Dennis Prager came back live to the radio Thursday. He took Tuesday and Wednesday off. He’s working furiously to finish his next book — the case for American values.
Dennis: “How much of my childhoood was unprogrammed. I remember visiting my grandparents for the Sabbath. In the afternoon after synagogue, my grandparents would take a nap. I was left with about three hours with nothing to do… I loved visiting them. I wasn’t a reader then. I was eight, nine years old.
“I sat with the chair that was at the piano. I just took the swivel chair and I would imagine I was a New York city bus driver and the seat was the steering wheel. I’d announce what street we were at. I’d open the door for passengers. There was no TV. There was no electronic entertainment.”
Dennis says that the more he studies the issue of delaying of Sunday night’s game between Philadelphia and Minnesota until Tuesday night, the more he is convinced that this is a big deal.
The game was canceled before one flake of snow fell.
An hour before game time, the city had less than six inches of snow on the ground.
Have we all become wimps?
When was the last time the NFL suspended a game for weather?
Dennis tells a caller: “You are 32. You are used to this. I am not.”
“Every call I’ve had from a caller under 40 has agreed with the postponement of Sunday’s game. You are used to being told what is good for you. You have been told your whole life — health uber alles. Safety uber alles. Adventure is risky.”
The news media aren’t safety uber alles on terrorism. But on weather.
We live in an age that values freedom less than equality, safety, health.
“There is nothing that less develops character than getting things for free.”
It was Dec. 14, 1958, and I was a 13-year-old boy living in New York City. I was at Yankee Stadium watching my (then) beloved Giants play the Cleveland Browns. We had to win to force the Browns into a playoff to decide who would be in the National Football League’s championship game. There was less than two minutes to go, it was dark, and, worse yet, there were swirling winds and a driving snowstorm. Pat Summerall, the Giants’ placekicker, lined up 49 yards away. If he didn’t make it, the Giants would be eliminated. Given the conditions, I didn’t think he had a chance. He was a straightaway kicker, and he drove it with everything he had.
Some 52 years later, I can still close my eyes and see the ball soaring through the darkness, the snow and the wind. He made it. The Giants won.
That game remains etched in my memory. It captures the magic of football – a game that is played regardless of weather conditions. The NFL robbed me and thousands of other fans of the chance to make some new magical memories by canceling the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings that was to have been played in Philadelphia Sunday night.
It was inconceivable that the league would call off such a game. In the movie “A League of Their Own,” Tom Hanks, manager of a women’s professional baseball team, utters the famous lines, “Crying? There’s no crying in baseball!” Cancel a football game because of bad weather? There’s no canceling a game for bad weather in football. This is the sport in which Adam Vinatieri kicked a winning field goal through the driving snow in the famous “Tuck” game, in which the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Chargers played an American Football Conference championship game in a minus-64-degree windchill factor, in which Bart Starr dove into the end zone to win the NFL championship against the Dallas Cowboys in near-zero temperatures.
Unbelievably, the game was canceled Sunday morning before one flake of snow had fallen, based on forecasts of a significant snowstorm. An hour before game time, the city had less than six inches on the ground. The western suburbs had less than three inches, and Wilmington, Del., to our South, less than two inches. Canceling a game because of that amount of snow is unthinkable. Vince Lombardi must have been rolling over in his grave. Americans in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota – heck, even fans in Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh – must have been astounded. Have we all become wimps?
Dennis talks to Nicholas Eberstadt, economist with the American Enterprise Institute. His latest book is The Poverty of the Poverty Rate: Measure and Mismeasure of Material Deprivation in Modern America.
Rabbi Telushkin has a new Facebook page — The Jewish Ethics Project. It’s going to be a forum for people to share their stories and ideas for making ethics and Jewish ethical teachings part of their everyday lives.
If you’re on Facebook, take a look.