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How to throw a Jewish historical Super Bowl Party

From Jewish coaches to Super Bowl anti-Semitism, here are some pro football stories from JTA’s historical coverage, best served with chips and salsa:

1926

  • Arnold “Arnie” Horween, four-year player and one-year coach with the Chicago Cardinals, is named head football coach at Harvard University.

1934

  • JTA laments its lack of a sports section as New York Giants player-coach and former Michigan quarterback legend Benny Friedman is hired to coach the City College Beavers.

If the Bulletin could boast of a sport section, one item would have been more or less prominent on its pages yesterday. Since it has no such section, this column takes it upon itself to make passing mention of the projected appointment of Benny Friedman, Jewish football star, as coach of the City College grid team.

Friedman has had a remarkable collegiate and professional football career and is rated among the top forward pass artists in the country. If he proves able to transfer his own skill as a player to the team he will coach, there remains only one pitfall to avoid. That is Hollywood. It seems that most Gentile athletes go broke and all Jewish athletes go Hollywood.

  • JTA debuts its “Slants on Sports” column, written by Morris Weiner, on Mar. 5. In May, Weiner says of Friedman:

Old grads stopped teaching for a moment when they first heard the news that Friedman was selected as the new coach. They almost asked for sabbatical leave when the news first leaked out that Friedman would hold spring practice, Incidentally, this year marked the first time in athletic history at City College that a football team held spring training. It is merely one of the many signs of the new deal in Lavender athletics which the coming of Friedman heralds.”

  • 220-pound University of Southern Californian lineman Aaron “Rosy” Rosenberg selected by Chicago Tribune readers to pro-football All-Star team coached by Red Grange to challenge the Chicago Bears.

1944

  • On D-Day, Bob Halperin, formerly of the Brooklyn Dodgers professional football team, is believed to be the first soldier to land at Normandy Beach.

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1960

  • An American Football League matchup between the Houston Oilers and the Denver Broncos turns into a interfaith charity match, co-sponsored by B’nai B’rith and Knights of Columbus and the Knights of the Round Table.

1970

1977

  • Marvin Warner, part-owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Switzerland.

1979 

  • Benny Friedman and famed Chicago Bears quarterback Sid Luckman inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

1981

  • Rep. Jack Kemp (R. NY), who played for the Buffalo Bills, participates in Maccabiah awards ceremony after securing a $25,000 donation for the American organization that funds and supplies the U.S. Maccabiah teams.

1983

  • Brown University believed to be the first Ivy League college to have two Jewish head coaches after hiring John Rosenberg, former USFL player for the Philadelphia Stars.

1984

1988

  • Norman Braman, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles and one of four Jewish NFL owners, visits Israel in hopes of staging an NFL game there with the working title “Holy Land Bowl”

1989

  • FBI investigates after a Super Bowl XXIII broadcast in California is interrupted by a pirated anti-Semitic tiradespoken over images from the cartoon “The Jetsons.”

1990s

  • Pro wrestler Bill Goldberg briefly plays in the NFL as a defensive tackle with the Atlanta Falcons in the early 1990s before a severe muscle tear ended his career.

1999

2001

  • JTA profiles UCLA offensive lineman Eyoseph Esi Efseaff, of the Russian Molakan faith, and his strictly kosher diet. Efseaff rules out a career in the NFL due to Sabbath observance.

2005

  • Benny Friedman posthumously inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame.
  • Zygmunt “Zygi” Wilf, son of Holocaust survivor, purchases the Minnesota Vikings. (Brother and Vikings president, Mark Wilf, currently sits on the JTA board.)

2006

  • Marshall Goldberg, 1938 Heisman Trophy finalist and member of the 1947 championship Chicago Cardinals team, dies at age 88 in Chicago.

2007

  • As fires burn through California, Chabad delivers blankets and food to the 10,000 evacuees staying at Qualcomm Stadium, home of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers.
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