Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday's Musings on Sports - Waiting, Hoping, Moshe and the Giants

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.

Ed Note - I received a heads up from "Kellerman fan" that Max has resurfaced on the radio in Los Angeles. I clicked on the website and heard a few minutes of classic Max being Max (he was doing the rant about his mouth having touched the "dirty microphone that everyone spits on"). Unfortunately, I had to go into a meeting and could not stay with the show, but I am glad to hear that he is back on the air somewhere.

Yesterday was one of those days that come a few times a year when a team wins a game which it needs to make the playoffs, but later learns that it has been eliminated as a result of another team's win or loss. Sunday's NFL action began with one NFC wildcard slot available. If the Green Bay Packers won, the spot belonged to them. If the Packers lost and the NY Giants won, then the Giants would have made the playoffs. Finally, if both the Packers and Giants lost, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won, the slot would go to Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers played an early (1 PM game) against a New Orleans team which had already clinched a playoff spot, but still had a chance to move up and take the #1 position. Despite playing against a good team, the Bucs finished strong and beat the Saints 23-13. They now had to sit and wait for the results of the 4 PM games.

Meanwhile, the NY Giants were about to begin their 4 PM game against a Washington Redskins team which had underachieved all season. Despite their talented roster, the Skins had only managed to win five games going into the final week of the season and did not seem like they would be match of a challenge to the Giants.

But the game that everyone wanted to know about was taking place at Lambeau Field where the Chicago Bears who had very little to play for, were promising to play their top players all games against the Green Bay Packers.

When I got home Sunday afternoon and turned on the Giants game, it seemed like the announcers were giving as much air time to the results of the Bears - Green Bay game as the Giants - Skins game. Meanwhile, the players in the Giants game had to split their attention between the task at hand and watching the scoreboard of the GB - Chicago game.

The scoreboard watching and waiting was sitting in the back of my head as I was preparing today's daf yomi. The gemara in Zevachim discusses how the land of Binyamin was sitting and anxiously watching over the land of Yehuda in case some of the Beis Hamikdash would be built in Yehuda's land. R' Rosner in his shiur on the daf drew a parallel to Moshe sitting and anxiously waiting to see if he would be allowed to enter the land of Israel at the end of his life. L'havdil, both exercises involved the same concept - the task which was to be performed by the watcher was complete and now it was left to sit back and see if what they wanted would be taken from them.

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