With apologies to Rudyard Kipling, the Dawgs will have a good season If...
If you can catch the ball when all about you
are dropping theirs and blaming you;
if you can trust your calls when all fans doubt you,
but make allowance for their doubting, too.
If you can block and not be tired by blocking,
or, being fouled, don't deal in fouls;
nor be baited by h8rz' mocking,
e'en when their coaches wave towels.
If you can tackle and show their line you're master;
if you can throw and ne'er miss your aim;
introduce them to the Pastor of Disaster,
who will say "amen" and then maim.
If you can bear to see the quotes you've given
twisted on boards and mocked by tools;
or watch your perfect record riven,
yet rise up and silence jorted fools.
If you can take a season's winnings
and not risk them on first and bomb;
play well to the end from beginning,
and flash the G on adjacent palms.
If you can force your shoulder and ankle and sinew
to stay knit together in Athens-town,
and so hunker when there is nothing in you
except the Munson who says to you, "Hunker Down!"
If you can talk with boosters and maintain your virtue,
and replace King, having defter touch;
if neither rivals nor zealous fans can hurt you;
if you can field eleven, but not too much.
If you can fill the unforgiving hour
with sixty minutes' worth of play calls run,
e'en those who play in the SEC will cower,
and--which is more--you'll be a Dawg, my son!