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Beat by Both, part deaux; The long walk home ...

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Posted 01-15-2012 at 08:20 AM by SloMotion

... the shadowy figure navigates his way through the dimly lit, northeast Detroit neighborhood, "Not a bad evening to get mugged" he thinks to himself, the temperature continues to drop and a light snow begins to fall. It occurs to him that it might be a bad omen, the snow ... someone always dies in the movies when it snows. He reaches his destination, it's been awhile, but they know who he is, the bartender PBR's him ... "Watching the game?" "Yeah" ... the channel flips to Fox ... Heuy Lewis is singing the National Anthem ... god why can't they just sing the damn song instead of adding their own personal interpretations to it? ... there's a New Orleans connection with Huey Lewis, isn't there? ... could be a good sign ... SFran wins the toss and defers ... Akers prepares to kick, wth is up with the 49er formation, is it a college game? ... the ball is in the air ... let's get it on! ....

I hate to lose. Always have, always will. I don't take it well, don't accept it and refuse to do it. It's not something I rationalize or try to make sense of. You learn to deal with it (I guess), but you never like it. Attempting to instill this philosophy into a group of 8-under soccer players (in a fun way) forever endeared me to the local AYSO ... we were 19-0-1 and the '1' was because the other team cheated, seriously, but I saw it as a teachable moment and did not respond in kind, otherwise, we'd of won that one too ... the team parents & their kids loved me, even if the league admins didn't ... if there would have been a World Cup for 8-under soccer, we'd of won it ... if they had ever put an 8-under soccer team on a box of Wheaties, it'd of been us ... 12yrs later, I still see some of those parents & kids today and they still call me 'coach' ... but I digress. I hate to lose. It brings back memories.

I'm not convinced. You don't beat a team by less then a score and leave them feeling like they couldn't have won the game. You don't allow 472yds of net offense and say, 'defense wins championships'. You don't have four lead changes in the last 4 minutes of the game and walk away thinking you're the better team for having won ... you consider yourself lucky for squeaking out a close one. SFran didn't beat you 'WhoDat', they just outlasted you.

That was a good football game. The Saints overcame 5 turnovers and an early 17pt deficit to comeback twice in the last four minutes and take the lead. They had drives of 78yds, 80yds, 66yds, 79 and 88yds ... outside and on grass ... put that demon to rest ... the defense held 'em to less yards, fewer first downs, less time of possession, forced more punts, had more sacks and forced just as many fumbles as the Niners ... the defense, or lack of, didn't lose this one ... stuffing the 2pt conversion late kept hope alive.

That was a good football game. You have to give the FortyNiners their props. They won it the old-fashioned way, with defense, or did they? Looked to me that somewhere along the way, Alex Smith may have learned to do more then just 'manage' a game. 300yds & 3TD's, that's not 'managing', that's making a difference. The fourth quarter bootleg wasn't too shabby either. They did it with turnovers, making picks, recovering fumbles and converting them to points. They did it with Vernon Davis, and just as they made 'the Wham' play fashionable, you'll see NFL offenses in the future begin to incorporate the big TE more and more, if they aren't already ahead of the curve, ala Jimmy Graham.

It was the second time I died this season, and it doesn't feel any better the second time around or just because it's not necessarily 'my' team. I threw in with Saints Nation and I'm not turning my back now. I strike my colors (avatar) not as a sign of surrender, but to express my most sincere condolences ... it'll be back. It may sound a bit morbid and over the top, but nothing else really fit. This was the last game of the year to hold any real interest for me ... sure, I'll tune in all the way to the end, but GreenBay/New England still will have me looking forward to the SuperBowl commercials just as much as the game.

... it's over now, the 'thrill of victory' turned to the 'agony of defeat', the memory of Vinko Bogataj (Slovenia) crashing in the 'Wide World of Sports' intro playing over in his mind, he puts on his coat and leaves. Outside, he adjusts his scarf, pulls down his hat and walks toward home ... it's snowing again.
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