Closing the Cave of the Winds

Khaled Hosseini (yes, that Khaled Hosseini), writing for Grantland:

I've lived in this country for 33 years now. I was 15 when my family and I resettled in the U.S. to escape the Soviet war in Afghanistan, arriving, all nine of us, at SFO in September 1980. I didn't know much at all about being an American, but I estimate that I was a football fan by the time we reached baggage claim. I fell fast and I fell hard for the 49ers — I learned to love them before I learned to speak English. The 49ers, and by extension the Stick, have been constant companions to me for as long as I have lived in the U.S., which has been most of my life. In a very real way, my Americanization began with them. I suspect only immigrants can truly understand what a gift something as simple as a football game can be amid the sheer bewilderment and disorientation of starting life anew in a foreign land. So tonight, nostalgia tugs. It tugs hard, as I knew it would, and I give in.

Terrific sportswriting from an unlikely source.