Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday's Musings on Sports - The King and Noba

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. Although Max resigned from 1050 more than a year ago, I have tried to continue the tradition of linking sports to Torah which I believe was an undercurrent of the Max Kellerman show.

For those of you who grew up in the 70's you may remember a GM car called the Chevy Nova. Urban legend is that the car did not do well in Mexico as Nova is purportedly similar to the words No ba which in Spanish mean will not, as in the car will not go.

This past week we watched the end of the Lebron James spectacle and learned that he had chosen Miami as his new home. We also learned soon thereafter that James will not go home to Cleveland again.

I don't begrudge LeBron James having the right to leave Cleveland as a free agent and make as much money as he could with another team. As a famous sportscaster once said, in the age of free agency you root for the laundry, not the player.

My issue with LeBron is more related to how he made himself the focus of attention by requiring all of his potential suitors to fly out to Akron to see him (rather than visiting the cities himself). Also, LeBron had dropped hints for more than a year that he was considering leaving, while at the same time giving the Cavaliers fans (are they now the Cadavers again?) false hope that he would be returning to Cleveland.

The final straw in this charade was the made for TV news program that King James designed to let the world in on where he had decided to go. This was just over the top in my opinion as James could have easily just issued a press release or agreed to be interviewed on a sports or news program. But this was not enough honor for King James who needed to host his own hour long program in prime time where he explained why he was going to Miami.

The King James charade reminded me of a Rashi on one of last week's parshios (Matos). The last two verses of the parsha recite the names of cities which were built by Menashe's children. When Yair captured cities he called them Chavos Yair. When Nobah captured cities he called them Nobah. However the word which should explains the renaming of Nobah is spelled without a dagesh (emphasis) in the letter heh. Rashi cites R' Moshe HaDarshan who explains that the emphasis is lacking because the city did not retain Nobah's name. Why? According to R' Mansour it is because Nobah named the city his own name to show that this was all that he was about. It was not called Nobah City or Nobah Town, just Nobah. When a person makes his money or possessions his entire life, it is a shallow existence and doomed to fail.

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