Religion or football? Dan is forced to make a tough moral choice

Dan Hurwitz

Good thing the Texas State Fair isn’t debuting a new line of deep fried kosher corny dogs this year. There probably would not be too many bought on Saturday.

That’s because the amount of Jews should be much scarcer this year at the Cotton Bowl for the Texas-OU game as it falls on Yom Kippur — the holiest day of the Jewish year.

Roughly 10 percent of the University’s students are part of the tribe. A good chunk of the alumni (including yours truly) are Jewish, leaving us with a major conflict on the biggest game of the year.

History repeats itself

For those of you unaware, this is the third year in a row in which I have written a similar rant. It has just been bad luck that for a third consecutive year, a major holiday has fallen on a Saturday when the Longhorns have a much-anticipated game as the 2009 and 2010 games against Texas Tech were both during the high holidays. In 2009, I stayed in Austin and observed there and made the 7 p.m. kickoff. In 2010, I skipped a trip to Lubbock to be in Houston.

For those at home making wagers on where I will be come kickoff; I will be among thousands of dehydrated Texans … at synagogue.

For me, no decision needed to be made. It was simple. If Sandy Koufax would not pitch in the World Series, I can skip attending and watching the Texas-OU game live.

It’s not killing me this year that I can’t make it to the game. I do get to avoid a trip to Dallas — which is always a positive.

The problem is that the game returns to its infamous 11 a.m. kick-off time.

The morning start time is never a good thing. It gives you less time to recover from the previous night, less time to tailgate, you have to wake up extremely early and if your team loses, it sticks around with you for the rest of the day.

On Yom Kippur, 11 a.m. adds an extra problem. It is pretty much right at the heart of the service and not a good time to make an early exit.

DVR set

Therefore, pending storms, which I may secretly be praying for on Saturday, I will have to watch the game on tape delay.

But can I trust others not to reveal anything from the moment of kick off to when I actually start watching?

On a day where we Jews are supposed to be repenting for our sins, many may kick off their sinning early on Saturday by enhancing their prayer experience.

I’m nervous that I will see what things will be like around noon at my synagogue in which many Longhorns pray. Will those that usually don Longhorn yarmulkes be missing? Or will they be out in full force? Will iPhones and iPads be out, with people getting constant updates? Will people listen to the game on the radio through earphones or bring portable TVs?

I have no clue.

But I do not want to have any clue of the result of any play.

My phone will be shut off. This is rare as I nearly pull the hair out of my head on an airplane for the few minutes they request you to turn off phones.

But I do not want to see the drunk texts and pictures being sent to me from my friends at the game.

Could be worse

It flat out sucks that this has to happen. If the game were to fall on any other day of the year, I, and everyone else who is skipping, would be there. But it’s not. Too bad.

Could be worse and have Yom Kippur on Jan. 9, which just happens to be the day of the BCS National Championship.

Yeah, I just went there.