Southern & Jewish
Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all!
Welcome back to Mensch Madness!
Today’s game has a lot of media attention. We’ve all heard the hype about these two teams as they give us a proverbial David and Goliath matchup. We have the challenger the Akeidah Ram, our second-lowest seed, who has now appeared out of nowhere TWICE to surprise the entire world with a twist ending.
But the element-of-surprise Ram might meet his match today, because, (uh)holy cow is his opponent a contender! Everyone expects The Golden Calf, our #1 seed to, crush the Ram, especially considering he is a literal heavyweight. But that’s why we play the game, folks!
Does the Ram have the legs to go the distance in this game, let alone two more to win the championship?! Can he somehow pull off a miracle greater than USA over USSR in 1980??? As we watch him do his suicide sprints, it appears he can move to and fro as if he was created on the sixth day of creation specifically for this purpose![i]
The lights have gone down. The music has started. Look at those pyrotechnics, ladies and gentlemen! Out on a pedestal, our #1 seed, the Golden Calf seems to have jumped out of the fire and onto the court. Certain detractors say his seeding comes from pedigree and that he passed his prime in 1999, however, his biggest fans say he is still relevant and can school anyone on the court today.
Hold on a moment, folks. It appears the crowd here is getting a little antsy. People have started smoking in the rafters. Not only that, but they are drinking, dancing, and… wait… yes, some fanatics have taken off their shirts to reveal their chest-paint spelling out C-A-F. Apparently the “L” in this crew took the night off. The crowd really is getting out of control, with fisticuffs breakout out in section G. We might have to cancel this game, folks.
Booming voice over the loudspeaker: IF PATRONS DO NOT QUIT ACTING SO FOOLISH THIS INSTANT, SECURITY SHALL BE FORCED TO COME DOWN FROM ABOVE AND REMOVE YOU FROM THIS VENUE PERMANENTLY.
Well. That quieted things down.
Back to the game, and the tip off! The ref tosses up the ball and WOW, what a jump! The ram takes the ball and swiftly dribbles up the court. Swish. Two points. I don’t know how to explain this, folks, but the Golden Calf is literally standing at center court doing nothing. After five seconds without an inbounds pass, the Calf turns the ball over to the Ram who scores again. The points are racking up, folks. 40-0, 50-0… it appears that the Calf is playing like an inanimate object! This might be the biggest upset since NC State beat Houston!
Wait a minute, folks. The refs have run onto the court! They’re blowing their whistles and stopping the game. Are they invoking the mercy rule? Wait! They’ve ejected the RAM! He’s out! The calf wins by default! WHY?! WHAT HAPPENED?! I’m getting the news… yes… this just in: it turns out that the Ram, having allowed himself to be bound in rope by Abraham, has violated the rules of “amateur athleticism.” By accepting this free service of being tied up, the Ram has been disqualified! What a turn of events. This time, the surprise ending didn’t go so well for the Ram. (Actually, it didn’t go so well for him in the Torah, either.)
It turns out the Calf will survive and advance, despite having not scored a single point! Now we’ve really seen it all…
Or have we?
Stay tuned for the next game, sports fans!
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[i] Hayim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzy, eds., The Book of Legends (New York: Schocken Books Inc., 1992), 42.