Jan 25th, 2016
“Coming events cast their shadows before.” -Thomas Campbell, Scottish poet
On January 1, 1966, New York came to a standstill as the city’s transit workers went on strike. This was the first day on the job for Mayor John Lindsay. He would approach the transit shutdown with the sort of dynamic problem solving that would be his hallmark. He ignored the cold and walked four miles, famously declaring, “I still think it is a fun city.”
As Lindsay juggled his city’s repeated crises, the sporting scene saw tremendous upheaval. On one hand, the venerable Yankees -- who had won 15 pennants in an 18-year span before 1965 -- and the NFL’s powerhouse Giants suddenly went into a level of decline neither had known for generations. But on the other, the fall of the city’s sports behemoths was accompanied by the rise of anti-establishment outsiders -- there were Joe Namath and the Jets, as well as the shocking triumph of the Amazin’ Mets, who won the 1969 World Series after spending the franchise’s first seven seasons losing 737 ballgames.
The overlap of these two worlds in the 1960s -- Lindsay’s politics and the reemerging sports landscape -- serves as the backbone of “Fun City.” It is a story of a thrilling time in New York sports, set against the backdrop of a remarkable and often difficult time for the city, culturally and socially.
Listen in to our fascinating discussion with Sean Deveney on a “Fun City” winter evening in the Clubhouse...
(This podcast is dedicated to the memory of David Garth, a truly great New Yorker.)