Columns - 2001

    Preseason predictions

    by Doug Brook
    Deep South Jewish Voice Columnist

    Like many other columnists across the country at this time of year, just in time for the upcoming season I present to you my predictions for every Saturday's main events throughout the fall.

    It certainly looks like an interesting season, which will no doubt contain more than a few surprises for many people who haven't been following too closely in recent years.

    September 8, 2001
    Picking up exactly where they left off, this team which has always played by its own calendar is going to seem like it's near the end of its story, rather than at the start of a new season. But while it's business as usual, we'll begin to sense that change is in the air. Moses opens the season with a stern reminder of sportsmanship and etiquette after stressing to them that success comes from personal sacrifices. Moses warns that the other team has come a long way to swoop down like the eagle, to show no mercy.

    To open the season, the invading bird runs afoul: Israel 35, Eagles 7.

    September 15, 2001
    In what could be both a blessing and a curse, Moses gives the team a long, deeply profound pre-game speech about the great things that lie just ahead. After giving a long reminder to follow the multitude of team rules, Moses beseeches that if they all have faith that their faith will finally be rewarded in the near future.

    This week at least, the reward is large: Moses 45, Rockne 14.

    September 22, 2001
    The team will be atoning for last season's letdowns on the road, and coming back in full force with hope for the rest of the season. They're ready to stop seeming like a bunch of wanderers, and to take a big step in their quest. Moses informs the team that, as speculated for a long time, he won't be able to go all the way with them. While nobody wants to believe it, questions linger as they prepare for the road. Will they all make it to the end together? At this point, it seems too early to tell, so we won't.

    Nevertheless, cleansed by repentance for previous failures, they pull out a big road win: Israel 41, Yale 21

    September 29, 2001
    Just in time for homecoming, in a game that can only be described as pure poetry, the boys pull out a real beauty.

    The team gives it to 'em this week, chapter and verse: Israel 27, Vipers 0

    October 6, 2001
    During the off-week, Moses parts from the team, able to see in the distance where they are going, but he instead turns to the sunset alone. There had been indications earlier that he wouldn't be allowed to see things through due to sanctions from old rules infractions, but nobody wanted to believe it would really end up this way.

    So, Moses won't get to see the promised land; he and the team part ways here, when it doesn't really seem like the end, but only the beginning of a new chapter of the saga. Our boys are left with no choice but to go into next week and start over from the beginning.

    October 13, 2001
    After last week's sudden end of a long era, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Joshua would take the reins and guide our team into its promised land. However, in a shocker, the team seems to start over from square one. Revisiting the fundamentals, we can't help but feel we'll see the same triumphs and tragedies that we've been through so many times before.

    This weekend will provide one of them, courtesy of a team from the Big Apple: Syracuse 21, Adam 14.

    October 20, 2001
    Once again, with a rapid shift in primary personnel, the team seems like it hasn't even pulled its people together yet. It will seem like a zoo for a while, in a game played in a torrential downpour.

    Fortunately, one man will step forward and get his ship together just in time to pull out a major victory against the Tide: Noah 28, Tide 24.

    October 27, 2001
    Headed for a tough test on the road, the team will find itself with yet another leader stepping up on the field. It will seem like the quarterback is wandering aimlessly around the field today, as if it's his lot in life.

    In a victory that shows big things are on the horizon: Abraham 28, Be'ers 24.

    November 3, 2001
    In a game that begins with a vision to behold, Abraham shows for the second week in a row that his leadership could be the dawn of a new age. Since there's no such thing as a sure victory, there was a bit of drama, and Abraham starts to bring another new player, Isaac, into the game.

    Don't laugh. It will make all the difference this week, in a last minute triumph: Abraham 21, Rams 17.

    November 10, 2001
    From the beginning, Abraham will not be the same this week as he has been, so he'll hand off the play calling to Isaac. While he won't assert himself as much, he'll still get the job done against the Hittite challenge

    Isaac will find his fortunes in a well-spring: Isaac 17, Hitmen 14

    November 17, 2001
    To close this season, Isaac leads the team to the twin cities, where despite much in-fighting, they still seem on course. Though by the end of this week there seems to be much division in the ranks, and no clear leader to take over when Isaac makes a quiet departure from the field.

    Nevertheless, one more victory is in order: Isaac 24, Minnesota 21

    December 1, 2001
    In the showdown for the conference championship, Jacob and Esau face off after two weeks of media hype that will feel like twenty years. Both teams will go on to future greatness from here, in spite of the fact that no clear winner shows themselves on this day: Israel 24, Reds 24.

    Think I'm wrong? Watch every Saturday morning this season and see how it turns out. You don't need cable, just a local synagogue (and some nice clothes, please).

    You can preview each Saturday's events on the previous Saturday afternoon, and Monday and Thursday mornings. Check your local listings.

    Doug Brook is a technical writer and playwright in Silicon Valley, who felt it wouldn't be kosher to make pigskin predictions in this space. His play Retrograde is in the 8 Tens @ 8 Festival anthology, available everywhere. For more information, online ordering, or an archive of past columns and his other writings, visit his website at

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.