Marathon 2017

Every year, a bit after 10 AM, I walk down to where the course turns onto Beacon Street to see the firsts in each category.

Highlight (as always): The leaders, radiant with vitality, know they have a strong shot at winning if they are in that position at that stage of the race. I tear up every time.

Lowlights (this year): Windy. A stranger, seeing my Cubs cap, assumes I’m a diehard fan and starts yakking up about the team. When I explain the cap is more about attending a few games with the journalist friend (Mark Caro) who gave me the headgear, the stranger gives me this look that suggests it’s weird, even wrong, hell — immoral to wear a logo if you aren’t proclaiming your love-object to the world.

Yes, Boston has taught me everything I know about how not to be a good sports follower.

R.I.P.: Pat Summitt

One of our all-time favorite sports champs in any role.  This hurts as much as a music icon. I was most devastated, however, at the announcement about five years ago, that she suffered from early-onset Alzheimer’s. That accursed disease has twisted my world more than once and shows there is no mercy or justice in this life.

Years ago, I assumed, from casual watching, that womens’ basketball was just less dynamic than the male version. Coach Summitt showed me how wrong I was.Every time I came across one of her games on TV it was a must-watch. Like all master coaches she fused with her teams and their iron-boned determination was a thrill to behold. They never lost because they went slack or tried something stupid. The record wins were apt rewards.

And I loved her wonderful life story. She was just my age.