Yes, of course, we are culturally out of our minds for sports in this, the Age of Athletic Fetishism. Yes, of course, the incessant idolization, worshipification and pedestalization of sports figures and teams resides on the limits of sanity. Yes, of course, if we took one-tenth of the energy that we expend on the adoration of teams and athletes and used it for the Betterment of All Mankind and Our Wondrous Planet, we’d be living in a gleaming utopia free of all hatred, disease and bedbugs—with Jetson-like air cars for all. Yes, yes, yes and yes.

OK, so with that said … how about that freakin’ game last Sunday night between the 49ers and Seahawks? I mean—whoa. You show me a crazy, fevered contest that gets decided on the last bloody play of the game by one bloody inch, and I’ll show you some rather gripping television. And when you consider that for the Niners, this was their fifth game in a row that was decided on the last freaking play of the game, well, I have to wonder how many heart attacks the team has provoked since Thanksgiving. (And, yes, Niner fans, you got away with some serious pass interference on the next-to-last play of the game. You know you did!)

So if the Saints beat the Vikings this Sunday in New Orleans (which they will. Trust me. I’m a Viking fan, and I’m not feelin’ real good about this one) and if the Seahawks beat the Eagles in the Battle of the Raptors (which they will, since the Eagles basically stink), well, then that means that the Niners will, for their first playoff game … host the freaking Seahawks! If you’re a Niner fan with a pacemaker, beware! Your poor ticker could be in for another rough ride!

Since I have a sports jag going, I might as well throw this into the mix—because somebody’s gotta say it—but, honestly, who the bleep gives a bleep about the bleeping Dallas Bleepboys? Seriously. The Bleepboys have had a stone cold chokehold on 8-8 seasons for the last 25 bleepin’ years. Bleep ’em!

Speaking of gripping television, have you watched The Irishman on Netflix yet? You talk about an instant classic. DeNiro, Pesci and Pacino are all in prime form, chewing up scenes like they were sticks of Juicy Fruit. And don’t let the 220-minute length spook ya. I carved the movie into a 4-night mini-series, 55 minutes a night, and that concept worked quite nicely.

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