By Hunter S. Thompson
Page 2 columnist

I have been trying for three hours to find something interesting to write about the Super Bowl, but words fail me. The game itself was even worse than I expected -- a lame display of bad football that lost all meaning after the first five minutes. By then it was balefully obvious to even small children that the Giants were going to be Beat up, Dissed & Humiliated. The game was over & locked up by halftime.

The Giants had no offense at all & their quarterback was so intimidated that he played like a dazed fool. You knew that one of these two rag-arm bums was going to crack wide open from fear & pressure & shame, and it quickly proved to be Collins.

Then his teammates lost faith in him: Almost every ball he threw was Interceptable & running into the teeth of that wicked Baltimore defense was like running into a Closet. Collins sprayed balls willy-nilly all over the field & the coach finally got so desperate that he began calling wild-eyed plays like the Statue of Liberty & a botched flea-flicker off a fake double reverse that imploded on itself and brought hoots & jeers from the crowd.

The game at halftime might have looked close, but it wasn't. The score might as well have been 55-0 instead of just 10-0. The scene in the Giants' locker room must have been horrible. The Panic was on, the dream was shattered, the Whipping was just getting started.

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The crowd in my kitchen was getting surly. There were 30 or 40 of them, including a speedy contingent of big-time Criminal Lawyers with elegant wives & very aggressive attitudes. Many of these were old friends & fellow warriors from the good old days when I was spending more time in Courtrooms than Robert Downey Jr. I was almost always on Trial for something & I needed constant access to blue-chip Legal talent. I was watched & chased & wire-tapped so often that Undercover Narcs & FBI agents all over the country were calling me by my first name, even when they knew I was innocent.

(It is always a bad sign when cops start doing that. They are not being friendly. No. They are getting ready to pounce on you & cut you down to size. Ho ho. It is time to have a chat with yr. legal team. The deal is about to go down.)

I spent a lot of time on this circuit & made some very good friends. I went from the Hell's Angels & SDS to the National Board of NORML & parties at the White House with Jack Nicholson & Muhammad Ali -- but the Surveillance was always there, the Pigs never rested & neither did I, for that matter. You had to keep alert at all times. They really were Out there & they really did want to catch you & cripple you: "There was no such thing as Paranoia."

Collins sprayed balls willy-nilly all over the field & the coach finally got so desperate that he began calling wild-eyed plays like the Statue of Liberty & a botched flea-flicker off a fake double reverse that imploded on itself and brought hoots & jeers from the crowd.
HST

So these lawyers who came to my house on Sunday were of a Special Breed, with special reasons for being there. They were in town for the annual summit meeting of the leadership of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, who are very different creatures from the ones you find on the tamer side of that street where Divorce pros & tax experts roam.

I am the longtime Poet Laureate of the NACDL. I know these people well. The ones who came to watch the Big game were carefully chosen for their low Excitability threshold(s) & their macho competitive zeal. They are Gamblers & they hate the idea of Losing at any game.

They are Giants fans, in the main, so they were easy to stampede into making rash bets against Baltimore & everything it stood for. By the time the game started (& after long hours of haggling like drunken Arabs about the point spread, we finally settled on 3 points & a 33 over-under) there were big piles of money being shuffled around on the bar & people were squawking with greed & anxiety as Stover kicked off for Baltimore & the brutes began slamming into each other. It was getting dark outside & we settled in for a wild & brutal three hours of Championship football.

And that was when it happened: WHACK! Suddenly, a blue ball of fire exploded outside the window about six feet from the TV set & the house was plunged into total darkness. I am still half-deaf from the awful blast, and others went blind from the flash. Some people were screaming hysterically & others bawled like babies.

Many light bulbs exploded & the TV screen turned bright orange for an instant, then went to black as the room filled wall-to-wall with foul-smelling electrical smoke. And that was it. No more Super Bowl. The house had been struck by a random ball of lightning that made us weak & helpless. I heard car engines starting, but I was too busy trying to save at least some of the ... (to be continued ASAP, most likely next week.)

Sorry,
Doc

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex and The Rum Diary. His new book, Fear and Loathing in America, has just been released. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colo. His column, "Hey, Rube," appears each Monday on Page 2.




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