Friday, February 29, 2008

social life dilemma illustrated

One of the reasons why I get annoyed or frustrated with the social life among the Orthodox people in West Rogers Park/Skokie can be illustrated by some events of this week. Recently, I found out that someone in Rogers Park was "single and available". A friend of mine back East was supposed to go out with her because he was coming to Chicago on business, but at the last minute, he was sent elsewhere and couldn't go out with her. He suggested that I try to go out with her. I contacted this young lady's brother to find out if she was available and it turns out that she is seeing someone.

The problem in this neighborhood that information is rarely shared and people don't communicate with each other. I have a few single friends but we don't always communicate about who's dating who and it makes me wish that I was in New York, specifically Washington Heights or the Upper West Side. Singles in the hood rarely shmooze with each other, especially at shuls or even at meals in the hood.

There are six unmarried women who I don't care for and respect. Obviously, the one I was referencing earlier is not part of that group. Well, I think that the singles here and I need to reconcile with each other or else it will be really rough.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


In case you didn't know or weren't aware, a talk show host whom I admire riled up a crowd in Cincinnati, Ohio by referring to the Democratic presumptive nominee by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama. Rather than pout, cry, etc. I will whole-heartily support Xavier University's men's basketball team during the NCAA tournament. It was Bill Cunningham of WLW in Cincinnati. Bill, you and I are XU fans for this spring.

A couple of notes before I do my PC picks. Number one is any team that has a Native American mascot such as Illinois (not getting in this year) or Florida State is politically incorrect. Two: mascots with dead white males are not PC. Three any reference to the military is obviously not PC.

One last thing, I don't pick women's games, but if I did, I would root for Rutgers U because of the whole Imus flap.

Monday, February 25, 2008

my top 25 for 2/25/2008

Here is my college basketball top 25 for this week

1. Tennessee
2. Memphis
3. North Carolina
5. Duke
6. Kansas
7. Stanford
8. Xavier
9. Butler
10. Texas
11. Wisconsin
12. Drake
13. Georgetown
14. Connecticut
15. Purdue
16. Louisville
17. Vanderbilt
18. Notre Dame
19. Indiana
20. Michigan State
21. Kent State
22. Gonzaga
23. BYU
24. UNLV
25. St. Mary's

Sunday, February 24, 2008

reason I am lukewarm on the Cougars

To all of the Basketball fans from Eastern Washington, this post's for you.

I grew up in Seattle and followed the Sonics, Seahawks and Mariners. In addition, since the University of Washington is in Seattle, and had a good football team, I rooted for them. Basketball is a different story. UW had two good years in 1984 and 1985 when they made the Tournament, in 84 they beat Duke to make the Sweet 16.

Washington State University is about a six hour drive from where I grew up and later events in life took me to New York City and Chicago. There aren't a lot of Cougar fans in those places. Moreover, even the non-observant Jews in Seattle didn't go to WSU. So it's a cultural thing with me.

If they win or have a run like Gonzaga did in 1999, then I am open to changing my mind. I am not a Cougar hater or hata like some would say. But I am a big city person. For example, one of my friends who roots for New England teams grew up in Toronto, but his father or grandfather grew up in Connecticut, so he roots for the Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots. He loves UConn and I don't like UConn but I respect them. One of my brother's friends is a huge Syracuse fan. Those are teams that I gravitate towards.


Well the temperature in Chicago is around 30-33 Fahrenheit so it's thawing here a little bit. It's supposed to be around 40 degrees tomorrow with some rain and then it will get cold again. Nice shabat in Rogers Park, went to Shaarei Tzedek and then Sephardic Congregation. Wanted to go there Friday night for a Shalom Zachor but it's too long of a walk at night in the winter.

Now to Hoops: Saw most of the DePaul-Seton Hall game last night. DePaul will be better next year if no one decides to go to the NBA. They were down most of the game, had a chance to win it at the end, but Seton Hall pulled it out and won 73-71. Seton Hall is coached by Bobby Gonzalez, a former Manhattan coach and disciple of Pete Gillen, who coached at Xavier and Providence, among other schools. Bobby Gonzalez is a little like Pitino and Calipari (aka Slick) but without the phoniness of Calipari.

