The celebrity Super Bowl pick is a time-honored tradition, one we at KSK are always happy to take part in. For the next two weeks, stars from all over the world will drop in to make their picks. Today we proudly welcome television, stage and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
Walk with me.
Like most Americans, I am easily swept up in the pageantry that surrounds the Super Bowl and the honored tradition of picking which team I believe will be victorious in battle. This is what we do, we pick sides. We support a team based on nothing more than geographic region and favorite colors — maybe based on mascots if you’re into that sort of thing or are perhaps a small child — and they become our heroes, stand-ins for our bigger selves in which we too can triumph over our enemies.
Baltimore, a dying industrial city with an 11% unemployment rate, nearly 20% of its residents living below the poverty line, a former-mayor convicted of embezzlement, the birth place of “Stop Snitchin” and unfortunately home to race riots, heavy gang activity and the setting for David Simon’s brilliant “The Wire” television series. Its players considered as dangerous as the very city they represent; a bit of an overreach maybe, but since the Super Bowl is about drawing out thin narratives I shall stay within the confines of this assignment even if it is generally bad writing to do so.
San Francisco, dot-com money, eighth greatest concentration of billionaires in the entire world, highest rate of college degrees per mile in the country and vibrant history of the arts from beat writers of Haight-Ashbury to whatever it is internet writers publish at the Salon.com that passes for literature these days. A young, brash quarterback fearlessly leading a once-moribund franchise into the future, so perfectly mirroring the Bay Area’s shining beacon of progress and prosperity, not to mention his ambiguous racial background which in no way would I ever consider using as a metaphor for the balance of whites and non-whites in San Francisco, although I may leave stage direction for Jim Harbaugh to make sure Colin gazes upon the vista before him, knowingly proud of all of he has accomplished at some point during the game.
One city represents the ghosts of our pasts, the other our hopes for the future. While it is easy to say we should strive to be the 49ers of the world, much like their namesakes rushing to prosperity through hard work and just a little bit a of luck, we should remember where we came from before heading the call of quick wealth; toiling away in the American port that helped build this country, toiling away just as our fathers did before us. I find there is a quiet dignity in all men that suffer for their survival, and yet I cannot help but be attracted to the youthful energy that is so very Californian.
Take for example 49ers Gold Rush cheerleader Rachel. She’s a graduate of MIT with a degree in chemical engineering and works on development of lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles. A passionate and beautiful woman looking to build a better tomorrow. Or NaShanta of the Ravens squad, an IT engineer for the US Census Bureau. Practical, grounded. Both are so charming and intelligent, perfectly suited for each city, I have no doubt in my mind that neither one of them can operate a Blackberry nor can they have a conversation that doesn’t revolve around their romantic mishaps, their brains and their beauty are so great they cannot act like normal human beings, making my decision to choose between the two of them even more difficult.
At my core, I feel as if I should choose the Baltimore Ravens, their history as tattered and disreputable as my own, but my brain telling me that I am more Robert Frost than I am Edgar Allen Poe, which while we’re on the topic and I have the floor, we can all agree Poe is a terrible basis for a network drama and your literal reading of “The Tale-Tell Heart” is rather embarrassing, Mr. Kevin Williamson.
San Francisco 27, Baltimore 21, which I will recap in an episode of “The Newsroom” in 2016 where Will McAvoy will attempt to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend Kristin Chenoweth in a storyline that is in no way based on me.