Posted: Wednesday October 11, 2006 12:27AM; Updated: Wednesday October 11, 2006 2:51PM
(Steiner and I make our respective bids, then start talking football with three people affiliated with Dunn's foundation -- one, a Florida fan, is taunting the other two, who cheer for Florida State.)
Female Florida State fan: It is a brutal time to be a Seminole. This is awful.
Silver: Oh, poor Florida State. You'll lose, what, four games this year? Wah, wah. Try not going to the Rose Bowl for 48 years.
Male Florida State fan: Hey, this is the first time in 17 years we won't be playing on New Year's Day!
Silver: On behalf of my fellow Cal Golden Bears, let me break out my violin.
Female Florida State fan: Hey, Cal! We want your coach! He's on our short list of three ...
Silver: Let me tell you something -- if you so much as look in Jeff Tedford's direction, there will be hell to pay. We will come down to Tallahassee and riot in the streets and throw eggs at Katherine Harris ...
Female Florida State fan: Well, that we wouldn't mind. She's horrible.
Silver: Right up there with Ann Coulter.
Male Florida State fan: Ah, yes -- the Coultergeist!
(We exchange high-fives and carry on like long-lost pals.)
Silver: Seriously, though -- stay the hell away from Jeff Tedford.
(At night's end, Steiner and I head toward the exit, me carrying the Springsteen acoustic and Jim the Dylan Stratocaster, when we see the smiling host.)
Warrick Dunn: Nice. Are you two gonna jam?
Silver: Hey, my wife's in for a nice surprise, and I feel a tiny bit better about myself. Speaking of which, tell me where my money's going.
Dunn: To my foundation's "Homes for the Holiday" program. We put the down payments on homes, stock them with furniture and find single mothers to move in with their families and assume the payments.
Silver: I'll drink to that. Shall we?
Dunn (rubbing his eyes): I'm about to go lie down.
Steiner: Maybe on the way back to the hotel. I could use a ride.
Silver: As long as you're not in a hurry.
(I blow off the freeway and take the more leisurely route up Peachtree Road toward Buckhead.)
Steiner: You got something against going the fastest way?
Silver: The highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive....