New York Times columnist Joe Nocera today writes an eye-popping piece about legendary Boston journalist Clark Booth’s breakthrough reporting on professional football injuries:
Thirty-six years ago, Clark Booth, a young Boston journalist, went to Miami to cover Super Bowl X. Though primarily a television newsman, Booth was on assignment for The Real Paper, an alternative weekly long since closed, for which he often wrote. His plan was to interview the players about the potential consequences of the injuries they suffered playing football . . .
[N]o one had ever written an article like that before Clark Booth went to Miami. I remember being thunderstruck reading it. D.D. Lewis of the Dallas Cowboys talked about having nightmares and his fear of breaking his neck. Lee Roy Jordan, a veteran Cowboys linebacker, was asked by Booth why he kept playing with a sciatic nerve condition.
“By the time I’m 55, I feel they’ll have learned enough to medically treat me,” he said. “If they can’t, I can accept that.”
Nocera tracked down Booth in Florida, who dug up a copy of the Real Paper story. As Nocera says, it’s a knockout. And thanks to him, it’s back in circulation.