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Glickman Documentary Pays Tribute to Sprinter, Broadcaster

Glickman The Film
A movie poster for Glickman. Photo courtesy of
Glickman, a documentary film that looks at the life and legacy of Marty Glickman, a towering figure in the world of both Olympic track and field and sportscasting, premiered on HBO on Monday, August 26.

James L. Freedman wrote, produced and directed the movie, his first documentary. Famed director Martin Scorsese served as the film's executive producer. 

The documentary is "a labor of love" for Freedman, who got his start in media because of Glickman. According to the film's web site, Freedman -- while still in high school -- produced Marty Glickman’s late night radio program, one of the first all sports call-in shows in the country, on WNEW in New York.

The story of Glickman's life and career, both on the field and in the broadcast booth, is remarkable.

A track star in high school and at Syracuse University, Glickman was part of the U.S. 4X100 meter relay team sent to Germany to compete in the 1936 Olympic Summer Games.

The day before the race, coaches replaced Glickman and teammate Sam Stoller, the only two Jews on the U.S. Olympic team, on the relay squad with runners Ralph Metcalfe and Jesse Owens. Owen's protested the move and urged his coaches to allow Glickman and Stoller to run.

The removal of the Jewish sprinters was seen by many as a clear showing of antisemitism and a move designed by American Olympic Committee chair Avery Brundage, a Nazi sympathizer, to appease Hitler.

Ironically, both Owens and Metcalfe were African-Americans, also members of "inferior races," according to the Nazis. Led by Owens, the American sprinters set a world record and won gold in the relay. The Germans finished fourth. 

Glickman passes the baton to Jesse Owens during a relay race. Photo courtesy of
The relay victory earned Owens his fourth gold medal in the Olympic Games. Owens' achievement catapulted him to international fame, though it didn't earn him racial respect at home. Owens' record stood until 1984, when Carl Lewis matched the feat in the Los Angeles Olympics.

Spurned in Berlin, Glickman returned to Syracuse University, where he starred in football and basketball. His prowess on the playing field led a local station to offer Glickman his first radio job, which paid $15 a broadcast. 

After college Glickman worked in radio in New York City before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1943. Following action in the Pacific Theater during WWII, Glickman returned to New York and started his broadcasting career in earnest.

During a career that would span more than 50 years, Glickman covered almost every sport that could be broadcast.

Glickman provided radio play-by-play for Knicks games and served as the first television announcer for the NBA. In describing basketball for radio listeners, Glickman created the language used by players, fans and broadcasters throughout the world today. He invented terms like "lane," "key" and "Swish!" 

"Marty Glickman wasn't the first man to do basketball on radio, but he was the first to establish the precise geometry of the court, using a language and terminology that survives more than half a century later." writes Dennis D'Agostino in a rememberance of Glickman on

"I strove to create a word picture that the listener could see in the mind's eye," Glickman wrote in his autobiography, The Fastest Kid on the Block: The Marty Glickman Story. "Not only see it, but feel it as well -- the excitement, the colors, the tension, the enthusiasm of the winner and the despair of the loser."

Glickman broadcasting a Giants football game
Glickman broadcasts a Giants football game. Photo courtesy of Getty Images,
In addition to covering basketball, Glickman provided radio and television play-by-play and broadcast pre- and post-game shows for the New York (football) Giants, New York Jets, New York Rangers, New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers.

He also narrated sports news reels for Paramount films, announced horse races at Yonkers Raceway, and covered tennis matches for HBO Sports.

As busy as he was on-air, Glickman made time to teach and mentor a generation of sports broadcasters, including luminaries like Marv Albert (also Jewish), Bob Costas, Dick Engberg and Dick Stockton.

Albert, who is interviewed in the documentary, once described Glickman as "the greatest radio broadcaster of all time," according to Investor's Business Daily.

Glickman's professional accolades lend credence to Albert's statement. Glickman is a member of the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Hall of Fame, winner of the Curt Gowdy Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and a member of the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Yet, in spite of his success, Glickman faced discrimination in his professional career. According to the HBO web site, when the NBA signed a national TV deal, Glickman was passed over for a broadcaster with a "more Midwestern voice." Whether this decision was made by an executive who didn't like Glickman's New York accent, or subtle antisemitism on the part of the TV networks is open for debate.

