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Encyclopedia > Harry Wismer

Harry Wismer (June 30, 1913December 3, 1967) was a sports broadcaster and charter owner of what became the New York Jets franchise in the American Football League. June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 184 days remaining. ... Year 1913 (MCMXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... December 3 is the 337th (in leap years the 338th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Wikibooks has more about this subject: Marketing Note: broadcasting is also a term for hand sowing. ... City East Rutherford, New Jersey Other nicknames Gang Green Team colors Green and White Head Coach Eric Mangini Owner Robert Wood Johnson IV General manager Mike Tannenbaum League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Eastern Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference (1970-present) AFC... AFL logo The American Football League (AFL) was a professional league of American football that operated from 1960 to 1969. ...


Early years

A native of Port Huron, Michigan, Wismer displayed great interest and prowess in sports at an early age, earning letters in football, basketball, and baseball at St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin. He later played college football at both the University of Florida and Michigan State University, his playing career ending at the latter school when he damaged a knee severely during a game against the University of Michigan. He then began broadcasting Michigan State sports on a campus radio station in a position arranged for him by his coach, Charlie Bachman. In 1934 he was hired as the public-address announcer for the Detroit Lions, who were then owned by the same man, Dick Richards, who owned Detroit radio station WJR. Wismer soon began doing a ten-minute daily radio show covering the Lions in addition to his PA duties, while continuing as a student at Michigan State. Port Huron is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... Sara Giauro shoots a three-point shot, FIBA Europe Cup for Women Finals 2005. ... A view of the playing field at Busch Stadium II St. ... Delafield is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, along the Bark River. ... A college football game between Colorado State University and the Air Force Academy. ... The University of Florida (Florida or UF) is a public land-grant research university located in Gainesville, Florida. ... Michigan State University (MSU) is a public university in East Lansing, Michigan. ... The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (UM or U of M) is a coeducational public research university in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... In sports, a coach is an individual involved in the direction and instruction of the on-field operations of an athletic team or of individual athletes. ... 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... City Detroit, Michigan Team colors Honolulu Blue, Silver, and Black Head Coach Rod Marinelli Owner William Clay Ford, Sr. ... Nickname: Motor City & Murder City, Motown, Rock City, The D Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (Latin for, We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes) Location in Wayne County, Michigan Coordinates: Country United States State Michigan County Wayne County Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Area    - City 370. ... The current logo for WJR-AM. WJR is a radio station in Detroit, Michigan, United States. ...


After the 1936 season, Wismer was encouraged by Richards to abandon his studies and come to work for WJR on a full-time basis as the station's sports director. He stayed until 1941 when he was hired by the NBC "Blue" network, the predecessor to ABC. However, a subsequent management change at ABC led to a new regime that was hostile to sports, and Wismer became a free-lancer, selling his service to the highest bidder. Wismer became known for an enormous ego and developed a reputation as a "namedropper", preferring to announce the names of celebrities of his acquaintance who were in the audience to the actual game action, and was alleged at times to include them in the crowd of games which he announced when they were in fact elsewhere. 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... This article is about the year. ... The National Broadcasting Company or NBC is an American television broadcasting company based in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ...

In the late 1940s he provided the voice talent to numerous 16 mm college football films. Wismer often added the sound commentary long after the games were over, and added a radio style commentary with sound effects such as referee whistles to recreate an authentic sound. He was owner of HarFilms, a short-lived New Orleans based sportsfilm production company.

