Did the headline snag you? Did you click on this story in a fit of pique? Good. Point made.
People, I’m getting old. This year I’ll turn 50, an odd age that I never thought about when I was younger. I would contemplate turning 40 (where will I be, mid-life?) and 60 (will I be close to retiring?), but 50 always sounded like a no-man’s-land age.
These days, I wake up and try to raise my arms, only to feel as though gremlins spent the night punching me in the shoulders. I don’t feel ready to walk in the morning until my ankles crackle. It’s an age where I remind myself of my father more and more every day.
Quick story (okay not so quick but here it is): I went to the Apple store a couple of days ago to get a tripod for my daughter, who enjoys making music videos but needs two hands to make the Shopkins dance to the clean version of “Friends.” (Side note: I’m old enough that, when I heard of a song called “Friends,” I figured it referred to this gem from Whodini.)
As I walked into the store, a pleasant young woman with a tablet and a headpiece asked if she could help me find anything. I didn’t really need her help as I had time to browse, but I figured I’d act pleasantly in return and said yes. She then talked into her headpiece and asked for someone to come help a customer. This took long enough where I started to regret asking for assistance I hadn’t really wanted. She eventually said, “Okay, I can set you up in a line where you can wait for someone to help you.” What?
I said, “Can I just look?” with much more piteousness than I wanted. She let me go. Here’s the thing: Apple stores have a box shape. No standing shelves, because it’s the future or whatever, but you can stand anywhere in an Apple store and point to every wall shelf. So, when this pleasant young woman approached me and offered to help, couldn’t she just point to where the tripods were, lo those 15 feet away?
Also at the Apple store? No cash registers, because no checkout counter (The Future!). Doesn’t make buying stuff any easier when you have to stand around with the thing you’re trying to buy and look for a worker to help you get someone else to check you out.
The Apple Store: Where Some Other Genius Can Help You With That.
See? I’m old. That’s my preface to discussing how I felt hearing about the loss of Clark Booth. A thinking man’s sports pundit, and a compassionate reporter. I recommend watching this video of WCVB’s sports report after the Red Sox came back to beat the Angels in the 1986 American League Championship. Three things come to mind immediately:
1. Their tone. No one’s rushing. No one’s shouting. Three guys having a conversation about what they just saw.
2. Clark Booth’s empathy. He seems genuinely concerned for the Angels, and praises them for maintaining their class in the most difficult of times, sports-wise.
3. Clark Booth’s fandom. Chet Curtis can’t help but roast Booth in regards to the latter’s doomsday Sox predictions, but as Booth responds, he has earned his skepticism. Again: no shouting, no real arguing, just a plain-spoken outline of why he thought what he thought. Also? No predictions from anyone on how the Red Sox will do in the World Series, as Booth admits he just doesn’t know the Mets very well yet.
If such a comeback happens this fall, how many reporters will call the Red Sox lucky? How many will go out of their way to predict a fold in the World Series, jumping all over each other to become the first to cast doubt on the local team’s prospects, all at top volume?
Again, I’m old, but this clip felt … comforting. Just, easy to watch and hear. So many pundits make a living out of trash guesses now. Hence the headline for this column: I could write that piece. I could make up concern about how Brady hasn’t been hitting his targets in practice, and how Edelman won’t be there in September, and how Gronk’s body won’t be able to handle a full 16 games.
Brady Will Stink. See? Simple.
Brady Will Be The League’s Worst QB By Week 10. Oooh. Angry yet? Better comment below! Better tweet this story out so more people can react.
The 1986 Red Sox were a fun team who lost the World Series in the least fun way. I’m glad Clark Booth got to see his baseball team win multiple championships. I’m not happy he had to watch the Boston sports media to which he contributed so much become a lesser, cruder version of itself.
Yes, I am old. Old enough to remember the glory days of The Boston Globe and a bunch of other local outlets. Maybe someone else can help me with that.
Chris Warner has a god damn toothache. He’s at email@example.com and @cwarn89.