Edelman, 32, is also the most overtly Jewish NFL player, having come to terms with that aspect of his background over time. He was reared in the faith despite having a Jewish father, and he usually directed queries about his religion to the Patriots' front office. But when asked recently if he's considered himself Jewish, Edelman said yes.
His mother, Louise, is Catholic, and his father, Edward "Eddie" Joseph Edelman, was a police officer who played football at Boston College. When he was drafted by the New York Giants in 1986, many thought he would become one of the first Jewish players in the NFL. Instead, he lasted only two seasons before being killed in the line of duty after punching a suspect during an arrest attempt.
After his death, Edelman's parents converted to Judaism and began taking him to services with them. It's something they've done regularly since he was a child, even though he was always told that he could stop going if he wanted to. But he never did.
He started calling himself "a product of my environment," which some took to mean that he was accepting himself as Jewish even though he wasn't raised that way. But others saw it differently, saying that he just didn't feel like he had a choice in the matter once his parents made the decision for him.
The Brady-to-Edelman link has been a key component of the Patriots' recent supremacy, and the combination has won two Super Bowls together. He was raised by secular parents in Massachusetts and explained that he just "didn't know" about being Jewish until later in life. Before meeting Brady, he played for the University of Massachusetts Amherst Minutemen football team from 2000 to 2004 and was part of two Atlantic 10 Conference championship games.
Brady, 39, is one of the best quarterbacks of all time and has won three NFL MVP awards. He is also an active member of Chabad House at Harvard University, where he attends services and lectures every week.
Other than Brady and Edelman, no other player is Jewish. The majority of the Patriots consist of Christian Americans who follow Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. Edelman is the only Jew among the top five players at any position, including quarterback, according to espn.com.
In addition to Brady and Edelman, four other players are Catholic: center and guard Nick Kaczur and tackles Dan Koppen and Brian Waters.
Kaczur is the only player who isn't American.
Adolph Schayes distinguished out among the league's Jewish players. The Bronx native, the son of Romanian immigrants, was possibly the most renowned professional Jewish athlete to ever play his sport, comparable to Sandy Koukax and Hank Greenberg in baseball. He was also one of the best basketball players of all time.
Schayes started playing basketball in high school, when he came to America. He went on to have a very successful career as a center for the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. During his ten-year NBA career, Schayes won two championships with the Knicks in 1949 and 1950. He also won an Olympic gold medal with the American team in 1952. After his retirement from basketball, Schayes became one of the first prominent executives of the newly formed American Basketball Association. He died at the age of 57 in 1993.
According to research conducted by the JTA, Schayes is now considered the most famous Jewish athlete of all time. Other notable Jews who played basketball in the NBA include Jerry Siegel (creator of Superman), Sidney Wicks (former head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks), and Darryl Dawkins (sixth man of the 1976 US Olympic Team).
After graduating from high school, Schayes went on to study business administration at Brooklyn College. However, he dropped out of college after one year to focus on his basketball career.
A photo gallery of renowned Jewish football players A surprising number of Jews are well-known football players. These Jewish players are an encouragement to every Jew and athlete out there, whether you like American football or just admire exceptional athletics in general.
The first American football game was played in 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton. It is now known as the Game of the Century because it was so controversial at the time. The game was not decided until late in the fourth quarter with Princeton winning 7-6.
There have been over 100 Jewish athletes who have played in the NFL including eight future or current Hall of Fame members. Here are they all ranked from best to worst:
1. Joe Bernstein - quarterback - New York Giants
Joe Bernstein was a high school star in Brooklyn before joining the United States Army after World War I. There he met and played with Paul "Red" Brown, who encouraged him to go to college on the G.I. Bill. At that time, there were no professional teams in America so Red recommended that he try out for the NYU Violets. He started three games for them in 1920 before getting drafted by the Chicago Bears but he never played for them due to a contract dispute. Instead, he went back to college where he finished his degree before becoming the Giants' starting quarterback in 1922.
When he was with the New York Giants, Bjorn Arne Nittmo (born in Lomma, Sweden) became the league's first Swedish-born player. Nittmo attended Appalachian State University and played football there. Charles Michael Romes (born in Verdun, France) was a cornerback with the Buffalo Bills and the San Diego Chargers in the National Football League. He attended Le Moyne College and played for the Bills and the Chargers.
Bjorn Arne Nittmo was born on January 4th, 1944 in Lomma, Sweden. He went to school in Uleåborg and then moved to America when he was 18 years old. He played eight seasons for the New York Giants from 1967 to 1974. During that time, they won two championships: 1969 and 1970. After his career with the Giants, he went back to Sweden where he coached football and bandy (field hockey) at the junior level. He died of cancer on August 30th, 2004 in Lund, Sweden.
Nittmo was inducted into the New York Giants Hall of Fame in 1978. The following year, the team's organization decided to honor him by naming one of their minor league teams after him: the Iowa Barnstormers. The team still plays in the North American League but now they are based in Des Moines, Iowa instead of New York City.
Charles Michael Romes was born on October 21st, 1945 in Verdun, France.
Tom Brady is widely regarded as not just one of the most renowned players in Patriots history, but also as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Randy Moss, Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Rodney Harrison, and Richard Seymour are all regarded the best players in Patriots history, and they all played for the team during Belichick's tenure.
In 2007, before he was named coach, it was revealed that Bill Belichick has been giving out awards to players after each game explaining why they should get them. On this list, we'll see who he thought was the best player in Patriots history.
Brady, who played for New England from 2000 to 2015, has three championships and is a two-time Super Bowl MVP. He has a 125–33 record as a starter and a 69–17 record with four playoff appearances under his belt. In addition to being one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, he is also credited with developing several young receivers such as Moss and Welker while playing in multiple offensive systems.
Moss led the NFL in receiving yards twice and scored 15 touchdowns over eight seasons with New England. He finished his career with 16,423 yards and 51 touchdowns.
Brown was an integral part of the Patriots' offense for 12 years starting at wide receiver and then moving back to his original position of corner when Terry Glenn returned from injury. Over those years, he recorded 1,542 receptions for 19,313 yards and 90 touchdowns.