Two franchises, both mostly alike in Jewishness. The New England Patriots are owned by Robert Kraft, who is Jewish and donates lots of money to Jewish causes, including the Israeli Football League. The New York Giants are half-owned by Steve Tisch, who yesterday co-hosted a pep rally at Michael’s with the Weinsteins; when the Boston and New York mayors appear in a commercial during Sunday night’s game, it will be the New York, not Boston, mayor who is Jewish. The Pats and the Giants have been official Tablet Magazine teams since we’ve had official teams, and Sunday night they face each other in a rematch of the Super Bowl four years ago, one of the unlikeliest and craziest competitions in the history of professional sports. Who we got?
It’s the Pats, folks. Sorry, Giants fans (and respect to the New Jersey Jewish News for recognizing what’s cover-worthy; and respect to Matthew Hiltzik, who makes a persuasive case for the Jewishness of the Pats’ archrival, the New York Jets). But we are swayed by three things.
• As I documented around this time last year, the American Football League was in many ways a fundamentally Jewish institution; the American Football Conference, which the Pats are representing, is the AFL’s descendant; and the Patriots were one of the eight original AFL franchises.
• Bob Kraft’s late wife, Myra, remembered on The Scroll by contributing editor Joan Nathan when she died this summer, has been the team’s guardian angel throughout the season. They have worn the patch with her initials, “MHK,” every game; they have brought a painting of her to Indianapolis.
• Your faithful blogger is a Washington Redskins fan and is not going to endorse the freakin’ Giants to win one more Super Bowl than their NFC East rivals (both have won three), especially since it was all of six weeks ago that he (your faithful blogger) saw Giants fans boo their own team as the Skins crushed them. Grrrrr.
Either way, enjoy Sunday night! The Super Bowl only comes once a year.
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.