Spoiler Alert

Reflexive or astute to what they’ve known
Ignoring descriptions of what has grown
Knees jerk back from some calls for greater parity
Prizing the glamour made great by its rarity.

Alert, we spoiled by these wild ends!
Perhaps some amends on some funny scale
For those who once claimed this system would fail.
Eight-team playoffs? The kids would grow inured
With drama secured. Well, maybe I did.
Immature, yet too old to be a kid,
I try to track, screen and attention split.
Yet this isn’t it, whatever they say.
At least there will be playoffs yet to play.
And maybe more. So with one ear I am
Hearing a grand slam, the other keyboards’ click.
The data blurs and who knows what will stick?
The kid who jumped to books’ final pages
At many ages, fearing being burned
Still does to check the tone. But I have learned
That this strategy only goes so far.
Whoever you are, you can’t understand
It all till you’ve read what comes beforehand.
The fall before the rise, or rise, for fall.
Some give their all for obvious reasons
And some plan ahead to other seasons
And some dealing with rivals by proxy
Perhaps less moxie in this final spurt?
And some are none of these. Spoilers, alert.

Vikings Stink

Administrator’s apology: I told this blog author to whip up a lipogrammatic post about a Vikings loss. Sadly, said author is a dumb idiot and was just totally plagiarizing an actual, non-lipogrammatic thing! Phrasings such as in football is “0-2, talking about a must-win situation in” and “turn as quickly and as dramatically as it did is frustrating” sound convincing at first, I know, but look on and you find out that it’s not a lipogram at all.

So, I cut out words that didn’t fit, but what I was stuck with was ungrammatical slop. So I put in a bunch of words to try and fix it all up but I think I just wound up making it bad still. I’m not much into gridiron football, you know. So…sorry. And sorry to Vikings columnist Mark Craig, who I’m still kind of plagiarizing. Alas.


in football is 0-2, talking about a must-win situation in his foosball pool

and blaming his punt-handling guys

for not playing all that much


half of its first two.

“I think our trinity of

word for

day is, ‘Wow, not again,’ ” Vikings

Fan #1

said and now wants to go to

Tampa Bay in Florida

a warm location, which is host

to a good squad, which can now and again obtain

victory in front of happy

fans in contrast to

Vikings’ thralls.

at. last!

Vikings sail across tumultuous storms and stuff in

a big boat

at San Francisco, until

losing a captain to nasty piranhas

in. said storms.

But as bad as that was, it

was much not as bad as that day poor Olaf, said boat’s cook, got scurvy

to which hungry



Old-World trading paths

at odds with said piranhas

at.tacking wildly, wound up tossing Olaf to a shark.

Vikings brought

in total yards, of masts,

first downs,

rushing yards,



playing a long round of Whist,

This was just a horrid night,” your mom

said. But

now, and I don’t think

you should try sailing until fall or so, on

a boat

that fits

from Scandinavia

half to


Obviously, a slow start

has all

Vikings fans worrying

a lot

in a. tizzy

And Vikings

trail in Find Hudson

Bay standings, against Britain’s

Lions by two months going

in to a big

NFC North match which will burst

into Sunday’s ordinarily tranquil sanctuary.

against a Lions squad

that has won six coin flips in a row! Talk about random odds! That’s just a shot in sixty-four, guys!

and is coming off a glorious crusading

victory in

Kansas City.


said Vikings coach

Donovan McNabb, “ want of a nail, our ship was lost. And truth

is, it’s a must-win situation.”

Against all


it may

look as if Vikings can find a way to blow this upcoming match


Only two


backups who saw

that ugly

0-2 start will go

on to

play in a third match. Don’t put cash on any to go to

playoffs. Of sorts

Vikings did it in back of Kristoff’s shack last Monday. It was hot and probably in violation of most Nordic law, but so totally worth it, if you know what I’m talking about.


York Giants won a Union Jack

Bowl following

an 0-2 start.

“It’s tough to swallow,” coach McNabb

said. “If

you play as badly

as my squad was

playing, to watch luck

turn as quickly and as dramatically as it did is frustrating. I

got to rub down my

back Monday, find

out what Ragnarok

is and stop


in a hurry.”