Wismer achieved the height of his fame as the voice of the Washington Redskins. His first game for the Redskins was a most inauspicious one, their 73-0 loss to the Chicago Bears' great "Monsters of the Midway" team in the 1940 NFL Championship Game. At one point Wismer was a 25% owner of the club as well, with the majority of the stock being retained by founding owner George Preston Marshall. However, the relationship between the two had greatly degenerated by the mid-1950s over several issues, not the least of which was Marshall's steadfast refusal to sign any black players. The relationship dissolved in claims, counterclaims, and litigation, and Marshall then set out to destroy Wismer's future as a broadcaster, with some success. Wismer was also involved for a time in the broadcasting of Notre Dame football. City Landover, Maryland Other nicknames The Skins Team colors Burgundy and Gold Head Coach Joe Gibbs Owner Daniel Snyder General manager Vinny Cerrato Fight song Hail to the Redskins League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1932–present) Eastern Division (1933-1949) American Conference (1950-1952) Eastern Conference (1953-1969) Capitol... City Chicago, Illinois Other nicknames Da Bears, The Monsters of the Midway Team colors Navy Blue, Orange and White Head Coach Lovie Smith Owner Virginia Halas McCaskey Chairman Michael McCaskey General manager Jerry Angelo Fight song Bear Down, Chicago Bears Mascot Staley Da Bear League/Conference affiliations Independent (1919) National... The Monsters of the Midway is most widely known as the nickname for the National Football Leagues Chicago Bears -- particularly the dominant teams of 1940 and 1941. ... The 1940 National Football League Championship Game, was played at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. on December 8, 1940. ... George Preston Marshall (1896 – 1969) was the long-time owner and president of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). ... The 1950s was the decade spanning from the 1st of January, 1950 to the 31st December, 1959. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... The University of Notre Dame IPA: is a leading Roman Catholic institution located in Notre Dame, Indiana, immediately northeast of South Bend, Indiana, United States. ...

In 1953, he was involved in an early attempt to expand football into prime time network television, when ABC, now with a renewed interest in sports, broadcast an edited replay on Sunday nights of the previous day's Notre Dame games, which were cut down to 75 minutes in length by removing the time between plays, halftime, and even some of the more uneventful plays. (While this format was not successful in prime time, a similar presentation of Nore Dame football later became a staple of Sunday mornings for many years on CBS with Lindsey Nelson as the announcer.) Also that season was the first attempt at prime time coverage of pro football, with Wismer at the microphone on the old DuMont Network. Unlike ABC's Notre Dame coverage, DuMont's NFL game was presented live on Saturday nights, but interest was not adequate to save the DuMont Network, which had by this point already entered what would be a terminal decline (although it did mount a subsequent 1954 season of NFL telecasts, minus Wismer, which proved to be one of its last regular programs). 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... Prime time is the block of programming on television during the middle of the evening. ... A television network is a distribution network for television content whereby a central operation provides programming for many television stations. ... CBS (an abbreviation for Columbia Broadcasting System, its former legal name) is one of the largest television networks, and formerly one of the largest radio networks, in the United States. ... Lindsey Nelson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... DuMont Televisions Logo The DuMont Television Network was an American television network, beginning operation in 1946. ... 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

