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Monday, September 16, 2002

Notes From a Sunday De-Briefing

49ers-Broncos: much as it pains me to admit it, the better team won yesterday. The much-vaunted 49er offense has been a phantom so far this year.

Fortunately, our area harbors another team closer to my heart, the bad-ass Oakland Raiders, still swaggering as in the good old days of John Madden. The Oaktown muggers did not disappoint last night. And isn’t that Jerry Rice something to behold? He’s having the time of his life sticking a finger in the eye of 49er management. When his uniform goes into the Hall of Fame, I’d love to see it be the Silver and Black. OK, Niner fans, send me your hate mail.

The Sopranos: no room for disagreement here. Was this worth waiting for or what? David Chase’s touch is better than ever, if that’s possible. And what can you say about James Gandolfini? He’s created a permanent icon.

I’m indebted to film editor and friend, Michael Chandler, formerly of the Saul Zaentz Film Center in Berkeley, and an Oscar winner for his work on Amadeus. We were at a dinner party together during the first season of The Sopranos, and Michael was almost delirious in singing the praises of the new series. I didn’t have HBO at the time, and Michael insisted that that state of affairs cease immediately.

“Don’t even think about the ten bucks per month. This is the greatest dramatic series in the history of television. You will thank me for getting you to subscribe.”

Michael couldn’t have been more right. And I’ll pass his words on to any and all who aren’t HBO subscribers. Actually, you can get the past Sopranos seasons on video. You don’t have to be a subscriber anymore. But you’ll miss that special crackle in the air when that stirring credit sequence comes blasting through the tube each Sunday night for the next live episode. Besides, HBO has so much other good stuff, it’s well worth the money.

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