Friday, December 31, 2010

Profile: Lyle Alzado

Alzado died in 1992, but he gave a final interview to Sports Illustrated earlier that year in which he admitted to using steroids since 1969(!) and claimed that 90% of athletes of the time were using.

That baseball owners, media, etc. could then come out in the early aughts and say they didn't know that players were using steroids and could not have known and they're just shocked and blah blah blah is so ludicrous and yet we all just nod along with the music.... We knew, they knew, we all knew. To pretend that we were somehow hoodwinked by those sneaky sneaky players and then damn them for it doesn't act as absolution for our own complicity. Sorry.

In any case, Alzado was suggested by Sheldon from Iowa. That's our second Iowa-based suggestion this week! Craziness...

Jews in the News: RIP Avi Cohen

Avi Cohen, one of Israel's first soccer stars, passed away on December 29 after a car crash. Cohen was the first Israeli to play in England, signing for Liverpool in 1979. He also represented Israel in the 1976 Summer Olympics. Cohen was 54.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Profile: Darren Aronofsky

Aronofsky was suggested by Gabriela from LA, Liora from Brazil, long-term suggestion champ Moishe from La Jolla, and Yakov's friend Barry.

But this profile would not be possible without this article on Jewlicious.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Profile: Osip Mandelstam

So, basically, here we have a verdict dilemma. Mandelstam converted out, but basically did it so he can go to college, and didn't practice Christianity. Usually, when people convert out, "Borderline" is as high as we go -- and for modern conversions, "Barely". But since this can be considered a forced conversion, definitely without any religious undertones, we'll go with "Jew" here. It's our website, after all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Moishe is now Zev

Nothing to be ashamed of, sometimes I go by my maiden name.

Profile: Ryan Kalish

Zev thinks I'm being too hard on Kalish with this one, but I just find the whole concept of "coming out" as a Jew to be so ridiculous....

Anyway, Kalish was suggested by John from New Hampshire, Arnold from Cambridge, and Bob from Iowa. Thanks guys!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Profile: Andre Citroen

Citroen was suggested by Jewgeni from Germany/Russia. Thanks for the suggestion... Jew(?)geni.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Profile: Santa Claus

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas, goyim!

Here we break the un-coveted -1 score for only the second time in JONJ history. The first? Oh boy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Profile: Mel Torme

This profile would not be possible without this excellent compilation at Tablet Magazine.

Torme was suggested by Maurice from Mount Kisco, NY and Bill from North Miami Beach.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Profile: Shyne

The Shyne-y one was suggested by Harry from NY (yes, the same Harry that suggested Jim Palmer. What can we say? He had a good month.), Shelley from NJ, Aaron from Toronto and--believe it or not--my parents.

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Profile: Jacques Joseph

If you start to type in "why do j" into Google, the first suggestion is "why do jews have big noses". Sigh. But then...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Profile: Job

The picture in the profile is from "Job Prays" by Marc Chagall.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Profile: Mikhail Prokhorov

Had no idea Prokhorov was partly Jewish prior to this New York Times article. He was suggested by Alexander from Lakewood, NJ and Shelley from Basking Ridge, NJ.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Profile: Jim Palmer

Yakov doesn't have time to blog about today's profile, so here's Jim Palmer, Hall of Fame Pitcher, for The Money Store:

Palmer was suggested by returning suggester Harry from NY, Chuck from Phoenix, MD, and Alan from California.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Profile: Stefan Zweig

One of the most popular writers in the world in the 1920s and 30s, and he's almost obscure now. Makes you think what will happen to today's authors down the line...

Thanks to multiple-time-returner Mila from Alexandria for the suggestion!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Profile: Judith Light

Sometimes we do a profile of someone from my childhood and I think, wow, if only I had known they were Jewish at the time! That really would have been something!

This is not one of those profiles.

Also, Alyssa Milano: Sadly, Not a Jew.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Settling the Score: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Originally, our profile posed the question, is Julia's mother Jewish? Thanks to reader Michael, we are now pretty sure she is not (see Julia's maternal ancestry here). But that still leaves Julia herself.

There's a supposed cross she's seen wearing (we've never seen it). There's a supposed radio appearance from the 90s when she said she's not Jewish (we've never heard it). Well, "Borderline Jew" makes sense until further proof is found...

Update: thanks to the commenter and this video. So no, she doesn't consider herself Jewish. "Barely a Jew" it is... And a profile re-write. Oh well.

Profile: Ben Affleck

Before you ask: no, Matt Damon is not Jewish either. Not even close. But he did send his daugther to a Jewish preschool... for a short while. So there's that.

Affleck was suggested by Norm from LA.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Profile: Gim Allon

As it is written, so it shall be done: By the time the profile ran (i.e., today), I'm feeling much better, thank you. At least, I was when I wrote the blog post. Which is now for me, but yesterday for you. So by now I may be feeling down again? Hope not.

Man this time traveling is hard. Not sure how Brainiac-5 does it all the time. Since this is a comic book post I guess it's time for me to rant about what DC has done to the Legion, but considering how little energy they've put into this latest reboot ("ah, let's just pretend the last 15 years never happened and hope all the readers come back"), why should I put any more thought into complaining about it?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Profile: Lou Gehrig

This is actually a running joke I have with Mrs. Yakov. We go on long drives on occasion and this is one of the bits we do to pass the time (the other is Yoda calling sports radio to complain about the Mets. Yes, really). Anyway, couldn't resist the opportunity to bring it out of the world of our minds and onto the Intertubes. Good times.

The Iron Horse was suggested by Penny from NYC (hope your hands are growing back nicely) who noted that the Yankees may have actually believed Gehrig was Jewish when they signed him and that, further, Gehrig counted a mezuzah among his many lucky talismans.

Thanks for the suggestion, Penny!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Profile: Al Lewis

There are so many lies and half-truths Lewis had told, it doesn't end with the ones mentioned in the profile. For instance, he said he attended Columbia University... not Oswego State Teachers College.

Lewis was suggested by Juan from Texas and Alexandra from Denver.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Profile: Jack Huston

With our backlog, the profiles that appear on our website are usually written about a month in advance. This one I wrote yesterday... with the Boardwalk Empire finale this Sunday, it was a must.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Profile: Bob Geldof

Geldof was suggested by Amy from Maryland, Deb from Chicago, and Karl from Australia, who writes, "you must be so pleased and thrilled". Well, Karl, not really...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Profile: Mike Greenberg

Greenie has been floating around my head since I started driving to work again about six months ago (before that I was taking the train and listening to podcasts. Bill Simmons FTW!). Anyway, finally got around to writing his profile.

But all plaudits aside, I'd throw it all away for the return of Mike and the Mad Dog. Mike on his own is just...creepy.

Top 10 Profiles: November

1. Kate Middleton (+441)
2. Mel Gibson (+1)
3. Whoopi Goldberg (+17)
4. Adolf Hitler (+1)
5. Jesus Christ (-1)
6. Sandra Bullock (-5)
7. Harrison Ford (+6)
8. Scarlett Johansson (-6)
9. Kevin Bacon (+9)
10. Steve Carell (-2)