Monday, January 26, 2009

Max Kellerman's Monday Musings Vol XXXIX - Anything but football

Today's Max Kellerman show while broadcast from "Radio Row" at the site of the "big game" had very little to do with football. Rather than speculating on the reasons for the avoidance of NFL talk, I would like to quickly sum up some of the topics which were discussed.

The new Joe Torre book which had been "excerpted" in the tabloids caught a great deal of attention. Max led with a thought about Joe Torre, asking (and I paraphrase) whether the book was really anything new. He mentioned that the book's characterization of A-Rod's "Single White Female" obsession with Derek Jeter was like "catching Nixon." Max explained that everyone knew that Nixon was a crook, but once he was caught and exposed it became an "Aha, I knew it" moment where you feel that your suspicions were vindicated. This was his feeling as it related to the book's expression of what everyone supposedly knew about A-Rod.

There was another Max observation about A-Rod that everyone knew that A-Rod had the most talent. However, everyone still wants to BE Derek Jeter, including A-Rod.

There was a good deal of boxing commentary which I missed, partially because I lack the background in boxing and partially because I turned the show off for quite a while before turning it back on in the midst of a Michael Irvin interview (OK, so there was some football).

As usual, there were some Max personal references as Max continued his application of the Howard Stern school of hooking the audience by sharing some of your life experiences with them. This included Max talking about how he was unaware of whether it truly was sunny in Tampa as he was on "Radio Row" while his wife and daughter were off on the beach (hope they enjoyed it, it was in the twenties in NY today).

Max also talked about his view on members of the media rooting for sports teams. He said something to the effect that "just because you are in the media doesn't mean that you can't be a fan." This was said within the context of a discussion about the NY Knicks - they are "fun to watch now, even as they prepare for the summer of '10. "

There were a few segments which touched on games that kids play and what was the favorite non-sports game. Some suggestions were tag, freeze tag, stoops and kickball. I did not listen to the whole show (or even most of it) so I don't know if this was suggested - but my money is on "off the roof."

But back to the issue of the interjection of personal life into the show, there was a moment in a show last week which I wanted to highlight. Max was talking to Larry Fitzgerald's father (LF Sr.) about what Larry did for him after he signed his first contract. This theme (while not unique to the Max Kellerman show) is one of those topics the media likes to write about - what did the athlete do for his mother/father/grandmother after he "made it big." Unlike most of the stories which the media runs with that are usually negative in nature (shootings, extramarital affairs, books bashing teammates) , the "I bought my mom a house" stories are positive, feel good stories which make for good press. I believe that these stories catch on because people do like to read about athletes showing hakaras hatov (the recognition of good done for you by others) to their parents and family members.

[And yes, Max did share his own hakaras hatov story in which he talked about how his family did not have a car growing up, so when he had made it he bought a Jaguar, took his dad out for a ride under the premise that Max was showing off his new car, and then Max gave his dad the keys.]

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