|Marty Glickman and Sammy Stoller|
|Glickman in his broadcasting years|
Another view on the same story about the selection process for the 4x100. This comes from Tom Trumpler.
In the above accounts, Glickman or the writer claim that in 1936 it is was standard operating procedure to take a number of extra sprinters ie. 5th and 6th in the trials) to make up the 4x100 as the US had done in 1932 which would argue the case for Marty and Sam. However in modern times we know that the relay is generally made up of the top three in the 100 and the fourth finisher in the trials. There would be no 5th , 6th 100 meter runner making the trip. Saves on plane fares or boat cabins. If necessary extra sprinters would be recruited from the ranks of the 200 meter runners. A further question left hanging then would be why did Lawson Robertson , the head coach, apologize separately to both Glickman and Stoller?
Anyway, here is Tom's view.
A follow up from Tom Trumpler
- Conspiracy or he said vs. he said: The claim that Owens was generous enough to offer his relay slot to another athlete is irrelevant.
Since when have Olympic track coaches ever let the athletes hold veto power over their choice for relay teams? Never.
- Who could imagine Dean Cromwell, then the coach at U.S.C., not selecting his top four sprinters to run in the NCAA championship 4x100, let alone the Olympic championship 4x100.
- Who could imagine coaches Robertson and Cromwell both passing up a chance to have the U.S.A. set a world record in the Olympics 4x100 just so a "number 5 and a number 6" runner could run. The Olympics aren't AYSO, sorry not every one gets to play.
- There are two considerations for the relay order of Owens-Metcalfe-Draper-Wykoff.
- One is, who was the fastest sprinter out of the blocks? If it was Jesse Owens, then it's a no-brainer, Owens has the baton to start and every one else has a running start to their relay legs.
- Second is, who was the slowest? That was Draper, so another no-brainer, Mr. Draper runs the third leg.
- So that only leaves the choice for Metcalfe and Wykoff to run either leg two or anchor. Flip a coin, or maybe Dean Cromwell wanted his U.S.C. runner to anchor. Doesn't make much difference. What does make a difference was that the U.S.A. set a world record and took home Olympic gold.
--- Tom T. (the other Tom!)
Wow, this piece has stirred some discussion
From Thomas Coyne:
I'm inclined to believe there is more truth than fiction to the Glickman/Stoller claims. This is not a new story. I've been hearing it since before I started running track in 1947. I don't know about Cromwell but Avery Brundage had the reputation of being a petty dictator in sports and he led the fight to keep the United States from boycotting the 1936 Olympics and was an America First member.
I guess I would focus on what Owens and Metcalfe said happened. They were there. They said they wanted Glickman and Stoller to run and were overruled. Why either one of them was not picked to run the anchor leg is also a good question.
Lastly, Glickman and Stoller were the only athletics who didn't get to run but they were the ones practicing handoffs. With all the talent on the United States team they probably could have left both Owens and Metcalfe off and still won but I can certainly understand why Metcalfe wanted to go home with a gold medal.
The sports historians will be talking about this long after we are gone...................along with, did Al Sal use doping techniques or not and would Tiger Woods have broken Jack Nicklaus's major tournament record if his sex scandal had not erupted.
Can't keep a good conspiracy theory down.
From Bill Schnier, U. of Cincinnati Track and Field Coach ret'd.
Guys: Thanks for all your fervent and heartfelt commentaries on this story. I had no idea the response would be like this. Our readership spiked for a few hours because of it. I guess that's where the term in journalism states, "It sells newspapers" comes from although that may be a bit anachronistic now. I would like to add some more of my own comments for you to analyze if you care.
One, the system seems to have evolved since 1936. There was some precedent in place from the 1932 Olympics where 'reserves' were used in the 4x100.
Bud Greenspan interviewed Metcalfe in the article above:
(Metcalfe died in 1978. In his interview with me, he said: ''Marty Glickman is right: You'll recall that in the 1932 Olympics, when Eddie Tolan, George Simpson and I each qualified for both the 100 meters and 200 meters, the coaches reasoned that it would be better to have four fresh sprinters run the relay who would have the benefit of practicing their baton passes while we were running the individual races. Neither Tolan, Simpson or I were even mentioned about running in the relay in 1932.''). Greenspan
One of the contentions in our stories is that this was a 'coaches decision'. I would speculate that this was probably not a coaches' decision but instead came down from Avery Brundage. Brundage was in bed with the Nazis and warmly snuggled. Lawson Robertson, old and in ill health and Dean Cromwell, a relative newcomer, could easily have been influenced by Brundage with threats or promises of better things to come for them. Who will ever know? Cromwell, along with many others of good intentions in the 1930's became a member of America First. These people fell under the spell of the Nazis and/or were concerned about another American entry into a European conflict. In any case the America First gang either wittingly or unwittingly served the Nazi cause.
Coaches in the upper echelons of world track and field are not very powerful when the decisions are to be made as to who will step on the track and who will be removed from competition. It's not the coaches who decide, it's the 'officials'. Furthermore, the national team coaches seem to be more figureheads than actual coaches at any international gathering. It's an honorary title more than a coaching assignment. It is the personal coach of the athlete who is on the sidelines consulting with their protege, especially during field events. Also can you see the national coach telling a runner he or she has never worked with how they are going to run their race? The national coach is there more as a manager. I've heard indirectly that in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, the selection process prior to the women's 4x400 went down to the wire with athletes' personal agents involved to the point that at least one of the runners did not know if she was running in the finals until an hour before the event. This year (2015) it was not a coach's decision to remove Nick Symmonds from the team. In 1936 Brundage personally kicked a young swimmer off the team for drinking champagne on the trip overseas. Why he didn't kick Louis Zamperini off the team for stealing a Nazi flag from the street is anybody's guess. it wasn't a secret. Brundage was instrumental in taking down Tommie Smith and John Carlos in 68 and Wayne Collett in 72. And he was the deciding force in keeping the Games going after the massacre in 1972. A lot can be read into that decision with the victims being Israeli and the hosts being German.
How true or not it is, Phillip Kerr in his series of novels about Bernie Gunther a fictitious half Jewish detective in Berlin in 1936 takes Brundage to task. Kerr's research on modern German history seems to this amateur reader to be thoroughly authentic, claiming in the first book March Violets that the Nazis knowing that Brundage was an avid collector of Asian art, presented him with objets d'art confiscated from Jewish families, and after the Olympics awarded Brundage's construction firm the contract to build the new German embassy in Washington. For more on this fascinating series of novels see: http://berniegunther.com/.
Anybody remember Jesse Owens running again in the US after the Berlin Olympics? Didn't happen. After the Olympics he was told by 'officialdom' that he would be going on a European tour to run races. What they didn't tell him was that expense money for food would be a pittance. After a few weeks of this Jesse jumped ship and went home. For his insubordination, he was banned from competing again by the AAU. I'm not sure who made that decision, but you can be pretty sure Brundage had some role. That's when Jesse started racing horses for money, doing vaudeville, and other stunts. I recall seeing him once in an all black cowboy movie and an ad touting cigarettes. Accounts of this can be seen in an OSU made documentary at Jesse Owens. That part of the story can be seen at the 15:00 minute mark of the doc. Also at 10:19 you can see a brief clip of Louis Zamperini and Jesse Owens standing together.
From Mike Solomon:
From: Stephen Morelock, former Oklahoma hurdler: