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The Scroll Endorses the Baltimore Ravens

The Tablet guide to this year’s Super Bowl

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(Courtesy Menachem Butler)

If you’re going to root tribally for a team in this year’s Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, there’s really no choice in the matter.

The Baltimore Ravens play in a heavily Jewish town and were owned for many years by the irrepressible Art Modell. This Super Bowl in particular has special meaning for the team and the city:

“Adding to its significance, the showdown comes just six months after the death of former owner Art Modell, the Jewish Brooklyn native who moved the team to Baltimore from Cleveland in 1996. Ravens players dedicated this season to Modell, wearing a patch with “Art” on their jerseys.

And even more poignancy: The Pro Football Hall of Fame will announce whether Modell will be inducted the day before the big game.

“Honestly, I’m kvelling over this game,” David Modell, one of the late owner’s two sons and a former president and CEO of the Ravens, told JTA. “I’m not praying for results, I’m praying for the strength and courage of this team, and the rest will take care of itself. But a Super Bowl victory and a place in the Hall of Fame would be an incredible way to honor my father’s memory.”

The 49ers, on the other hand, are owned by a guy named Jed who went to Notre Dame. The 49ers are also decidedly one of the leagues’s most un-American team names. For you history buffs out there, when the gold rush took place in 1849–an event which inspired the team name–California belonged to Mexico. Just saying.

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In 1849, California was an American territory, having been ceded by Mexico after the Mexican-American War ended in 1848. However, I’d still go with the Ravens because this year they’re simply a better team.

joey753 says:

Why would I root for a team based on the religion of the owner? Just plain stupidity!

jcarpenter says:

Being a rare bird of a high school English teacher and football coach, I was ecstatic when the Ravens team was established: a football mascot named for Poe’s signature bird. My teams wore purple and black also—go Ravens!

Yeah, Modell was Jewish. And, as I remind anybody who’ll listen and some who won’t, he did to Cleveland stone cold sober what Robert Irsay did to Baltimore drunk. We can be prouder of Modell than of, say, Arnold Rothstein, Bugsy Siegel or Meyer Lansky, but not that much.

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The Scroll Endorses the Baltimore Ravens

The Tablet guide to this year’s Super Bowl

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