Dwayne Bowe: The Sonic conspiracy

Even what we know is in shadow. A plane touches down late at night on a runway outside Kansas City. The brief shriek of the wheels, the low thrumming of the taxi to the jetway — all of this is effectively secret. It is right there to see and hear, it happened, but this part of Missouri is asleep. It’s Sunday night. It’s late. And now further down. Deeper into the dark.

There’s still plenty of room on the Panthers bandwagon. They won five in a row and crept up behind the Saints in the division, thanks to arguably the best defense in football. That defense will get a huge test against Brady’s boys on national television. I couldn’t be more excited to see how this game turns out.

Sirens, and two cars on a quiet road. In one, German-crafted and sleek, are three men and 14.6 grams of high-performance marijuana. In the other, a police officer who would take that marijuana from them and shine a light — not the faint ripple in the dark presented by his flashlight, but illumination that may yet brighten even the strangest corners of this still-emerging story — on what really happened that night.

For the 49ers, it’ll be another week without Mario Manningham, as the receiver again did not appear on the team’s injury report and remains off the team’s active roster. Four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Justin Smith did appear on the injury report and is listed as questionable.

Or Tirico, Kornheiser and relentless quarterback-praiser Joe Theismann, whose one gift as an analyst is saying the stupidest possible thing imaginable. Do I even need to mention Dennis Miller?

But I’d say you’re missing out, if that’s what you’re using it for, and that you’re emptying out a lot of valuable things — things that actually make life better and richer and more fun — so that you have more room for the sort of off-the-rack gripes that mostly wither or burst when exposed to sunlight.