Video: San Francisco City Librarian Reads ‘The Raven’ While Wearing a Baltimore Jersey

Remember when San Francisco Public Library made a Super Bowl bet with their Baltimore counterparts? You don’t? Okay, well remember when the 49ers lost the Super Bowl? Yeah, that you remember.

Well anyway, one of the consequences of that oh-so-close defeat was that San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera had to recite the poem “The Raven” while wearing a Baltimore jersey, then put the video on YouTube, as per the wager. The SFPL posted the video on Saturday, maybe when it thought no one was looking. Even though Herrera is wearing No. 52, don’t be confused — “The Raven” is not about Ray Lewis. It’s about “Lenore,” who I think was a placekicker in the 1840s or something.

Notice how the supporting cast used purple paper for their scripts? Now that’s an above-and-beyond presentation.

If the Niners had won, not only would you not be replaying that last series of downs over and over in your mind, but Pratt Library CEO Carla Hayden would have had to have donned a 49ers jersey while reciting “The Cool, Grey City of Love – San Francisco,” by George Sterling.

By the way, not to put Mr. Herrera on the spot — he did a more than admirable job — but here’s Christopher Walken reading “The Raven,” with sound effects and everything …

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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