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Context Makes the Man: Torah Thoughts from Football

keenum

By Rabbi Yaakov Silverman

Case Keenum has been enjoying the 2017 season more than anyone ever dreamed. Not only is he starting, but he is playing fantastic football. I do not think anyone saw this coming and as St. Louisans it is particularly hard to believe this is the same guy we had here just a few seasons ago. How is he doing it? He started as an undrafted free agent and now is leading the Vikings with an impressive 9-2 record. His salary of $2 million is low even for a backup yet his QBR second in the league. It seems that what has changed for him is his surroundings. He now benefits from superb coaching under OC Pat Shurmer, a former QB coach for Andy Reid’s Eagles and QB coach Kevin Stefanski, a talented football mind that has coached every offensive position for the Vikings. Also, the Vikings bolstered their offensive line this offseason, utilizing the space left by Adrian Peterson and others to protect Keenum. He has great receivers and a solid ground attack and has powered the Vikings through troubled times. This is such a profound lesson for life. As human beings we create limitations for ourselves based on our projected capabilities. We subconsciously set a bar for ourselves and expect only to succeed to an extent. Context can be a gamechanger. If we surround ourselves with moral people, strive to be involved with organizations and communities that are focused on G-d and making the world a better place, and keep close to those that share aspirations for growing Jewishly we can transcend those expectations. Our coaches and supporting staff can propel us way beyond anything we ever thought we could achieve. Chanuka is around the corner. The first night is on Tuesday December 12th. We commemorate and relive a period of time in which the Greek society threatened to ruin everything we held near and dear as a nation. It is a time to reflect on the potency of context and how putting ourselves among other like-minded teammates we can become better people than we ever imagined.

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