I Have Only Lost This Year But Twice--The Green Notebook As Explained By Emily Dickinson

As I said last week, I can never pass up a literary challenge issued on this site. This week, I examine a link between two people who lived centuries apart yet who are similar at heart. Mike Bobo and Emily Dickinson's works have much in common. Both are full of fragmented runs, inexplicable dashes, and a failure to properly capitalize. Both, at times, leave the reader scratching his or her head in bewilderment.

            If you've ever wondered how to understand the mysteries of the dreaded Green Notebook, fear not-for Mike Bobo (alias Emily Dawginson) has all the answers. Well, maybe not all the answers, but his responses are always wise and balanced, just like his play calls. I've included links to the original Dickinson poems for those who are interested; reading them is not necessary for comprehension, though. With apologies to Emily Dickinson:

I've only Lost this year but Twice

The ball fell on the Turf.

Once beaten by a Gamecock,

Once beaten by a Smurf.


Long bombs—swift descending

Add on to the score—

Fumbler! Bumbler—Stumbler!

1 and 2 once more.




My notebook has a Rear and a Front

‘Tis something like a Puddle of Muck.

It’s Foul and Dirty and Green and Shallow—

A Synergy of Suck.


Inside you’ll find the longest bomb

That ever Aaron Murray threw—

Look to it and try to fathom

The open tight end not Pursued.




A Clock stopped

Final time-out—

It’s still the Quarter third.

The Players were unsure of—

What play-call they had Heard.


A Long Bomb on the first down!

The linemen hunched, but fell.

A busted play on Second led—

To a loss for Samu-el.


Help from the Gilded punter—

Help from the Kicker slim—

Again the Redzone stymies me;

Three points again—

How Grim.



He fumbles at the Goal

His fingers made of Grease.

Although he drops the ball again—

His play-time will increase.

Prepare your Zealous Fandom

For the brutal, crushing Blow—

Of shuffled players—Tight Ends forgotten—

Then running—oh so slow

Your breath will rasp in Anger—

Your brain will bubble hot—


On Third—And—Got—He—Not—A—Lot.


When backs drop footballs from their Paws—

The Dawgiverse is ill.




Their Defense could not stop me so

I kindly stopped for Them.

My Green Book said to run and pass—

A Balanced, sound system.


We poorly drove—Each down a waste

For I had put away

The Calls that proved effective ‘gainst

Their secondary Play.


We passed and ran, the players strove

At Midfield—‘tween the Hedge—

We Passed although the Run had worked—

We ran when Doom was sure.


Or rather—they passed Us—

They were playing loose and Chill—

I’d swear they knew my every call—

Before we ever Hiked the ball.


We paused before a Half that seemed

To some a good time to Adjust.

But I knew Better than all the rest—

Best to keep going and hope for the Best.


Since then—‘tis Quarters ago—and yet

Feels shorter than the Day

I realized Cocks and Broncos Heads

Would scorn my Equity.




An authentic portrait of Emily Dawginson as she prepares for gameday.

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