BOB GARFIELD: Frazier has it at the top of the key -- he penetrates - stops - puts it up: Swish! Even a casual basketball fan knows those words describe an exact series of events: the player's court location, his actions, the outcome; even the fact that the ball went in smoothly -- no backboard or rim -- what they now call "nothing but net."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:Thank Marty Glickman. Glickman, who died this week at the age of 83, broadcast basketball before there was an NBA and basically invented the language of basketball. He was the voice of almost every New York sports team at one time or another. Hear his call of O.J. Simpson becoming the first running back to gain more than 2000 yards in a season:
MARTY GLICKMAN They're practically carrying him off the field! They're dragging him off the field! They're lifting him to their shoulders, and he's being carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates! What a sight! [CROWD CHEERING] The entire squad are -- has run out on the field, and they've carried O.J. off the field on their shoulders! O.J. Simpson with more than 2000 yards!
BOB GARFIELD:His influence on the games we watch today is indelible. First there is the matter of progeny. He gave Marv Albert his first break. He coached broadcasters while at NBC. He was the first national sportscaster to come out of Syracuse University which would later spawn Albert, Bob Costas, Dick Stockton and hundreds more. He was also one of the first athletes to become a sportscaster, but a listener would never hear an aging jock recount his glory.
[MARTY GLICKMAN SPORTSCAST CLIP PLAYS]
MARTY GLICKMAN And it's UConn' ball again! They can double the margin. They lead 10-6, Connecticut does, and they have possession of the ball. Now Kelly slows it down somewhat, Moses guarding him out near the midcourt line. Dribbles off to the left; holds up. [In to the a post] - a spinning jump's up by Williams - Miss! - and there's a whistle, a foul underneath--
BROOKE GLADSTONE:And oh, yes -- Marty Glickman was yanked from the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He and a teammate, as Jews, were seen as "an affront" to the sensibilities of Adolf Hitler. As one member of a 4 by 400 relay team, his impact on the fields of play would have been short-lived in any case. What endures is his descriptions of those fields, and how he taught us all to see the action even when we were just listening.