Posted: 4:00 p.m. Friday, July 12, 2013
By Gregory Lee
I’m going to preface this article with a little bit of personal information: I was born February 3, 1984. I’ll just wait here while you connect the dots….Okay? I hope this helps you understand what the off-season has been like for me. Now that we've got that out of the way it’s time to get into a basic survival guide for the next couple of weeks.
As The Nation we've spent the last year or so going through some crazy highs and lows. From watching Alex Smith do his best Steve Young impression against the Rams, to the emergence of enigmatic controversy machine (not really) Colin Kaepernick; it was a wild ride. There were incredible highs, like taking a blow-torch to a stack of Kraft Singles that was the Packers defense. There was the awesome comeback over the Falcons and Matty Light. And, of course, there were lows, like not being able to beat the F*&$%#@#*&^%$NG Rams or getting humbled in Seattle by a bunch of strung out college students cramming for finals.
Then there was Black Sunday. As much as that day pains me (it still physically hurts) to think about, there was a bit of poetic justice in the way the season ended. It was a six month roller coaster that ended with some triple looping, upside-down, corkscrew, grand finale that had more g-forces than a Titan IV rocket.
In the aftermath, I took a couple weeks to recover by hiding in my closet while subsisting on Dr. Pepper and raw Pop Tarts. I was finally forced out after some neighbors reported my gentle weeping to the police. The sunlight was a rough adjustment, but shortly thereafter I was a functioning member of society again. Suddenly the doom and gloom of coming so close to a Super Bowl was wearing off and morphing into a weird ball of energetic excitement. Free agency, the Draft, and OTAs, filled with meaningless pomp and circumstance, distracted me from the hole in my heart that could have been plugged by a perfect Kap-to-Crab fade.
But soon the off-season flurry passed and now we find ourselves in a bleak stretch, with little news to give us that tingly anticipatory excitement. It is the off-season Doldrums.
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
'Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, no breath no motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner"
Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic (read: a wuss). But this is the big break from the off-season bustle that follows winter and before the season starts to gear up with training camp battles and pre-season football. So what to do? Normally (especially over the last 4 years) this is where I’d dive headfirst into Giants baseball and just forget about football for a while (this was much easier when the 49ers were awful…Dennis Erikson), but right now the Giants season is comparable to a heinous bowel movement.
We've all been around the block a few times and I’m sure each and every one of you has your own way of coping with The Doldrums, but in case you need some help here are a few DOs and DON’Ts for the next few weeks:
DO watch Kaepernick’s 2012 highlights. Watch them over and over and over again. It feels great.
DON’T read Bleacher Report unless you enjoy killing journalism slowly like Japanese Torture Porn. I guess you can peruse it if you’re a fan of SEO swaddling amateur hour-…Never mind, keep reading.
DO follow the 49ers players on social media. Most of these guys are pretty savvy when it comes to this stuff.
DON’T worry about the wide receiver corps. Baalke and Harbaugh have been masterful at finding the right personnel in unexpected places.
DO watch the video of Lattimore getting the call when he was drafted. It hits you right in the feels.
DON’T watch ESPN.
DO Follow the Aaron Hernandez story. S**t crazy, right?
DON’T watch the Giants. Unless you’re the odd 49ers/Dodgers fan (I went to college with this guy and he is, by far, the bro-iest bro I know).
DO work on your fantasy draft big board.
DON’T sweat the small stuff (hats)
DO get excited because next season is going to be something magical!
Hope this will help those in need and feel free to leave your own "DOs" and "DON’Ts" in the comments. Training camp will be here before you know it!