April 15, 2015

The Reflections of a Brocktonian Paperboy -- Extra! Extra! Read all about it

Hagler wins the WAR against Hearns
By Jeffrey Freeman — In 1985, there was no internet.

It was a different world 30 years ago. News and information was passed by word of mouth and on the printed page. Things were not as immediate as they are today in the age of social media and online reporting. Newspapers were the primary source of dispatch and most regular people had a paperboy who delivered it to their front door 7 days a week. Growing up in Brockton, Massachusetts, a massive paper route was my first job. I made about $150 a week with tips. I was 15 years old and used the money to buy boxing magazines and other youthful treasures like comic books and baseball cards. 

I had over 100 subscribers to the Brockton Enterprise and another 100 or so for the Boston Globe. Some people got both papers. Others got just the Sunday editions. It was a lot to keep track of and a lot of "pulp non-fiction" to go door to door with but I enjoyed it more than you can imagine, being the bearer of all the latest news.

8 minutes of fistic fury
The Boston Globe was a morning paper. The Brockton Enterprise was an afternoon paper. Sunday mornings were a nightmare for me and my ten-speed bicycle. The big stacks of fat Sunday papers that were waiting for me at the end of my driveway when I woke up at 4AM was an intimidating sight to behold. However, one day in particular stands out for me as a young news carrier. That was Tuesday, April 16, 1985. The Monday night before in Las Vegas, Nevada, "our guy" Marvelous Marvin Hagler had knocked out Thomas "Hitman" Hearns in the third round of an instant classic to retain his World Middleweight Championship and make his mark on history.

Brockton Enterprise Victory Edition April 16, 1985
And so it came to pass that during the early morning hours of April 16, it was my distinct honor and privilege to deliver the front page, good news to the waking people of Brockton (in my south side neighborhood anyway) that our hometown Marvelous One was indeed still champion of the whole wide world and winner of the most exciting prizefight in middleweight boxing history.

Later that day after high school in the City of Champions, I proudly did it all over again with the Brockton Enterprise. It only occurs to me now that when it comes to the timely delivery of boxing news, I've been at this for a very long time.

As always my friends in fistiana, thank you for reading.