Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday's Musings on Sports - There's Always A Choice

In the days leading up to tonight's Monday Night Football game, there was an interesting story which broke about Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall. Marshall is a highly talented and yet high strung athlete who essentially forced his way out of Denver due to his antics. Since leaving the Broncos, Marshall has never regained in his All Pro form. This could be in part due to: (1) his having a better quality QB in Denver; (2) Denver being a better run organization than the train wreck Miami Dolphins or (3) Marshall's overall inability to focus on being part of a team.

This season, Marshall had been having what could best be described as (for him) a sub-average season. Plagued by drops and an inability to score when it counts, Marshall became frustrated with the state of the 0-4 Dolphins. As such, Marshall informed a number of reporters that tonight he planned on having a big game for the first quarter and a half and that he intended to do something to get ejected from the game in the second quarter. What Marshall intended to do and why he was planning this was not revealed. However, Marshall was outspoken that something would occur.

[Ed Note - I write this post with the game not yet decided. As such, I am unaware of whether Marshall has or has not followed through on his threat].

Given that Marshall is easily the most talented WR on the Dolphins, one has to wonder whether Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano had a sit down with Marshall to perhaps talk some sense into him. Indeed, Sparano himself is coaching for his job as the Dolphins have been regressing under his watch. I could imagine the conversation going something like - Brandon you don't need to make a spectacle out of yourself just to make a point. If you get thrown out of the game you could be suspended by the NFL without pay. You have a choice to prove your worth on the field instead of being thrown off of it.

The Brandon Marshall saga made me think about a story I heard in a R' Zev Cohen derasha over sukkos. R' Cohen told a story which he heard from a Rabbi who is the brother of R' Paysach Krohn (I can't recall the brother's first name). R' Krohn had been called to go to Israel to talk to a boy who was considering leaving orthodoxy. Together, R' Krohn and the boy went to see R' Grossman. The boy told R' Grossman that he had been having doubts and was considering going off. R' Grossman responded to the boy with the following story:

A number of years prior, R' Grossman had traveled to a city in Israel with his family. After Friday Night dinner, R' Grossman went for a walk with his son. They passed a disco where Israeli boys and girls were dancing. The boy who at the time was 12 became very upset. He said to his father - we need to tell the mayor. R' Grossman tried to dissuade the boy, but was unsuccessful. So at midnight the two went to knock on the door of the mayor's home.

When the mayor eventually came to the door he was quite upset. The boy responded to him - Mr. Mayor there is a fire. The mayor asked where it was and the boy said that there is a spiritual fire. The mayor became enraged and began to berate both R' Grossman and his son until the mayor's wife came downstairs. She recognized R' Grossmam and said to the mayor - don't you know who this is? Its the famous R' Grossman.

The mayor calmed down and began to tell R' Grossman his story. He explained that he had been raised in a frum home and had gone off the path. He had two children, a daughter who married a non-Jewish boy and wanted nothing to do with the mayor. His son went to play soccer overseas and was involved in a serious injury which resulted in an amputation. The son would not speak to the mayor as he was upset that the mayor was not there for the surgery.

The mayor concluded - my siblings have stayed frum and I am envious of the weddings and bar mitzvas they make. I wonder what would have happened if I stayed frum.

R' Grossman then turned to the boy and said - I am a great grandfather with more than a hundred grandchildren - all frum. You have a choice in front of you to follow the path or to chart your own course away from religion. Which end result would you prefer?

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Yaakov said...

if your looking for the source of the Rabbi Grossman its in here

Yochanan said...

Kalman Krohn

Neil T said...

Thanks to both of you for the link and the filled in information on the "maggid."