Vikings can’t work

for Odin or any particular crony of Odin’s

in forty-hour stints. Or

half. In fact,

only four

of NFL squads

was a round for

that odd occasion

as saints would go marching in. And not a Louisianan sort.


“I’m almost happy

to call it a

fact that it couldn’t possibly occur


Chad Ochocinco


“with our bad

way of

playing and Adrian

was flying around making plays and showing

off his spiffy uniform. I’m talking flying, right? Through air

on third down [in

first half].”


simply could not play football with skill

in any

half. Opposing mascot


of San Antonio

and Josh Groban

of Tampa Bay would call this “a shocking display”

of “gargantuan proportions”

for fantasy football fans who had to rack up, I don’t know, a thousand

yards and two touchdowns in

half. An hour

McNabb ran out

of gas, passing

for 77 yards and no TDs.

On Sunday, dozing

Vikings got stuck

0-for-4 on

third downs of pillows

Bucs, conscious

going 5-for-6.

Bucs also had good luck against

Vikings in total yards both front AND back yards!

In plots of land, about a

half. Furlong by a half furlong.


first half, Adrian

ran for sixty

yards and two touchdowns on crisp Astroturf


Bucs running back Jim

Blount ran for 4 yards on A boat, at which I took a good hard look.

In said day’s third

half, Randy Moss


to obtain just two

yards on top of four from his first night, for a (baby) grand total of six. Actually you would want a total of a thousand to wind up truly “grand.” Good luck, Randy.

Blount ran for six

yards and two touchdowns on his lucky socks. Actually lucky socks, not just a psyching-him-into-thinking-it’s-good-luck thing.

Vikings’ prognosis, obviously, is not too good. Possibly Yggdrasil will fall on top of opposition but don’t bank on it.

On, Friday

right back

Phil Loadholt sat

on. his foot and is probably out for a month.



a first-down pass, running back Fats

was consuming bluish (with a hint of pink) folks

for holding in pass.

A short

punt got

Bucs a short sharp shot


Vikings. Two plays,

Blount ran away

from a goalpost fifty

yards. away

Vikings did not panic

and had

Bucs thirty points down

down in a good

situation to hold onto. But

Brian Robison couldn’t stay cool

on a play on which

Bucs. Ran for sixty yards and a touchdown.

That was good for

Bucs but not Vikings.

To, try and rally back

which didn’t actually occur, Vikings

did with a long

pass to Smith


up a trick play off a

goal post

in bounds. On its

third. Try, it did finally work, but at that point it was not important.

Midway through his

fourth, play-calling discussion, McNabb

was angry at his running back

for roughing up his clipboard

on a rusty old drinking fountain.



touchdown pass to Um, I don’t know. Zobrist plays for Tampa Bay, right?

With half an hour

on that stadium’s clock, a TV guy said, “Oh


on TV, fans had not run across good ads until

kickoff, in an AFC fight.

Picking up a

ball from 6 yards


from Tampa Bay’s hash, Adrian ran

and was brought down


a “push him out of bounds” play.

Bucs won


It was a hard-fought win

, too:

six of Tampa Bay’s touchdowns will count for fantasy stats

for 51 yards against a soft down pillow



first half, didn’t apply much. to

Vikings scalps. But possibly a good nap would assist said squad?

Johnson wants to know

what should his gang do with

an imbibing sailor

on first down from his own forty. Curious

Vikings all don’t know what to do

with him

, and Blount thinks you should find a way for him to rack up a

4-yard TD with two plays

to go.

I got a lot of

crap out of us in

half,” of my bathroom

said. A furious McNabb. “But you all

got to find a way to play for not a lot of cash.




Sharing the Night

Suburbans, nothing more, watched our neighbors tie the score.
We hear the song come on and we start to sway.
You want the lead back. Suburbans too, though you lack
A suburb of your own, still you watch us play.

A song streaming from the press box
Two schools, one game, but few hard knocks
Now it’s tied we can share the night
It goes on and on and on and on.

