Tag Archives: sports

Mensch Madness Game 4: Serpent vs. Donkey!

donkeysm

Today’s trash-talkin’ beasts!

The tension in the air is palpable as we prepare for today’s tip-off at the Manischewitz Arena. Mensch Madness Game 4 is going to involve some serious trash-talking!

Today’s match-up will pit a Serpent and a Donkey against one another, and in a fascinating twist, both of these animals are able to speak (no, the donkey is not related to Eddie Murphy’s character in Shrek)!

Also, it looks like the trash talking is on and off the court today, folks. As the snake came out for his pre-game warm-up, he encountered two fans who seemed to be drunk. One of them (due to privacy concerns, he will be referred to only by his first name, Adam) was shouting about some piece of fruit, and Adam’s companion, Eve, was yelling that the Serpent was a lying fraud. Based on this serious allegation, a test was administered on the Serpent for performance-enhancing drugs, but it came back negative. Adam and Eve were escorted out by security, and told they could never return – ever.

While the players wrapped their warm-ups, a man named Balaam gave a pretty poor rendition of the national anthem. He stumbled over the words, and some said that was because he was trying to sing about the “home of the cowardly” instead of “home of the brave.” Apparently the folks operating the sound system edited his words in real time.

As the game began, the Serpent immediately went on an 18-4 run. His ability to walk on two legs — that’s right, sports fans, a two-legged snake! — was immensely helpful, and the donkey just couldn’t hang with him as she tried to dribble with one of her four legs. Soon, the Donkey was called for travelling. She got in an argument with the ref. The Serpent ran over, demanding that the Donkey be called for a technical foul. Sure enough, the ref blew his whistle and made the call. Then Serpent began dancing around, taunting Donkey, trash-talking her and telling her to break another rule if she really wanted to win the game…

This would prove to be a turning point.

A voice on the loud-speaker boomed: “Serpent, because you have enticed the referee to make this excessive call and continue coaxing Donkey to break the rules, you will no longer be able to prance around the court on two legs. You will henceforth be required to attempt mid-range jump shots while slithering around on your belly.”[1]

We searched the entire NCAA rulebook, and we found no such provision, but that voice over the loudspeaker was pretty powerful. And so, just like that, the Serpent’s two-leg advantage slithered away.

Donkey took a massive lead, as the Serpent’s ability to play defense was almost completely eliminated. It was so bad that a benchwarmer named “Angel” was summoned to assist the serpent on defense. What was strange is that none of the fans could see this Angel character. His clothing blended in with the court. Only the Donkey could see him.[2] When she started dribbling frantically in circles to try and avoid Angel’s terrific defense, the fans thought she was just wasting time and milking the lead.

Anthem-garbling Balaam was incredibly upset, and threw his hot dog at the Donkey. Next came the Dippin’ Dots. Finally, after being pelted with an entire box of nachos, Donkey couldn’t take it anymore.

She yelled, “What have I done to you that you’ve launched these food items at me three times? This ‘Angel’ guy was going to confront you due to your horrendous national anthem rendition, but because I gave him the opportunity to play defense against me, I saved you from that thoroughly unpleasant interaction! And this is the thanks I get?!”[3]

Balaam, like Adam and Eve before him, was escorted out and banned for life from Manischewitz Arena. As the game drew to a close, the donkey coasted to a victory over the helpless serpent, who spent most of his time slithering around the three-point arc, air-balling desperation attempts from downtown. The final score was 83-68.

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[1] Genesis 3:14-15 [2] Numbers 22:22-25 [3] Numbers 22:26-33

Posted on March 27, 2015

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Mensch Madness Game 2: Frogs vs. Pig!

Welcome back to the arena for the second game in our series of Mensch Madness: The Creatures of Judaism. Both of our contenders are underdogs (not that either of them are literally dogs—one team isn’t even mammalian!) who never imagined that they’d make it this far.

frogmm

On one side of the court, we have The Frogs. Yes, the frogs from the ten plagues—they hopped here all the way from ancient Egypt. They’ve accumulated assists in previous games by annoying Pharaoh into letting the Jews go. Unfortunately, their win was short-lived, as Pharaoh changed his mind and refused to let the Jews leave. Ultimately, their W was changed to an L.

On the other side, we have Baxter the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher. Although he wasn’t successful in becoming kosher, Baxter had a slam dunk in learning about Judaism. His pre-game ritual of downing pickles and challah has served him well in the past, and we’re excited to see how he’ll compete in today’s game.

The ball is tossed to start the game, and the frogs have a big advantage with their vertical leap. Frogs have first possession, and Baxter can’t focus with all the frogs on his nose and frogs on his toes. Frogs here, frogs there, frogs were jumping everywhere. The game has barely begun and there is already a penalty for too many players on the court. Baxter gets to take a foul shot and….it’s good!

As the game continues… Baxter is really hogging the ball today. His confidence has grown and Baxter flies across the court to score again! The frogs call a time out to regroup and come up with a new, ribbeting play. These frogs come to us from an area where basketball isn’t very popular and they’re still getting accustomed to the rules. These guys tried to come onto the court today with open-toad shoes! Come on, frogs! Do better.

As for Baxter, he’s conferring with his coaches on the game, thus far, and developing their own plan for winning.

Time out is over! The frogs and pig are back at it, fighting for the win as the game clocks winds down. It appears that Baxter has been practicing and hammed up his offense! He is wiping the floor with these frogs today, and they are hopping mad! In a turn for the worst, the frogs seem to have lost focus. Aaaand, there are flies on the sideline… and now the frogs are going after the flies.

All of the frogs have left the court, leaving our treif-rific friend Baxter with the win. In the least-kosher matchup in our series, we’re excited to see this little piggy go wee wee wee, all the way to the next game.

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Posted on March 23, 2015

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Mensch Madness 2015: Bringing out the Beasts!

Last year's Mensch Madness got real!

Last year’s Mensch Madness got real!

Last year, the ISJL  (a very sports-centric Southern and Jewish office) held a tournament of champions. The inaugural Mensch Madness matched up true heroes from the Tanakh in basketball match-ups for the ages!

Every game had fans cheering on both sides. Hillel took on Abraham in a thrilling contest, Deborah and Hannah sought to achieve eternal athletic glory, and in the end, the one and only Moses came through with the victory.

This year, we are proud to announce our 2nd annual Mensch Madness bracket. Over the coming weeks we will, similarly to last year, broadcast the results of an intense basketball showdown among some famous characters from the Jewish tradition. Each match-up included two characters, and using texts from Jewish history and the contemporary Jewish world, we determined who the winner would be, and they moved on to the next round.

But THIS season, there’s a twist!

Mensch Madness 2015

This Year: Build Your Bracket!

In this year’s edition, the mensches…well…they won’t be homo sapiens. Instead, we will be recognizing some of our most important non-human contributors to Jewish text over the years. Characters such as the Golem of Prague, Bilaam’s donkey, and the serpent from the Garden of Eden will battle one another on the hardwood, and we at the ISJL will be there every step of the way to describe the match-ups thoroughly and provide our professional analysis on the results.

Our competitors have been preparing for weeks, and they are ready for the Madness. Some might even call them ANIMALS.

Are you ready for Mensch Madness 2015?! GAME ON!

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Posted on March 16, 2015

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