Freedman tells Glickman's story in a 75-minute documentary combining archival photos and footage with modern interviews. There is, for obvious reasons, a focus on Glickman's releigion.

"People ask if I set out to make a Jewish film," Freedman said in an email to "My answer is not at all. The heart of the film explores what happens when an 18-year-old's dreams are crushed by racism and prejudice. Do they become bitter?  Or do they triumph in life as Marty did? Marty happened to be Jewish -- but I feel the story is universal."

In a posting on IndieWire, reviewer Kevin Jagernauth describes the film this way:

"Freedman ... does an admirable job of capturing the broadcaster, even if the structure is a little old fashioned, moving as it does between vintage footage (which has been smartly assembled) and talking heads. He veers toward hyperbole from time to time ... but what he gets right is conveying the spirit of Glickman, the excitement of his work (even if you don’t know your three-point shot from a touchdown, it’s infectious) and the aura of someone who became a legend by not being as manipulative, cheap, mean, blindly ambitious or coldly cruel as so many others around him were. Marty Glickman was simply being the best Marty Glickman he could be. For many he wasn’t just the best Marty Glickman he was simply: the best."

A preview for Glickman is available by clicking on the video window below. 


Collectors have access to a wide array of memorabilia associated with the famed Jewish sportscaster, but little associated with the film itself.

Glickman radio ad ebay
A WOR Radio ad for Jets games featuring Marty Glickman. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Glickman memorabilia on eBay at the time of this posting include photos, a 1937 Syracuse University yearbook, ads for Glickman's radio shows, and copies of his book.

Glickman played football and basketball at Syracuse, and enjoyed brief professional careers in both sports. Patient collectors may be able to find vintage sports memorabilia associated with Glickman's college career on eBay.

While not specific to Glickman, eBay offers a wide array of collectibles and memorabilia associated with the 1936 Olympics.

Glickman is featured on 2012 Sportskings Series E one-of-a-kind cards. These include a Top 50 Broadcasters cut autographs card and a redemption sketch card, according to

These cards are not available for purchase in the Beckett Marketplace, eBay or Amazon, at the time of this posting. As one-of-a-kind cards they are extremely rare and would likely be expensive to buy, if they ever come up for sale.

Fastest Kid on the Block Marty Glickman
The Fastest Kid on the Block, Glickman's autobiography. Photo courtesy of
Among the books about Glickman on are his autobiography, The Fastest Kid on the Block. Others include Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's OlympicsGhost Runners (an historical fiction novel inspired by Glickman and Stoller's experience), Great Jews In Sports and the Encyclopedia of Jews in Sports.

Also, while not specifically about Glickman, Jack Kerouac described Glickman as "absolutely the greatest announcer I ever heard" in On The Road.

Memorabilia associated with Glickman the documentary is scant, however. "There is no merchandise or memorabilia associated with the film," Freedman tells "That is not why I made it. It was a true labor of love having worked for Marty producing his radio show when I was 17."

Before its HBO broadcast debut, numerous film festivals, including the February 2013 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, screened Glickman. The Newhouse Sports Media Center at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications hosted a New York City premiere on August 24 that featured a roundtable discussion, “Memories of Marty,” featuring Costas, Albert and Freedman. Dedicated collectors may be able to find tickets, programs or advertisements for these festivals and events.

And, social media enthusiasts can collect tweet and postings about Glickman on Twitter and Facebook. The film's Twitter feed is particularly interesting.


Have you seen Glickman? What did you think about the documentary? Did you ever have the chance to meet Marty Glickman? What Glickman memorabilia do you have in your Jewish sports collection?

Let readers know by commenting below.

Sports Illustrated Cover Jews

Updated April 4, 2013

Jewish sports collectors who want to build a library of Sports Illustrated issues with MOTs on the cover have more than two dozen items on their shelves.

Below is a (hopefully!) complete list of Jews on SI covers. Please note, this list includes athletes like David Beckham and Pete Sampras, who have Jewish heritage but may not themselves be practicing Jews. 



