Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer
By Jamie Trecker
Maxwell J. Lieberman was a desk editor at the Hartford Courant, back in the 1950s and 60s, and a special breed of man. Desk editors are a reporter’s secret weapon: they are by nature patient and meticulous, with a clear grasp of how to get from A to B. They make us look sober and sensible. But they are not reporters: we a far more reckless breed. Sadly, the desk man’s affliction is the burning desire to be out in the field, where he imagines the romance to happen.
Courant legend has it that Liberman got his chance. It was a slow news day in Hartford and he was sent out to recap the Elizabeth Park lawn bowling tournament, about as tame as you can get. Unfortunately, his first line was: “It was a beautiful day…” and no one remembers the rest, because the editor in chief came down, ripped the story out of the paper and told Mr. Lieberman in fragrant terms that he was not going to lead the sports section with a weather report.
I’ve been thinking a lot about poor Max, because it’s so difficult not to lead with the weather here. It’s awful. London is experiencing its coldest spring in 37 years. On Wednesday night at the women’s Champions League final, you feared pleurisy; it rained so hard that the normally packed Covent Garden was empty. At Inverness Market, the vendors didn’t even bother to set up the stalls. I guess there are German fans here, but they are so bundled up in rain suits that it is hard to pick them out.
My colleagues saw a few more Germans over at Stratford, where the fan fest kicked off on Thursday. But at Trafalgar Square, where luminaries such as Cafu were supposed to be offering “lessons” of one sort or another, the artificial pitch had puddles several feet wide. Most decided they’d rather see that exhibit at the National Gallery after all.