I have never frozen to death, at least that I can remember, but the gradual numbing of the mind towards reality associated with that form of croaking must feel something like waiting out this endless, empty offseason. At a certain point, complete disinterest settles in and from that moment on you either end up dead or somebody lights a fire.
That point has arrived. The owners and players either fire things up this week or we end up with a dead or severely frost-bitten season.
In both cases, life and football, it is no fun to be reminded of one’s own powerlessness. The inability to do anything about a problem. This is where dangerous psychopaths have an advantage over normal citizens. Those fellows always have action-oriented alternatives.
Joe Normal Fan, however, doesn’t. In fact, old Joe knows in his heart he can be slapped around and played for a patsy for just about any length of time and he will still tune in to the game as soon as there’s one available — whether that’s next week or next year. This is not a pleasant thing to know about oneself.
But it’s not Joe that the owners and players are worried about. It’s the swing voters who buy tickets because it’s hip, who tune in their big screens so Joe will come to their barbecue. In fact, poor old Joe has been priced out of the market by the league for quite some time. Joe don’t sit in the stands any more. Corporations and event hoppers and high rollers sit there. These people aren’t addicted to football like Joe is.
No more vivid evidence of this can be presented than to hear the 49ers have sold $138 million worth of luxury suites for a stadium that hasn’t even been built. Those are not Joe dollars, that’s for sure. Those are look-at-me dollars, all the way.
Which, by the way, is the answer to the question of what’s wrong with Michael Crabtree. It’s the look-at-me factor. Crabtree came to a team where the go-to look-at-me guy was Vernon Davis, who promptly reminded Crabtree of his preeminence last year in Crabtree’s first training camp. Crabtree has never had to fight for preeminence. It was always just obvious that he was the best player on every team he’s played on. In SF, however, he has to earn preeminence and he’s not thrilled about this task. Making it worse, VD’s supplier of eminence is Alex Smith, with whom Crabtree has established no rapport whatsoever. Are the dots connecting to Crabtree’s refusal to acknowledge who the team’s QB was going to be this year? If Crabtree becomes the star this year, will VD be able to handle it? Will the two bond and become super bros?
Something to think about as we sweat out one last week of lawyerville idiocy. Hey, what’s one more week? We can do this. After all, we have no choice. We’re addicts.