As regular readers of this blog are aware, the Monday post was usually devoted to sports with highlights and analysis of the Max Kellerman show which formerly aired on 1050 ESPN Radio. As Max has resigned from 1050 and has not yet resurfaced on the NY area radio waves, I have decided to continue the tradition of linking sports to Torah which I believe was an undercurrent of the Max Kellerman show.
Those tortured souls who call themselves Jets fans may recall that two short weeks ago, Rex Ryan gave a press conference after the Jets lost to the Atlanta Falcons where he announced that the Jets could no longer make the playoffs. Twenty four hours later he gave another press conference wherein he withdrew his prior statement and said that the Jets could make the playoffs. A week later, following the Jets victory over the Colts "B" team, Rex lauded the team and its defense and spoke of how the team had its destiny in its own hands. And then finally the team repaid Rex's confidence in them by dismantling the Bengals.
Yes, the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl, not just make the playoffs. But when you are a team with a rookie head coach with a rookie quarterback, accomplishments need to be put in perspective. Even if the Jets don't advance beyond the first round of the playoffs, the season must be deemed a success, since the team which had a tremendous turnover in personnel and lost a key offensive (Leon Washington) and defensive (Kris Jenkins) player still managed to be better than all the other second place teams in the conference.
The Rex Ryan emotional roller coaster could be easily understood if the comments were made by a fan or even a journalist (you know the kind, the ones who shout that the sky is falling and then later say that they "keep it real" and always said that it would turn out this way). But when a coach makes brash statements which swing back and forth along the emotional pendulum, there is a real danger that he could lose the team. Fortunately, in the Jets case there was never any muttering about the coach or "unnamed players" who criticized management behind their backs.
The merit of a leader keeping an even keel, even when faced with adversity can be learned from Aharon. We first see Aharon in the beginning of Sefer Shemos as Moshe's assistant who helps with communication with Pharaoh and actually has a hand (OK a staff) in some of the plagues in Egypt. Although Aharon undergoes a number of trials and tribulations, including: seeing two of his sons die; having his position as kohen challenged by Korach and being the focus of the people's attention when they miscalculate Moshe's return from Har Sinai, Aharon never loses his cool. In fact, Aharon's acts are always seen as positive as Pirkei Avos 1:12 teaches that one should try to be like the students of Aharon.
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