It's a gray day in tattered titletown, as men and women in grungy Niners hats, jerseys, and -- we're guessing -- red-and-gold undergarments sloppily stagger home through the chilly fog.
There are any number of ways to begin overcoming the chemical and emotional effects of yesterday's Super Bowl loss. There are mature and adult methods of coping with the incredible frustration of your team's agonizing and hard-fought loss of a football game over which you have no control.
Or you can stick some pudding in your face.
In an ad campaign every bit as bizarre as Jim Harbaugh's goal-line playcalling, Jell-O is offering a "Pudding Surprise" Tuesday at 12:30 at Broadway and Columbus. Former Niners safety Ronnie Lott will host the event, which makes no goddamn sense -- other than that he used to transform other men's cerebral cortexes into pudding for a living.
"Jell-O has always been about funning things up and we want a put a smile on the town that has its spirits down -- plus nothing masks the bitter taste of defeat like the sweet taste of Jell-O pudding," writes Greg Gallagher, senior brand manager, Jell-O, Kraft Foods Group, Inc. "There's nowhere else we'd rather be than San Francisco."
With all due respect, we'd rather Gallagher were offering downtrodden Baltimore residents his rank desserts. There's nowhere we'd rather he not be than San Francisco. And if, perchance, Ronnie Lott were to hurl Gallagher through a plate glass window, reducing him to a bloody mess, we're sure there'd be lots of Jell-O on hand to make everything better. Because nothing masks the bitter taste of your own shattered nasal cavity like the sweet taste of Jell-O Pudding.
Depressed sports fans are already patronized and infantilized enough by well-meaning people, let alone corporate hacks. As we wrote last year, when a less talented 49ers squad squandered a Super Bowl berth:
Fans are perfectly capable of understanding the 49ers treated us to a spectacular season, but simultaneously realizing the team pissed away its most crucial game at its most crucial moments. To immediately attempt to smother real disappointment with cries of "wait till next year!" and "What a great season!" strikes me as a bit juvenile. The 49ers are a team of adults being rooted for by adults. And handling disappointment -- in an adult manner -- is something adults must do.
"What a great season!" is a bit akin to "Who wants ice cream?" Ice cream is great, but it's not exactly a responsible way to cope with your problems (unless your problem is not having ice cream).