Thursday, December 11, 2008

Studies in Crap: The Gamecock, May 1966

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 6:30 AM

Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in

forgotten and bewildering crap culled from area basements, thrift

stores, estate sales and flea markets. He does this for one reason:

Knowledge is power.


The Gamecock

Date: May 1966

Discovered at: Prairie Village Antique


The cover promises: "The Monthly

Magazine Devoted to Game Fowl." Also: if you own this, you are

probably a terrible person.

Representative quotes:

"Somewhere along the line we

supposedly human creatures, mostly British and American do-gooders,

have let the gamecock down."(page 35)

"One of the biggest jokes

around the cockpit is to hear cockers say that their cocks were too

sharp." (page 32)

The mid '60s were exciting times at The Gamecock, the house organ for the feathered glory set. Circulation had hit a high, the 28th anniversary issue weighed in at a biggest-ever 88 pages, and most states still cherished our God-given right to train chickens to murder each other for the purposes of gambling. In a letter to his readers, the editor of The Gamecock celebrates all this.

That editor is never named, but here's

a photo of him firing your grandpa.


Then, like Linus explaining Christmas, that editor lays out The Gamecock's true meaning.

"We are FOR those things that are for

the betterment of our Sport, for the good of game chickens and those

interested in them. We are 'AGIN' those things that are a

detriment. We are FOR those things that will ATTRACT the right kind

of people to breed game chickens and to enter into and enjoy our

Sport with us. We are 'AGIN' those things that will have the

opposite effect."

Wait, "The right kind of people"?

Cockfighting was restricted?


American Cock Sparring: Despite all this jubilation, Bill

Roddy's article "All Is Not Lost" stares down the biggest danger facing "the Sport": the fact that 98.5 percent of the Americans are AGIN it. He blames this on "the supposedly lily clean Humane

societies" who "appeal to local do-gooders and light weight

shallow thinking politicians," but he doesn't think they'll get away with it much longer.

Instead, he has a plan.

First, he suggests TV commercials and an effort to book cockfights

as entertainment at conventions for unions, political

groups, and charity organizations.


The heart of Roddy's plan: a touring show called "American Cock Sparring."

  • "Use a grey versus a red cock so

    audience can easily distinguish between warriors at all times."

  • "Secure the full time services

    of three people, two ladies and a man, about 25 to 30 years of age,

    all clean cut individuals with college education and good

    enthusiastic personalities to handle the act."

  • "The two ladies handle the fowl.

    Dress them in colorful oriental abbreviated costumes covered with

    flowing Chinese silk robes to be removed at pitside."

  • "Dress the man in an abbreviated

    Roman gladiator costume."

  • "Johnny Carson and his

    associates would, I believe, jump at the chance to show it first on


  • "In the meantime every chicken

    man should, with his family and relatives, seek out and elect men to

    our public offices who are sympathetic with our sport."

He concludes with a true typewriter

spasm: "Ah Nuts! This Guy Crazy, Could Be!"

Shocking detail: The bulk of The Gamecock is

tournament write ups and ads from breeders selling those "knights

of the pit": bumblefoots, Toolpusher Cocks, Racey Mugs of both the

fast-shuffling and the two-pitting kind. 


Other editorials denounce

Lyndon Johnson, call for "cockers" to come together, and explain

why some roosters suffer paralysis after fights. 

In "Wiggle the

Prop Toe," "Old Fudd" claims to have seen a UFO:

"A helluva big thing it was and I

stood there eyeballing it for a half-hour trying to determine what it

was. I squinted first one eye then the other, got out my 7X35

binoculars and got a closer look . . . someone aboard, a little green

man likely, must have seen me as the huge craft, ball, saucer or

whatever it was moved off, slowly at first and then WHOOSH!"

Old Fudd then imagines that LBJ has

already stopped the imminent invasion:

"I figure they will 'make their

play in the next decade' if they aren't scared off when they read

the new ground rules now being posted by the The Great Society!"



All this cock talk! The five choicest quotes:

5. "If you expect to fight coopwalked

cocks against fresh farm walked cocks, you are kidding only one

person - yourself."

4. "His cocks seemed invincible and

by the end of the third day's battles those favoring other entrants

were heard to remark "the only way to kill them is with an axe."

3. "In over 20 years of active

cocking, ol fat Daddy has never won a derby alone."

2. "A cock has the very same problems

that a grown man has. The cock has weight problems, he gets nervous

and cranky from being pen walked so long and gets sluggish and stale

and - like we middle aged men - he requires more cover at night

to keep those cold flashes down."

And finally, from this local report:


-- Alan Scherstuhl

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