Shel Silver(britches)stein Writes for Negative Nellies and Optimistic Ollies

Per tankertoad's request, Shel Silverstein was this week's victim poet of choice. All I knew if Silverstein's work was The Giving Tree (and "Boy Named Sue," although I didn't know he wrote that), so I enjoyed researching poems that deserved to be Dawgified.

In my research, I came across a quote from Silverstein that spoke to me as a Negative Nellie someone who is writing a poem from the perspective of a Negative Nellie: “Happy endings, magic solutions in children's books create an alienation in the child who reads them,” Silverstein once told the New York Times. “The child asks why don't I have this happiness thing you're telling me about, and comes to think when his joy stops that he has failed, that it won't come back.” If anyone has just cause to not have unreasonable happiness, it's the man who has to watch his counterpart on the other side of the ball make one baffling decision after another.

I didn't come across anything that caught my attention in defense of the Optimistic Ollies because I'm a Negative Nellie  because I'm lazy and I deeply regret that lack. However, the second poem addresses many of the points made by the Optimistic Ollies. I'm using "he" and "his" in a sexless manner; the narrator is any Dawg fan who has ever been in this situation.

As usual, links to the originals are in the first line. Feel free to post poems/authors you would like me to tackle; next week I will be doing Dr. Seuss per vineyarddawg's request. With apologies to Shel Silverstein:

"I cannot watch the field of play,"

said Bulldog Coach GATA.

"The offense stutters and is stumped;

the running back’s gassed and the QB’s dumped.

Carlton Thomas on third and long

makes my breathing rasp all wrong.

Third and goal from the thirteen?

Bobo will ask his notebook green.

The kicker’s leg leaves me bereft;

again he’s missed wide to the left.

My hip hurts when I turn away;

I’ve pivoted a lot today.

The coverage stinks on punt returns;

special teams, it seems, has much to learn.

Our punter is our best bright spot,

though he kicks more often than he ought.

The O is cold, the coach has flipped

the switch that makes me go tight-lipped.

On yet another first and bomb,

I’m the picture of coolness and calm.

My mouth is open in primal cry;

a vein is pulsing near my right eye.

My cheeks are flushed, my fists are clenched.

Why can’t the whole offense be benched?

While bile is filling up my mouth,

I think I’m pulling my hair out.

I just can’t take it any more;

I’m marching up to coach-booth’s door.

I’ll defenestrate him, through the glass;

I’ll throw him out right on his—what?

What’s that? What’s that I see?

It’s my turn now? They settled for three?

Get out there, guys! KTMFD!"



Whichever fan this is should be ashamed!

His underwear is twisted in a knot.

His team scored a win, yet he’s making a din,

and the din is becoming emotionally fraught.

Dawg Sports is on the computer;

Fan’s fingers fly over the keys.

His fist, I can see, has punched through the TV;

that’s why he’s on his lappy, you see.

He types in all caps about offense,

about Bobo and long bombs and threes.

But in his defense, he’s not bad, just intense,

and he just wants for once to beat someone with ease.

Whichever fan this is should be ashamed!

T Kyle or vineyard or tanker or—

Huh? You say it’s me? Oh, dear,

I knew I sounded familiar.

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