Open Mouth, Insert Football: The Racer: An adaptation

Ben Morrow
Sports columnist 

Once upon an evening dreary, while I studied, weak and weary,

And my eyes grew tired and bleary with some boring homework chore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my dorm room door.

“Dude had better have a pizza, if he knocks upon my door! Only this, and nothing more.”

Much to my dismay and fright, I found a figure in the light

Who stood so tall I thought he might not fit beneath my dorm room door.

Dressed in blue and golden yellow, this big, tall, and gangly fellow

Shook me like a Mello-Yello till I cowered on the floor.

An angry Popeye Jones was glaring at me while I hugged the floor.

No one less, and no one more.

The Racer, to my endless fright, grabbed me, then, and we took flight.

We landed in the cool, dark night outside the arena door.

The crowd inside stood to clapping, cheerful, giddy, nervous, happy,

An announcer started rapping of events ne’er seen before.

Has a school like little Murray had a year like this before?

Never. Also, nevermore.

Two ranked teams – the BracketBuster – gathered for their pre-game muster

Suddenly my heart felt flustered as the players took the floor.

The Racer saw I recognized some classmates from the class that I

Had ditched them for. He watched my eyes while I kept tabs upon the score.

Did he think that ol’ St. Mary’s could beat our boys on our home floor?

Quoth the Racer: “Nevermore.”

Donte shot threes fast and faster, grabbing boards was Ivan Aska,

Like Isaiah in Alaska, each played like one born to score.

Shootin’ blind like Helen Keller, magic plays like Penn and Teller

Droppin’ dimes like Rockefeller to each teammate on the floor.

Finally, the shot swished through and launched the party on the floor.

Underrated? Nevermore.

Dickie V. was so excited. Canaan got himself highlighted.

I screamed like mad; I couldn’t fight it, cheered them as they left the floor.

Pop looked down at my small frame, and with a scowl he said my name.

“You think you’ll skip another game?” I looked up at the final score.

Will I miss another chance to cheer and watch my classmates score?

Ashamed, I answered “Nevermore.”

I blinked but once and all was quiet, but inside was much disquiet

Coming from the gleeful riot that I’d witnessed just before.

I closed my eyes, and then I smiled, and then like Christmas for a child,

I saw Pop’s jersey neatly piled, a wrinkled number fifty-four.

Could this token left to me be mine to keep, this fifty-four?

I realized it was meant for more.

So this Racer’s jersey’s hanging, still is hanging, still is hanging,

Reminding us when he was banging boards way back in Racer lore.

Yet this Racer gave me pause, to seize the moment now, because,

This time won’t come again, it was the chance to watch my classmates score.

Will I miss another chance to cheer and watch my classmates score?

Quoth this Racer: “Nevermore!”

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