Aside from Jewish fans in attendance, the Super Bowl isn’t exactly a “Jewish thing.” Though there’s definitely some kind of Bar Mitzvah metaphor to be made here.
But there were plenty of Jewish elements present surrounding the Super Bowl weekend. Here are a few:
1. Saturday Night Live Digs at the Patriots with a Philly Twist
On Super Bowl Eve, M.O.T. Natalie Portman hosted Saturday Night Live, which included a skit set in 1775 that saw the New England Patriots winning their fifth battle in the war for independence, led by their captain, Thomas Brady. As Portman and her Boston crew boast about their victory at Independence Hall, Beck Bennett rebukes their self-satisfaction. Says he, “I’m sure others would fight just as bravely if given the chance.”
Enter: Representatives from Philadelphia led by fearless leader and Upper Darby native Tina Fey, clad in an Eagles-green colonial outfit adorned by her spot-on accent and a basket of Wawa hoagies.
“Grease up them poles ’cause Philly’s gonna win,” she promises. “Call us the Iggles ’cause we’re ready to fly.”
(“The…Iggles?” answers a bewildered Bennett.)
2. Lifelong Fans Watch Their Team Win
Ninety-nine-year-old Jewish Philadelphian Phil Basser made headlines when he got tickets for the NFC Championship game — after having supported the team since its 1933 inception — and the cameras flashed to him smiling at the Super Bowl as well.
3. The Eagles’ Fearless Leaders
After the slaughter of the Vikings, a video depicting Eagles owner Jeff Lurie dancing like it was his Bar Mitzvah in the locker room quickly made the rounds. Lurie proudly hoisting the Lombardi trophy in the air following the big win prompted the Eagles to tweet a video accompanied by an apt message, “A #VictoryMonday unlike any other.”
Howie Roseman, Eagles vice president, rose to the top (pun certainly intended) this season and is getting his due. “Once stripped of his personnel power and banished to the supply closet, Roseman returned with a vengeance, even more bold than he was before, and he put together the team that won Super Bowl LII,” read a glowing article from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
4. Celebrity Eagles Fans Cheer on the Birds
Pink, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Hart, Miles Teller, the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (because obviously) and many other Philly natives and enthusiasts flew out to Minneapolis to support the Eagles. And there were plenty of Jewish celebs, too. CNN’s Jake Tapper, an Akiba Hebrew Academy alum, tweeted a picture with Rob McElhenney, aka Mac from Sunny, and learned the two grew up around the street from each other.
5. Merrill Reese announcing the W
When Harry Kalas announced the Phillies’ World Series win in 2008, you could hear the joy and pride radiating from his voice. And just like Kalas, Merrill Reese, arguably the voice of the Eagles, announcing the Eagles winning the Super Bowl had the same electric effect. This was personal.