Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Most Influential Sportscasting Book

With last week's passing of longtime writer and columnist Stan Isaacs, I was once again reminded of the book that has formed my broadcast philosophy.  More than a book, it was a man.  And one of Stan Isaacs lasting legacies is that he helped that man tell his story.

In 1996, sports broadcasting pioneer Marty Glickman told his story with Stan Isaacs in The Fastest Kid on the Block: The Marty Glickman Story.  More than just a broadcaster's how-to manual, the book recapped, among many other fascinating aspects of his life, how Glickman overcame devastating  prejudice at the 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin.

The second half of The Fastest Kid On The Block indeed deals with the nuts-and-bolts, ins-and-outs of sports broadcasting.  In fact, for six years while teaching at Marist College, this book was a required textbook for my Sports Broadcasting students.  My students needed to learn Marty Glickman's story, and how he transitioned from world-class athlete to broadcast pioneer.  We had weekly quizzes on Marty's life and traditional broadcast philosophy.  (Take the look-at-me, attitude-first philosophy of today and reverse it)

I appreciated Marty Glickman each Tuesday in the mid-90's when we sat with him for hours, critiquing demo tapes in hopes of improving.  When Marty talked, you listened.  That tradition lives on today at Fordham's WFUV under the direction of Bob Ahrens.

Last week I was reminded to appreciate the great Stan Isaacs as well, for helping to tell Marty Glickman's story, and countless others.
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