Monday, December 28, 2009

Brooklyn Boxing

[I wrote this a while ago, never posted it, figured I should, for L Magazine pride and all.]


Photo courtesy of HBO.

November 10th, 2009

Last Sunday brought us the season finale of HBO’s Bored to Death, a very New-York-City-centric show penned by Jonathan Ames, where Ames-the-character, as played by Jason Schwartzman, is a writer who solves crimes on the side. Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galifianakis walk around Fort Greene Park! They trek to Brighton Beach! They run around DUMBO taking in the views of the Brooklyn Bridge! They take the F train (my train)!

The finale revolved around a boxing match challenged between New York Edition (which bears a striking resemblance to New York Magazine…) editor George Christopher (played by Ted Danson) and GQ editor Richard Antrem (played by Oliver Platt) after George pens a vicious slandering editor’s note about Antrem.

Writers? Boxing? Really? The idea’s a bit outrageous ad a bit too physical for writers, but somehow it seemed right, familiar even. Seeing Schwartzman and Danson don their boxing gloves, it hit me: This has happened before.

According to writer-Jonathan Ames’ blog about the show, he was indeed inspired by The L Magazine/NY Press showdown:

“[…]a few years ago, New York Press and The L Magazine, here in New York, had a boxing match to take out their animus for each other's publication in the ring. I wasn't part of that, but it set a precedent in my mind for two magazines fighting, and thus I felt it wasn't beyond the pale for Edition NY and GQ to go at it.”

The New York Press had beef with L Magazine back during L’s foundling days in 2003, stemming from the same orange color of their respective magazine bins on street corners. Soon it evolved into a back-and-forth lashing, Jeff Koyen of the NY Press called L “dreadful,” Scott Stedman of L (who’s still there today) challenged him to a soccer match. Koyen declined, but then agreed to the boxing match, which Stedman announced with an ad in the magazine.

The L Magazine/NY Press showdown took place at Gleason’s Gym, which is where writer-Ames boxed in real life and TV-Ames and George trained.

As for the fight, Mediabistro reported that it was a draw.

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