Strangers waving, back and forth in the bleachers
Their insults called across the way.
Students, people, in a moment all forgetting
Words they’d slung throughout the day.

Can we win? I doubt we will. Not used to this kind of thrill,
Thought we missed our chance when we rolled the dice, looked like the last time.
Some will win and some will lose
Though we wear opposing hues
We rock back like we were friends
And the game goes on and on and on.

Down by fourteen. Scored but missed the extra point.
Scored again to trail by two.
Tried for two points. Missed again, but then the safety
Brings on overtime–who knew?

We started leading.
What a novel feeling!
Field lights, people.

You scored, called timeout,
Stepped back,
Ready to leap,

Didn’t start kicking,
Toed the edge of defeat
And victory–

Friday Night Lights

Oh it’s quite a sight on the field Friday night.
The visiting ranks seem to swell.
Inviting them’s heady, the home team’s not ready
To face them and do very well.

And the kids’ t-shirts vary. The puns are not very
Amusing, you’ll be shocked to hear.
Though I’ve grown no taller, sophomores are smaller
Or at least that’s how they appear.

More predictable dances, even more failed chances.
I still don’t much care for the game.
But ticket-booth teachers and views from the bleachers
Remind me some things stay the same.

Yes, as fall follows fall, one constant above all
Is constant. It’s the lights themselves.
Two three-by-six grids should shine above the kids,
But there never have shown forth three twelves.

Each year without fail, at least one light will fail.
Or maybe nobody will fix
The ones that go black. No, we never get back
To what really should be thirty-six.

And so when they lose, which is not really news
There’s no need to sulk or feel grim.
It’s just part of the theme in the colorless scheme.
Things all have to be a bit dim.

But as I don’t bask in the glow, I still ask,
Should there really be seventy-two?
I now want to know if all lights are aglow
From the visiting stands’ point of view.

Nickname comparison, Part II

I can’t particularly call myself ready for any football. But I was sort of intrigued by the fact that the Packers beat the Steelers in the last Super Bowl, and the former will open against the Saints tonight. In particular, the fact that all three of these are descriptions of groups of people, rather than just animals. Is this tendency something special to the NFL? I thought maybe, but not exactly. Baseball’s defending champions are the Giants, after all.

To shed some further light on the subject, more pie charts!

Four pie charts

It’s actually the NFL with the highest proportion of animal nicknames, even if they don’t win. Groups of people nicknames can be subdivided into the “actually relevant to city/predecessor’s history” (the Packers), “less relevant” (the Sacramento Kings), and “getting metaphysical” (the New Jersey Devils. You kind of have to throw the Orlando Magic in here with the Washington Wizards. Or at least I did.)

As you probably guessed, many are judgment calls–I’m throwing the vague Nashville Predators a bone by sticking them in the “animal” category. And I’m paying more attention to the actual name than the etymology (Cincinnati Reds are other while Boston Red Sox are inanimate plural, even though I probably could have done things differently and lumped them together into the “footwear” category).

The inanimate plurals get bigger as we move through the leagues. Maybe the good animals had been taken already?

The MLS and the WNBA, as mentioned in Part 1, are big on singulars.

Landscape, or nonformalistic rambling, perhaps better ignored

The other night I had a dream that I was reading something in landscape format. It was a printout, several pages stapled together—not all along the edge or in the corner like you might expect, but only one page to the next, in what looked to be an accordion style.

I didn’t get very far, I was only looking at pages 2 and 3 I think. And the bottom of page 1, which relayed a childhood anecdote, or maybe just a summary of the immediate family of, the person the article was about. A baseball player. Maybe Zach Stewart, who had pitched seven perfect innings(1)against the Twins the previous night. It was a printout from a baseball site.

Anyway, now I’m inspired to write something in landscape mode. I’m not sure what style of writing best optimizes landscape mode, though I’m guessing most forms of poetry would not be it. Maybe something with lots of paragraphs long enough to spill over among even the long lines, though not necessarily taking up very many lines.

Or short ones, once in a while, to spice it up.(2)

I think there were some in the article I dream-read. Short-paragraphs, that is. Although maybe they didn’t come till later.

