by Michael Madshack, DP Assistant Editor
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013,
(SAN FRANCISCO) — As Baltimore welcomed home its world champion Ravens Tuesday in a spectacular parade through its streets, reporters in San Francisco remained desperately trying to find anyone who was even aware their city’s team had even been in the Super Bowl.
The now scandalous 34-minute light failure at New Orleans’ Superdome left much of the 49ers side of the stadium in the dark. But even when the lights in New Orleans came back on the lights in San Francisco itself remained out, in more ways than one. And as reporters searched for San Franciscans’ reaction to their city’s defeat in Super Bowl XLVII, they grew increasingly frustrated at just how few residents of the City by the Bay actually knew their NFL team had made it to the sport’s greatest showdown.
From its neighboring city of San Jose, a disillusioned Mercury News sports reporter Tim Kawakami wandered the streets of San Francisco all day Monday and Tuesday, trying to catch residents’ opinions on their team’s heartbreaking loss to the Ravens. “But I can’t believe it,” said a bewildered Kawakami to fellow reporters on San Francisco’s streets Tuesday. “No one here even knows their city’s team —a damn good one— was in the Super Bowl, or if they won or not. This is the lamest thing I have ever encountered in all my years of reporting. What’s wrong with these people?”
To lifelong San Franciscans Marsha and Givey McNamara—Gunderson, caring and/or not knowing of the fate of their magnificent NFL team that any other city would be ecstatic over seeing compete in the Super Bowl was totally “out of their cosmos of acceptance,” according to the two 36-year-old systems analysts, Tuesday.
Said Givey (short for his birth name of “Forgiveness,” courtesy of his 67-year old social worker parents) while standing in line at a medicinal marijuana dispensary for an aching paper cut, “I mean, ya know, like I’m glad people were happy the 49ers made it this far and almost won, but, I didn’t know about it. And I don’t know anyone else in town who knew about it, either.
“I didn’t know about (the 49ers’) being in the Super Bowl until this morning,” said Mrs. McNamara–Gunderson as she stood next to her “legally conjoined concubine” in line for medicinal marijuana, her doctor’s letter detailing her case of “Severely Wounded Inner–Child Syndrome” in-hand.
“We're sorry if we didn’t know we had a team representing us in some big game somewhere the other night,” McNamara said. “We didn’t even have the TV on. We were playing with the Quija board all night…didn’t see a minute of it.”
“Super Bowl? Fourty-Niners? What’s that?” said 26-year-old Eclipse Dubois, an coffee shop manager and graduate student majoring in Feminist Reptilian Studies at City College of San Francisco. Dubois was excited to learn San Francisco had been represented before the entire world Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVII, but lamented their loss, commenting, “Ahh, I’m so sorry I missed it! …Sunday nights are me and my partner’s designated ‘stare at our lava lamp for six-straight-hours nights.’ Darn it! Now I wish we’d known.”
“Okay, I promise: I’ll never miss this ‘Super Ball’ thing again,” Dubois added as she handed a customer another fructose-lactose-glucose-sugar-hydrogen-oxygen-free ultra-Diet Caramel Double Latte with a twist of red curry powder, made from organically grown beans in Swaziland that had been blessed by a Zulu shaman. “Now I’m excited for next year. I never knew soccer had become so popular in this country!”
The Long Epidemic: San Francisco’s NFL “Super Blackout”
Dubois’ and other San Franciscans’ comments about their city’s loss help confirm what every other Californian (and most of America) has known for years: that San Francisco 49ers fans hail anywhere and everywhere…except from San Francisco; a depressing irony not seen in any other NFL city.
“Super Bowl? Yeah, my homies and me watched the Super Bowl for hours. It was awesome!” said Leon Fuentes to a visiting reporter from Anaheim, Tuesday. “We had a party, got a lot of chips and wings and beer, sat around and watched the super bowl…we watched it be packed, lit, cleaned of its residue, passed it around… Yeah, we hit the shit out of that super bowl!”
Even San Francisco city officials are in the dark about their team’s appearance in the NFL’s championship game. When asked by Los Angeles news crew outside City Hall, Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee commented on “his” team’s performance, “To be honest, I thought football season ended Thanksgiving Day. That’s why Thanksgiving is such a big deal, right? …And I haven’t really been interested in our team since my petition to get their named changed to a number more suitable for San Francisco failed in 1999.”
But to Tucker and Sunny McMillan-Shurma, 31, and 32, not watching the Super Bowl has become routine, regardless which teams are playing. Said Mrs. McMillan–Shurma, a professional volunteer at a hermit crab rescue shelter in Sea Cliff to Duh Progressive Tuesday afternoon, “Years ago Tucker and I read an article on Daily Kos about how much domestic violence against women occurs during Super Bowl Sundays, didn’t we, Tucker? …I said didn’t we, Tucker?”
“Yes, dear, of course we did,” mumbled Tucker, flinching.
“Since that report,” sniffled Mrs. McMillan-Shurma, “we just couldn’t support such a boorish sport that inspires so much violence against women. So instead we just stayed home and talked about our feelings, didn’t we, Tucker? …Didn’t we, Tucker?!”
Tucker: “Wha…oh, yes dear, yes! Please don’t hit me.”
However for the Golden Gate City, not all its residents spent Super Bowl 2013 “in the dark” like the Superdome did during its half-hour lighting debacle. David Gnanakis and Paul Demetrio, owners of Sweat, Grunt & Go, an all-male fitness club in San Francisco’s Castro District, closed their gym Sunday to host the city’s one and only confirmed Super Bowl party. And according to Paul and David, good times were had by all at their gym–turned Super Bowl extravaganza, despite their beloved 49ners losing 34 to 31.
“We always watch the Niners’ games, and rooted as loud as ever for them Sunday,” said Demetrio, 43, Tuesday. Aside from owning Sweat, Grunt & Go, Paul and David are professional bodybuilders and have even been physical trainers for members of the 49ers team.
“We had put out signs and posted all around on-line about our Super Bowl party, but only our fellow bodybuilder friends showed up,” David said with a frown. “…But you can’t say no one in San Francisco doesn’t like football or cares about the Niners! We watched the whole game…every tense, tight, churning, grinding moment of it –all of us, huddled together in the spa section of our club in front of our biggest TV. We watched with bated breath all the grunting, the plays, the tackles, the pick-offs, fumbles, penalties…”
Despite the 49ers’ heartbreaking loss, David and Paul proclaim it a game for the ages. Said Paul, in a voice strikingly similar to that of the late wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage, “We never took our eyes off the screen. Our city’s team vying for domination; all those big, strong, sweaty men pushing and shoving and fighting over who gets control of the ball; tackling and piling on top of each other endlessly, like some exploding cornucopia of jiggling flesh and testosterone. Oh, we watched that Super Bowl, alright —watched it so long and hard…!”
Replied Paul when asked which Super Bowl commercials he liked the best: “What commercials?”