Let's talk about the IU situation. It was handled poorly. What they (IU AD) should have done is kept him til the end of the year and then let him go quietly when the season is over. Instead there's a big mess on their hands and interim coaches generally don't do well. Continuity is a key to success in sports. I would personally can the AD, Rick Greenspan for hiring Sampson in the first place. They knew about his indiscretions at Oklahoma and hired him anyway.

Illinois stinks, they lost 49-43 to Michigan. I think the Patriots could score 45 in a half on the Illini, especially if Gisele Bundchen suited up.

Now to the Washington teams, Gonzaga is idle until Monday when they go to Portland to ground the Pilots. Washington lost at home to ASU, which means that their season is finished, barring a miracle. They're 15-13 with three road games, at Cal, Stanford and Cougarville. They need two wins to finish 17-14.

Speaking of the Cougars, they lost at home to U of A, 65-55. The next post will address why I don't like the Cougars and Washington State so much.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

one last thing

To Michael Savage, please stop pretending that you're one of the big "conservative" talk show hosts, when you give money to Jerry Brown and won't interview Cal Thomas, after his controversial comments on Islam. Good luck being an independent conservative.


Well, college basketball stinks here in Illinois. For all of the accolades given to Barack Obama (aka He Who Walks on Water), can he wave a magic wand and make some of these schools competitive.

Illinois has 15 losses and its first losing season since 1999. Northwestern stinks, UIC is a disappointment, they should be better than 14-13 and 8-8 in the Horizon League. Only one road win in the league and that was at Loyola. That's like if the White Sox had 2 road wins, both at Wrigley Field.

Bradley had a good win on Tuesday night at Des Moines, beating Drake. I love Jim Les, their coach. He would make me run through a brick wall for him.

Speaking of college hoops, guess who lost two games this week? Give you a hint. Starts with a D. If you answered Duke, you win a prize.

Gonzaga has 21 wins, the esteemed Cougars of WSU have 20, which is still more than the Sonics. However, the Bulls have more (not much though).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Well, I had a busy but nice weekend in Chicago and New York. Got to spend time with my family. I am glad that I went to New York, even if it was a short trip.

Sports wise: Gonzaga won in San Francisco Saturday night 83-63 and last night in San Diego against the Dons on ESPN2 59-55, to improve to 21-6. Pargo and Daye are the stars of the team, not Heytvelt.

However, Gonzaga takes a back seat in the Pacific Northwest to the news that on Dave Niehaus' 73rd birthday he was named the recipient of the Ford Frick Award and will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. For a good while, I have hoped that he would win this award. Now that it's here, I am real happy for him and all of the Mariner fans in the Northwest and elsewhere. This is one of the best days in the history of the franchise. While it isn't like winning a World Series, it is quite an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, especially in light of the congressional hearings last week with a certain pitcher who will not be named on this blog. for more information.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

why a change in Evanston is needed

I have used this space to talk about Northwestern's lack of competitiveness in men's basketball.

Here are some stats.

Northwestern is 7-15 this year 0-11 in the Big 10

Penn St.
L 68-79 -11

Sun, Jan 6
at Ohio St.
L 51-62 -11

Wed, Jan 9
at Minnesota
L 63-82 -19(41)

Sat, Jan 12
L 68-78 -10 (was a 30 point lead for Michigan at one point)

Wed, Jan 16
at Chicago St.
W 65-47

Sat, Jan 19
at (17) Wisconsin
L 50-62 -12 (63)

Thu, Jan 24
(10) Michigan St.
L 62-78 -16 (79)

Sun, Jan 27
at Illinois
L 37-70 -33 (112)

Wed, Jan 30
Texas Pan Amer.
W 68-59

Sun, Feb 3
at (11) Indiana
L 63-75 -12 (124)

Wed, Feb 6
L 72-92 -20 (144)

Sat, Feb 9
at (11) Michigan St.
L 55-70 -15 (159)

Wed, Feb 13
Ohio St.
L 47-65 -18 (177)

In 11 conference games, the Cats have been outscored by 177 points, which is an average of 16.1 points per game. Moreover, they lost at home to Brown, an Ivy League school.

Here's the list of the teams that NU has beaten, Illinois Benedictine, Savannah State, Arkansas State, Western Michigan (road), Howard, Chicago State (road) and UT Pan American.

