With sincere apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
The thoughts of a fan heading to Jacksonville to do or die.
It little profits that an idle fan should stay
On a quiet campus, by these barren blogs
As aged titles further age, and blue-chip ATHs
Swarm to Gainesville, and Tuscaloosa.
Which hoard them, and do not redshirt.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
The season to its dregs. All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That bore the Red and Black, and alone; on the road,
and when through bleachers the gusting Monsoon bore
Down on Arizona State fans far from home. Damn, but that
Was a lot of rain. I am become a fan.
For ever roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known, of beer, and wins,
And beer, and friendly co-eds, and beer, and beer,
And waking up at dawn in Jacksonville
Bereft. And walking out among the Florida fans
With shame of loss, but honored of them all
For drinking-might, and how I stood on El Camino’s hood
And sang my song, glory, glory to my state.
Every game I’ve cheered is in me now,
yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams the season's year to come, whose margin fades
Forever and forever as Hartman Fund amounts wax large.
How dull it is to pause, to watch pro baseball,
To leave one’s custom jersey on the shelf!
As though to cheer the Dawgs were life, and to wear
The cast off clothes of a boy of twenty-one
Were normal. It really isn’t, and I should know better,
But you can have my Rennie Curran jersey
When hell is filmed with ice. Vile it were,
For some eight months to store and hoard myself
Undrunk, not obnoxious nor bearing Number 35.
Come, my friends. Tis not too late to seek Jacksonville.
Push off, and sitting twelve to El Camino,
Smite the kegs and the Jorted Ones who face us
For my purpose holds to sail beyond Valdosta
(I am banned from it, you know) and to the Gator Bowl
And ride from it a victor, or proud in defeat
Having lost my voice, my wallet, and my freedom
To the Jacksonville Police for roasting gator in the street.
It may be the tides of thugs will bear us down.
It may be we will break their line, or see the great Walker, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Hurled Colt Brennan to the Louisiana turf,
that which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic Dawgs,
Made weak by time and undersigned, but strong in will,
To strive, to drink, to bark, and not to yield.