The insider’s information to Tremendous Bowl LV’s Jewish tales and subplots

When Kansas City leaders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced off Sunday night at the Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida, there were a lot of juicy stories for fans.

Buc 43-year-old quarterback Tom Brady (in the humble opinion of this writer, the greatest man who has ever walked the planet) played on the 10th Super Bowl record, and ended up winning seventh.

The NFL legend played against a young superstar who may one day challenge Brady’s legacy, 25-year-old QB Chief Pat Mahomes.

Get The Times of Israel Daily Edition by Email and Never Miss Our Top Stories Free Sign Up

In addition, the Bucs were the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl at home.

But in addition to the stories that sports fans around the world will discuss, there are many predictable Jewish and Israeli in the big game.

Carly Helfand

Brady was not the only one to make history on Sunday night in Tampa. The game had an unprecedented number of women in on-the-spot roles, as referees, coaches and coaches.

One of them is a graduate of a Jewish school.

Carly Helfand, a scout assistant with the Bucs, attended Gerrard Berman Day School in Auckland, New Jersey, graduating from high school in 2010.

In college, Helfand played the Philadelphia Eagles and then worked on the University of Pennsylvania football program after graduation. He became a member of the Bucs organization in June 2019, where he travels across the country observing top players in college.

It’s #SuperBowlSunday! Today in honor of our alumna Carly Hefland, who is in the Super Bowl as a scout for Tampa Bay…

Published by academies at GBDS on Sunday, February 7, 2021

Tom Brady, abruptly

Brady has spent his entire career this year with the New England Patriots, owned by Robert Kraft, a proud Zionist and donor to many Jewish and Israeli causes. Kraft and his ex-wife Myra regularly took on Patriots players and the NFL Hall of Fame in Israel.

In 2006, they brought the then-young superstar Brady to the country for his first visit, along with CBS anchor Sara Underwood and Joseph Campanelli, then CEO of Sovereign Bank.

Participants in the trip say that Brady was visibly moved by what he saw and experienced. Barry Shrage, a close friend of the Kraft family and president of the Boston Joint Jewish Charities, remembers a Chabad rabbi who was close to Myra who led Friday night’s dinner. “Everyone started dancing and Tom soon came in. “To see Tom Brady dancing in a circle with us, singing with us, was really special.”

“I think he was very moved.”

The Krafts took Brady to an IDF infantry base. Boston-born Netzach Yehuda soldier Avi Sandler was in basic training in the Jordan Valley. He had just completed a week of field training and a long run back to base. He told him to put on his beret and report to the office of the Deputy Commander of the Company.

“I was nervous, as he was only going to his office at the time if he had a problem,” Sandler said. “As I entered the office and greeted, I saw two other soldiers with American backgrounds already sitting. We were told that a group of important Americans would visit the base tomorrow and that we had chosen to attend as representatives. “

Fellow soldier Label Garelik was sitting in his room when his sergeant came in, telling him that there were some Americans who were visiting and wanted to talk to soldiers who had moved to Israel from the United States.

“Someone Robert Kraft or something.”

The next morning, the soldiers were transported to the shooting area, where a demonstration of weapons was prepared for the visitors.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Tom Brady visit Nahal Haredi soldier Avi Sandler at his base during a 2006 trip to Israel (courtesy)

“Quietly, to the side, my friend says, ‘Avi, isn’t this Tom Brady?’ Sandler recalled. “Apart from Mr. Kraft, we had no idea who he was visiting. I replied, “He looks like him, but what would he do here?” »

“We quickly turned to Brady and asked, ‘Are you Tom Brady?’ »

“Yes,” he replied. Our mouth fell. “

One of the soldiers asked Brady if he wanted to play football with them.

“I do not combine work and pleasure,” Brady joked.

The soldiers gave a demonstration of the various weapons lined up in the area. Brady shouted “Damn!” as the machine gun fired.

The Patriots quarterback even got some goal practice in the base shooting range. “I was worried about recovery,” Shrage recalls. “We certainly did not need Brady to hurt his shoulder by dropping a rifle.”

Other young Englishmen had the opportunity to meet Brady at the Israel Museum for dinner on Saturday night.

