Three-time Super Bowl champion Julian Edelman, the only player who identifies as Jewish to be named the big game’s MVP, was handed a “Late Show” kippah by host Stephen Colbert last week — and cheerfully put it on.
“I wasn’t raised Jewish,” the New England Patriots wide receiver told Colbert. “I kind of went back and tried to see where my heritage and where my family was from — and I discovered Judaism probably at 14, 15. I had to see where my grandfather came from, you know?”
Edelman, who in recent years has worn his Jewish connection publicly and proudly, visiting Israel several times, said, “I learned the stories of the Jews, the adversity they have always had to covercome, the underdogs that they were, and it related to my story, my whole life up until that point and continuing — it connected with me with it, and I like to practice it a little bit now.”
Colbert displayed Edelman’s three Super Bowl rings and asked which was his favorite. “The next one,” Edelman replied.
“A lot of players thank G-d after winning a game,” Colbert said. “You think G-d makes choices of who wins a football game?”
“I don’t know,” Edelman said, to which Colbert added, “He seems to like the Patriots.”
Well, Edelman replied with a smile, “I always fast for Yom Kippur.”
Colbert displayed a photo of a “JE11” kippah from Edelman’s website, which Colbert said is the only item on the site that’s sold out. That’s when he presented Edelman with a “Late Show” kippah made especially for him.
When Edelman put it on, Colbert cheered, “That’s a first.”
See related story: Patriots, with Edelman and Kraft, win Israeli hearts.