Who's got it better than us? For the first time in history, the city of Baltimore has it better than San Francisco. Teams fielded by two crab-infested bayside towns battled it out for bragging rights and the Vince Lombardi shiny metal thing in a third city known for even tinier crustaceans. After a postseason marked by uplifting comebacks and punctuated by trademarked arm-kissing, not even Colin Kaepernick's tattoos could lead the Niners to a win. The Ravens went up 14-0 early and despite the many superior qualities of the city of San Francisco, its professional football team could not prove it on a national stage.
Steve Bisciotti — who is not, as previously thought, a sort of cookie that goes nicely with coffee, like one you might find in any of San Francisco's storied coffee houses, but in fact an owner of a real football team — accepted the Vince Lombardi shiny metal thing on behalf of the only thing Maryland has going for it. His hair was thin and greased back. It was not California hair.
Back in San Francisco: We changed the channel. We had no need for such hair. No desire to watch bizzaro Harbaugh thank the wrong fans in Purple. We put on Puppy Bowl again or googled some Beyonce photos. Oh look, Ace Ventura is on cable.
On the streets, there would be no torched buses. The buses were filled. Except for, a friend notes on Facebook, the one that was evacuated due to vomit. The Baltimore fans who had ventured out maybe still feeling a little skittish about leaving their Ravens bars. Elsewhere, bar patrons huffed at the sight of riot gear and no one much cared to bother each other:
News vans had pulled in much earlier, hoping for an insurgence as much as anyone else. There would still be fireworks. Hoodrats in the Mission figuring they — might as well, right? We bought 'em. We've got 'em left over from the World Series. Troublemakers looking for any excuse to provoke the extra cops who gathered there for nothing. In the Mission, the officers would chase down a few:
Colin Kaepernick picked up one Super Bowl record. For longest touchdown run by a quarterback in the Big Game. He would fall short on another: the record for most rushing yards by a QB in the Super Bowl. But who is Colin Kaepernick anyway? A hero to some, but just a replacement to others. A son to three people, apparently. But more meme than quarterback at this point. His estranged birth mother tried to cheer him up. Via Twitter:
@kaepernick7Great game Colin! Played amazing! You'll be back!— Heidi Russo (@Heidirn1) February 4, 2013
In Corona Heights, Red and Gold spilled silently out into the streets. Someone was even drinking a coconut water — his night over. In the Inner Sunset, people bought burritos. The Castro and Lower Haight were calm, but you could hear the choppers hovering over the Mission:
Mayor Lee consoled the team, with a pat on the back, like you might offer your kid's little league team:
"The entire team demonstrated what you can accomplish with enough perseverance and teamwork. Although they did not come up with a win, our City is proud of our Red & Gold hometown team."
In lieu of a parade, our Mayor will be publicly shamed in Baltimore. He'll do a day of community service, as he wagered. Then he will be taken to some Inner Harbor fishmonger where he will be made to don a purple Ravens jersey and renounce dungeness as the superior crab. The players themselves won't make it back to San Francisco. They'll cancel their party rooms at the W, heading instead to their condos in Santa Clara. To Santa Clara.