Saturday, February 05, 2005


There was a time, if you lived in the Bay Area and gave even a fraction of a damn about sports, that the idea of having to generate interest in the Superbowl was laughable. Certainly, I enjoyed many hours of chuckles just imagining such a problem.
For a number of years, either the Raiders or the 49ers were involved, which made intense interest automatic. For another number of years, if the Raiders or 49ers were not involved, the Cowboys or Broncos were, which was equally automatic: you painted your body in the colors of the opposing team and stayed awake the entire night before, fired by anticipation and cheap antipathy. Sometimes it was the Rams who wired you up for the game, based on our traditional tribal loathing for them, although without the vindictive high that attached to rooting against them when they were still in L.A.
In recent years, however, it's been difficult. The Raiders made it to the Big Corporate Blowout two years ago, but things were so grimly irrelevent back in 2001--the Ravens vs.Giants--that I had to go with my congenital antipathy for New York City and the fact that an old friend was once one of the Ravens quarterback's high school teachers.
This year, I am flat-out desperate. But after much soul searching, I have managed to contrive an excuse for giving a shit who wins the game tomorrow. And I am going contrarian with this. My choice is, of course, based on a pro-Niners spitefulness, but it is not the obvious selection: T.O., the bad seed who spurned and split. Rather, I'm rooting for the Eagles for a different pitifully petty reason: a victory by the Patriots would be their third in four years, hefting them up a notch on the Dynasty meter and putting them almost on a par with the 49ers. Certainly, a Pats win would to some extent lessen the sheen on the Niners era of greatness.
It's not a prideful thing I do, but is no worse than Miami fans who root, year in and year out, against any team that dares threaten to run the table.
Anyway, when you get right down to it, I like the average eagle one hell of a lot more than I do the average patriot.
Go birds!


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