"His Cocks Seemed Invincible": Studies in Crap Meets The Gamecock

Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. He does this for one reason: Knowledge is power.gamecockcover.jpg

The Gamecock

Date: May 1966

Discovered at: Antique mall

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.

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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."


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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.

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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 T.V."

  • "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. 


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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!"


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Highlight:

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 exciting report:

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The Crap Archivist lives in Kansas City, where he originates his on-line Studies for the Voice's sister paper, The Pitch.

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