AFL owner

Wismer was a charter owner in the AFL, which was announced in 1959 and began actual play in 1960. His New York franchise was nicknamed the "Titans". Wismer devised a plan in which the proceeds from the broadcast rights to league games (initially with ABC) would be shared equally by all teams, very innovative at the time but setting the standard for all future professional football television broadcasting contracts. As Wismer owned what would seem to have been the most potentially lucrative franchise, especially with regard to broadcasting rights, in the nation's largest media market, the act seemed at first blush most generous for a self-described "hustler". However, Wismer realized that the fledgling league needed for all of the eight franchises to be successful in order to survive long-term. Unfortuantely for Wismer, his own team, despite being located in the nation's largest city, was probably the most problematic in the league in its initial years. For one thing, the team was relegated to playing its home games in the rotting remains of the old Polo Grounds, which had been abandoned years before by the New York Giants baseball team for San Francisco and was never a particularly satisfactory football venue; in contrast, the NFL football Giants played in prestigious Yankee Stadium. Additionally, the New York media for the most part was derisive and dismissive of the Titans, when it deigned to mention them at all; for most New York sports reporters of the era professional football in New York City began and ended with the Giants. Wismer's volatile personality was of little help in this area; he resented not only other media figures but also Dallas Texans owner Lamar Hunt, whom Wismer saw as a rich boy whose father had bought him a football team as a toy; Wismer also had an ongoing feud with the first AFL commissioner, Joe Foss, and had at times a far-less-than-warm relationship with the Titan's first coach, the legendary former Redskins quarterback Sammy Baugh. (In fact, Baugh had been the losing quarterback in the 73-0 debacle back in 1940 that had marked Wismer's debut with the Redskins as noted above.) Wismer also lacked the truly "deep pockets" of some of the other early AFL owners, particularly Hunt, possessed; for the most part their wealth had come from sources outside the field of sports, which although already quite popular in the U.S. were not the major industry they were shortly to become. Wismer's wealth, such as it was, had come entirely from his sports involvement. Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... // A nickname is a short, clever, cute, derogatory, or otherwise substitute name for a person or things real name (for example, Bob, Rob, Robby, Robbie, Robi, Bobby, Rab, Bert, Bertie, Butch, Bobbers, Bobert, Beto, Bobadito, and Robban (in Sweden), are all short for Robert). ... The Polo Grounds was the name given to four different stadiums in New York City used by Major League Baseballs New York Giants from 1883 until 1957, New York Metropolitans from 1883 until 1885, the New York Yankees from 1912 until 1922, and by the New York Mets in... Major league affiliations National League (1883–present) West Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 3,4,11,24,27,30,36,44 Name San Francisco Giants (1958–present) New York Giants (1885-1957) New York Gothams (1883-1885) Troy Union Cities / Trojans (1879-1882) Ballpark AT&T Park (2000... Nickname: The City by the Bay; Fog City Location of the City and County of San Francisco, California Coordinates: Country United States of America State California City-County San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Area    - City 122 km²  (47 sq mi)  - Land 121. ... City East Rutherford, New Jersey Other nicknames Big Blue Wrecking Crew, Big Blue, G-Men, The Jints, The New York Football Giants, Jersey Giants Team colors Royal Blue, Red, Gray, and White Head Coach Tom Coughlin Owner The Mara and Tisch Families General manager Ernie Accorsi League/Conference affiliations National... The exterior of Yankee Stadium Yankee Stadium is the home stadium of the New York Yankees, a major league baseball team. ... City Kansas City, Missouri Team colors Red, gold, and White Head Coach Herman Edwards Owner Clark Hunt[1] General manager Carl Peterson Mascot K.C. Wolf (1989-present) Warpaint (1963-1988) League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Western Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football... Lamar Hunt is one of the most influential sports promoters in the United States. ... Joseph Jacob Joe Foss (April 17, 1915 – January 1, 2003) was an American politician, an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the Medal of Honor in 1943. ... In sports, a coach is an individual involved in the direction and instruction of the on-field operations of an athletic team or of individual athletes. ... A quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. ... Samuel Adrian Baugh (born March 17, 1914) is an American football player born in Temple, Texas. ...

The Titans drew just 114,682 total paid admissions for the league's entire initial season in 1960; by 1962 this number had dwindled to a mere 36,161 and Wismer was broke. Supposedly it was loans from other AFL owners, notably the Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams, which kept Wismer and the Titans afloat, which was a necessity for the league to remain viable, as U.S. broadcasters have traditionally had a very limited level of interest in team sports leagues without a viable New York franchise due to the size of that market area. Wismer, who had long tended to live "hard-and-fast", began to drink even more heavily, and eventually ruined his relationships with all of the other AFL owners, even Adams. They arranged the 1963 sale of the team to more financially-stable Sonny Werblin, who proceeded to change the name of the team to the "Jets" and move it the next year into the now-completed Shea Stadium, where it was to play for almost two decades. When Werblin signed University of Alabama star quaterback Joe Namath after the 1964 season for a then-unheard of annual salary of $430,000, the Jets, and the AFL, were made; the Namath signing, and his subsequent stardom, along with a new, more lucrative television contract with NBC, led more than any other one single factor to the AFL-NFL merger. Wismer was left embittered and with debts totalling approximately $2,500,000, which he eventually struggled to settle for 78 cents on the dollar. 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... City Nashville, Tennessee Team colors Navy, Titans Blue, White, and Red Head Coach Jeff Fisher Owner Bud Adams General manager Floyd Reese Mascot T-Rac League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Eastern Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference (1970-present) AFC Central (1970... Kenneth Stanley Bud Adams, Jr. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... David A. Werblin (March 17, 1907 - November 21, 1991) was an owner of the New York Jets. ... William A. Shea Municipal Stadium, usually shortened to Shea Stadium, is an American baseball stadium in Flushing, New York. ... The University of Alabama (also known as Alabama, UA or colloquially as Bama) is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. ... Joseph William Namath (born May 31, 1943 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, USA), also known as Broadway Joe, was an American football quarterback for the American Football Leagues New York Jets and the Los Angeles Rams in the 1960s and the 1970s. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ...

