San Francisco is imploding. My beloved Forty Niners are playing today! Although I am not a native San Franciscan, I am a native Bay Arean–Born in Burlingame, raised on the Peninsula, moved to San Francisco in 1999, and have been here with the exception of a two year hiatus in Connecticut.
Although I have always been a Giants fan, football was the true sport for our family. We had season tickets to the 49er games up until last year. Of course, I was in love with both Joe Montana and Steve Young (Steve Young, especially), but I also adored the big linebackers. I had a thing for Tom Rathman, not the most attractive man in the bunch. And Bubba Paris. HUGE guy. And of course there’s Jerry Rice, the receiver of the century according to my family.
Joe Montana decided to transfer to Kansas City to get more playing time with the Chiefs because of Steve Young’s amazing ability to, well, play better than Comeback Joe. And he then was out of my life. It was all Steve Young after that for me. I was teased for this often. I loved Steve Young. So much, that I almost accidentally hit him in my car.
This is no joke. I was home from my first year of college. It was the end of school year, and my mom asked me to pick up my little brother R from middle school. It later in the day, mom wasn’t going to be home for a while, and my brother informed me that he needed 2 dozen croissants for his French class the next day. R told me I had to buy them. He was 13. I was 18. Ugh.
We were driving in downtown Los Altos, because I knew there was a french pastry there, and we were in the worst spot to cross over Main Street. My brother wouldn’t stop talking about how he’d fail French if I didn’t buy the croissants. I told him we’d buy 12 and he could cut them in half, and the pair of us were arguing. I got sick of waiting at this stop sign, which faced a blind corner, and gunned it–and was t-boned by an older man. Expletives came out of both R’s and my mouth. Oh, God. I was dead. Car accident. My fault. Grounded (despite being over 18–this went on until I was officially “off” my parents payroll) and the summer had barely begun.
I looked at R, and asked if he was okay, and he was staring straight ahead, eyes boggling out. I asked him if he was okay again. “Mo? Can you fake not breathing?” I looked at him confused. “R, what are you talking about?” He went white, looked at me, and said, “Mo. Don’t freak. But Steve Young is right there, looking and walking this way. Maybe he can give you CPR!”
That’s my baby brother for you–always looking out for his sister! Well, yes, Steve and his then-wife were literally in the crosswalk, in my car’s path. It could have been ugly. He shouted over to us to make sure we were okay, and I waved, smiled, and almost peed my pants. The old guy reamed me out pretty good. The damage wasn’t bad for either car. But, I had my parents to face. And the wrath of my friends, all Broncos fans, who I knew would soon hear that I nearly killed Steve Young.
At this point in my nearly three years of driving, I had been in two “accidents”. My first, in moving traffic, was also with R in the car. We’ve decided he’s not the best luck charm. The second, I got stuck on a parking garage post. That was fun. And this, my third, was the worst. Neither of us had whiplash, no one was hurt, damage was minimal. My parents handle “catastrophes” differently. Mom–irrational. Dad–rational and joking. Dad wanted to hear more about Steve Young, while Mom wanted to take my car away for the summer, but realized it was futile because I needed it to work, and instead, she would need to cart me around all summer. And finally though, she broke down and asked, like any good Niner fan would, “Was he as good looking in person?” Yes Mom, the answer is yes.
Thanks to the San Francisco 49ers for supplying my family with Niner Football Pride for the past three decades. Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, and Randy Moss–don’t forget the men that have played before you, to make this team truly great. And remember, a mascot like Sourdough Sam (yes, and few people know that) means pride for the City By the Bay. Do Us Proud, Boys, Do Us Proud.
All Tomorrow’s Parties–The Velvet Underground
Night Moves–Bob Seger
Even Better Than the Real Thing–U2
Win Your Love For Me–Sam Cooke
Undone (The Sweater Song)–Weezer
Mom and Dad’s Waltz–Willie Nelson and Ray Price