 Koufax SI Cover

Ron Blomberg
July 2, 1973

Ryan Braun
August 29, 2011
March 31, 2008

Sandy Koufax
March 4, 1963
April 13, 1964
December 20, 1965
May 15, 1967
July 12, 1999
October 9, 2006

Al Rosen

April 18, 1955



Duke cover
Art Heyman

October 28, 1963

Ernie Grunfeld
February 9, 1976

Jon Scheyer
April 12, 2010

Jamila Wideman
March 17, 1997



Art Modell SI Cover
Lyle Alzado

July 8, 1991

Jay Fiedler
October 1, 2001

Robert Kraft
February 6, 2012

Art Modell
December 4, 1995 



Matthieu Schneider
June 14, 1993



David Beckham
July 16, 2007



Boris Becker
September 18, 1989

Pete Sampras
July 11, 1994
July 14, 1997
September 17, 1990


Olympic Sports

Mark Spitz 1972 SI Cover
Sarah Hughes

March 4, 2002

Aly Raisman
July 23, 2012

Mark Spitz
July 22, 1968
September 4, 1972

Suzy Weiner (with Mark Spitz)
May 14, 1973



Howard Cosell SI Cover
Charles Goren
Oct. 14, 1957
May 23, 1960

Bob and Bus Mosbacher (sailing)
May 18, 1959

Toots Shor (restaurateur)
July 27, 1959

Howard Cosell (sportscaster)
August 8, 1983

Bar Refeali (swimsuit model)
February 11, 2009


Did I miss any Jewish SI cover figures ? Disagree with any of the listings? Let know by commenting below.
Visit Sports Illustrated's Classic Cover Collection if you're interested in buying photo reproductions of any of the above Sports Illustrated covers. eBay and are a good source for purchasing hard copies of SI back issues.

Zach Boren Attending NFL Combine, Appearing At Cleveland Auto Show

Zach Boren photo
Zach Boren autographed photo.
Courtesy of
At least one Jewish collegiate football player -- Zach Boren, the fullback/linebacker from The Ohio State University Buckeyes -- will be attending the February 23-26 NFL Scouting Combine, after which he's schedule to sign autographs at the Cleveland Auto Show.

A tenacious blocker and stalwart defender, who was key in helping the Buckeyes to an undefeated season in 2012, Boren is the younger brother of Justin Boren -- a former Michigan transfer and OSU player.

An offensive lineman, Justin went undrafted in 2011 and has been signed by the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos, but has seen no game action.

Zach and Justin's father is former Michigan linebacker Mike Boren.

While their names have been absent from recent Jewish Sports Review football lists, the Boren family is Jewish, according to this article from and Zack's Wikipedia page.

I met Zach during a December 16, 2012  appearance and autograph signing at Giant Eagle (a large chain of Midwest grocery stores) in Zach's hometown of Pickerington, Ohio. It was there that I obtained  the above signed photo of him standing over Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, who Boren blasted on a sack during the 2012 OSU/Michigan game.

During our brief conversation, I told Boren about and asked him if I could feature him on the web site.

Zack said that while he didn't actively practice Judaism, “being on the website would make my elders proud.”

Jewish football enthusiasts have the opportunity to add numerous Boren photos to their collections.

Zach Boren Running Dispatch
Zach Boren running. Photo courtesy of Columbus Dispatch.
The Columbus Dispatch Photo Store offers a wide variety of images featuring Boren available for purchase. These include offense and defensive action shots, like the iconic image of Boren standing over Michigan quarterback Gardner from “The Game”), as well as more casual sideline shots of Boren with teammates.

Boren has been a regular on the signing circuit this winter in Central Ohio. He's done public signings at a variety of sports memorabilia stores, including Sports Possessions, and shows. For a complete list of Boren's past and future appearances, visit or

Boren is scheduled to appear at the Cleveland Auto Show after the Combine on Tuesday, February 26 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Autographs at the show are limited to one per person and are not guaranteed.

Zach Boren signing photo
Zach Boren autographs a picture in December 2012. Photo courtesy

Collectors who have the chance to meet Boren will likely come away from the experience pleased.

Boren was pleasant during our brief meeting at Giant Eagle in December. He took photos and chatted with fans throughout the time I observed him.

