falling on Yom Kippur. While it was never explicitly said, the tacit understanding for all of us was that if you weren't prepared to give up pitching in the biggest baseball game of your life to properly observe the day of atonement well, you just might not be up to snuff in the eyes of Judaism. View that interpretation of the events as you may, but I think with the constant hammering of this idea in my head between the ages of 9 and 16 and the fact that I naturally love baseball, and I think it's safe to say that Koufax has probably had a larger direct influence on my life than any other Sandy I'm really aware of -- since we all keep track of those things after all.
That may have changed a little bit this week.
See, some of you may have heard a few rumors that there was this big ol' storm thing that hit New York City named Hurricane Sandy. Or was it Superstorm Sandy? Or Frankenstorm? Or Snoreastercane? Or whatever silly portmanteau we choose to put it down in the history books as, but the point is there was a lot of wind and rain and flooding and stuff in my neighborhood this weekend, so that was pretty cool. So cool in fact that it completely through my life into topsy turvy disorder even though I wasn't in New York.
And just how did that happen, you might ask? Well, as I mentioned last week, I trekked out to beautiful Chicago this past weekend for my much anticipated and sure to be awkward five-year reunion at Northwestern University. The first three days of the trip went about as textbook as they could be as the friends, the pizza, a Northwestern victory the team tried very hard to lose and a fair amount of awkwardness ensued as planned. All the while, however, this hurricane thing was picking up some serious wind off the east coast -- so much so that it eventually developed into the largest hurricane by windspan (I think I made that word up just now but it works) on record.
For me this was a bit of an issue since I was supposed to fly home Sunday night. Instead my flight got canceled. And then another flight got canceled. And another. And another. Well, you get the idea. After having my flights canceled five different times I broke down and rented a car with my friend Nicole, who was also stranded, and spent my wonderful Halloween 2012 driving across the country from Chicago to New York.
eat at Culver's in Elkhart, Indiana, see some astute political commentary and I learned when it was the right time to smile. All things considered I would have rather been in New York, but on the plus side, I did get to see a few more friends, eat at Harold's fried chicken, see two movies and buy some unnecessary Northwestern merchandise. The ultimate irony about all of this of course, is that if I had taken a flight earlier on Sunday I would have probably gotten home, but instead I opted to take a later flight because silly me, I had plans to see the Chicago Bears host the Carolina Panthers in a matchup of two teams I have literally no emotional investment in whatsoever.
The things I do to fulfill the mission of this blog. I hope you all appreciate it.
The game was pretty wild, with a totally bonkers fourth quarter, but I'm not entirely sure I would have made time out of my plans for it if I had known ahead of time that it would wind up being a 96-hour time commitment to the city of Chicago. Not that I don't love Chicago or the friends that I have there, but I also love, you know, my bed. And clean underwear. Those two things got pretty dicey, as did my facial hair since I didn't pack a razor. But on the plus side, I got a chance to see Argo, and it was pretty awesome.
Either way, after a long, bizarre, and stressful few days that will be more fully delved into when I sit down over the next few days to write a long chapter encapsulating the experience -- with the current subway issues, I've got time -- I am very happy to be home. And I can pretty safely say that Koufax is still my favorite Sandy, even if his choices gave me a hard time in Hebrew School. At least being in Chicago helped me realize that at least one superstar athlete makes choices that only bolster me.
It's good to be back. Let's make some picks.
Last week: 5-9-0
SAN DIEGO (-9) over Kansas City
Denver (-4) over CINCINNATI
Baltimore (-4) over CLEVELAND
Arizona (+11) over GREEN BAY
Chicago (-4) over TENNESSEE
INDIANAPOLIS (+3) over Miami
Carolina (+3) over WASHINGTON
Detroit (-4) over JACKSONVILLE
HOUSTON (-10) over Buffalo
OAKLAND (-1) over Tampa Bay
SEATTLE (-4) over Minnesota
NY GIANTS (-3) over Pittsburgh
ATLANTA (-4) over Dallas
NEW ORLEANS (-3) over Philadelphia