Jews sometimes get a bad rap. “They control Hollywood” people say. “What a bunch of penny pinchers” is another common observation.
For all of the labels associated with its members’ perceived financial savvy (or creativity), there is one realm that Tribe members have not excelled in…at all…sports. So when compiling a list of my favorite Jewish athletes, it at times was difficult to fill out the roster. Though Bacon Sports may not, by definition, be considered kosher, we’re still proud to build our list of the athletes that showed real chutzpah.
Full disclosure: I, myself, am a proud member of the tribe and thus allowed to make such stereotypical observations. It’s like Seinfeld’s “Anti-Dentite” episode. I’ve been cleared for such a column.
It’s worth noting that there were some interesting discoveries made along the way as I researched and compiled my list. She’s Jewish? He isn’t? But I was more than willing to do the legwork so that you, the reader, could sip your Manischewitz and marvel in my people’s athletic ineptitude. Now there are obvious choices and some all-time legends of the six-sided star (see Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Mark Spitz and Ryan Braun) but for the sake of being less obvious, this list ventured off the beaten path. It’s a stroll through the desert, if you will. L’chaim, and enjoy.
- (Bill) Goldberg (professional wrestler, former Atlanta Falcons DT): Goldberg had the opportunity to create a ring persona but instead chose to bear his surname with pride. For that, we can all raise our glasses.
- Igor Olshansky (former Dallas Cowboys DE): Have you seen this guy? He might as well be the Bear Jew!
- Jay Fiedler (former Miami Dolphins QB): Cute as a button and arguably the best ears in NFL history.
- Max Baer (boxer, former Heavyweight Champion): Became more well-known to a younger generation as the antagonist to Russell Crowe’s Jim Braddock in Cinderella Man.
- Amar’e Stoudemire (New York Knicks PF): Still hard to figure this one out, but hey, we’ll take him.
- Zab Judah (boxer, former World Welterweight Champion): Even harder to figure out than Amar’e, but was sad to hear that Judaism apparently lost him in 2006.
- “Macho Man” Randy Savage (professional wrestler): Oooooooooh yeah. That is all.
Honorable Mentions: NBA commissioner David Stern, Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, Olympic figure skater Sarah Hughes, former Duke hooper Jon Scheyer.
Do you have a favorite Hebraic sportsman (or sportswoman) that didn’t make our list? Drop us a matzo ball below in the comments.
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