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Ode to the Love of A Freaking First Down with Three Minutes to Go


Our football season is finally over, and all that is left to sort out is this MNC rematch thing on Monday. Thank y'all for being a good audience for my silly poems; I'll write a few things here and there, but the offseason only provides so much dr...you know, finishing that thought sounds like a jinx, so I'm just going to leave that thought with " Thank You." Speaking of thank yous, thank you Spartans for being such a classy bunch. You were good opponents and good winners and your team gave us a good ballgame. Best of luck next year.

My final football season poet of choice is Robert Frost. I don't know about y'all, but that last game left me feeling pretty frosty (although Bobo's play-calling almost always leaves me cold). Frost's poems are quite often about missed opportunities and the consequences of choices, so they seemed to be an appropriate choice for this week. With apologies to Robert Frost:

A Kick, Then Nothing

Others taunt me with having knelt at two downs

and kicking wide to right, and failing to take

advantage of Boykin's interception

given back to the offense to end the game

in true spectacular Junkyard Dawg fashion,

looking to all of football like ballgame's end.

Once, when maintaining possession of two downs,

I discerned, as I thought, to end the ballgame

through the kicking of a field goal from third down,

something simple enough-and then I lost it.

Boykin's face fell at wasted interception;

football snapped back to hand, and lo, the kicker

hooked the football wide right of the bright uprights,

muffed it, squandered big play. What was that garbage?

Walsh? A Green Notebook lapse? A kick, then, nothing.

After Field Goal Kicking

My Dawg three-pointer kicking career's coming to

a blessed close.

Goodbye I'll bid to season filled with woes

behind me, and yet I cannot tell you

why I lost my focus my senior year.

But I am done with field goal kicking here.

Essence of winter bowl games filled the air,

the scenes of football: I was drifting right.

I could not shake this senior slump most rare

that drastically altered the football's path

and pushed it right or left of the uprights

straight into the maw of Lady Luck's wrath.

I felt it, but I could not break its hold.

But I was well

into the year ere I could see or tell

the special hell

from which this nightmare was going to rise.

Magnified errors appeared and disappeared,

balls turned end over end,

and every kick confirmed some deepening fear.

My instep arch ached with every surprise

field goal attempt that fell short of scoring.

I'd feel the line of sight as my knee would bend,

and I'd keep hearing from the Bulldog fans

rumbling roaring

at the derailing of the coaches' plans.

But I have had too much

of field goal kicking: I am overtired

of the great ending I myself desired.

There seemed ten thousand thousand kicks untouched

by all but Fate's hand as they foul did fall.

For all

that struck the ground,

no matter if wide one way or another,

went surely to the college football stats'

great garbage mound

of footballs' failed "I druthers."

This peace of mind, whatever peace it is

I'll have when gone,

the next kicker will hopefully have his

own peace, as he the red and black does don

in search of winning games.

Going-A Winner

The year was done except the bowl,

and so he went with ball in hand

across the field to fill his role--

to help his team and build his brand.

Not loathe to have excuse to play

both O and D as team had need,

Boykin-because the field was his--

did exit well in word and deed.

He ran to beat the Spartans' men

that slowly trailed behind his burst

of weaving speed on kick return

as Boykin reached the endzone first.

And once in overtime he caught

the Spartans' pass to end the game.

Bobo and offense failed to score,

thus leaving Boykin free of blame.

Dawg fans felt bad for Boykin's prize-

a loss caused by the staff and team-

so cheered they loud for Boykin's heart

and wished him well in draft day dreams.

This poem from Dawg Sports' laureate

is silly posting on a blog.

Thanks for staying your senior year-

you are, no doubt, a damn good Dawg.

Stopping Playing Football on a Winter Evening

(or: Ode to the Love of A Freaking First Down with Three Minutes to Go)

Whose win this is I think I know.

This game does not have long to go.

I may as well stop playing here

and give the ball to struggling foe.

My running backs must think it queer

to stop without a first down near.

But question not this choice I make

as vict'ry ends this special year.

The Dawg fans give their heads a shake

to ask if there is some mistake.

But I tell them I am sure

of easy win-a piece of cake.

My plan is lovely, green, and pure;

Bulldog fans will ask for more-

more minutes to go before we score,

more minutes to go before we score.

Three Points Not Taken

Two plays diverged ‘neath yellow poles,

and sorry I could not order both

and be one ball coach, near the goal,

I pondered points or a gambler's roll

based on offense's detected growth.

I took the gamble based on my gut

and last year's error some say I made,

because it was chancy and mouths would shut

and O would swagger ‘round and strut

and the Spartans' winning push would fade.

I called what seemed a possible play,

but D met O and whacked our back.

Oh, I kept those points for another day!

Yet knowing how we often play,

I hoped miss wouldn't haunt the red and black.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

In press conferences moments hence:

two plays diverged ‘neath uprights, and I--

I took the one with the risk most high,

and that did make all the difference.

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