Not Like This

There’s a scene in the first Matrix where Cypher reveals himself to be a double agent, and in the process begins to unplug those who are in the Matrix… killing them. Switch knows it’s coming and can only mutter under her breath…

“Not like this. Not like this.”


I felt the same way watching the Super Bowl over the weekend. To see one of the teams you cheer for jump out to such a lead on the hated Patriots (come on, you’re tired of them unless you are from the New England area), and then to understand the avalanche is coming your way and there is very little that will deter it. Little by little the 28-3 lead slips away until I was left in stunned silence at the final outcome.


Being a fan of sports teams not named: New England or LA Lakers or NY Yankees, I don’t know what seeing the championships look like. I am an Atlanta fan and a Miami Dolphins fan for pretty much as long as I remember, which really means that in 30+ years I’ve only had the experience 1 time of one of “my teams”, the 1995 Atlanta Braves, winning the World Series…

And, if I’m honest, given that I had just finished my freshman year of college, I didn’t get to “enjoy” it. That year I probably watched or heard less than 5 games… just too many other distractions, I guess. I remember driving back from a non-sports watching buddy’s apartment and hearing on the radio that the Braves had closed the World Series out.

It was nice, but I didn’t get the buzz I assume everyone else gets from their team winning.

Last week, last week I was sure the Falcons would win. I’m never sure about anything in sports. I’m the guy who thinks a 30 point lead isn’t quite enough. I’m the one who calls for no shenanigans when there is a punt or kickoff in football because I just want a clean sequence. I never trash talk.

But I really felt good about the game going into it.


My wife apparently jumped past the Denial stage as she got up from the couch, walked around the side, slammed something to the ground, and had a few choice words for the universe.


Having one foot in the more nerdy endeavors my whole life causes some odd things when you mix being a fan of sports. So many times, regardless of what the “Big Game” might be, I get to hear (or read) people wondering if something is happening? Was there some kind of SportBall event going on? That they don’t understand it and don’t care (and I think some genuinely hate the fact that it exists, but I assume most are doing it in good old fun).

In the moments after the Super Bowl, I was suddenly envious of their lack of passion for sports. That they would never allow themselves to get so wrapped up in a “little game” to have it affect their emotional well-being. Was there a freedom to be had without such distractions?

Was that the better way to live?


Sunday night… I couldn’t sleep well. My brain trying to “Fix” the universe so that what I had just witnessed would have been the sports induced nightmare. I considered writing this blog at 3 in the morning. My wife and I ranted and raved laying there in the bed, still not sure how that ending even happened.

The bad guys won?

Why did you read me this thing for?


So silly. Silly to get caught up in something like this.


And yet… what’s the clichés?

Hope springs eternal.

There’s always next year.

I’ve got it…

Pitchers and Catchers report in 2 weeks.

Yeah, that’s the one.


John McGuire

John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novella There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.

His second novel, Hollow Empire, is now complete. The first episode is now FREE!

He also has a short story in the Beyond the Gate anthology, which is free on most platforms!

And has two shorts in the Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows anthology! Check it out!

He can also be found at

About John McGuire

Writer of comics and novels. In 2006 his first short story "The God That Failed" was published by Terminus Media in their debut comic Evolution Book 1. Since that time he has had stories published in Terminus Media's Evolution Book 2 and Evolution Special, Kenzer and Company's The Knights of the Dinner Table, and Four J Publishing's The Burner #3. Currently he is eagerly awaiting the digital publishing of his first creator-owned comic The Gilded Age #1 to be published online as well as his first novel The Dark That Follows later this year.
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