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In memoriam of Seth Roberts

By Dave Ostrowsky

Section: Front Page, Sports, Top Stories

September 28, 2012

Late August 2002. I’m bouncing around the first floor Renfield dormitory, trying to get settled in before Orientation. I don’t remember a lot from that sweaty first day but I do recall one soon-to-be hallmate who was about a head taller (or more) than the rest of us Brandeisians. I figured that he was about 6’7” and I thought that it was cool that we had a Brandeis basketball player on our floor.

Well, in a few days that 6’7” dude became one of my close friends. It didn’t take long for Seth Roberts ’06 and I to hit it off. We were both avid sports fans, albeit of different teams. Along with other hallmates, we spent many a fall Sunday afternoon watching NFL games and ordering greasy, buffalo chicken calzones. Seth was passionate about all things sports. An avid fan of the New York Giants, Mets and Knicks, he was never afraid to voice his well informed opinions about anything going on in the world of sports. I can only imagine his outrage over the asinine ending to the Packers-Seahawks Monday Night Football game earlier this week.

Seth earned a spot on the varsity basketball team as a first-year, walking onto the court to score in double-digits against a tough Washington University team on the road during a late season game. Then Brandeis (and former Celtics) coach Chris Ford made a point of recognizing Seth’s strong performance in his postgame remarks—a rare recognition for a first-year. He probably would have had a nice career for the Judges but he decided to focus his efforts on lacrosse, a sport in which he excelled at the club level. Seth would return to Brandeis basketball as a broadcaster for WBRS, calling games on the sidelines and then commenting on them later at night during our weekly Sunday night radio shows. Many of us WBRS sports members never played basketball past elementary school, so it was nice to hear the perspective of a college hoops alum.

Perhaps one of my fondest memories of spending time with Seth was when we interviewed Boston Celtics players and coaches at the nearby training facility in Waltham. (It was a little easier to get media access at the time given that Boston’s baseball and football teams were then on top of the world.) In any event, I remember Seth and I jockeying for position amongst professional scribes and reporters while trying to slip in a question for Doc Rivers or Paul Pierce. It must have been cool to be roughly the same height as professional basketball players. In any event, it was nice to carry on a tradition of Brandeis sports reportering at Celtics practices—one that had existed in the early 1990s when Larry Bird and the Celtics actually did practice at Brandeis. As college kids, we felt pretty good about ourselves as we headed back to campus after shooting the breeze with Gary Payton or Al Jefferson for a few minutes.

I know that Seth’s passion for life transcended the playing fields. While I am not particularly well versed in the music field, I can appreciate how Seth parlayed his creativity into spearheading a heavy metal band that performed throughout the Greater Boston area. He took his music very seriously and found performances to be a great vehicle for articulating his thoughts. On a couple of occasions, I thankfully left my comfort zone of sports, pubs and movies to venture out to his impressive shows.

Anyone who knew Seth loved his passion for life and his fun-loving nature. People from all different social groups, backgrounds and interests gravitated toward him. His sense of humor was infectious and his thirst for creative expression was inimitable, as far as I am concerned. Smart, compassionate, entertaining, Seth was all those things and more. You would have loved knowing Seth. For those of us who did, we miss him already.

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