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Lights Out Opener

"You can't be serious?"

The realization hits in waves. I'm sitting at the kitchen table, laptop open, working on my West Coast League article and the fan turns off. It never gets hot enough to require a fan in San Diego, it's just naturally cool. But the last three days, it's been around 100, serious heat wave. I walk over to the fan, hit the button, no juice. Okay, no big deal, the electrician came this morning because the washing machine has been tripping out. Hit the breaker switch, still nothing.

"Worst electrician ever." It seems he knocked out the power to the entire house. My roommate walks in a minute later, he informs me the power is out in all of Pacific Beach. The traffic lights weren't working on his way home. This guy's incompetence is legendary. Then it hits like that coconut from forty feet up onto Jean Claude Van Damme's chest in "The Kickboxer".

The game!

It's less than two hours away now. I pick up the phone to call my friend Jake who's on his way over, no power across town either. Wow, this is getting serious. I hang up and try to call the bar where we held our draft the night before, about 10 miles east. I can't get the call to connect. What is going on? I try again, and again. No luck. I get a text to go through and we have a plan, I'll pick him up and we'll drive until we find power.

I get to his house and by then he's gotten word there's been some kind of explosion at a power plant in the Salton Sea. Parts of Arizona, Nevada and all of San Diego county are without power. My first thought, Tijuana. Only problem is, I mindlessly cruised past the gas station about two hours prior, I'll get it next time out. I had a solid eighth of a tank, tough times ya know. Can't pump gas without power either. Bleep! I certainly don't want to spend the night in TJ, and I definitely don't want to leave my truck there, you know, if I ever want to see it again.

So, there we sat, sipping on a couple IPA's. My friend Jake, my buddy Joe (the same one who drafted Michael VickandLeGarrette Blount last year), and I listening to the game on the radio in the back of my pickup, parked on the side of the street. And the game is just going off. Aaron Rodgers has two touchdowns in about seven seconds. Drew Brees and company answer back. The pain of what we're missing is torturous, but it's kind of cool in a way too. Everyone is out and about town, we relay scores to passers-by. People are being really sociable, freed from their smart phones, and texts, and Facebook, and televisions for a brief snippet in time. Like a throwback to the 1950's.

The third quarter rolls around and we cross paths with our friend Luis. He's gotten word that a friend of his brought his generator from his work into one of the local bars, and they have the game on! I fire up the truck and we hit the road. The gas level warning light is staring me in the face, but luckily it's on the way home anyway. What a sight. We made it, and there's about 200 people, packed like sardines. The place is completely dark, but they're serving beer, and pizza. God bless natural gas. And we have football, finally!

As we were sitting in the truck bed earlier, a guy we had struck up a conversation with made a comment about it being the game of the year. Boy was he right. And by some miracle, we got to see the final quarter. Joe said it best when he asked if I remembered what we did for opening night last year. I looked at him dumbfounded, "we'll remember this one".

Sorry for the lack of football-relevant information here today, but I had to share this story. The lengths we go for the things we love. Football is back, let's hope the rest of the season is one we'll never forget as well.