“I had dinner with Dan Marino. I said, “What is it like playing quarterback? He said ‘Think of the freeway and you’re walking up the freeway with traffic coming at you while you’re trying to read Hamlet.”
-Al Pacino, with one of many classic quotes from the Ringer’s characteristically awesome and revelatory Oral History of Any Given Sunday.
Late to the Party
“There was a time, about ten years ago, when I could write like Grantland Rice. Not necessarily because I believed all that sporty bullshit, but because sportswriting was the only thing I could do that anybody was willing to pay for. And none of the people I wrote about seemed to give a hoot in hell what kind of lunatic gibberish I wrote about them, just as long as it moved. They wanted Action, Color, Speed, Violence.”
-HST, in his Rolling Stone coverage of Super Bowl 7, which happened to run when I was exactly 17 days old.
Hello there. Why yes, hello. Howdee. Not dead. At least not in any real mortal sense, of course. Nor even in the dedder ‘n a hobnail sense of the second decade of this so far overall (in any reasonable estimation) horrid Millenium we just flushed down the shitter of history. Nope, still breathing (through somewhat shredded, pulpy bronchioles… that gray mid-winter dreck is hanging tough this year… difficult to shake) and relatively upright, though the fantasy season is kaput and all my teams are dead, done, and buried right along with it. And yours are too. Sad, but also relief, perhaps like the end of any hard, often painful thing (provided you care whether you win or lose, which I very much to my own chagrin do). I was there for a lot of it ending, but sadly this is also the time of year when a whole fuck lotta other shit happens too, like working long-ass days, and of course the holidays and traveling to see family in far-away desert oases, and somehow in an attempt to have a sort of normal life schedule and share a weekend day off with my wife, I ended up with Saturdays off and I work an 11-hour day on Sundays, starting at 10 am, just as the first round of games is starting. So I haven’t been parked in front of Red Zone all day like some Sundays past, maniacally clicking back and forth between Fanduel and Yahoo and Monkey Knife Fight and Twitter and all y’alls wack-ass text streams of shit-talk, all the while slowly losing my mind and health and desperately searching for an excuse to go the fuck outside and, well, not always finding one.
Oh yeah, and did I mention that the lady and I moved on December 1st? Like every single thing we own into another house? It’s pretty great. We’re happy. But we’re both swamped and exhausted (not stopping her from running her second half-marathon in a month though… she’s the crazy one, not me). Oh, and we no longer have the dirt cheap mega-cable that came with our old place, so I’m doing my best to compensate. I got Red Zone on Sling and you know what, to see that epic fucking Week 17 Seattle/SF battle, I broke down and dropped 45 bucks for the last scraps of this season’s NFL Game Pass.
I may have a problem. I don’t know. I like football way too much, against all my better judgment. So grotesque, so monolithic, so venal, so miraculous. I know I always say it, but quintessentially American in that way.
But man, at the very damn least, it is so much fun watching the 49ers kick this much ass again. What an amazing surprise all that ended up being. We always try to see the best in our teams, but even the best ones are still utterly surprising when they manage to pull off being in that final mix of greatness.
Still…yeah anyway, writing this fantasy season post-post-posty-Post-cereal-poster-boy-mortem makes me feel a bit like the clueless gawker wandering into the party two days late (or two weeks in this case) after all the streamers and confetti and glitter have been swept into piles, and all the smashed flute shards (hopefully) poured into some Republican hamlet’s water supply (I kid…mostly… though you’ll pry the shimmering champagne shards from my cold dead hands, you fuckin’ Commies — President Ben Franken promised me I could have as many as I wanted in the Second Commandment of the Consternation! Besides, you know exactly whose water supply those glass shards are really going into if they are going anywhere, and they won’t be white people…), and the purple and green puke stains are nearly scrubbed out of the couch fabric (give it another swoosh with the Bissell, and it’ll be butt-spankin’ new, baby), and nobody has any idea who the bald fella in the three-piece suit sleeping in the tub in the third upstairs bathroom on the right is, though he seems at home enough, so they’re letting him sleep off the haze of whatever designer drugs the Fuck You I Won Percent are doing these days… And the event planner has had every drop of cortisol squeezed from her poor shriveled adrenals since three days before this shithouse even got going, but she’s used to that and all she needs is say something unbearably cruel to one of her assistants and maybe let that one caterer with the chin scar who takes too many smoke breaks and has definitely done time fuck her in the commissary freezer with a rolling pin until she screams loud enough to shatter the intertwining ice dolphin sculpture that’s sitting there, all ready for the next event…
Apparently I’m still writing. Or trying, anyway. Where the hell was I before we started in on designer bath salts and dolphin flute orgasms and all that?
Oh yes, late to the party. Continue reading “ASTRAL GEEKS SEASON FINALE, PART 1: America Loves a Winner”