New Yorkers (Part Two: Allie Sherman)

January 15th, 2015 § 0 comments

In 1947, HG was an ineffective halfback on the City College of New York football team (by no means a gridiron powerhouse). One of HG’s heroes was the then quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, Allie Sherman. At the time, HG was five foot nine and weighed 165 pounds (Since then, HG has shrunk two inches in height and dramatically expanded around the middle). Sherman was five feet ten and weighed 168 pounds. So, in 1947, HG and Sherman were both about the same size. Both were Jewish, born of Russian immigrants. Sherman had played college football at Brooklyn College (also not a powerhouse but better than CCNY). That’s where all the comparisons ended. Sherman was a very effective short passer (couldn’t throw the long ball) and a superior strategist. He went on to become the coach of the New York Giants and lead them to three NFL titles. He hired Em Tunnell and Rosey Brown as assistant coaches—the first African-American coaches in the NFL. Sherman had a sophisticated understanding of professional sports and was prescient about the importance of television and the value of pay-per-view events. After coaching, he had a successful career in sports administration (marketing and overseeing the New York Cosmos Soccer team) and television. Later, he totally revamped New York’s OTB–Off Track Betting, and made it a financial success. Sherman died last week, age 91. The tradition of five foot ten inch Jewish pro football players continues with Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots. Edelman, a very muscular 200 pounds, is the son of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother. He was raised as a Christian but recently told the NFL Network TV Show that he considers himself Jewish. His Jewishness may be ambiguous but not his ability (unlike Sherman’s) to throw a long pass. He proved that with a long touchdown throw in the playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. Mazel Tov (good luck) against the Colts, Julian.

Y.A. Tittle, Allie Sherman

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