Final years

Wismer wrote a book, The Public Calls It Sport, which was something of a combination autobiography and explanation of his philosophy of life. Sales were not particularly brisk. He got involved in the Michigan Speedway project, which, to his great chagrin, was very slow to get under way. Wismer's health, far from brisk, broke completely from depression and alcoholism on top of his other problems after a trip overseas. In 1967 he sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic for cancer before returning to his hometown of Port Huron, where he underwent more treatments, including the replacement of his cancerous hip. Largely given up on, he rallied, and soon fulfilled his desire to return to New York City. Once there, he found that he was no longer a celebrity or even much noticed, and of those who did notice, more held him in contempt than liked him. His drinking problem returned with a vengeance, and on December 2 he suffered a fall at a restaurant while drunk, falling down a flight of stairs. Still weakened from his earlier heath problems, he died the next day. An autopsy gave a skull fracture as being the immediate cause of death. Today Wismer is remembered, when he is remembered at all, primarily as something of an eccentric rather than as a crucial founder of the American Football League and one of the creators of professional football's modern era through shared broadcast revenues. Cover of An autobiography, from the Greek auton, self, bios, life and graphein, write, is a biography written by the subject or composed conjointly with a collaborative writer (styled as told to or with). The term dates from the late eighteenth century, but the form is much older. ... Socrates (central bare-chested figure) about to drink hemlock as mandated by the court. ... Michigan International Speedway is a two-mile (3. ... Clinical depression (also called major depressive disorder) is a state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individuals social functioning and/or activities of daily living. ... Alcoholism is the consumption of, or preoccupation with, alcoholic beverages to the extent that this behavior interferes with the drinkers normal personal, family, social, or work life, and may lead to physical or mental harm. ... Main campus in downtown Rochester, Minnesota. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis. ... December 2 is the 336th day (337th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Toms Restaurant, a restaurant in New York made familiar by Suzanne Vega and the television sitcom Seinfeld A restaurant is an establishment that serves prepared food and beverages to order, to be consumed on the premises. ... The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, by Rembrandt, depicts an autopsy An autopsy, also known as a post-mortem examination or an obduction, is a medical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a human corpse to determine the cause and manner of a persons death and...


"...no matter how good you think you are, how shrewd you are, there is always someone down the block, across the street, in the next town, who is a little better, shrewder, more ruthless." From The Public Calls It Sport

See Also

Other AFL Personalities The following is a list of players that played for the 1960-1969 American Football League. ...


  • The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present, Eighth Edition, by Jim Brooks and Earle Marsh, ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  • The Golden Voices of Football, by Ted Patterson, ISBN 1-58261-744-9.

  Results from FactBites:
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Harry Wismer (1144 words)
Harry Wismer (June 30, 1913 – December 3, 1967) was a sports broadcaster and charter owner of what became the New York Jets franchise in the American Football League.
Wismer devised a plan in which the proceeds from the broadcast rights to league games (initially with ABC) would be shared equally by all teams, very innovative at the time but setting the standard for all future professional football television broadcasting contracts.
Wismer was left embittered and with debts totalling approximately $2,500,000, which he eventually struggled to settle for 78 cents on the dollar.
Harry Wismer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1122 words)
Harry Wismer (June 30, 1913 – December 3, 1967) was a sports broadcaster and charter owner of what became the New York Jets franchise in the American Football League.
Wismer was a charter owner in the AFL, which was announced in 1959 and began actual play in 1960.
Wismer was left embittered and with debts totalling approximately $2,500,000, which he eventually struggled to settle for 78 cents on the dollar.
  More results at FactBites »



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