I used to be an owner of one of those amplifying devices that gives the user — yours truly — an added edge in listening to a sports broadcast at the volume of his or her convenience.
Obviously designed for those around you, these smaller-than-a-credit-card things can help your hearing without cranking the volume up on the TV set.
Want to know the truth?
Those little things are a pain.
After finally caving in to my oldest son Scott’s advice, I purchased a headset that plugged into my television set for all the times I watched the baseball playoffs alone.
In a nutshell: The headset is better. Problem is, I had to develop better social skills when I was watching, rolling with the punches with the highs and the lows of following baseball post-season play — particularly when the Boston Red Sox were playing.
Here are a few hints for those of you who may succumb to the temptation to act out during those games.
Hint No. 1: Never berate an umpire loud enough to wake up the rest of the house.
Understanding that missed strike calls can bring about a level of consternation that can awaken whole neighborhoods, let alone one house, screaming into a pillow or a blanket will soften the noise.
Hint No. 2: During calmer, more serene times, keep calorie intake at a minimum.
Experts will tell you that stuffing yourself just prior to going to sleep will do no one any good.
Hint No. 3: Keep a list of manager faux pas and mistakes, then send them to him the next day.
There are plenty of blogs out there on the Internet you can find, then take out your anger in that sort of public way. You’ll feel better. You’ll eat less. And, perhaps most importantly, you’ll keep your blood pressure lower.
Hint No. 4: Keep foreign objects away from yourself during the game.
By doing this, you’ll add years to your television set’s life.
When the Red Sox bring you to the point of agitation, make certain that there’s nothing next to you to throw at the screen.
My biggest complaint? Base-running errors. My old coach, Bob Kelley, always taught us to never make the first or third out in an inning on the basepaths.
Gee, I wish somebody had told these young millionaires that rule.
Hint No. 5: Close the door to the room you’re in.
When the game ends, you need to let out a yell, or suffer in silence.
Screaming at the top of your lungs will be way too overwhelming for a sound sleeper. Admittedly, there are times when fans must either scream or complain. A secure room will aid all of the aforementioned joys or woes.
30-Second Time Out
All the local publicity about the basketball programs that the Bangor YMCA offers young people K-12 brought back a lot of memories for this old coach.
It was at the Hammond Street “Y” facility that I began my coaching career in 1969 — yes, I am that old.
Parents, if you are looking for a great place to start your little boy or your little girl playing this wonderful game, there is none better than any YMCA program.
I’ve worked with young people at the Piscataquis Regional YMCA in Dover-Foxcroft and the Bangor facility. The volunteer staffs are great teachers, and they are well supervised.
Like most youth in this city, I was well taken care of and developed such an affection for all this basketball stuff, that I made coaching my life’s work.