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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Pyle File: Jews playing basketball and other stories

Published: February 1, 2008
Section: Opinions

This past weekend I attended my second ever Brandeis varsity sporting event in my six semesters here when I saw the men’s basketball team fall to Washington University. The first was pretty typical of a student’s first encounter with University athletics. I missed Usdan brunch one weekend, my freshmen year roommate told me that there was free pizza at the women’s basketball game (he also used to tell me I had worms… crazy dude…), and as it turned out the pizza only came out at halftime so I had to watch twenty minute of competitive basketball… oh the horror! This could be a column about how the men’s team and, in the past, the women’s team, brought school spirit to Brandeis, caused friends of mine at other Division III schools to inquire as to whether Jews play basketball, and gave me an excuse to put off reading about the French (ugh!) government. However, I have instead chosen to use the game as the launching pad for a nonsensical sequence of rants, raves (the kind without E), and pontifications.

On the topic of sports, go Giants! To be more accurate, go team that isn’t the New England Patriots. I mean, honestly, could a team be any less Bowie? If we consider a scale of awesomeness from one to ten where Mike Huckabee is a 2, Zack Morris is a 9, Jordan Rothman is a 9.5, and Jareth the Goblin King is a 10, I am pretty sure the Patriots would be hard pressed to even reach a 0.5, which would put them on par with Carlos Mencia and K-Fed. I stand here today with no evidence that coach Bill Belichick eats babies, but if it were true would anyone be surprised?

Speaking of Patriots, the American flag has been getting a lot of heat lately. Frankly I find the fact that there are thirteen stripes just a bit eerie, but in general would it kill us to have the occasional waving red, white, and blue on campus? The concern here is not Rights and Responsibilities or a rejected resolution by our beloved Student Union (some say it is too difficult to determine whether I am being sarcastic…take it how you wish), but rather the inability to separate a country from its leader. Think Bush is a moron? Good. Think that maybe just maybe that whole WMD excuse was far from an honest mistake? Fricken awesome. However, anyone who thinks that one awful president makes a country evil is more wrong than the Senate Diversity Committee hosting a Scholars’ mixer during Kabbalat Shabbat. Some have argued that many Brandeis students have little or no attachment to America and so they would be offended by the flag. Boo-Tom-Brady-hoo. That argument might work for keeping the Ten Commandments out of a courthouse, but is there not a difference between questioning how Christian America is versus how American America is? Coming to America and being offended by its flag is like going to a church and being offended by the huge cross in the front of the room, or going to a Dane Cook show and being offended when he steals jokes.

While we are on the topic of food (Dane Cook… I booed myself for that one), has anyone been to The Stein recently? Last week I spent an hour and a half waiting for a half cooked cheese pizza. If I was going to spend that much time waiting to eat I would have at least gone to a real restaurant. At the end of the day, is the food really that much better than Usdan or Sherman? The only campus organization which manages to make poorer use of student money is Student Events, and they’re Student Events so apparently it’s okay.

It seems I have run out of semi-excusable segues so I suppose it is time to wrap things up. Before the letters to the editor come in, no I cannot give back to you the two minutes spent reading this week’s column. Even Spinal Tap did that free form jazz before Nigel rejoined the band, and they followed that up with a sweet Asian tour. Besides, as that giraffe from the Toys ‘R Us commercials may or may not have said, “If you go through life only making sense all the time, you will never have any dollars.” And we’re out…