Michael Wolraich's picture

    Why the Giants Lost: The Oys Have It

    To understand why the New York Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's upset, we must first understand how they became the top-seeded NFC team in the first place. In the fall of 2007, the Giants were 0-2 and had gone 1-3 in the preseason. But in their third game of the season, they upset the Redskins and then kept on winning, ultimately defeating the Patriots to win the Superbowl. In 2008, they had another strong season, which earned them the top NFC seed.

    In a probing exposé on Sunday, the New York Times revealed the secret of their success: tefillin wearing Jews. Tefillin consists of a pair of long leather straps, each attached to a black box which houses a parchment inscribed with a prayer. Observant Jews ritually wrap one strap around an arm and one around the head. Dressed all in black, with pasty skin and long locks of hair, Hasidic Jews in full tefillin regalia look like a bit like goths doing heroin and are often arrested by rookie cops.

    The Hasids don't tend to care much for football, but they believe that they have a sacred obligation to persuade all Jews to where the tefillin. One rabbi, Israel Shemtov, had been working on Jay Greenfield, a non-observant Brooklyn factory owner, for some time. Mr. Greenfield may not have been very devoted to God, but he was a passionate and faithful Giants fan. Seeing that his game day rituals, such as wearing the same jeans, undershirt, and jeans, weren't working, Mr. Greenfield decided to put on the tefillin for the sake of the Giants.

    The results were stunning. God transformed the Giants from losers to champions overnight. Mr. Greenfield's brother then started wearing the tefillin, and soon the Greenfields were organizing tefillin sessions at tailgate parties. The Giants won the Superbowl.

    So with God on their side, how could the Giants lose on Sunday? Some believe that the newer members were performing the ritual incorrectly by wearing the tefillin on the wrong arm. Other more conspiracy-minded Giants fans believe that Christian double-agents had infiltrated the prayer sessions. God does not like the goyim to where the tefillin.

    Not to be outdone by the Times, dagblog sent in its own crack reporting team to investigate. After countless hours of deep-cover ultra-gonzo journalism, our reporters uncovered the secret: The Giants had been outgunned by the Eagles, theologically speaking. The Eagles' opposition reasearch team had learned the source of the Giants' success and hired their own religious powerhouse, evangelical pastor Rick Warren.

    Eagles' coach Andy Reid believes that Rabbi Shemtov and his tefillin were no match for Mr. Warren's charisma:

    "I'm sure the rabbi guy is a man of faith, and he's obviously done good things for the Giants, but Ricky has a direct line to Jesus Christ, and he's such a sweet-talker, it's tough to say no to the guy. Plus, there's millions of people that pray for whatever Ricky tells them to. A bunch of Jews in a parking lot can't compete with that."

    Mr. Warren was a controversial choice because of his opposition to gay football. While Warren has said that he does not oppose gay people playing other sports together "as long as they play clean" and that he's open to gay fantasy football, but he does not believe that homosexuals should participate in the real thing. He has also led the opposition to state of New York's plan for a gay football league.

    "Most people know I have many gay friends. I've played croquet with them and occasionally golf. If they want to play water polo or racquetball, I have no problem with that. But for hundreds of years, football has been defined as a competition between heterosexual men and heterosexual men. I'm opposed to a redefinition of this sacred sport."

    While the news of Mr. Warren's selection is certain to enrage Philadelphia's gay community, Mr. Reid shrugged off the controversy:

    "I don't share all of Ricky's views, but this isn't about gay football. This is about winning the Superbowl, and I think that every Philadelphian appreciates how important that is."

    But the Eagles may find some obstacles in their path to the championship. Their competitors have taken note of the Eagles' victory over the Giants and are aggressively soliciting their own spiritual endorsements. Pittsburgh Steeler's coach, Mike Tomlin, is reported to be in Rome to seek audience with the Pope, and Baltimore Raven's coach claims to have signed a deal with the Dali Lama. He told dagblog's reporters:

    "We believe that 2009 will be a great year for the Tibetans and for the Ravens. The Lama told me that our futures are spiritually entwined."

    Asked whether he was concerned about Mr. Warren's endorsement of the Giants, Mr. Tomlin dismissed the threat,

    "I love our Savior, Jesus Christ, but he's a busy guy who's tough to get a hold of on Sundays. The Buddhist gods...or spiritual forces...or whatever...they're available and not above helping a team win a few games for the right offerings. We're going to kick some karmic ass. Just watch who wins the coin flip."

    Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals aren't taken any chances and have enlisted support from spokespeople for all the major religions, including Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Scientologyism, Voodooism, the Church of Latter Day Saintsism, and a little known but spiritually powerful sect called Summum.

    While there are reports of squabbling between Jewish and Muslim supporters over theological issues, a Cardinal's spokesperson who asked not to be named attests that negotiations are underway and has promised "unity" for the Superbowl.

    As for the Giants, they plan to stick with the Jews for now but promise to increase the devotion level. The Greenfield brothers have started eating kosher and praying three times a day. According to Jay Greenfield,

    "Next fall, you're going to see a sea of black hats and beards in Giants Stadium. The team's going to replace the theme song with Hava Nagila, and the players will dance the Hora in the end-zone. Like I always say on passover, 'Next year in the Superbowl.'"

    Next up: Tefillin Nation


    This trend will never last. It might seem like a good idea now, but just wait until they try to teach the players to give thanks to Krishna or Guru Nanak for a good outcome. Most of them can't even spell "god."

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