The Jew Who Changed Football Forevertags: football, Benny Friedman
Originally, football was all scrimmage in a no-pass zone, with rules and machismo sensibilities dismissing passing as wimpy. The game was a grinding ground war, a smash-up derby for big galoots, with occasional breakaway survivors fleeing the pack.
The revolutionary who gave football an air war, who freed it from being all-Blitz-all-the-time, the disruptor who spawned the Hail Mary Pass and the Bomb, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas, John Elway and Tom Brady, was a now-forgotten all-American with the body of a Greek God but the name of a Jewish accountant: Benny Friedman.
Back in the twenties and thirties, Friedman was the game’s Babe Ruth and Nelson Mandela, its Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey: he was top performer and freedom fighter, edgy innovator and huge celebrity. Friedman was so good that Tim Mara bought the Detroit Wolverines outright just to get Friedman’s services —and Mara’s New York Giants turned profitable within a year...
comments powered by Disqus
- Climate Change Used to Be a Bipartisan Issue
- A ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ Veteran Offers Trump Some Advice
- The Long, Painful History of Police Brutality in the U.S.
- The crazy Scaramucci vs. Priebus feud is just as ugly as the LBJ vs. RFK hatefest
- Did Russia kill JFK? Long-secret CIA files show a Russian spy's theory.
- NYT memorializes Thomas Fleming, historian of the Revolution
- Historian Plumbs Tax Records for Patterns of Racial Discrimination
- Alt-right commentator gets 'schooled' by historian over diversity in Roman Britain
- 2 Sinologists say Liu Xiaobo’s Death speaks to a dark vision for China
- Historians plead with Trump not to block the release of final stash of JFK assassination documents