Dallas Cowboys Announcer Honors Yom Kippur

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Around here, football is a religion ? at times the only religion that matters. With its own codes and customs, its power to lift and to humble, football ? especially Cowboys football ? can be awe-inspiring or drop one to his knees.

But what happens when real religion butts heads with pigskin piety?

With creative planning involving a single-engine plane and police escort, revered Dallas Cowboys play-by-play announcer Brad Sham will serve two kinds of deities today. He will carry on traditions with two "congregations," fulfilling his obligation to his faith on the holiest of days and to his profession on a big Monday night when doing both hardly seemed plausible, or even possible.

Yes, the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur and Cowboys football can coexist.

By late Monday afternoon, Sham will engage his Temple Emanu-El congregation in North Dallas with the traditional telling of the biblical tale of Jonah and the whale, and by nightfall his familiar voice will take to the airwaves as he arrives at the Cowboys Stadium radio booth just in time for kickoff.

"This will knock me a little bit off my routine, but that?s nothing," Sham said with a chuckle. "Believe me, God is more important than my routine."

The NFL scheduling gods have been kind to Sham over his 30 seasons calling Cowboys games. Remarkably, he?s never missed one due to a religious conflict.

Had the Cowboys played Sunday night as they did last week, Sham, 60, said he would have sat it out. Since Yom Kippur ? a holiday not of celebration, but of observance, contemplation and introspection ? started at sundown Sunday and ends at sundown today, Sham knew he would call tonight?s Cowboys game against the Carolina Panthers.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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