Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rafi Halpert Rule In Effect

Some sports fans will recall little-known (yet often used) Yeshiva University starting forward, Rafi Halpert. He played four years for the Maccabees under the tutelage of his father, Coach Johnny Halpert. Mac fans came to understand that only in the tightest of games, when the team called upon Halpert to contribute--albeit minimally--he would occasionally make a costly turnover or miss an important shot. Undoubtably he would always follow these tragic errors with some sort of phantom injury.

Halpert would hobble off to the sideline, clutching a random body part, and hoping to elicit some sort of sympathy from the raucous crowd. But time and time again, the crowd, led by that guy in the front row in the Boston cap, would nonetheless boo him, letting him know his acting was something short of Oscar-worthy.

And with that, so was born the now infamous Rafi Halpert rule of sports. If Player A is in Situation A and is called upon to lead Team A to victory, in the aftermath of it he will either be heralded as a champion amongst men, or will delegate himself to the end of the bench to converse with the heavyset trainer. Remarkably, however, professional players will sometimes, left with no other option, turn to this rule for some semblance of comfort in their brief periods of agony.

Flash forward to Monday night when Donovan F. McNabb threw a disastrous interception vs. Dallas. It cost them the game, and the crowd was none too pleased. But wait! Coupled with the already devastating eventual outcome--a loss to a division foe--is the realization that you may have also lost your Pro Bowl starting quarterback to injury. Is it a coincidence that now, of all times, McNabb's nagging sports hernia opts to act up? We think not.

Watching Mike McMahon come in for the final desperate drive, we were left to wonder what McNabb was up to. Was he back in the locker room putting ice on the part of his body he opted to nurse? No. He was standing with his teammates on the sideline, all hoping for a miracle that would give them back the win McNabb temporarily surrendered. He had removed himself from taking part in the rest of the game, holding onto his gut and, more importantly to him, his dignity.

Kudos to you, Donovan. An honorary Rafi Halpert par excellance.



Blogger Danny said...

Even if in the coming days the Eagles announce McNabb will be out for a game or two to recover from his injury, and I am proven wrong, I stand by my words. It's all a clever ruse to deflect criticism. Tomorrow's papers will surely say that his hernia was the cause of the turnover and the loss and he can't be blamed. Fans and columnists will ignore the way he played for the first 57 minutes, essentially pain-free.

12:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree.
I'm a huge Eagles fan, and I'm a big fan of Donovan's, but that "injury" was way too conveniently timed for me not to think back to playing pickup football games when I was 12 and limping back to the huddle after dropping a big pass.

1:28 PM


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