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Monday, September 24, 2012

SOE: Belth: The Glory Days of ‘Jock’

Alex Belth interviews our old pal, Mickey Herskowitz…

vb

The greatest stretch in New York sports came in 1969-70. It started when the upstart Jets won the Super Bowl, continued that fall when the previously hapless Mets won the World Series, and was capped off the following summer when the Knicks won the NBA title.

New York in this brief period has been duly celebrated—especially because the town has not seen a winning streak like it since.  Yet one chronicler of those glory days is but a distant memory, even to devotees of great sports writing.

If Jock magazine is remembered at all, it is for the cover of its first issue that shows a group of Mets players raising the flag on the pitchers’ mound at Shea Stadium, a riff on the famous Iwo Jima picture. It goes for a nice sum on eBay, but there was more to Jock than one cover. While the magazine lasted a mere eight issues, it featured the work of Red Smith, Pete Hamill, Roger Kahn, William F. Buckley and Woody Allen.

Q: You had Jerry Izenberg and Stan Isaacs, who were New York guys. But you also Pete Hamill, Red Smith and Roger Kahn. The fighter Jose Torres. Murray Chass did a story on Neil Simon. Bill Conlin later did a great piece on Dick Allen. How did you recruit all these guys?

A: Just picked up the phone and asked. They liked the idea of the magazine, so I just let them go. Let them pick a topic and write whatever they want.

Repoz Posted: September 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 24, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4244367)
I remember the mag very well, and what I remember most about it was that it was a colossal disappointment, given the talent. Very smart-assy and a bit too clever by half
   2. UCCF Posted: September 24, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4244422)
Very smart-assy and a bit too clever by half

Sounds like it's ripe for an Internet comeback.
   3. gimme five bees for a STEAGLES Posted: September 24, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4244451)
Bill Conlin later did a great piece on Dick Allen
is that really something you want to draw attention to, considering the whole, sit on my lap thing?
   4. phredbird Posted: September 24, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4244505)
that logo is ... wild ... and has nothing to do with sports.
   5. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: September 24, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4244621)
too clever by half

A phrase that perfectly describes itself. (I strive never to be more than 20% too clever!)
   6. AndrewJ Posted: September 24, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4244631)
Looks like what Inside Sports started out as in 1980.
   7. Downtown Bookie Posted: September 24, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4244660)
You had Jerry Izenberg and Stan Isaacs, who were New York guys. But you also [had?] Pete Hamill, Red Smith and Roger Kahn.


Who were also New York guys.

The fighter Jose Torres.


Who would go on to become chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission.

Murray Chass did a story on Neil Simon.


A couple more New York guys.

Seems like the "but you also" is either a slip of the tongue, or an attempt by the writer to make the periodical into more than it was.

DB
   8. GregD Posted: September 24, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4244666)
A couple more New York guys.

Seems like the "but you also" is either a slip of the tongue, or an attempt by the writer to make the periodical into more than it was.
New York magazine not New York City. They were like all city guys but the starting core came from New York, which was (and some issues still is) producing really good magazine journalism.
   9. Downtown Bookie Posted: September 24, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4244682)
New York magazine not New York City.


Gotcha. Thanks for clearing that up. I totally missed that.

DB
   10. AndrewJ Posted: September 24, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4244721)
As the interview implies, the late 1960s/early 1970s were most unkind to the magazine industry. It wasn't just startups like Jock; the weekly versions of such perennials as Life, Look and The Saturday Evening Post also folded in this era.
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4244853)

That is a fantastic cover.
   12. Jay Z Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:16 AM (#4244865)
As the interview implies, the late 1960s/early 1970s were most unkind to the magazine industry. It wasn't just startups like Jock; the weekly versions of such perennials as Life, Look and The Saturday Evening Post also folded in this era.


Stunk for newspapers too. You can see the decline in quality in the sports sections if you research.

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