Practicing Ramadan, Draft Day and Family

by | Apr 23, 2020

Google encourages the Doodle to Stay Home

sharing of its Doodle as a lockdown reminder: Stay Home, Save Lives, STOP Corona-virus.


Lockdowns can be very tough on customary religious gatherings, as recently noted for Easter and Passover. Now, a billion “+” Muslims adapt for this Ramadan season with “distanced” social gathering – at least for part of the 30-day observance.

It was news to me that observed daily fasts are longer in higher latitudes as shown in this Newsweek infographic.  That makes sense, now that I know that this observance [and practice] is based on lunar rises.

As important as daily fasting is for Muslims in all walks of life, I recall articles about Hakeem Olajuwon playing NBA games on off-days from his fasted condition.

“When Olajuwon began fasting for Ramadan during the 1993 season, he told reporters,  “I cannot do it on game days. So what I have to do is make up for the days                            I miss after the season.”

Olajuwon’s decision to not fast during game days early in his career was not an abdication of his religious responsibility, as Muslims who are traveling, as Olajuwon often was, can choose to make up their fasts at a later time.”


An elite Muslim rower for the Brits’ national Crew struggled with his 30-day abstinence practices in years of Summer Olympiads. As there is a charitable aspect to Ramadan, some elite athletes can defer their months’ fasting practice and/or donate money to feed others, as rower Moe Sbihi did.

Olajuwon and Sbihi are large lads. So foregoing thousands of daytime calories while training hard is a challenge. Sbihi offered that dry breath was an interesting consequence for his crewmates, ”

“One of the biggest things about training is the cottonmouth you get and that leads to smelly breath,” he explains. “If you catch me on a bad day you might think ‘wow, he stinks’.

“The whole thing can cause a lot of frustrations but it really does work as a cleanse and detoxes you.”

He is a very small sample size, though a very large, fit aerobic freak of nature! I eagerly anticipate his degree dissertation for sports science on extended fasting…

“he insists any physiological difficulties are outweighed by the psychological benefits.”

Not For Long (NFL) Draft Day

In “same yet different” ways than RAMADAN practices, the National Football League is holding its first virtual Draft Days this week. As I joke there are only two seasons – 1. Football and 2. getting prepared for football; I hope that this spectacle can remind us that one-day stadium crowds can again enjoy gridiron contests. As an endurance athlete, I’d like to see game doubleheaders or a Luddite return to players playing “both ways.” As neither of these wants of mine likely, I’ll acknowledge that I will miss college and pro football this fall IF abnormal rules still apply.

Family Practices

Happy Anniversary to our daughter and son-in-law!  They are adapting to their kids being home for school, “WFH” practices, and sneaking in regular workouts.  This acknowledgment circles back to our Google Doodle.

Let’s be safe and get through this pandemic – together!



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