Marty Reisman in Men’s Journal: The Backstory

Posted on by TableTennisNation

We’re celebrating Marty Reisman Day here at Table Tennis Nation to celebrate the incredible articles about Table Tennis Nation President Marty Reisman released today.

Today’s Men’s Journal article about Table Tennis Nation President Marty Reisman was the end of a yearlong process with Men’s Journal, writer Mark Adams, Table Tennis Nation, and of course the legend Marty Reisman.

In early 2011, Men’s Journal approached Marty about doing an expert advice column. Marty worked with Dacus Thompson and Jordan Reed on the one page advice column and the video we posted earlier this week.

The article was supposed to be based on a short interview, but Marty ended up being interviewed time and time again and the Men’s Journal team wanted to hear as much as possible, even when most of the stories couldn’t fit in an expert advice article. Once it was done, we went with Marty to the Men’s Journal offices where Kristen Fortier photographed him and the Table Tennis Nation paddle (and we were tweeting some behind the scenes pictures).

After the shoot was finished we decided to walk around the Men’s Journal offices (that they share with Rolling Stone and Us Weekly) where we met Men’s Journal Editor Jason Fine. Jason and Marty started talking that day, and between their conversation and the attention that was paid to Marty by team working on Marty’s advice article, Jason wanted more out of the story.

Shortly after we were introduced to Mark Adams. Mark is a great writer who at the time was finishing up his most recent book on Machu Picchu. Between promoting the book everywhere (like the Daily Show) we were amazed that Mark had the time to write about anything, but as Mark told us the first time we spoke, “They only call me for the big stories.”

Mark and Marty were scheduled to meet in May at Marty’s favorite Chinese restaurant, Mee Noodle Shop (the same place he shot this video), and as usual, Marty was running late.

Marty told us that as soon as he got there, Mark had been waiting for a little and the first words out of Marty’s mouth were not an apology, a welcome, or a hello, but instead “Hold on, I need to get a beer.”

Marty ran out of the restaurant to the supermarket next door and came back with 3 giant beers, Marty said that by the end of the meal, he drank most of the beers. Mark and Marty instantly had a great rapport and Marty started telling Mark his story and transported him to the world of gambling, politics, and ping pong that make Marty a beer commercial away from being the most interesting man in the world.

Mark took everything Marty said and crafted it into an awesome tale that hit newsstands in a six page spread today. The world’s greatest ping pong hustler’s story was told to a whole new audience thanks to the incredible people of Men’s Journal, an awesome writer, and the most famous ping pong player and a true legend.

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