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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Why is this blog different from all other blogs?

In honor of the first night of Passover this year, I thought it'd be a good time to talk about the all-time great Jewish Wolverine football players.

Any list of Jewish football players, from any school, would have to start with my namesake, Benny Friedman. The two-time All-American was the Big Ten MVP in 1926, is in the College Football Hall of Fame, and was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also on the list would have to be Hayden Epstein, the punter and kicker for Michigan from 1998 to 2001, making second-team All Big Ten as a placekicker in '01.

Then we have...um...that's about it. But Benny Friedman was really, really good. Did I mention that he's in the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame?

6 comments:

jim masterson said...

nice history lesson boys. There should be more Jewish football player at UM. Research. My father was at Nd in the mid 20's & a big Benny friedman fan. Notre Dame has always been philo-semetic.Marchy Schwartz,AA, fullback in 30 &31;Wayne Miller AA E.in the mid 30's; Mike Rosenthal AA, OL, mid 90"2 I'll find more. The most important Jewish person at Notre Dame? Glad you asked. The Lady on the Dome. jim masterson

ferenc said...

Gee...I would think Jesus, or Yeshua as I like to call him, would be the most important Jewish person at ND. I mean, he is the Messiah of the Jewish people first after all...while Mary is just...well...how should I say? sans any real significance past the birth.

nico said...

I should do some research and do this for Alabama.

Unbeknownst to a lot of people, Alabama's enrollment actually increased during the depression (a rarity) because they heavily recruited Jewish students from the northeast that were being excluded from universities up north due to quotas.

At one point, there were as many as seven Jewish fraternities and sororities on campus and to this day you can minor in Judaic Studies.

Needless to say, many Jewish students wound up on the football field too.

Kyle King said...

I agree with Jim Masterson and with Nico . . . this was a nice gesture that offered an interesting historical perspective.

When I thought about great Georgia players who were Jewish, the first two to pop into my mind were Buzy Rosenberg, a punt returner and defensive back in the early 1970s, and Bill Goldberg, a defensive tackle in the late 1980s who later went on to greater fame as a professional wrestler (for which gig he dropped the "Bill").

I'm sure there are others and the idea is intriguing enough that I may do some digging to bring their names to light.

This was a thought-provoking idea on a most appropriate occasion. Nice job.

Anonymous said...

He Nico,

He did not play football but he announced it! Mel Alen was awsome!

Anonymous said...

The guy who started my fraternity (Pi Lambda Phi) at the University of Florida was an all SEC halfback named E. Max Goldstein.