Everything has a beginning and an end. Whether it's good or bad, happy or sad, everything comes to an end. For the 2012 San Francisco 49ers and yours truly, it lasted 148 days. From September 9th, an Opening Day victory against the Green Bay Packers, until February 2nd, a devastating loss in the Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens, It ended up being the most satisfying and heartbreaking 148 days in 18 years and realistically my life.
It dawned on me that Sundays loss was just a bad version of a Romantic Comedy.
The Premise: A mid-20's die-hard San Francisco 49ers fan, who has never loved anything but his parents and the 49ers, goes through the ups-and-downs of a season to see his team advance to the Super Bowl.
Everything was set-up perfectly for a beautiful Romantic Comedy. The man in his mid-20's played by none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Ryan Gosling had scheduling conflicts), let's for shits and giggles call him, Lance. The Super Bowl Trophy, adorkably played by Zooey Deschanel, it was all too perfect. They would end up together and be happy for the rest of the 2013 offseason as the Super Bowl Champions. The conflict you ask? The Baltimore Ravens, the gay best friend that is trying to ruin everything! And they did.
This is not a happy story, this is not a story about boy meets girl or boy's team wins the Super Bowl and is euphoric. This is the story of heartbreak.
The script was written, the movie was greenlit and was set to premiere just a few weeks before Valentine's Day. It was a film that men and women could all enjoy, a great date movie that had love, plot twists that would make M. Night Shyamalan jealous, and Football! Probably the three greatest things in the World.
Unfortunately for the naive, in love 49ers fan, it was not a happy ending.
(1) It started off great, the 49ers went into Lambeau Field and defeated the Green Bay Packers on Opening Day. A statement was made. The shy protagonist stepped out of his comfort zone and met the girl/team of his dreams. What a great start to the movie. I'm really rooting for this Lance guy!
(100) Our first plot twist! Zooey breaks up with her loving, but ultimately not good enough High-School sweetheart, lets call him Alex Smith. He gets an awful head injury and we think that they can pull through this, but they don't. Finally an opportunity for someone to swoop in. A secondary character is introduced and ready to take the stage, his name Colin Kaepernick. He plays well, but you expect him back in his secondary role.
[At this point, the Characters are all screwed up and I've lost my way, but stay with me I'm going somewhere with this...I think]
(106) We have yet to see our main character return. JGL is a little scared, they have a big game on the national stage against currently the best defense in the NFL. Kaepernick is not so scared, he dominates, he is no longer a secondary character, sorry Alex. Zooey likes what she sees.
(148) You never know when something good/bad is going to end, unless it's sports, there's only 1 team that ends the season happy and two teams end the same day. Today was the Super Bowl. One team will go down in history, the other team will just go down.
This was Colin's chance to sweep Zooey off her feet and engrave his name into this trophy, kinda sexist if you ask me, but he's the Protagonist!
It did not start off so well, the gay best friend is no longer gay and trying to remove the best friend title for something a little more intimate he's trying to steal your Trophy Wife. Down 22-6 he's doing a damn good job.
Midway through the night, you feel like you're losing her, you are about to throw in the towel. Time to find the Alcohol - this always ends well.
The lights in the stadium go dark. This is perfect, all I want when someone is trying to steal something that I rightfully deserve is to sit in the dark while this it's happening. Already angry, surrounded by people yelling drunken nonsense at this party, and your girl is flirting with someone else, a guy named Joe Flacco. He's cool, he's calm, he's good looking - He better not be going to Disney World with her later. JGL has been relegated to the sidekick in every Rom-Com - the fat, ugly friend who gives awful advice. I've never felt more bi-polar than at this moment - I feel like I'm Bradley Cooper in The Silver Linings Playbook. I hope the payoff is Jennifer Lawrence.
But wait, it's time for our huge romantic gesture! Down 22 in the 3rd quarter, JGL busts out the boombox to play outside Zooey's window. She's gonna love that shit, and you know what? She does. The 49ers are right back in it. Down 5, they get within 5 yards of kissing this big beautiful trophy that they have worked for more than 148 days for.
I am full of emotions and you should be too, this is the climax! Our Protagonist is finally going to win the heart of his true love!
But this story is not a love story, it is not a happy ending, the 49ers fall five yards short of their goal, their dream, their love. It's like the The Break-Up, it was never gonna end happy.
The only problem with this failed Romantic Comedy that after the credits roll, the story keeps going. Commercials, Television, the "I'M GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!" even though I'd much rather spend my time at Disneyland because California > Florida and there's generally more to do here, but I'm not the one who won the Super Bowl, so whatever Joe, do what you want! But I digress.
The silver lining to this heartbreak? The Sequel!
Just like JGL met Autumn at the end of 500 Days of Summer (Spoiler Alert!), the 49ers will have a chance to reclaim what they believe is rightfully theirs and that journey begins in seven months.
What I did learn with my first love and true sports heartbreak is that in the end it is better to have loved and lost (the Super Bowl) than to have never of loved a team at all.
- Lance Cartelli
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