CHEAP EATS And then one day my left foot stuck to the planet and my left knee, under the influence of the opposing team’s cornerback, bent backwards. First, two of my teammates tried to help me off the field, and both of them are med students but one is much shorter than me and the other much taller, so the refs tapped us all on the shoulder and said “here. Let us.”
They made a kind of a chairlift out of their arms and carted me away. “The fireman’s carry,” they called this, but I knew that it was not.
“You realize,” I said, with an arm around each of these tall dudes’ shoulders, “how embarrassing this is going to be when I come running back on the field two plays later.”
“That’s okay,” they said, depositing me on the sideline, and they mentioned a famous basketball player who famously did the same.
I pretended I knew what they were talking about, but basketball is not my sport.
Anyway, it took more than two plays; it took 10 plays, and all of halftime, but I did make it back onto the field, and played the whole second half. Adrenalin is like this.
On the last play of the game, which sealed our victory, I intercepted a pass over the middle, and very foolishly tried to run it back.
Well, there was one woman between me and six (unnecessary) points, and when I made my cut: boom. That same damn knee wasn’t there for me. Strangely, it didn’t hurt; it just wasn’t exactly there.
So I went about my business as usual, give or take ice and Ibuprofen, and a hot bath asizzle with Epsom salts.
I drove to Berkeley, played with the Chunks de la Cooter, helped Crawdad hang some lights over their patio, smoked a slab of ribs, made a homemade barbecue sauce for them, coleslaw like I like it, and played with the kids some more.
Hedgehog, Sal the Pork Chop, and the Jungle Boy were on their way. What was special about this night: Hedgehog’s cowrote episode of Treme was coming on, and the de la Cooters have HBO.
Now, I’m not a TV reviewer. I’m a sportswriter reviewer, and I think someone owes us a retraction. Or . . .
So the Giants done got their shit together in the 25th hour of the NLCS and pulled a trip to the World Series out of their collective ass. Anything to make me look bad, huh?
I admit it was fun to watch them win those last three games — over pork tacos and natchez at Southpaw (with Long Tall Philip), in the Lost Weekend basement cave (on my way to barbecued ribs with Chicken Farmer and the Family de la Cooter), and again at Southpaw, over smoked goat and fry bread (with the Chicken Farmer herself.)
Despite South Paw winning my NLCS comeback mini-series 2-1, I’m going to declare my post-season MVP to be Lost Weekend’s basement cave by a landslide. Here’s why: movie theater seating for about 30 and the baseball projected on the wall with the sound — all for the price of a suggested donation. There’s no waitperson in your face trying to guilt you into drinking more empty calories or giving you the stink-eye.
In the cave, you just sit and cheer. And clap and high five. And listen to baseball nerds wax rhapsodic about who’s breaking ball is on and which sportscaster needs to retire already. It’s a done deal — they are sweeping my World Series viewing this year.
And since by the time you read this it will be too late for you to join me, fear not: I will donate early and often, so that the tradition will be in place next year, in time for us to watch the A’s go all the way together.
Cheap Eats continued
You should of seen her episode! I was never more proud of my sportswriter truly, until last night when she played soccer for the first time since sixth grade. And all I could do was watch. Medically, the news had been good, considering: nothing torn, two weeks.
New favorite restaurant? Trust the name, go for the pho, and avoid lunch specials:
GOOD NOODLE RESTAURANT
Open daily: 10 am-10 pm
239 Clement, SF
Beer and wine