Enough is enough

Mac TA 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Mac TA 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
At the risk of being deported, I would like to hereby declare I am overjoyed that Maccabi lost the Euroleague final. This whole Maccabi festival has gone too far. Enough is enough. The unbelievably supportive media frenzy accompanied by top headlines and unprecedented television ratings could actually lead someone to believe that Maccabi is out there defending the Jewish nation against the Greeks. As if it was a matter of national security. Suddenly every layman and woman who has no interest in sports become glued to the screen. Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert even opened the Sunday Cabinet session saying that "Maccabi's success brings with it tremendous joy and pride to the State of Israel." How many times have we heard Maccabi players or managers say, "With all the hardship, we are happy to give the citizens of Israel something to smile about." Here's a reminder: Maccabi is not the Israeli national team. Its stars are not named Motti, Micky or Nadav, but rather Anthony, Maceo, Will, Nicola and Derek. A die-hard Tottenham Hotspur fan I know told me last week he has been praying every night for Arsenal to lose the Champions League final against Barcelona. Is there any doubt which team a Real Madrid fan would rather see victorious? Not really. Why should I, as a fan of Hapoel Jerusalem, be hit with a guilt trip every year for not cheering the yellows? Furthermore, a stronger Maccabi translates into a non-competitive Israeli league. It's as simple as that. I believe it is in the best interest of Israeli basketball that in the 50 years to come, Maccabi does NOT win 49 national championships.