December 2010

Yelberton and the Duesenberg

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When I was growing up in San Francisco, my grandparents and I watched the ’49ers play in Kezar Stadium. Or, more correctly, we drove to our weekend farm in nearby Novato, which was just outside the 30-mile blackout range of the broadcasts, to watch the games on television.

I remember the sometimes-heated discussions that occurred when the picture would dissolve into a snowy mess at a critical time in the game, and the frantic fiddling with the rabbit ears, accompanied by strategically placing bits of folded aluminum foil.

Players like Y. A. Tittle (that’s Yelberton Abraham to those who know this kind of stuff), Hugh McElhenny and Joe “The Jet” Perry were my heroes. And in those pre-Internet days, heroes were few and far between, and they stood tall in a young man’s mind.