I was a little bothered by this video — watch it and see if you agree with me:
Look, it’s a nice story and all, and I can even see some people finding it inspirational, but for me, it’s slightly depressing. You’re talking about a former NFLer here. The guy is supposed to be amongst the world’s physical elite. And the best he can do is eight columns? And it’s not even a full eight. Watch his hagbah again right at the beginning — it’s more like seven and three-quarters. Is that the ultimate goal that we all have to live up to? I figured a professional athlete would at least get nine.
I was also a little confused by Veingrad’s comment at the end, saying that he would still play football in the NFL, knowing what he knows now. How is that not inconsistent with his faith? He knows that he couldn’t possibly be a fully observant Jew playing professional football. If he believes in the God of the Torah, how could he even consider a life that veers from Halacha (Jewish Law)?
I found it interesting that the commentators at the end were particularly impressed with this last comment. If Veingrad would have said that pro ball was a mistake or something he could not do now that he believes in God, it seems like the commentators would have looked upon him as a negative role model: “And not ashamed of being an NFL player.” “Right — good influence on the kids, too.” Wouldn’t he be a better ‘influence on the kids’ if he maintained his ideals unequivocally?
Of course it would be foolish to judge Veingrad (or the commentators) from a small piece like this. We all know that video can be edited and modified to distort reality. The truth? Who knows. It’s very possible Veingrad can easily manage ten columns.