Not too good, that's for sure.

sticking to sports and Jewish stuff

I have decided (at least temporarily) to stick to Jewish stuff and sports.

By the way, to the UCLA Bruins fans who are upset with Tim Morris, too darn bad. As a fan of Washington state teams, I am sick of you SoCal guys (Lakers, Dodgers, USC Football and UCLA Basketball) using our teams as punching bags. It's good that you're good, but you're not entitled to run over the Pac-10 like a tank over France.

Also, to fans of Syracuse, N-I-T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NCAA teams don't lose to South Florida who is 131st in Sagarin's ratings.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

hoops updates

Well, here is the Washington state wins score board.

Gonzaga 19
WSU 18
Sonics 13

By the way, to all Cougar fans, guess who beat UCLA at home on Sunday? Washington. Bow down to Washington.

I don't like five teams, UCLA, Arizona (U of A), Syracuse, UConn and Duke.

If you beat any of those teams, I like you. If you don't, I will wait and see.

At least the basketball team at UW has a chance at post-season play with the NIT and CBI.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

importance of more than one Modern Orthodox approach

In the last few years, we have seen the growth of the Orthodox world in terms of day schools and high schools and the like. A lot of the Rebbeim in these schools used to be the products of the Chafetz Chaim, Ner Yisrael Yeshivas. However, in recent years, thanks to the advent of the year in Israel as well as the upgrade in Yeshiva University, more and more teachers in Modern Orthodox institutions are coming from Yeshiva University and to a lesser extent, the Yeshivot Hesder.

In Seattle, where I grew up, the YU presence isn't as strong, because it is hard to get Rabbis to move 3,000 miles to go to Seattle. That is why around 30 years ago, the Yeshiva Bnei Torah Rabbis came to Seattle. It is easier to break into a community like Seattle, than an established Eastern one like Baltimore or Chicago.

While I wouldn't describe the YBT philosophy as Torah U'Madda, it appeals to the Modern Orthodox crowd, which is their constituency, as opposed to the Yeshiva crowd or the Chassidishe crowd. Matt, feel free to comment on this post and amplify your thoughts on what NWYHS and YBT's purpose or mission is.

I feel it's necessary to have it, and I would rather have a YBT school than a Chovevei Torah school because Chovevei Torah is moving to the left on enough issues that a traditional Modern Orthodox person would think twice about sending their kids to that kind of a school.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

My favorite sites

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

college hoops

Well, Tomorrow night we have a great College basketball doubleheader on ESPN. First, at 6 Central, there is UConn at Syracuse. UConn is 19th in the polls and Syracuse is unranked, but has 16 wins. Then at 8 Central, is Duke at North Carolina, the Yankees-Red Sox of College basketball.

Locally, Illinois hosts Indiana on Thursday night at 8 PM. Go Illini.

Gonzaga is 17-6, they lost last night to 23rd ranked St. Mary's in overtime, 89-85. St. Mary's is 19-3, they had lost to someone in the WCC, so both the Zags and Gaels are 6-1 in WCC play.

WSU lost at home last weekend to Cal and Stanford. They're 17-4, but 5-4 in the Pac-10 and fell to 17th in the polls. I hope the Cougs rebound this week with the Bruins and Trojans coming to Washington State.

Check out for more on the Cougs.

been a while

It's been a while since I last posted something on this blog. Well, last week I was sick and Sunday I was recovering from my fever/cough and watched the Super Bowl.

Anyway, I feel that the Super Bowl, while competitive and close, will set back the midwest and western cities to compete by at least five to eight years. See, Fox only promotes the Cowboys, Giants and Packers on their pregame show and feature them with their alleged number one announcing team of Joe Buck, a hayseed from Missouri and Troy Aikman, a good quarterback for Dallas ten years ago.

On the other network, CBS, they only showcase the Patriots, Colts and Steelers. If the Jets were good, they would showcase them with their alleged number one announcing team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.

On the political front, I proudly voted for Romney this morning and voted for Sauerberg for Senate. I have no idea about the other two candidates for Senate on the Republican side, but the goal is to make Durbin sweat and get at least 43% of the vote.

A question for those who oppose the death penalty: What are your guidelines for mandatory sentencing? Please illuminate me. I am open to a discussion on this topic.