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GLICKMAN: The Pioneer of Modern Sports Broadcasting

On this Jets and Giants weekend what better time to explore the life and times of sportscaster Marty Glickman, a man who was the voice of both teams at times in his career.  On August 26th (9:00p.m.)  GLICKMAN will premiere on HBO….a network he helped start in the 70’s.

Most who read this article will remember Marty as a Jets announcer, some as the radio voice of the New York Giants when there was no television coverage of the team, and others as the voice of the New York Knicks.  I am of the Jim Gordan era, but Marty’s distinctive voice and style can be heard in most announcers that followed him in the profession.

Marty was the original Jock turned broadcaster.  He was a gifted sprinter who was chosen for the 1936 Berlin Olymics, but never competed due to his Jewish heritage.  Marty coined many of the phrases used today, especially in the game of basketball.  He was the first to use the terms lane, elbow, circle, and of course “SWISH”.  It was said he was “Television on Radio”

Marty also was the first voice ever heard on the ALL SPORTS NETWORK of HBO.  Yes folks, HBO was the original ESPN, the brainchild of Charles Dolan, father of now NY villain James Dolan.  Marty was also the first to realize the potential of broadcasting golf and tennis on weekdays and nights, and not just the finals on the weekend that the networks covered in those days and still do to a large degree today.

GLICKMAN captures the nobility and excitement of Marty himself: Inventive, accessible and veracious. A New York staple who ignited sports and taught America the only way to experience games. (Martin Scorcese)

This a must watch for sports fans, history buffs, and broadcast students.  GLICKMAN is the first documentary from writer, producer, and director James L. Freedman, who produced Glickman’s late-night sports program on New York radio as a high school senior.  As you watch this documentary you will see that James wasn’t the only young man Marty helped in his lifetime.  He gave freely of his talents and time to the youth of America even though he was robbed of some of his greatest moments as a young man.

Mike Breen, Bob Costas, Marv Albert (and the Albert brothers) and many others all owe their career and success to this man, and after viewing this show, you will understand the mark this man made on their profession.



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