Patriots Patriarch Tom Brady Visits Israel Museum, 2006 (Photo: courtesy)

“He said he really liked hummus,” recalled Israeli lawyer Hale Katsen, a law student at Bar Ilan at the time. “It simply came to our notice then. He said he liked Tel Aviv more because no one recognized him there. “

It is not clear if it was the trip that inspired Brady, but he retains a large menorah at his Brookline home. “We are not Jews,” he told the New York Times in 2015. “But I think we get into everything. I do not know what I think. I think there is a belief system, I’m not sure what it is. “

Brady is probably not the only one in his family with a menorah at home. His sister, Julie, married former Boston Jewish Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis in 2012.

From Birthright Israel to the NFL

Brady is well protected by Ali Marpet, 27, who plays a left guard. Marpet has been particularly strong this season, without allowing a bag all year round. He is the son of a mother of musician and father of fashion videographers from the New York suburb of Westchester County, who hosted Shabbat gatherings for family and friends.

He attended Hobart College, reaching the school of approximately 2,400 students in New York State. At Division III level, which means that colleges do not award sports scholarships and their players almost never get the benefits, Marpet grew to over 300 kg and combined his athletic ability and strong work ethic to become a bona fide NFL prospect. The Bucs selected him in the second round of the 2015 NFL plan.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers attacking goalkeeper Ali Marpet (74) walks on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, December 20, 2020, in Atlanta. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 31-27. (Photo by AP / Danny Karnik)

Marpet, a Birthright Israel graduate, has enjoyed a career that stands out, winning a five-year, $ 54 million contract a few years ago, with half the money guaranteed.

“There were a lot of things on the road that had to be aligned almost perfectly to get to where I am,” Marpet told the New York Post. “It simply came to our notice then. It was a collection of moments. Will I go to Hobart instead of trying to walk to DI AA school or maybe go to another D-III school that did not take football so seriously [as Hobart]. There were so many ways in which it could be done. “

His father, Bill, said his son was avoiding the limelight.

“He does not read any of the things that were written about him,” Senior Marpet told the Post. “He does exactly what he does.”

If Marpet’s Bucs prevails, it would be the second Super Bowl for the Glazer family to own the team. Tampa won the franchise’s only NFL crown in 2003.

Malcolm Glazer, a Jewish billionaire businessman, bought the team in 1995 for $ 192 million, a league record at the time. It’s worth about $ 2 billion now.

Glazer died in 2014 and his children have retained ownership and run the business – quite well, it seems, bringing Brady from his stellar career to the New England Patriots along with a number of talented veterans and young players.

Food, family and faith

The Jewish NFL football players and brothers Geoff (l) and Mitchell (r) Schwartz present to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu football shirts with their nickname, in his office in Jerusalem, on February 19, 2018.)

The leaders also have a huge Jewish line. Mitchell Schwartz, 31, is playing in his ninth season. But unlike Marpet, he does not protect the quarterback superstar on Sunday.

The Pro Bowler has been sidelined with a back injury since October and will likely be out of the Super Bowl LV as the leaders aim to retain the title they won last season with a 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Southern California native is not ashamed to express his Judaism. Schwartz and his brother Geoff, who was also an attacking lineman in the NFL, wrote a book in 2016 about football and their growing lives entitled “Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family and Faith “. They were the first Jewish brothers to play professional football by Ralph and Arnold Horween in 1923.

The brothers attended a conservative church in their native West Los Angeles. In fact, Schwartz did not start playing football until the ninth grade, in part because his parents – Olivia Goodkin, a lawyer, and Lee Schwartz, a business consultant – did not want the game to interfere with the preparation of the bar mitzvah.

“I started to worry about getting injured – but then I realized it was the other players I should worry about,” Goodkin said in the book, as the boys were over 6 feet (1.83 meters) by then. “It was like trucks hitting small cars. And I began to feel that maybe that was their destiny. “

The brothers also visited Israel on a public relations tour hosted by a pro-Israel team in 2018 as part of an NFL player delegation. Their journey included several stops in settlements in the West Bank. The group also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and presented him with T-shirts.

Speaking of his sons playing professional football, Dad told them in the Hebrew magazine in 2012, before Mitchell wrote, “I’m just surprised.”

Marc Brodsky contributed to this report.

Comments are closed.