Sunday, January 13, 2013

Shut Off the Idiot Box

I've done something I haven't done all season. Shut off a football game -- a divisional playoff game no less, Texans-Patriots -- before the game is over. Ninkovich's interception of Schaub was all I could take and I couldn't take anymore. I didn't think I'd make it out the apartment today but after I shut off the TV I washed the dishes in the sink and actually took the recycling downstairs. I opened a fortune cookie that had been sitting on my cutting board for the last four days. It read, "A quiet evening with friends is the best tonic for a long day." So now I'm listening to some Iron & Wine albums I checked out from the library, drinking a cup of green tea and soon I'll pick up a book. (I'm still checking the Texans-Patriots game online.)

Here's a doomsday scenario for this bachelor. An Atlanta-New England Super Bowl. I'm confident that the 49ers can rush Matt Ryan in a way that the Seahawks were unable to.  But domes on the road are tough.  And, sure, the Ravens might be a team of destiny, but they're beat up from double OT. So it's a distinct possibility that we'll be watching the most unappetizing spectacle of Brady vs. Ryan in the Superdome.

I haven't felt as low after a playoff loss since Roger Craig fumbled in the 1990 NFC Championship Game (against a Belichik coached defense). It spelled the end of the Montana-era hegemony of the San Francsico 49ers. I had just moved from Morningside Heights back to Washington Heights. I was low, so low after that game that I was staring down at myself from outside my body. I referred to this period -- the break-up of my marriage and then the failure of San Francisco to three-peat -- as "Valerie disappears the 49ers umbrella." Valerie was a young lady I met on the streets of Upper Manhattan and with whom I spent a few sad nights. The 49ers umbrella was the shield from emotional harm provided by being a San Francisco football fan.

During the Seahawks comeback in the second half of today's game I fished out of storage my attempt at a spontaneous prose document -- I wouldn't want to call it a novel, more like a proto-blog written to myself on a manual typewriter -- from the period when "Valerie disappears the 49ers umbrella." It was my first official run at being a bachelor, a time of no little drama and a great deal of suffering. Hopefully in the days going forward I'll have the time to post it here. You'll read of street fights, bar fights, whores, malt liquor, subways -- the whole pitiful yarn of a young man trying to be sincere in the big city.

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