Monday, November 10, 2008

Max Kellerman's Monday Musings - Vol XXXI - On Football and Life

Today's Max Kellerman show had a healthy dose of football, but also provided an interesting look at the various personalities who make up the program.

First Down Jets: Max observed that the Jets are a "good and dangerous team." He reminded the listeners that he had "told you all year" that the Jets will improve and eventually succeed because they have a solid offensive line which just needed time to learn to play together.

Second Down Jets: Max called the game against St. Louis a "statement game" which gave them an opportunity to exorcise demons. He explained that Jets had previously made a statement when Shaun Ellis sacked Tom Brady a few years ago (almost two years to the day - November 12, 2006) in the game famously remembered for Richard Seymour saying that New England had been "outcoached."

Third Down Jets: Max commented that after that season the Jets took a step back when Mangini went head to head with Pete Kendall in an effort to show the players that Mangini was in charge of the team. Max opined that Mangini was willing to sacrifice the season (2007) to win a Superbowl - which can only be accomplished when everyone is on the same page.

First Down Giants: Max observed that the Eagles held the Giants' defensive line in check (no sacks) and the Giants still won in Philly because "they are a special team."

Second Down Giants: Max enlightened us that only the Giants and the Titans have figured out how to win - score more points than the other side.

Third Down Giants: Max commented about the Giants offensive line that while none of the individual players are the best in the league at their position, they are successful because all of them are talented, have been together for a while and play well as a unit.

Personal Foul Giants: Max stated that he had pledged the soul of his daughter (more on her below) in exchange for a Giants win over the Eagles. Its just Max being Max, but it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

And now to other interesting personal observations:

Max observed that Louie Gold represents the typical Jets fan because he was still purportedly upset with the team and would like to see Mangini out of a job. Max later indicated that he will attempt to have Louie seated at the same table with Mangini at an upcoming benefit to be hosted by Teddy Atlas.

Bob Gallerstein (the update guy) commented that the most important victory of the weekend was the Red Bulls playoff win. While I appreciate that Gallerstein injects a much needed dose of hockey into the show, the reference to soccer takes the show too far afield of the mainstream in the NY sports market.

Lundberg gave the "Mr. obvious" statement of the day "the Giants offensive linemen are big." He then supported it by saying that he saw them in person and they are impressively large. Nuff said.

Since Max is now a new Dad (they announced the birth of Esther Kellerman on the show on Wednesday) there were many interesting insights into fatherhood.

[BTW Max, great choice on the name. I guess that I am biased since its Sarah's middle name.]

Of course, Louie started the ball rolling when after losing an argument with Max he said that his daughter (Payton) is better looking than Esther. Max responded with "can't they both be equally cute." Louie (speaking with the experience of having been a father for nearly a year) answered back in the negative. Max then finished with "if only my daughter wasn't hideous."

This gave Max the window to begin talking about his experience of fatherhood. Many of Max's statements brought back memories of when we had our first (Penina) , such as "I can't stop looking at her" and that Max looks down and "sees a little [him]" and also that Max sees "a little bit of Max and Erin in [Esther]."

Max then started talking about his 21st century proud father antics such as taking pictures of Esther daily and showing everyone Esther's pictures on his Iphone.

It really was nice to hear him talking that way about his daughter. After months of listening to him talk about he and Erin were having problems conceiving, I felt a little uncomfortable when he asked us questions in the airport about our kids and their names. I know that he made it seem like a joke when he used to talk about it on the air, but underneath it always felt like it was a little painful to them and I was so glad to hear that they had a healthy baby girl.

Max's obvious joy in experiencing fatherhood reminded me of the gemara in Kiddushin (30b) which we learned a few days ago in Daf Yomi. The gemara states that there are three partners in the creation of a child - the father, the mother and Hashem. This is derived from a statement in gemara Niddah (31a) that the father contributes the "white" parts of the baby, the mother contributes the "red" and Hashem contributes the soul, speech, sight, hearing, intellect, motion and facial complexion.

The gemara in Kiddushin then notes that when a child honors the parents, Hashem says that it is as if He lived among them and they honored Him. The Maharsha explains that the hebrew spelling of man and woman differs based on the addition of the letters "yud" and "hei" which together make up a name of Hashem. When a man and woman join in a proper marriage, Hashem is present. If they raise a child (with His help) who grows to be a moral person who honors his parents, Hashem indicates that it is as if He had been present in their home and that the child's actions are indicative that father, mother and child have joined together to honor Him.

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