Patriots Receiver Edelman to Start in Playoffs

Football-playing Jew is, turns out, not Jewish

By Marc Tracy|January 5, 2010 10:00 AM


Wide receiver Wes Welker, the 2009 NFL leader in catches, was injured [1] Sunday in his New England Patriots’ final regular season game, and will be replaced next Sunday by rookie Julian Edelman. Kupel’s, the legendary Boston-area Jewish bakery, has already named [2] a bagel sandwich after Edelman. Even Bill Simmons, the massively popular sportswriter, has alluded to [3] Edelman’s presumably Semitic origins: “‘Julian Edelman’ might be the least likely name of a football player this decade. He sounds like he should be an acoustic singer, or an indie director, or a dentist, or the son of a famous rock star, or a Beverly Hills doctor who does breast implants … .”

Except Edelman is none of these things: instead, he is a Gentile wide receiver for the New England Patriots. Kaplan’s Korner—a blog devoted to Jews in sports and, relatedly, maybe the best blog ever—called [4] the Pats’ media office, which said that Edelman “has Jewish ancestry but was raised as a Christian.”

Now, Patriots owner Robert Kraft is Jewish, and generously so; the Hillel at his (and my) alma mater, Columbia, is named after him. But Jewish NFL owners are about as rare as Jewish dentists. A Jewish slot receiver—that would have been something.

Edelman MOT? [4] [Kaplan’s Korner]
Belichick Focuses on Ravens, Moves On to Edelman [1] [CSN]

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