Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled H-U-S-T-L-E-R, Huster

Dig this 1958 Jimmy Cannon column, "Broadway Sportsman":

The Broadway sportsman lives in Brooklyn with his widowed mother who would starve if she didn’t get Social Security. He generally eats dinner at home, but takes his coffee in the chophouses where the gamblers congregate. His idea of a celebrity is any man who can afford to wear silk shirts. He wears ready-made suits, but tears out the label to give the impression they’re tailor-made. Just once he would like a man to ask him who his tailor is.

He would consider it an honor if a man publicly accused him of stealing his wife. He spends a lot of time in Hanson’s drugstore and suggests to the press agents who hang out there that they tie him up with one of their clients. He has never had his name mentioned in a Broadway column but he refers to columnists by their first names in conversation. He occasionally takes out a hostess in a dance hall, but describes her as a showgirl to his kind. They know he is lying, but he puts up with their lies too, and they never call him.

The Broadway sportsman thinks of himself as a gambler. He knows the price on all sporting-events, but be is terrified when it comes to risking money He goes to the trotters and the flats by himself when he gets a pass from an office boy on a newspaper who is also a Broadway Sportsman, but he never bets more than a deuce to show. He usually loses that, too, because be bets on long shots, figuring they must run third. He has never learned to read a racing form and is too embarrassed to ask anyone to teach him.

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