Marty Glickman 1918-2001
Brought Dignity to Sports BroadcastingPublished January 8, 2001 in The Post-Standard.
By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer
Martin "Marty" Glickman died on Wednesday, January 3, 2001 from complications following heart bypass surgery. His long-lasting contribution to running came in the unlikely arena of sports broadcasting, elevating the coverage of track meets to a dignity that eludes modern-day sportscasters.
Glickman ran track in high school, and qualified for the 4x100 meter Olympic relay team at age 18. He remained a competitive sprinter throughout his college career at Syracuse University. Glickman earned a tuition scholarship as an outstanding sprinter and football player. In 1939, Glickman was Prior of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science.
Glickman married his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Dorman, on December 25, 1940. Glickman joined the Marine Corps and rose to the rank of first lieutenant in World War II. The Glickmans raised four children -- Elizabeth, John, David, and Nancy -- who made them proud grandparents and great-grandparents.
In 1937, Glickman launched his 55-year broadcasting career by reporting on football games. By 1940, he was announcing track meets from Madison Square Garden, where he would later announce college and professional basketball games. He was a self-described jock-turned-announcer, a formula that proved successful for future broadcasters.
Glickman covered football for the Giants and Jets, horse races in Yonkers, and bike races from Moscow. He was around when the Newhouse School was founded, when the New York Knickerbockers were formed, and when HBO started broadcasting from Wilkes Barre, PA. ESPN announcers emulated Glickman's style and revered him for his ability to bring life to the second medium.
In recognition of his contributions to the world of sport, Glickman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame, the New York Sports Hall of Fame, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, and the New York Armory Hall of Fame.
Glickman brought credibility to track and field broadcasting. He understood the sport, and respected the athletes. If he had been behind the microphone at the recent Olympic Trials, we would not have heard questions such as, "What is it like to compete against real runners?" or "Aren't you a bit old to compete?" He would have given the audience cogent, well-thought, and pertinent commentary, complete with facts and statistics.
The running community's best tribute to Marty Glickman is to restore the our sport in the eyes of the media, the viewers, and the competitors. Glickman covered track and field and the Millrose Games for more than 40 years on the Hughes Sports Network and the Madison Square Garden Network. The Millrose Games survived the demise of two networks, but little track remains on television. Until the running community commands the respect of the media, the media will not respect our sport. We owe it to ourselves and to our sport to continue Glickman's legacy, and become worthy of broadcasting.
Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created TrackMeets.com, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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