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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bruce Gradkowski Is Raiders Starting QB. But He Isn't a 'Member of the Tribe.'

Posted By on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Moments after the Oakland Raiders tabbed journeyman Bruce Gradkowski their starting quarterback, the tweets and the e-mails started coming.

Even people who despise the Raiders or can't tell a football from a matzo ball were suddenly delighted that the team's new signal caller is a "Member of the Tribe." Let's face it: For Jewish football fans, there are not many coreligionists to cheer for. As far as quarterbacks -- the glamor position of America's favorite sport -- There's Sid Luckman from back in the Pleistocene, Jay Fiedler, Sage Rosenfels (improbably, the two were teammates from 2002-04), and ... anyone?

Not Bruce Gradkowski, it turns out.

We phoned the Raiders' publicity department and were informed that Gradkowski is of Polish and Italian heritage. Calls to his parents -- Bruce, Sr. and Debbie of Pittsburgh, Penn. -- to make sure have not yet been returned.

When it comes to Jewish quarterbacks, Semitic fans who feel the need to root on their brethren will have to pull for Rosenfels. But be forewarned -- not even tristate-area rabbis would want ol' Sage in the game ahead of New York Giants starter Eli Manning.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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