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.

Three Steps To Heaven on a Saturday Night

Dr. Strange late matinee at Fenway Reagal (the most sumptuous, accommodating seats I’ve ever experienced in a movie house — they know they have to do something special to get you away from that home theater).

Take-pout of pulled pork, steak strips and black-eyed peas from Sweet Cheeks, which I think I’ve said before is easily the finest BBQ we’ve ever found in Boston.

Florida vs. Florida State in the still pretty luxurious home theater.

Walking on sunshine.

I’d Go Back To My First Love, Baseball, If …

… I didn’t find it so brutally expensive and cultish in Boston. Deep down I’m a fair-weathered (very weathered) fan: I dropped away from basketball after the Larry Bird years (what, there’s going to be a whole team as much fun to watch as those five/six?) And now that Trumpster Brady is way up in the HoF, the horrors of C.T.E. turn me away from football like never before.

But a good ballgame on TV is an eternal draw, I guess. Takes me back to the days when my high school, of all freakin’ things, would broadcast the World Series over the radio during study halls. Felt like it was the one thing every American could agree on. Then, anyway.

The Wisdom of Nelson George

Always worth all the attention you can muster.

Also one of the most fun interviews I did at the Boston Phoenix. Book tour for the original Michael Jackson Story. A good exchange came after the official interview was over and we were walking past Fenway Park.

“I understand brothers don’t show up for games there,” said George.

“It’s true,” I replied.

“Why is that?”

“For all the sad reasons you can imagine.”

Appropriate stretch of dead silence.