The same was true when I had occasion to meet Zach and Justin at a charitable function in 2009. The Boren Brothers each graciously signed OSU pocket schedules for me at that time.

Justin and Zach Boren signed OSU Football schedules. Photo courtesy of
Justin (l) and Zach Boren (r) signed OSU Football pocket schedules.
Photo courtesy of
Zach's 2012 autograph looks very similar to his 2009 signature.

Beyond the photos of Boren from the Columbus Dispatch, I know of no other collectibles for the versatile Buckeye .

Other items, including team programs, yearbooks, magazines, etc., must certainly exist.

A search of the OSU Official Online Store for Boren items yielded no results. The online shop does, however, offer collectors the ability to purchase a memorabilia suitable for getting autographed by Boren and other players, including a variety of 2012 undefeated season items.

If Boren performs well at the combine and sees action in the NFL -- where he'd join fellow Buckeye and Jewish football player Nate Ebner of the New England Patriots -- he'll likely be the subject of future football cards.

In the meantime, fans can follow Boren on Twitter

Do any readers have any Boren memorabilia in their collections? Let JSC know by commenting below.

NFL Update: Patriots Nate Ebner is Jewish

Nate Ebner Pats Photo
Nate Ebner PhotoFile image.
Photo courtesy of eBay.
Nate Ebner, the New England Patriots defensive back, has confirmed to via Twitter that he is Jewish.
A comment I received in response to the 2012-2013 Football Preview indicated that Nate's late father, Jeff Ebner, was Jewish. That started me digging.

I learned that Jeff Ebner, was beaten to death in 2008 during a robbery at the scrap metal dealership he owned in Springfield, Ohio, according to WDTN-TV in Dayton.

Jeff Ebner was, according to his obituary in the Springfield News-Sun, a "former member of Temple Shalom where he was the former Sunday School principal." 

So, while Nate Ebner's father was Jewish, which alone is enough for me to include him here (let the arguments begin!), I didn't know for certain if Nate was raised Jewish, practices, or self-identifies as Jewish.

Ebner was never included in the list of Jewish collegiate football players published in Jewish Sports Review, for example.

Asking Ebner seemed to be a good way to solve the problem, so I reached out to him on Twitter.

Nate Ebner Tweet
Nate Ebner Twitter exchange.
Photo courtesy of
140 characters is certainly limiting, so my introduction and question to Ebner were short.

"I publish a blog about Jewish athletes and sports memorabilia. Safe to include you? Thanks!"

Ebner's response, was equally short, but informative, to a degree.

"Go for it!"

While Ebner's tweet doesn't fully answer all of my questions, his response certainly indicates that he publicly self-identifies as Jewish.


As a late round draft pick and a rookie with fewer than a half-dozen games under his belt, as of this posting, Ebner's collectibles are limited. lists no cards, yet, for the former Ohio State Buckeyes walk-on football player and internationally acclaimed rugby player.

Nate Ebner OSU Photo
Nate Ebner signed photo.
Photo courtesy of eBay.

OSUphotos is selling a photo of the Buckeyes taking the field, autographed by Ebner and inscribed "Go Bucks!" for $8.95 on eBay.

A 2012 OSU team signed helmet, which includes Ebner's autograph, is available on eBay

There are also several PhotoFile images, including the one at the top of this posting, of Ebner playing for the Pats up for bid.

Ebner had been scheduled to do a public signing a a Columbus card show in February, according to, but it was cancelled.

Nate Ebner Ohio State
Nate Ebner at OSU.
Photo by Jim Davidson,
courtesy of
No past signings with Ebner are listed on, and I found no Ebner memorabilia for sale at Cardboard Heroes, an Ohio memorabilia shop that offers autograph signings regularly with OSU athletes.

The OSU Memorabilia Store and the Ohio State Athletics Official Online Auctions site offers no Ebner collectibles, as of this posting.

Jewish football collectors can, however, find numerous photos of Ebner available for purchase on the Columbus Dispatch's OSU Photo Store. These images are suitable for autographs and getting framed. Prices vary by photo and size. 

Neither the Patriots online shop or offer any Ebner memorabilia, as of this posting, but both are logical places to look for his items in the future. 

