I began class today bidding farewell to my beloved sports talk show: Murph and Mac. For 18 years now, my work days starts with Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey on KNBR. Paulie Mac was one of two on-air personalities let go due to budget cuts. What becomes of Murph and this a.m. time slot is TBD. I love the show because it highlights local teams—Niners, Giants and Dubs. The coaches, franchise leaders, former greats and local fans call in/weigh in on the daily. I get stats, scores, recalls and recaps. But what I cherish the most, are the stories. The stories these radio hosts impart are the fuel to my fire. A good one feeds my soul. And some of them are so good I have to give them away.
Barry Lopez had it right. He wrote "If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other's memories. This is how people care for themselves." Thanks to Murph and Mac, I've received more stories than I can count. I would like for them to know—I care about them and their stories. And, more often than not, I give their stories away. I never would have thought on Monday, I got one from Murph and Mac for the last time. Here's that story.
Every morning at 7:30 a.m. I drive from Pacific Heights across town to the Outer Sunset. Back from a week off for Thanksgiving break, my morning commute flew by because Murph and Mac unpacked a story highlighting Travis Kelce's outstanding peripheral vision.
In New York for the filming of Saturday Night Live, the Chief's tight end caught sight of the Niners running standing on a street corner. Kelce rolls down the window of his Lincoln town car to catch the attention of "C-Mac! C-Mac!" Christian McCaffrey tells the story so well. My students loved it.As mentioned on this blog, in Sports and Spirituality we emphasize the importance of vision. In this lesson, I had my seniors discuss why peripheral vision is important. Is it? I asked them how it is different than "plain sight." Can we improve our peripheral vision? Do they want to?
I inquired if anyone had any bona fide celebrity sightings of their own (using criteria already posted on this blog). To what degree was peripheral vision involved? One student shared an entertaining encounter with Klay Thompson at an In and Out Burger restaurant.
I have never seen Klay in or around the Bay Area. However, about five years ago the younger Splash Brother and his girlfriend bought this incredible house on Washington Street, about seven buildings west of mine (I am at Fillmore and Washington). Given that I do not have parking in my unit, I was ready to park my car in front of that house on a regular basis. I told them I had visions of running into Klay on my early morning walks near Alta Vista Park, at the end of our street. I figured he would bring his bulldog Rocco in tow. I was committed to keeping things cool, "What's up Klay?" would be my low key greeting. This dream however, never materialized. Klay and his lady broke up. He moved to Tiburon and has probably never looked back. I got a few smiles, but no reaction to my story. I moved on with the lesson.
One of my students bravely raised his hand. He opined, "isn't this like your story about Klay Thompson? Even though he never moved in, is it better to have that story than no story at all?" I heard his words. I processed his insight. I couldn't believe the connection he made. He was right...so was Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Thank you, Chris.
And how true it is of something like a radio show. Two men, two dynamic personalities, two great storytellers—no two days the same. Thank you, Paulie Mac. I loved meeting you in Philly in 2011 before the Giants vs Phillies rematch. I loved your songs, your ditties, you Springsteen commentary, your love of Rock n Roll and all things Bay Area Sports. You are loved. You will be missed. Murph, this is a loss but I know the stories to come will be well cared for...and given away.
Klay and Rocco
Murph and Mac