Edelman diving for the ball
Julian Edelman, in white uniform, of the New England Patriots making an extraordinary and possibly game-saving catch in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl, Feb. 5, 2017. (Photo/JTA-Ezra Shaw-Getty Images)

A newly Jewish star in the NFL?

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From episode #131 of the “(Is it) Good for the Jews?” podcast …

Larry Rosen: You missed the Super Bowl recently. I know, you were out seeing Sting, which I have a whole list of issues with, but I’ve got to say, you missed one of the best Super Bowls ever played.

Eric Goldbrener: Super Bowl? That’s football, right?

LR: A lot of people saw it who weren’t at that Sting show.

EG: Lady Gaga was there.

LR: Right, and I’ve got to say, she put on a very slick, professional show. Apolitical, which I appreciated, because I’m one of those guys, but very, very slick.

EG: Slick? Lady Gaga? Yeah!

LR: Not a lot of of, uh, you know, ragged glory rock ’n’ roll going on there. Just a lot of slick dance music.

EG: Yeah, that’s her thing. You knew that going in.

LR: There was one Jew who shined in this game.

EG: Who was that? Edelman?

LR: Edelman.

EG: My brother.

LR: Edelman made what might be the greatest catch in Super Bowl history. Fantastic. Unbelievable. Good for the Jews. (waits for response, gets only indifferent silence, so he continues)

LR: You probably don’t know the narrative. Patriots were way down …

EG: Something like 2 to 20.

LR: 28 to 3. They’re coming back and on the last drive, Brady hits Edelman over the middle, only the pass bounces off of two guys, then bounces off of a diving Edelman, then off some guy’s leg, then Edelman again, who somehow scoops it up right before it hits the ground. Seriously, no more than 3 inches off the turf.

EG: Wow.

LR: So good. Edelman is so good for the Jews. So good for us.

EG: Hooray.

LR: I was watching at a party with a bunch of Jews, of course, and we wasted no opportunity in reminding each other that Edelman was Jewish.

EG: You were having a Jew fest. “He’s ours!”

LR: Fogel kept pronouncing it “Aye-delman.” Is that correct?

EG: I don’t know. But I know Fogel. He went to yeshiva. He probably knows.

LR: I can’t wait for the day that an Israeli-born guy plays in the NFL. Probably end up being a lineman, like the Schwartz brothers, Igor Olshansky, all of those lineman. It’d be cool to have a skill position player, like Edelman. Right now he’s all we’ve got.

EG: Aye-delman.

LR: Edelman, you know, didn’t even know he was Jewish until three years ago.

EG: Didn’t know he was Jewish? How is that even possible?

LR: Not unheard of, at all. There’s a podcaster named Alison Rosen who says she had no idea she was Jewish until she was an adult.

EG: You’d think with that name …

LR: Exactly. But Edelman, sure, he has the Jewish name, but it came from his dad, so maybe he spent his youth being told he wasn’t Jewish because it’s got to come from your mom.

EG: You don’t listen to what people tell you!

LR: I do.

EG: He didn’t go to Hebrew school? No bar mitzvah?

LR: None of it. Kind of like my nephew, I guess, who is discovering his Jewish roots in college and did a Birthright trip in December.

EG: People do that.

LR: Ah, well, Edelman does all of these YouTube videos of him in Israel, Twitter pictures for Passover of him catching a giant piece of matzah instead of a football. Edelman rules. Except for his beard. He could trim that up.

EG: How do you know Edelman is actually Jewish? How do you know he’s not just some guy who went to Israel and came back wanting to be Jewish, telling everyone he’s Jewish?

LR: Like Amar’e Stoudamire?

EG: Who’s that? I have no idea who that is!

LR: Basketball player. Went over, loved it so much he stayed.

EG: OK. But how do you know Edelman is Jewish?

LR: He tells everyone he’s Jewish. He wears an Israeli pin sometimes on his uniform when he plays.

EG: All right, but tell him we’re going to have to see his shmeckel before we can be sure.

LR: You’re out of line there.

EG: That’s the rules. Can’t confirm until then.

LR: Julian, if you’re listening, that’s Goldbrener talking, not me. I accept you as a Jew. This sports fan cannot be swayed. You are good for the Jews.

Eric Goldbrener
Eric Goldbrener

Eric Goldbrener is a Libertarian, Zionist, atheist and autodidact technologist. He co-hosts the podcast “(Is It) Good for the Jews?”

Larry Rosen
Larry Rosen

Larry Rosen is a writer, husband, father and author of “The Rabbi Has Left the Building,” a memoir about his son’s bar mitzvah. He co-hosts the podcast “(Is It) Good for the Jews?”