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Cross-Country Trip

October 17, 2004

"And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say man, what are you doing here?"
-Billy Joel "Piano Man"

My home phone rang early this afternoon with the unusual listing of "Private Caller". I let it go to my answering machine, feeling that it was probably a political call. Those are protected from the Do Not Call Registry, which incidentally is one of the greatest pieces of legislation passed in the past decade.

Anyway, the caller hung up... but then my cell phone abruptly began to ring. My cell phone's caller ID is apparently smarter than my home phone's is (thanks Verizon!), as it showed "Scott Massey M" (with the M signifying Mobile Phone). He was calling from Chattanooga, having chosen (wisely) to take the Atlanta/Nashville/St. Louis path on his extremely long car drive from St. Petersburg, FL to Yakima, WA. He had been deliberating even the night before on taking the other route suggested by AAA, which would've sent him west on Interstate 40 (which cuts all the way across the country) and through some really open (read: desolate) parts of Texas. This way he's getting to see some cities that I know pretty well, but places that he's never visited before.

It's not going to be the same with Scott gone. We can have some of our classic video game battles via modem, but it's not quite like having him drop by bringing a six pack of Woodchuck Cider, the games he had that I didn't, and his two memory cards that weren't marked so we'd always have to check them to see which one was which. I could write a fun "The Adventures of Scott & Lou" article for here, but I'd have to leave our some really good parts, and I don't know that tidbits like "the time I returned two punts for TDs with Alvis Whitted was the turning point of me owning him in video game football" would make for a fun read as a stand-alone piece. Though things like "Throwing beads at Mayor Greco during Gasparilla" and "Puking off of my balcony" could earn their own column, if I decided to give them the space and time needed. Then again, even those would have too much fall under the "Scene Missing" category (otherwise I would've written about them at the time).

And while it sucks to have my best friend in Tampa moving literally across the country, the career payoff for him will be huge. I think he will be the TV news producer equivalent of the main character in the Billy Joel song "Piano Man", where he will astound people by the fact that someone of his caliber is working in a market the size of Yakima. Meanwhile, the braintrust of WTSP couldn't find a spot for him as an associate news producer. Idiots.

On another topic, it's been fun to see the degeneration of Red Sox fans. When the Yankees/Red Sox ALCS began, it was "payback for last year" and "reverse the curse" and all of that typical nonsense. When Boston lost game one, and it was clear that Curt Schilling was NOT healthy, you could see the bravado seep away. "It's a seven game series," they'd remind me (I use the plural since I have to deal with a number of them -- this is my reflection of the collective experience). But the confidence wasn't there, even with Pedro on the mound for Game 2. When the Yankees beat Pedro and showed him who his daddy was, I heard "Just wait till Boston!" When the Yankees hung 19 on Bronso Arroyo and Friends last night... well the silence that followed was music to me.

I like what Robert Dvorchak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted in his write-up of the game: "When Fenway Park opened in 1912, the Boston Red Sox shared space on the front pages with the sinking of the Titanic." 'Nuff said.

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