxing and Life

In my opinion, today's Max Kellerman show was classic Max, heavy discussions of football (the Giants), some boxing and life experiences. I will try to summarize the limited portion that I was able to listen to in this post.

Max started the show with a story about how this weekend he had been out on the West Coast doing a boxing show (Boxing After Dark) and that when it finished on Saturday Night he wanted to catch a "red eye" flight back to New York. Why? Partially because Erin is eight months pregnant (hope you're feeling well Erin!) and partially because he wanted to catch the Giants game at home. Unfortunately, the airline schedule was not cooperative and he was forced to stay over until Sunday. But once he could not get a flight to NY which landed in the AM, Max decided to catch a late afternoon flight so that he could try to watch the whole Giant game in LA. I use the term "try" because the network did not cooperate, as it cut away from the Giant game in the Third Quarter to the Skins/Eagles game because the Giant/Seahawk game was a blowout.

Speaking of the Giants, there was a discussion about whether the Giants were trying to send a message to Plaxico Burress as the team amassed 44 points in their victory over the Seahawks (more points than they scored in any game in 2007 or 2008). There was a spirited debate involving both Louie and Lundberg (welcome back to the airwaves guys) as to whether the team was trying to show up Plaxico and if so whether it was effective.

There was also an interesting hypothetical discussion about whether Eli Manning could be traded for Ben Roethlisberger in an even swap. Max has always been of the opinion that the Giants (rather than trading up for Eli) should have traded down for Ben and kept the draft choices and used them to pick Shawn Merriman and Nate Kaeding. I think the debate of Eli vs Ben is an interesting topic in and of itself. However, there is no way to know whether Ernie Accorsi would have picked Merriman or Kaeding with the picks that went to San Diego.

Speaking of Erin, Max had a special message to her (one of those "Erin if you are listening" moments). He talked about how Erin thinks that its not fair (cue the T.O. clip) because she has to endure pregnancy and Max does not. Max said that Erin wants science to do something to men to even things out. I wish I would have listened to more on this, but I had to turn it off and did not hear the rest of the show.

Max's talk about boxing reminded me of a story told by Rabbi Frand about a boxer. (I heard this in his speech at the Daf Yomi siyum in 2005). R' Frand told a story about a young man who had gone away to yeshiva to learn. When he returned home, the boy used to sit at the dining room table and learn, while his dad (a former boxer) watched the fights on TV in the other room.

One night, the father approached his son and asked what he was learning. The boy replied that he was learning gemara (talmud). The father asked if he could learn with the son and the son obliged. Over the course of the next series of months the father and son learned together until they had finished a page of gemara.

When the two had completed their study, the father told his son that he felt a great deal of accomplishment and wanted to make a party. The son was skeptical as one normally celebrates finishing a tractate of gemara, not one page. Nonetheless, the dutiful son asked R. Moshe Feinstein, zt'l whether the party could be made. R' Moshe answered in the affirmative and asked for permission to attend the party.

Not long after the father passed away. When he was informed of the loss, R' Moshe asked whether he could speak at the funeral. Upon being given an opportunity to speak, R' Moshe commented that it is widely known that a person can obtain a place in the world to come in one hour ("Yesh koneh olamo b'sha'ah achas"). R' Moshe then remarked that the boxer had secured a place in the afterlife with the one page that he had learned ("Yesh koneh olamo b'daf achas").

The actions of the boxer could not be more important than this time of year. When we are being judged on Yom Kippur it is important to remember that if we take positive beginning steps we can be granted wonderful rewards.

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