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Every Fan Knows What To Do

This was a little writer’s “exercise” I did that kinda drones on. To enjoy this poem you must: A) Be an avid football fan and, B) NOT be an avid poetry fan!

Forth and one and down by two,
Three minutes on the clock;
Every fan knows what to do,
Yet stares, instead, in shock.

The punter’s sprinting on the field,
“This coach is such a jerk!
A smarter move is not to punt,
A sneak is sure to work!”

The punt sails high and settles down
At the thirty-six or eight;
The coverage team comes crashing ‘round
And seals the runner’s fate.

First and ten at the forty-one,
“We’ve got to hold them here!”
The coach has called a safety blitz,
A foolish move, fans fear.

“Has he lost his mind? They’ll pick it up;
All night they’ve found their man!
Maintain the zone!” But no, the coach
Is cursed by every fan!

Their q-back takes a two-step drop
And hits the open slant.
A four-yard gain and then it’s stuffed.
The boo-birds start their chant.

Second and six at the 45,
Two-twenty on the clock;
Our safeties charge up to the guards,
“Not that again!” fans squawk.

Off-tackle right, their halfback stops
And spins to cut outside;
Our corner slips the wideout’s block,
Their runner cannot hide.

The coach yells “Time!” The clock is stopped
While reading two oh eight.
Again the fans decry the move
And scream “the bum should wait”

Third and seven, “Watch that pass!
They’ve hit that out all night!
Our blitz again comes storming in
And swats the ball in flight.

“Whew!” The fans are so relieved
The clock is stopped at two.
They’ll have to punt and every fan
Knows just the thing to do.

“Load the line, rush that kick!”
But no…, and fans just sigh;
We’ve double-teamed their coverage men
The punt goes sailing high.

Gathered in at the twenty one,
Our return man cuts hard right
Blowing past the first two men
He searches for more light.

Stopped at last at the thirty-eight
One-forty left to go.
“We must throw the sideline pass
As any fool should know.”

First and ten, our Q drops back
“Oh good, he’s looking right”
But dumps instead to our running back
Who grasps the spiral tight.

And rumbles for a dozen yards
Until, at last, he’s dropped.
In disbelief the fans shout “Time!”
But coach won’t stop the clock.

The ball is spotted near mid-field
As players rush the line
The ball is snapped, the ball is spiked
Still at the forty –nine.

A minute twenty-one it reads
“Come on! Let’s hit the out!”
Our quarterback retreats to pass
The fans all scream and shout.

He hands off to the blocking back
The pass-rush spread out wide;
The draw play barrels straight ahead
An open lane inside.

First and ten at the thirty-eight
And still no time-out call;
Sixty seconds left to play
“Come on now, spike the ball!”

The q-back shouts an audible
The fans curse the delay;
Then groan aloud as they all watch
Another running play.

No sooner does he hit the line
Then fans begin to boo;
A modest gain, the pile stops
Across the thirty-two.

They rush up to the line again,
The clock keeps ticking on
The audible is shouted out;
More precious seconds gone.

The fans are livid, “Kill the coach!”,
“What’s in this bone-head’s mind?”
With two more time-outs left to burn,
What he doesn’t have is time!

A pitch-out left, the back cuts back
Another six-yard gain.
The coach at long last stops the clock
Just twenty ticks remain.

The fans all do the field-goal math
That’s forty-one yards net.
This kicker’s weak from forty out;
Let’s get him closer yet.

But coach sends out the kicking team;
The fans all make in known;
That in the midst of countless throngs
The coach now stands alone.

The holder marks his chosen spot
The kicker gives his nod
The holder reaches for the snap,
Then rises from the sod.

The crowd looks on in disbelief
A simple ten-yard route;
A fluttering pass, a reach, a catch;
A tackle, then “TIME OUT!”

Yes, just ten yards, but every inch
Drew victory closer in.
The next down played the kick sailed through
And brought the team the win.

The stands were filled with sounds of joy
And, now that they had won;
Every fan claimed they would do
Just as the coach had done.

How oft the crowd will ride you hard
And make you feel dead-wrong;
Yet when you rise to win the day
They were with you all along.

Picture of Wes Stephenson

Wes Stephenson

Author, motorcyclist, poet, and adventurer. Let's journey together.

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