Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Poets Football Game

R.a.n.t. of week 12/02/12
This weekend I was invited to a "flag" football game. Now of all sports, American football happens to be my favourite (unless darts counts). Some might think I'd be more interested in European football, but I'm not very agile on my feet and can't really run up and down the field like I used to. A few months ago we played Football (Soccer), and I really tired myself out (though I probably wouldn't have played if I wasn't trying to impress a girl). Truly, I need to lose weight; okay, another r.a.n.t. for another time. One of the main reasons I came to this game was for my son. Though there were many younger players for which we were playing flag football, us older ones were not always so passive when we went up against each other. I somehow managed to injure a few of my ribs and my arms and legs are extremely sore today. But, I wouldn't take the pain away (as long as they heal), for anything. I wear these pains as trophies, in honour and glory, satisfied knowing I went out there and played despite my initial misgivings.

What misgivings? Well, as indicated above, I'm not exactly the athletic type. And even if I were more fit, the drive to play somewhat alludes me. I was picked last in the 'school-yard pick-em' and the reason showed several times as I was playing, quite probably looking lost. At one point I remember thinking to myself, "I'm a poet, not a footballer". So that got me thinking. Can a poet be an athlete? I started to imagine a team playing football, comprised of poets. Here's how the game went in my mind:

* * * * *

"Hello, I'm Alex Flanagan. I'll be your sideline reporter for this first ever, poets football game. The players are on the field and the game is about to commence. Some might wonder why the game is so late at night. It seems most of the poets felt it was more 'poetic' this way. Number 12, Robert Browning, suggested this 'meeting at night'. Kick-off is about to begin and I'm joined by Pam Oliver who'll be interviewing a few of the players. Pam, I understand you are with Lewis Carroll, this teams quarterback."

"Yes Alex, Now Lewis, what do you feel are your teams chances of winning this game?"
"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves."
"I've forgotten, he doesn't usually make much sense. Back to you Alex."

"The game is now under-way and the poets have received the ball first. John Keats is returning the ball, wait, what's he doing? He's stopped and staring ahead, he seems to be paralysed in place, pointing down field and mumbling. Can we hear what he's saying?"
"Tiger, Tiger burning bright!"
"He's taken down at the 15! This is not good field position for the poets. It's first down and looks like they are going to try a run play. It's handed off to Robert Frost who, yes he's actually made a first down. The defence assumed he was running a different route, but he tricked them all and took the one less traveled by. They are now in better field position, but can they do anything again? Lewis Carroll is hiking the ball."
"One two! One Two! And Through and Through, hike!"
"It's going to be a pass play. Stephen Crane is running down field as though he's pursuing the horizon. William Wordsworth is running all about the field. I'm not sure he knows what he's doing. He seems to be fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Here's the throw, it's to W.H.Davies but he's just standing there. He could have caught the ball but he didn't even try. He's now being ejected from the game. Pam, can you get a comment from him?"

"Davies, what happened out there?"
"What is life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare."
"Thanks for that incite. Alex, back to you."

"Thanks Pam. The team is now sending in Emily Dickenson. Earlier, she felt the game was going to be a breeze and said, 'success is counted sweetest'. Seems she's very hopeful. It's second down and they are going for another run play. It's handed to Emily but she's turned from the defender and has started to run backwards. Oh no, she is taken down for a loss of ten yards. I think we can hear her on the field."
"How DREARY to be somebody!"
"She seems to be taking this very hard. It's third down now and they need to make a conversion here. But can they do it? Lewis Carroll hikes the ball again."
"Callooh! Callay! Hike!"
"The ball is passed to A.E.Houseman, he's running for the first down but.... oh no. He's taken down and it doesn't look like he's getting back up. He took a hard hit, I'm not sure he's going to be back in the game either. Pam, you are right there, how bad does it look."

"Alex, he seems to have taken quite a hit. He's slowly getting to his feet. The crowd is cheering, but he's hobbling to the sideline. Houseman, are you okay?"
"Miles around they'll say that I am quite myself again."
"There you have it, Houseman seems to think he'll be okay."

"It's now fourth down so the poets will have to kick the ball away. Edgar Allan Poe is kicking the ball and it's received by the other team. They are running down the field but no one is stopping them. Edgar Allan Poe is actually running off the field yelling 'Nevermore'. He's being followed by the rest of the poets. Why are they running off the field? Pam, Stephen ran past you. What was he shouting?"

"Incredibly Alex, he seems despondent. As do the rest of the poets. 'It is futile' he cried and ran on. It seems this poets football game has come to an early close. Back to you."

"I guess that just about does it for the first annual poets football game. It seems there will be no joy in Mudville tonight. On behalf of myself and Pam Oliver, have a good night."


  1. That was funny! I loved it.

  2. Thanks for saying so. Glad you liked it.