Self-deprecating remark about how bad my writers’ block must be if I have to drop them in this early. Apologetic remark about not posting to the blog that much, even though I have free time.

      1. Winking acknowledgment of how readership is not that high, anyway, so it’s all good! Obviously sarcastic shoutout to the trawling spambots.
      2. Incomplete ruminations about how, if I don’t know what to write even though I have free time, then stuff. Conclusions. Or not.
          1. Tentative conclusions about my fanhood, as drawn from the fact that I am, in fact, listening to my favorite team play right now.
          2. Other conclusions regarding the fact that I am not really engaged in the game.
              1. In my defense, my increasing frustration with the play-by-play announcer for said team. As evidence, cite what percentage of my Twitter feed consists of complaining about him.

A few nights before the aforementioned dream(5), I dreamed I was in a bookstore. I found some five-line poems. Not formalistic, I don’t think, just short things. One of them struck me as something I could parody to be about baseball. Of course, I forgot it all when I woke up.

Or maybe, I could write things and parody them myself? Variations on a theme.

A swing and a miss.
Bats go around. So does time.
You can take your whacks
Or you can take.
And when you don’t miss?

To hit is violent.(6)

Also my wifi kind of fits and starts, which prevents me from listening to the game, but only momentarily.

Now, see, I have another short paragraph, which I didn’t mean to be so abrupt. Of course, I could have gotten around that by editing in the wifi somewhere else. Given the increasingly solipsistic likelihood that this post will have little to nothing to do with any particular ongoing action, I really have no excuse.

To hit is violent, whereas to miss is—undesirable? Socially necessary? Taken for granted?

Can one miss what one
Has never had? Which one?
If one has had, and has not,
Is that enough for all to miss?
Is not one enough?

There are no images, there. I would not have turned that in in my poetry classes. It is lineated, to get to five, which came to me in a dream, which is a pretty dumb way to get all your ideas…

I do not miss the slow embarrassing pauses,
but the words rushed to fill them.
That had something to do with something
I do not miss whatever has left a void,
but I hate the words poured into it, never stopping.

Dumb, not quite pretentious(7), but…stereotypically teenage? (I am not a teenager.) Trying too hard to use big words, I’d say if I ran across that, I think. Except I wasn’t. “void” isn’t that big.

I like happiness.
Mine, yours, whoever’s.
I dislike unhappiness.
Mine, yours, whoever’s.
Why am I strange?

Also stereotypically teenage, at least the last line. Tck.

Other dreams I have had about baseball, since I started keeping the diary, include me attending a game with glass behind the seats. Like hockey. And one where I was “listening to “Talking Baseball”8 but it was different.” (That day someone suggested that (a different) Cashman would take over as the Cubs’ general manager, so perhaps a marginally prophetic one.

Curious jump over to the other team’s broadcasters. Just in case.

1He was the starting pitcher. As is somewhat implied by the phrasing “seven perfect innings.” If I’d mentioned “Abner Bloggs had pitched two perfect innings last night” you’d probably assume he was a reliever. Where is the cutoff between these assumptions? I’m going to say four or more implies starter, less reliever, but could be wrong.

2Possible functions of short paragraphs: humorous taglines? Useful for dryly humorous first-person narrators. Or abrupt switches in topic? Sometimes for drama. <p> Sometimes to undercut the previous buildup. Note my use of the html tag that signifies a new paragraph3,4, rather than actually starting a new paragraph. Intending set an earnest-ish tone. Dryly humorous, granted.

But still earnest.

3 I wonder how this will look when I do the copy-and-paste HTML trick I do for blogging purposes.

4 I need to manually do these footnotes-in-footnotes.

5I’ve started keeping a dream diary. It helps me remember some.

6Working against the George Carlin quote, “Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting, and unnecessary roughness.Baseball has the sacrifice.”

7I don’t use this word very much. Not because it’s not relevant to some things I’d like to say, but because I’m pretty sure most of the people I would be describing with it aren’t pretending.

8Those are straight quotes in OpenOffice where I wrote this at first, in landscape, as opposed to the others being smart quotes. I use Notepad for the diary!