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The life and impact of Marty Glickman

Before Bob Costas, Marv Albert, and Al Michaels there was Marty Glickman.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

Before Bob Costas, Marv Albert, and Al Michaels there was Marty Glickman.

The Olympics and politics seem to go hand in hand. Today, the subject of conversation is Russia’s anti-gay propaganda and whether or not the U.S. should boycott the winter games. Back in 1936 it was the Berlin Games. 18-year-old Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, the only two Jewish members of the U.S. team, were pulled from their event the day before they were scheduled to compete.

While some may have taken that as a sign to leave sports forever, Glickman went on to become an all-American football player at Syracuse University and a legendary sportscaster. “If you grew up as any kind of sports fan in the later part of the 20th century he was part of the soundtrack of your life,” James Freedman, the filmmaker behind the new HBO Documentary Glickman, said on Wednesday’s show. “What some people don’t know about Marty is he revolutionized basketball radio play-by-play.”

The term swish along with other popular terms used today by broadcasters were first invented by Glickman. He allowed the listener to feel as though they were watching the game. “There’s a sequence in the film where I actually cut Marty Glickman, Marv Albert, and Mike Breen all doing Knick games 20 years apart in Madison Square Garden to make it sound like one play,” Freedman said. “It’s absolutely thrilling.”

Glickman will air Monday at 9pm et on HBO.