Green Monster paint color
Miles: 92 (Springfield, Mass., to Boston); total miles: 3, 390; hours of driving: 2; hours of sleep; 6; naked pedestrians dashing across Bolyston Street: 1; wrong turns while getting around the Big Dig: 4; parking across from Fenway: $25; Diet Pepsi: 5 units; miles remaining: 0.
BOSTON - I am looking out from inside the fabled Green Monster, staring through a narrow slit in the scoreboard that acts like blinders on a horse, restricting my view to nothing but the Red Sox playing before me, the Fenway Faithful cheering behind them and a scoreboard above them all that is flashing the score of the New York Yankees game.
In other words, I am enjoying a unique view of Fenway Park while also sharing the typical Bostonian's daily perspective of the world.
After 17 days, nearly 3, 400 miles, more than 160 gallons of gas and several cases of Diet Pepsi, my cross-country tour of sports along Interstate 90 is at its end. With Scooter flying home on his own, I drove the final stretch of our nation's longest highway earlier Wednesday afternoon, passing within a Nomar Garciaparra throw of Fenway Park before reaching the eastern terminus two miles later in the congestion of Boston's notorious Big Dig.
For those who have never been to Boston, the Big Dig is a vast road construction project that has been disrupting traffic since about, oh, 1918, when the Red Sox last won the World Series, and probably will not be finished until the Red Sox win another World Series. Neither seems in the near future what with the traffic jam that awaited me and the recent city-quieting Red Sox slide.
This is a city that loves its history, and that 84-year World Series drought is as much a part of the Boston identity as Paul Revere's Midnight Ride, the Kennedy family and the Cheers bar. The Celtics had the Russell and Bird dynasties, and the Patriots won last winter's Super Bowl, but it is the Sox and the World Series drought that are permanently etched in the city's soul. In Boston, you can hold a perfectly normal conversation with someone, discussing a topic totally unrelated to the Red Sox, baseball or even sports, only to have him suddenly mutter, "That (expletive) Buckner.''
All you can do is nod your head and say you understand.
|The rumors say it's cramped and infested with rats, but Jim Caple found the inside of the Fenway scoreboard to be roomy and clean.|
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