You might recall Kyle Whelliston‘s ridiculous game of Super Bowl Knowledge Avoidance, “Last Man” (or #lastman), from 2011 and 2012. The object of the game is to go as long as possible without knowing who won the Super Bowl. The purpose of the game is… uh… well, for a certain breed of iconoclasts like Whelliston and some of his followers, it’s an anti-football thing, or an anti-sportz-media thing, or a general act of rebellion or conscientious objection against some aspect(s) the culture at large. For others, it’s just a goofy and nerdy thing to try and do — a personal challenge of an unusual kind, just for the heck of it.

Anyway, this year, I decided to try it for the first time.

Above: I squint at Gmail yesterday, trying to find a specific piece of information via search without accidentally seeing any e-mails about the Super Bowl. (I succeeded.)

I definitely fall into the second category mentioned above: people doing this just for nerdy kicks. As you know, I like football — college more than pros, but the pros are fine too, and I had watched the Super Bowl every year since Wide Right in 1990 (sorry, Becky & other Buffalonians). This year, though, I really couldn’t care less about the particular teams playing in the Super Bowl, so I decided, why not?

In retrospect, I sort of wish I hadn’t picked a year where there was an epic power blackout in the middle of the game (yes, I know about that) for my inaugural attempt at #lastman. I have also picked up hints that it was perhaps a really good game, or at least that some other memorable stuff (aside from the blackout) happened. I sense the whiff of a comeback, maybe, though I’m not sure. I know it was one of the most-watched of all time. But oh well.

Anyway, I’m in the midst of playing #lastman now: 41 hours, 46 minutes without “The Knowledge,” and counting.

Above: The Knowledge, in the form of a Denver Post in the break room, narrowly avoided yesterday and then photographed blindly from across the room.

I am one of six known players still alive in the game. The others are Kyle himself (though he’s about to leave the country, disqualifying him), Sameer Ohri, CNBC analyst John Carney, First Things intern Tristyn Bloom, and the fiancée (name unknown) of defending champ J. Scott Fitzwater. (Scott, for his part, still doesn’t know who won last year’s Super Bowl, but was eliminated early this year).

[WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: We’re down to 3 known players: Bloom, Fitzwater’s fiancée, and me. Kyle left for Canada, violating Rule Two; Ohri suffered death by Twitter mention (more details); Carney, death by CNBC news meeting. Technically this means I am now the last man standing, and Kyle says women can’t play, but I say screw that. Title IX! Equal rights! Female sports fans should be able to complete in #lastman.

Meanwhile, Business Insider published an article about #lastman, in which I am extensively quoted. (The author, Joe Weisenthal a.k.a. @TheStalwartprofiled here by the New York Times Magazine — pretty much quoted my rambling, run-on, stream-of-consciousness verbal sentences verbatim. Heh. Yes, that’s how I really talk.)

As I joked on Twitter:

I’m trolling Kyle a bit. See here and here for some context.

Also, I couldn’t resist a few Lord of the Rings-themed #lastman tweets:

Last but not least, I wanted to relate a conversation with Loyette, 5, who has a kindergarten classmate who went to the Super Bowl. First, this: “Daddy, do you want to know who won?” “No.” “Why not?” “Well, I’m playing this game where a bunch of people are trying to be the last person to know who won.” “Well, Daddy, I hope you win, so you get the gold medal.” Aww. Then, a few minutes later, this discussion. Heh. Note how Becky deftly changes the subject to princesses.]

Below, two windows (the first archived, the second live) which together contain all my tweets and replies thereto, as well as all tweets to and from @findthelastman, the account that’s tracking the game (and is my primary source of information about the outside world at the moment). THESE WINDOWS ARE NOT SAFE FOR #LASTMAN PLAYERS, as they are believed to contain #TheKnowledge. I will not be looking at them. Nor will I be looking at comments on this blog post, nor Twitter mentions, nor most other electronic connections to the human race, until I’ve learned The Knowledge and thus lost the game.

LATE WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE: I now Know. I have The Knowledge. My #lastman run went for 2 days, 13 hours and 54 minutes.

Here’s how I found out.

FWIW, I’m not mad. I was about ready to be done. I just wanted to lose interestingly, which this qualifies as. Besides:

Image of the #Knowledge-imparting e-mail after the jump (WARNING: contains The Knowledge).


P.S. Some funny quasi-attempts at sabotage earlier in the game by Andy Glockner:

Andy knew I wasn’t checking my mentions, and thus wouldn’t see those tweets, which is why I say “quasi-attempts.” Regardless, very funny.

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