This Jewish Sporting Life
For the 50th-year reunion of the Senn High School class of 1955, each of us was asked to submit a few words about his life since graduation. Here are some of mine: “For 30 years I taught in the English Department at Northwestern University, and remain attached to the football coaching staff there, working exclusively with Jewish wide receivers, which leaves me lots of free time for my writing.”
I’m not sure everyone got the joke, but joke of course it is, since, in the history of football there has probably never been a Jewish wide receiver. Wide receivers, especially in professional football, tend to be tall, slender, wiry black men. When catching passes either at the sidelines or especially in the middle of the field, they take a terrific beating. Jewish wide receivers are as rare as Jewish coal miners or, to return to football to complete my simile, as Jews in the front four.
About the Author
Joseph Epstein, a frequent contributor to Commentary, is the author, most recently, of Essays in Biography.