Nate Ebner Rugby Magazine
Nate Ebner, Rugby Magazine. Photo courtesy of 

The Ohio State Rugby web site boasts a photo of Ebner on the cover of Rugby Magazine's Spring 2011 issue.

I could find no copies of it available for sale on eBay or, and doesn't appear to sell back issues.

Certainly other rugby memorabilia associated with Ebner -- a two-time IRB Junior World Championship MVP -- must exist. I could find none on, however. 


Do you know of any additional Nate Ebners collectibles? Any rugby memorabilia? Do you have any Ebner memorabilia in your Jewish football collection?

Let readers know by commenting below.

Ed Sabol, Founder of NFL Films

Ed Sabol Goal Line Art Card
Goal Line Art Card of Ed Sabol, 2011 Hall of Fame inductee, founder of NFL Films. Photo courtesy of eBay.

With the death on Tuesday, September 18 of Steve Sabol (read's remembrance of Steve Sabol here), I thought it an appropriate time to examine the collectibles of Steve's father, Ed Sabol.

The 96-year-old founder of NFL Films, 2011 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame has a wide variety of memorabilia available to Jewish football collectors.

Ed Sabol's football cards include a Goal Line Art Card (photo right), produced for each Football Hall of Famer as well as a Class of 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame special issue card set, produced by Panini, part of an eight-card set given away at the Hall of Fame on Induction Day.

Collectors can purchase the complete, unsigned 2011 Induction Class Goal Line Art Card set from the Football Hall of Fame's web store for $27.99.

Sabol's individual Goal Line Art card can be found on eBay for $10 for unsigned cards, with autographed cards selling for between $75-$100. sellers are offering authenticated and autographed Ed Sabol Goal Line Art Cards for $90-$165.

Ed Sabol Induction Card
Ed Sabol Hall of Fame card. Photo courtesy
of eBay.

The elder Sabol is also featured on a 2011 Panini Timeless Treasures card (#10), with a sticker, standard card and autographed card varieties available, according to

The limited edition Induction Day giveaway Panini cards sell for $1-$20 on eBay.

The unsigned Timeless Treasure sticker is available on for $0.39 and from the Panini sticker and standard card can be found in the Beckett Marketplace for $0.25-$2.10.

Ed Sabol HOF Football
Ed Sabol HOF signed football.
Photo courtesy of

The Football Hall of Fame web store offers a variety of Sabol memorabilia for purchase, including individual and Induction Class items. These include several Ed Sabol photos and plaques, single signed and group autographed footballs, an Induction pin and yearbook.

Ed Sabol Mini Helmet
Ed Sabol signed HOF mini helmet.Photo courtesy
A variety of mini helmets, bearing the NFL and Hall of Fame logos, autographed by Ed Sabol are available on eBay and

My personal favorite, however, is more specialized mini helmet.

Ed Sabol graduated from The Ohio State University, where he was a varsity swimmer. According to Wikipedia, Sabol qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, but refused to participate because the Games were being hosted by Nazi Germany.

In 2011, OSU's Wexner Center for the Arts honored Sabol before his Hall of Fame induction by screening a series of classic NFL Films.

An eBay seller with a deep appreciation of history is offering an OSU mini helmet signed by Sabol for $159.99.

Ed Sabol Signed Induction Photo
Signed Ed Sabol HOF induction photo.
Photo courtesy of eBay.

A wide variety of other memorabilia is available on eBay. These include autographed and unsigned photos of Ed, and Ed with Steve Sabol, first day covers and cachets signed by Ed, autographed footballs and index cards, and Induction Day programs and ephemera. As always, buyer beware.

On, Jewish football collectors can also find a photo of Steve and Ed Sabol, signed by both men (certified by PSA/DNA), along with signed photos of Ed

Less personal Sabol collectibles include the thousands of NFL Films videos available on VHS tape and DVD. Nearly all of the films in the Football Hall of Fame's video store are NFL Films products. lists more than 2,000 NFL Films titles and eBay offers nearly 900.

What Ed Sabol memorabilia do you have in your Jewish football collection? Have you had the chance to meet the NFL Films founder? Share your thoughts with other readers by commenting below.