The Almost Chosen One
In the spirit of Passover, I make my McSweeney’s debut today, telling the story of Tamir Goodman, aka the Jewish Jordan. The 6’3” Hassidic guard exploded into our collective basketball consciousness and then immediately imploded, and it was all kind of my fault.
I’d considered axing the part about my brief but intense infatuation with Sam Jacobson, given its relative lack of relevance to the rest of the story, but I think it speaks to the Jewish fandom experience. Some of my non-Jewish friends couldn’t fathom that I went from total adulation to complete disregard for the man the moment I heard he was not a member of the tribe. Conversely, I couldn’t understand how they could be remotely bewildered by my emotional about-face. It seems completely ingrained in me that as a Jew, I must root for other Jews regardless of their ability or team affiliation. I have never and will never question this directive, and do not seem unique in my adherence to it either.
This phenomenon appears to be only universally true in the sports world. After all, Jews don’t go to a movie because Spielberg made it, or blindly vote for Bloomberg in New York, or (for the most part) unequivocally support Israel’s policy moves, but I can guarantee that if Shawn Green hits .245 all season, he’ll still get plenty of all star votes from Jews with ballots.