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More on the NFL’s Jews

And our official team, revealed!

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Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In today’s Vox Tablet podcast, Ray Gustini, of the Atlantic Wire, and I figured out exactly how many NFL franchises are owned by Jews. The final answer is 10.5 or 11.5, depending on whether or not Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is Jewish (Ray thinks he’s Catholic; I found no evidence of that, and found that he has donated to a Jewish cause; and, for what it’s worth, a number of anti-Semitic Websites say he is).

A few notes that did not make it into the final podcast, which was edited for time:

• Though I did not count them as being Jewish-owned, the Green Bay Packers almost certainly have Jewish owners: They are owned by the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, which has at least one synagogue.

• New York Jets owner Woody Johnson (as in Johnson & Johnson) is not Jewish, but was a great friend to the Jews last season, when he successfully complained after the NFL scheduled his team’s first two home games during the High Holidays. Indeed, though the Giants are 50-percent Jewish-owned, I think you have to consider the Jets (whose prior owners were Jews, who come from the scrappy and heavily Jewish AFL, and whose current general manager is Jewish) the more Jewish New York-area franchise.

• The owner of the Detroit Lions is William Clay Ford. Ford is not Jewish, but is descended from one of history’s most influential anti-Semites.

• You should follow Ray’s Twitter feed, @VeryFakeAlDavis.

• Finally, Julian Edelman is not Jewish. Taylor Mays, however, is.

After the jump: The 11.5 (maybe 10.5) Jewish-owned NFL franchises, along with Ray’s and my pick for Tablet Magazine’s official team. (But really, listen to the podcast!)

Jewish franchises:
Atlanta Falcons
Cleveland Browns
Denver Broncos (maybe)
Miami Dolphins
Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots
New York Giants (.5)
Oakland Raiders
Philadelphia Eagles
St. Louis Rams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Washington Redskins

As for official team. It should be the Vikings, who are owned by the son of two Holocaust survivors; surely have a significant Jewish fanbase (The Land of 10,000 Lakes gave us Bob Dylan, the Coen Brothers, and Thomas Friedman, and are represented in the Senate by Al Franken); and have Jewish QB Sage Rosenfels on their roster. However, Brett Favre’s return has likely doomed Rosenfels to another year of no snaps, which if anything counts against them. While Ray’s and my honorable mention was the New England Patriots, and we would certainly fault no Jew for rooting for them, ultimately the spot went to … the Washington Redskins. Mazel tov!

Kosher Pigskin [Tablet Magazine]
Earlier: Patriots Receiver Edelman To Start in Playoffs

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Matthew Fishbane says:

Wait, so you can point out that the Lions’ lineage is that of a famous anti-Semite, but neglect to, uh, mention that the Redskins were once owned by a famous segregationist? DOUBLE STANDARD, Tracy, if not willful ignorance. Let it be known that the Redskins may be Tablet’s official team, but they are not /this/ editor’s. You need to do more ‘splainin.

The fix was totally in! BETHESDA.

So if Edelman is not, who is.
And how did Julian come by such a Jewish Family name ?

Marc Tracy says:

oh yeah everyone I forgot to mention the Skins were the last team to integrate. HAPPY??

Andy M says:

Just to reiterate my comment from yesterday regarding ownership of the Green Bay Packers, apparently Tablet misunderstands the meaning of the term “community-owned” team. In fact, the Packers are owned by individual stockholders, not the City of Green Bay. Some of those stockholders absolutely are Jewish. Jews have served on the Packers board of directors and played for the team, most notably star lineman Buckets Goldenberg — now that’s a name — in the 1930s and ’40s. Noted Packers former General Manager Ron Wolf is Jewish. The Packers are beloved by Wisconsin Jews, too. My (Jewish) parents froze their tucheses attending the 1967 “Ice Bowl” game, played outdoors in 13-below-zero weather. And I know for a fact that Green Bay’s synagogue cancelled religious school on the Sunday the Packers played in the 1997 Super Bowl.

David says:

Sage Rosenfels is NOT Jewish in any way that would seem to matter. His father may have been born Jewish, but his mother was not, Sage was not raised that way, Sage does not consider himself Jewish, and Sage does not want to be identified as Jewish. I’m not sure what he needs to do to be more clear about it, and it is kind of pitiful that someone out there wants to claim him for the tribe so badly that they would ignore all these facts. I’m as proud a Jew as anyone, and I even take pride in the accomplishments of my co-religionists, but this guy is not one. And anyway, even if he was the Chief Rabbi of Israel, he’s still only a 3rd string quarterback.

As a lifelong Detroit Lions fan (at least 45 of my 50 years) I can only say that no fans of an NFL team have endured more pogrom-like suffering than the fans of the Detroit Lions. In fact, in many ways, characters and events from Detroit Lions history mirror that of the Jews. For example, we just got rid of the Haman-like Matt Millen (Booooooooo!!!)William Clay Ford has been like a Pharaoh to Detroit fans enslaving them in his wicked and inept ownership of over 45 years. Finally, going 0-16 in the regular season was just like wandering in the desert in search of the promised land of the Super Bowl.

michael says:

“Progrom-like suffering?” Hate to go PC on you, but were any of your relatives killed in a Lion’s loss? Bad analogy.

Rachel says:

Wow, Marc, I totally didn’t see this coming.

neal sturman says:

igor olshansky of the dallas cowboys has a jewish teammate. Who is it?

Why doesn’t Adam Sandler rename his “Hanukkah Song” to “The NFL Song”, and list all the Jewish owners in the league? Davis, Kraft, Snyder, Lerner, Goodman, Tisch (50% owner of the Giants), Blank, etc. Why not just list all the Jewish sports commishes? David Stern, Commish of the NBA, Gary Bettman, Commish of the NHL, Bud Selig, Commish of MLB, etc…..

carlos says:

michael, maybe nobody has been killed after a Lions game, but they sure have inspired a lot of suicides…

Great blog you have here. You’ll discover me looking at your stuff often. Bookmarked!

I’ve said that least 1251278 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

You are my inspiration, I own few web logs and sometimes run out from post :).

What i don’t realize is in reality how you’re not actually a lot more well-preferred than you might be right now. You are very intelligent. You already know thus significantly when it comes to this matter, produced me individually consider it from so many numerous angles. Its like men and women are not interested unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always take care of it up!

gubbler chechenova says:

“The Land of 10,000 Lakes” is Wisconsin.


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