Giants 21, Patriots 17

I don’t remember how many football fields I’ve ever seen. I could come up with a decent guess for in-person, but what about over the screen?
They are standardized, the white yard lines (which never, from my seat, look a yard apart, always more like feet) drawn on top of the green.
I’ve stood on a long but narrow lawn, and tried remembering (“How far away were you from the stage? Imagine a football field.”) And although
I know they’re supposed to be a unit, when it comes down to gauging with them in my head, I have to shrug and say “No, I don’t really know.”
But after misused timeouts allow the clock to tick along at what is for football an unusually clockesque pace, the last drive comes at last.
They zoom out. And though I don’t care who wins, the distance from the fifty-yard line or somewhere to the endzone has never looked so vast.

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.

Packers 21, Bears 14

I’m rushing for a reason, for a change.
Not that rushing is anything that new
But my reason this time around is strange.
This shouldn’t just be done before it’s due

But done before the game. The football game.
The game of the century, or so they say.
I wouldn’t give it that kind of a name
But part of me now wants to see them play.

At first it’s just a joke, but jokes can be
Enough to draw you in. And then it’s more;
The kick returned, the O against the D;
And now I want the Bears to tie the score,

The game to keep going. It’s close enough
To keep my interest (“rooting” it’s not.)
No win brings pride, no loss is really tough,
It’s not a sport I think about a lot

And I’m not trying to procrastinate
(There’s too much work for that)–but it’s close now
The excitement builds. It can’t be too late
For them to mount a comeback, right? Somehow?

Football Fantasy

Spring 2005

“So how was your night?”

“Good! I had a vision.”


“It’s going to occur. Just as I saw it. I know.”


“It’s Monday Night Football, right? Vikings start it off against Giants’ crosstown rivals. Randy Moss drops back to pass.”

“Okay, what? No, Randy Moss isn’t with us now.”

“Right, but Moss will join us again.”

“Um…okay. And you said, drops back to pass?”


“But Moss isn’t a guy who throws footballs.”

“I know. But Moss throws it to anyway. To…oh, you know, that guy in shirt four.”

“No, I don’t know. No Viking is in shirt four.”

“That guy from Wisconsin. Who will at that point play for us, and want to win against his old squad.”

“But…wait, I thought you said it was…not against a squad from Wisconsin? Also, that guy–”

“–throws footballs, I know. Anyway, it fails, that play didn’t stand.”

“I should think not.”

You Are Old, Mr. Favre

“You are old, Mr. Favre,” a reporter did call.
“And you’ve seen quite a lot of the game.
And yet you incessantly throw the football
To the wrong team. Isn’t that a shame?”

“In my youth,” the veteran replied to the man,
“I had no control of my arm.
But I do as I’ve practiced, since that way I can
Be sure that I’ll come to no harm.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before.
And have played with most uncommon skill.
Yet at the end, the Vikings just couldn’t score.
Surely this wasn’t part of your will?”

“In my youth,” answered Brett, taking his helmet off,
“I kept all my limbs in good care.
But now,” he went on, with a sigh and a cough,
“My bygone strength just isn’t there.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet.
But your whispers will stir up new rumors each week.
Pray, how do you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” Favre explained, “I’d pretend to broadcast
My made-up playoff victories.
My mouth got practice from those years so long past.
Now I can start rumors with ease.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one can hardly suppose
That next season you will come back.
Or is that not true? You know how it goes.
Will you stay and help the attack?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Favre responded. “Don’t give yourself airs.
I’ll have the summer to think about that stuff.
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!”