July 11, 2007

Sacking the Poem

The current issue of Poetry Magazine has a review of the 2006 New York Giants season. It's quite insightful.

This is my favorite part:

11/27: So we're up 21-0 with less than ten minutes to play against the worst team in pro football, and somehow still lose, 24-21. How do you lose to the Tennessee Titans? Let me count the ways: we fumble once, throw two interceptions, and do some other things that make you wonder if the guys didn't prefer to lose. For instance, on a fourth down that would have ended the game, Mathias Kiwanuka has got Vince Young, their QB, wrapped up in both arms. Instead of taking him down, he just lets him go! Young runs about twenty yards for a first down. Damnedest thing I've ever seen on or off a football field. "O, I die," Coach said after the game. "The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit." Finally: Coach speaks up! And not a moment too soon. Things couldn't get worse.

11/28: Things just got worse. The defense met to talk about their fourth-quarter collapse. One of the coaches asked Mathias what the fuck he was thinking when he just let go of Vince Young. "Coach," says Mathias, "I couldn't help it. Just when I grabbed hold of him, a clerihew popped into my head." I looked around the room, expecting everyone to be as confused as me.
But everyone--even some of the coaches--were nodding. "Are you ready to share it with us?" our gap-toothed defensive end Michael Strahan asks.

And--if you can believe this--Mathias gets up and says:

Vince Young
Your Fu is not yet Kung
Your hop ain't hip, your juke don't jive
I'm gonna eat your rookie ass alive.

"When it came into my head I remembered what happened to Coleridge and so I just reached into my pockets for a pen," says Mathias. "By the time I realized my uniform didn't have pockets, the QB was gone."

"You sacked the poem," says Osi Umenyiora, our defensive end. "That's what matters."

For More Information
Lewis, Michael. "Poetry in Motion: A Diary of the Collapse of the 2006 New York Giants," Poetry, July 1, 2007, Pg. 348+. Full-text available in LexisNexis.

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