As a former stand-out (benchwarmer) on a high school (junior varsity) football team in Texas, I welcome the news of the West Coast’s inaugural “Bagel Bowl,” allegedly the first match-up of Jewish high school football teams on America’s traditional weak side formation. Between the pre-and-post-game Lord’s Prayers and casual jokes about a Jewish defensive lineman in pursuit of a “quarter back,” it’s empowering to see more Jewish high schoolers embracing the pigskin and forming their own teams to compete in America’s most popular sport.
It was reported that over 150(!) anxious Jewish fans showed up to watch the game between the Milken Community Wildcats and San Diego Jewish Academy Lions. Those on hand were treated the pre-game stylings of the Jewish Academy’s band performing Hatikvah. The Lions, perhaps realizing the existential pressures of a Jewish home-field advantage, faltered at first, falling behind 8-0 before taking the game over (would love to know if that odd figure resulted from a two-point conversion or a safety). The Lions ultimately prevailed 25-8, which made their mothers proud.