threatened promised that I would say more later in my usual way, and it's later than I should be awake and posting. The inspiration for this poem began with T Kyle's riffing on Johnny Manziel's nickname of "Johnny Football." He claimed that nobody would call him "Kyle Weblog," but we, in typical Dawg Sports fashion, embraced the maddening moniker that T Kyle loathed almost but not quite as much as Auburn came to grudgingly accept as a sign of Dawg Sports affection. I wish I had some great story about inspiration, but one day, I thought, "Hmm, I should write a poem called, "The Ballad of Kyle Weblog." I think it was Chuck who hilariously came up with "Davy Crockpot," but that didn't really have anything to do with it either. Then the news broke, followed by my heart, followed by my ability to think about doing anything but writing this once I decided to do so.
Before I post the poem, I want to talk about why I wrote it in the first place. True, I could say that as Dawg Sports' poet laureate, it's my job to write poems about important things in the Bulldog Nation and Dawg Sports community. I could resort to humor and say that I want to make the most of the time I have left to tweak the Mayor about being "Kyle Weblog." I could even make up some nonsensical non-sequitur
yay Latin! like, "If I don't write this, Auburn wins." which nobody would believe because doing so would include embracing the concept of Auburn winning something this year None of those answers, of course, encompasses the full truth; as a writer, I could argue that no one piece of anything is going to tell the full truth. While I've tried to keep my personal life and my Dawg Sports lives separate, the former has seeped into the latter a few times because keeping myself out of my writing is impossible. I've also come to feel more a part of this community than I ever thought possible, which inevitably led to a slight loosening of my tongue. This has been a year of upheaval and change for me, but Dawg Sports was here even when everything else I knew seemed so far away.
DavetheDawg talked about T Kyle as if he were a recruit, and I would take that analogy further. One of many reasons I love college football more than pro is the tendency of college football to reward teams for being good. In the pros, if you are crap, you get a shot at the player you deem the best. How is that fair? They call it parity, but I think that practice is a parody of fairness. No, in college, if you're good, if you're the best, the best players want to come play for you--or, as the case may be, beside you. Sometimes, a recruit will come along that will hold a class together with his talent and charisma and leadership abilities. He is the best. He knows he's the best. Others know he's the best--including, at times, his rivals. And other recruits want to play on the same team as this recruit because they know he's the best. They know he can lead them. They know he can push them to be better. They know that, even if they are not always at the tops of their games, that he will pick up the slack. So these other recruits join the alpha recruit and form a dream team, form something special and lasting. But nothing lasts forever, at least not in this life. Sometimes the recruit goes pro early because he feels his skills are worth more than he's making. Sometimes the recruit leaves the team for personal reasons so he can spend more time taking care of what matters most. Sometimes he simply graduates and gives into the natural progression of time.
So what of the team that this leader leaves? How does it fare? Does it fall apart and its components fall away, or does it pull itself together and go on a championship run anyway? T Kyle has promised us a football championship next year
which my little pessimistic heart will believe when it sees it, so I feel I can do no less as a Dawg Sports blogger. We may be losing the guy that came in #1, but, as we like to say, our cupboards are not exactly bare. We are also fond of saying that you can't lose such a player and not feel an impact, and that is certainly so here. I am a relatively recent (and young) recruit, but I am still committed to the G--and all the DGDs here.
T Kyle, you built a place where I felt I could belong, and that's no mean feat. You've built this team into one talented enough to play hard without you, though it is loathe to try to do so. You called my work extraordinary, and coming from a writer like you, that means more than I can ever say. You were the first I saw on here to post a Bulldog poem, and I decided that I wanted to try to do that, too. DavetheDawg may have posted the excellent piece that inspired me to write the first really good thing I posted on here, but you shaped this place and drew in these recruits and players. And now, you are entrusting us with the blog you built, and I, for one, will continue to play hard, post by post. So why did I write this poem? Because you are my friend, and I show my friends I care about them by writing for them. And that's the whole truth.
With apologies to Bill Hayes (and T Kyle, upon whose life this is somewhat loosely based and whose reluctance to embrace "Kyle Weblog" is perfectly understandable [albeit futile]):
Bill Hayes - The Ballad Of Davy Crockett ( 1956 ) (via GoldenOldiesOn45RPM)
This version has words and may or may not fit the rhythm of the poem.
Ballad of Davy Crocket - Piano (via calikokat105)
This is a rather haunting and melancholy version that suits my mood well.
Twelve years of age when Buck threw to Lindsay
on the play that went for 93.
Raised by his folks to be a DGD;
grew up watchin' Herschel and Vince Dooley.
Kyle, Kyle Weblog, King of the blogosphere!
He cheered Dawgs through Goff and Donnan years,
got his law degree, made law his career.
As co-host of "The Dawg Show" he did appear,
and his emails became postings that had no peer.
Kyle, Kyle Weblog, King of the blogosphere!
A Dawg got him to blog and boost his brand;
a Wolverine convinced him to leave Xangaland.
A Longhorn gave him a helping hand,
and then he started forming his Dawg Sports band.
Kyle, Kyle Weblog! The best of the blogosphere!
He wrote lots for Dawg Sports and served them well;
took up mantle of mayordom, taught them how to spell.
Drew fellow Bulldogs in with stories he'd tell
of past and present Dawgs and the Chapel Bell.
Kyle, Kyle Weblog! Serving his Dawg blog well!
When he came home for Bulldog football game,
his view of it through fan's eyes set his brain aflame.
He thought long and hard and, despite his fame,
he gave up "Mayor Weblog" for his normal name.
Kyle, Kyle Weblog! Handin' o'er the reins.
His blog is awesome and his blog is best;
we'll still laugh at Abuurn and Johnson's chest.
We'll still loathe the Gators, pass the Hate Week test
and cheer our heads off when Georgia beats the West.
Kyle, Kyle Weblog! The King of the blogosphere!
Kyle, Kyle Weblog! King of the blogosphere!
One line I ended up changing was one that claimed T Kyle was no longer the mayor, but I just didn't have the heart to leave it in and made this charming and heart-warming picture instead: