Jews In Sports: Exhibit Page @ Virtual Museum

Harold U. Ribalow and Meir Z. Ribalow
Page 235 of 457

Jews In American Sports

Benny Friedman

Michigan Marvel


Even now, decades after he ran wild on the football fields of the Midwest, Michigan University's Benny Friedman is remembered as the "perfect quarterback," the man who never made a mistake on the gridiron as he led his team to brilliant conference victories in the Big Ten. Benny Friedman, one of the greatest Jewish football players in history, was a football immortal. It takes only a cursory glance at the yellowed newspapers of his era to prove that Benny was one of the top stars of all time.

In his time football was first becoming a national mania. Most fans probably think that football has an old and hoary tradition, something like baseball, which celebrated its 100th year in 1939. But the rah-rah of football, its huge 80,000-seat stadiums and its big business, aspects are a comparatively recent phenomenon. And in the blaze of football glory of those days, Benny Friedman was an honored figure.

Benny played football under the great coach Fielding "Hurry Up" Yost, who always used to say that Friedman was a man who never made a mistake on the field. This was a rare tribute, for Yost led some of the best teams in gridiron annals and it is generally agreed that Benny Friedman was his finest player.

This is no idle compliment, for Friedman starred in the