Monday, December 1, 2008

Max Kellerman's Monday Musings Vol XXXIII - Football and Morals

While I normally try to get a healthy dose of Max on Mondays, I was unable to listen to more than a few segments today. With that in mind, the following is my take on today's Max Kellerman show.

Max led the show with a statement that "the best football teams in the NFL play in NY" despite the Jets loss this weekend. He explained that the Jets are still the best the team in the AFC and that Denver is one of those teams which is capable of beating any other team on "any given Sunday." He later commented that Jay Cutler is "the most talented quarterback in the league" which he then quickly qualified by saying "that Eli Manning is the best quarterback in the league."

I also heard some of Max Kellerman's shtick on basketball where he and Robin Lunderg invented the "D'Antoni Adjustment Machine" which takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. They ran some scenarios through the machine including: (1) Wilt Chamberlin scored 100 pts vs the Knicks in Hershey, PA in the70s, but run through the D.A.M., that would have been 312,000 pts; (2) Jonathan Papelbon through the D.A.M. would become Mariano Rivera; (3) Justin Tuck through the D.A.M. would become a superhero (I can't remember which one they mentioned) and (4) Stephon Marbury could not run through the D.A.M because it would not work on him.

There was also a statement made as to the Knicks being .500, despite the fact that "half of their starters" need to be integrated and have been with the team for a matter of weeks. During the limited time that I listened today I did not hear any talk about the Nets. I wonder if he would have similar feelings about the Nets' results, considering that three of the Nets five starters are new (Simmons, Yi and Brook Lopez) and that other than Sean Williams, no one on the team was a Net prior to last year's All Star break. I'm guessing that he probably did not tak about them, because they will be off everyone's radar until: (1) Devin Harris goes to the All Star game or (2) they beat someone in the First Round of the NBA playoffs.

Of course, Max explored the Plaxico Burress saga, taking an interesting approach to the arrest for alleged illegal possession of a gun (the lawyer in me makes me say alleged). He did a psychological analysis (borrowing from his dad perhaps) in noting that ever since Burress got his new contract he has been "acting out" by missing treatment, not letting the Giants know his whereabouts when he missed team meetings and the latest incident with the gun.

Max also took a sociological approach to Burress' arrest, analyzing whether the offense was legally or "morally" wrong. Max opined that the act of illegally possessing an unlicensed gun in a night club was not "morally" wrong because people are allowed to have guns as long they have a permit and that Burress' legal wrong was that he failed to obtain the permit. I heard one caller take issue with this, but then arrived at my destination and turned the car off.

While Max sometimes takes positions for effect, he has a very strong sense of moral right and wrong as it relates to his Jewish identity. Last January he went to Germany to cover a boxing match. He later spoke on air about how he perceived the local populace's views about him based on the fact that he was Jewish and how he felt uncomfortable around them. I can't remember his exact words, but I rehashed this with Sarah last evening after we learned that a nephew of her uncle had been killed in the Chabad House in Mumbai (click here for the story). Sarah remembered Max talking to us about the German people's view of Jews and how Max felt about it, but neither of us could remember how he phrased it.

I wonder what Max's take would have been of the incidents in Mumbai last week. Without getting into the details which are still painfully fresh in everyone's minds, the terrorists singled out Americans, Britons and Jews for their murderous assault. Why these groups? People will have a "knee jerk" reaction and say because of President Bush's policies in Iraq. However, we know that the terrorists targeted these groups long before President Bush took office. By way of example, the US embassies in Africa were blown up in the late 90's during the Clinton administration. Similarly the USS Cole was attacked in the Persian Gulf during the waning days of the Clinton presidency. Finally, we have learned that the planning and training for the 9/11 attacks all occurred during the late 90's.

All the above events took place during an administration which was the antithesis of the Bush White House. Indeed, Clinton had pushed and prodded Israel into permitting the Palestinians autonomy over the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip, before it all went south in late summer 2000 when the latest intifada erupted after the terms of a final peace deal could not be hammered out.

So why do these events occur whether we have a liberal president and an open world policy or a conservative administration and an imperial view? Because they hate Americans for our freedoms and Jews simply because they are Jews. These are just my views of course, but I wonder what Max would say about it.

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