Shanghai Sunday in San Francisco

November 21st, 2005

Shanghai Sunday in San Francisco

Unless you’re a photographer working on a long-term documentary, the way you wind up in a Steelers bar is that you find yourself thousands of miles away from home on a Sunday. If football is important to you, you’ll find a place to watch the game with like-minded people wearing like-minded black and gold (because you packed your jersey and terrible towel just in case). And if you happened to be in San Francisco for a wedding you might find yourself at Shanghai Kelly’s on Polk and Broadway.

In old port towns it was not uncommon for men to be shanghaied. This was the practice of kidnapping someone for the purpose of compulsory servitude on board a ship. The victim would wake up after a night of heavy drinking or drugging and find themselves on board a ship at sea. Stuck, with no way of turning back. Ironic I found myself at a bar named for such a sinister endeavor because I felt as if I woke up and the Steelers had indeed been shanghaied.

For the third game in a row, the Steelers were captained by a journeyman quarterback. While Charlie Batch took the helm in Green Bay and against the Browns, it was Tommy Maddox that steered the team through the second half against the Browns. So for the third straight game without Captain Ben, we headed into the storm of Baltimore, this time with Captain Tommy. So all of us at Kelly’s found ourselves reacting to our recent and unfortunate shanghai by screaming at the television. Comments spewed around the bar,”Where was the running game? Bring in Randel El! Release the Hounds!” But still we were all addicted to the drama of football and stayed glued to the television through the whole painful experience. Prayers and hope continued as the Steelers made their way into overtime, but in the end, a sudden-death field goal defeated the black and gold.

Final outcome:
Steelers lose to Baltimore Ravens in Overtime, 13-16

Shanghai Sunday in San Francisco

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