Updated, 4:50 p.m. ET
Another Jets beatwriter has passed on. Ike Kuhns, 76, who covered the Jets during their glory days in the late Sixties, as well as the Cosmos at the height of their popularity and a stadiumful of other sports, all for The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., died April 26 after a short illness.
Frank Ramos, the Jets’ long-time public relations director, recalled that Ike was an easy person to like and a hard-working professional on the beat.
“He could pick things up easily when pinch-hitting for someone else after years of not covering the Jets,” Ramos recalled. “Also, he was one of the few people to pick the Jets to win the Super Bowl. I don’t think we’ll see the likes of Ike again.”
Kevin Manahan, in his recent tribute to Kuhns on the Ledger Website, wrote:
On the day of Super Bowl III, The Star-Ledger published Kuhns’ forecast for the game. While the Colts were seen as unbeatable, he mocked the 18-point spread and predicted a Jets upset.
I remembered Ike as Frank did, “pinch-hitting” on the Jets in the Nineties when I first started covering the team, filling in for Don Williams (who died last September) or Dave Hutchinson. I can tell you one of the worst feelings as a beatwriter is getting a day “off” but having to spend it getting your backup up to speed on the team, what story should be written that day, advising the desk on the errors that needed to be fixed after the story was filed.
The Ledger never had that problem on the Jets because Kuhns was ready to roll on any number of sports. He was less a pinch-hitter than a valuable utility man, and the newspaper’s readers were the beneficiaries, whatever the sporting event, up until his retirement in 2001.
The Star-Ledger reported that Kuhns will be remembered at a memorial service on Saturday, May 12, at 1 p.m. at the First Reformed Church in Lincoln Park, N.J.
Tags: Dave Hutchinson, Don Williams, Frank Ramos, Ike Kuhns, Super Bowl III
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