Colts Football Doggerel Annotated

Pierre Garcon after the Colts' conference title winPierre Garcon after the Colts’ conference title win

I promised an annotation for my weekend piece of doggerel in praise of the Indianapolis Colts so here it is. And while I’m focusing on such poetry, let me mention a similar endeavor that my cousin Dan Bates undertook in praise of the Boston Red Sox of 2004, the year they miraculously overcame a three game, one-run-down-in-the-ninth deficit to the New York Yankees to come back and defeat their hated rivals. A website to the poem can be found at www.beantownballad.com/ Although Dan is my favorite cousin, I have to make allowances for him since, living in Maine, he’s a Patriots fan and thus a Colts hater.

Ballad of the 2009 Colts

At the start of the season
Experts saw little reason
To believe that “the Horse”
Would compete as a force.

But the Colts remained calm
And their words were like balm:
“Lose our Coach Dungy? [1]
We’ll rebound like a bungee;
No Marvin Harrison? [2]
We’ll refortify the garrison
With a man from Cedille [3]
Always good for a thrill
And a Mormon from Oakley [4]
Who reminds us of Stokley; [5]
There’s a way if there’s will,
And besides we’ve got Bill [6]
Who a dynasty crafted
With players undrafted,
Like small Gary Brackett [7]
Who they thought couldn’t hack it;
And of course there’s “the One” [8]
With an arm like a gun—
When it comes to our Peyton,
You don’t wanta be hatin’;
And lighting-like Freeney, [9]
That pass-rushing meanie,
And Dallas and Reggie, [10]
Who make corners edgy,
So we should be okay—
Now let’s go out and play.”

The year began tight
Against Jacksonville’s might,
Then a few easy wins,
Then the drama begins:
Down in the fourth
Was a matter of course; [11]
They fought back so often,
Saw other teams soften,
That some accused Peyton
Of dealing with Satan.

And then came Tom Brady [12]
Who drives the Colts crazy
And dark genius Belichick
Who proves a pain in the neck:
“4th down and 2— [13]
What should I do
With Manning there waitin’?
Okay, no hesitatin’,
Let’s go for the win…
How’d that safety come in?!”

And now the December
We’ll always remember:
A team that’s depleted
But still undefeated;
Does it go for perfection
Or another direction? [14]

“History you be spolian’–
Curse you, Bill Polian!”

Momentum, Bill stated,
Is far overrated.
If you want players’ best,
First give them a rest.

Long-suffering Baltimore,
Home of the Colts heretofore,
Tested the theory—
And the Ravens were weary;
Rice was pureed
By the D’s blinding speed. [15]

Then came Rex Ryan [16]
Either boastin’ or cryin’;
“We can’t outtalk him,”
Said quiet coach Jim, [17]
“But just let him blitz—
We will give the man fits.”

And now in march the Saints,
No longer the aint’s,
Blown by a Brees [18]
That topples tall trees.
When he throws a lob,
It’s a heckuva job. [19]

So who are you for
As these teams go to war?
America’s team,
A drowned city’s dream?
Or Peyton the brain [20]
Who sees all things plain?
If he stomps on their throat
He might prove himself GOAT. [21]

Both ways we win—
Let the contest begin.

[1] Legendary coach Tony Dungy retired last year; [2] as did legendary Colts receiver Marvin Harrison; [3] second-year receiver Pierre Garcon, of Haitian ancestry, is the only player in the National Football League that has a cedille (punctuation mark denoting a soft “c”) on his jersey; [4] rookie Austin Collie, a Mormon player, like Garcon had a spectacular year. Collie attended Oak Ridge High School outside of Sacramento; [5] Brandon Stokley was a much beloved, and very effective, Colts receiver who now plays for the Denver Broncos; [6] General Manager Bill Polian is one of the best minds in football and has the ability to find great players that no one else wants; [7] one of these is the 5’11” 235-pound Gary Brackett, who was one of the best linebackers in football this year; [8] “the one” is Peyton Manning, a player well on his way to owning every significant quarterback record; [9] Dwight Freeney is the undersized but powerful defensive end who terrorizes quarterbacks; [10] tight end Dallas Clark and wide receiver Reggie Wayne are two of Manning’s favorite targets; [11] the Colts set a record this year for fourth quarter comebacks (7).

[12] For years Tom Brady and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots had the Colts’ number; [13] this year, in a controversial decision stemming from a lack of faith in his defense to stop Manning, Belichick opted to go for a fourth and two from his own 28 yard-line with his team leading by five (instead of punting the ball away). Safety Melvin Bullitt stopped the pass receiver from making the first down and Manning, given excellent field position, scored right before the game ended to complete a monumental comeback for the Colts.

[14] The Colts created a firestorm by sitting their starters in the third quarter in a game against the New York Jets in which they had the lead. (They had already assured themselves of the best season in football and of home field advantage throughout the playoffs and didn’t need the win.) The Jets came back to win, thereby ending Indianapolis’s bid for a perfect regular season and potentially (if they had gone on to win the Super Bowl) a perfect 19-0 final record. Many fans and football experts were outraged although others argued that the Colts were right to focus on resting their players rather than going all out.

[15] The Colts speedy defense stymied the powerful running game of Baltimore Raven running back Ray Rice. Some thought that the victory vindicated the Colts’ decision to rest players.

[16] Rex Ryan, coach of the New York Jets, is famous for wearing his heart on the sleeve. He once cried before his team following a tough loss. Prior to the playoffs, he said he would be “shocked” if the Jets did not win a Super Bowl, and the schedule of dates he handed to his players included the day of the Super Bowl victory parade; [17] Colts coach Jim Caldwell, the polar opposite of Ryan, told his team that they might be outtalked but they wouldn’t be outplayed. The Jets’ blitz was effective early in the game, but then Manning figured it out and proceeded to have the best day any quarterback that year had had against the league’s top-rated defense.

[18] Drew Brees, the great quarterback for the New Orleans Saints (who used to be so inept that their fans called them the “aints”) is noted for the precision of his passes; [19] the heckuva job that he does throwing passes is in contrast to “Heckuva Job Brownie,” President George’s Bush’s director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (the phrase was the president’s) who proved inept following the Hurricane Katrina flooding of New Orleans.

[20] Peyton Manning is the most cerebral of all quarterbacks and is famous for his endless studying of game tapes and his ability to figure out defenses and adjust; [21] GOAT stands for Greatest of All Time. If Manning wins this Super Bowl, many think that he will enter the conversation for that designation.

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  • Barbara

    I love it, Robin! Well writ! Only tangentially related, are you familiar with “Amazons” by Phranc? It came up on my ipod recently. It’s dated but still fun although an updated version would be great.

  • Robin Bates

    Can you tell me more, Barbara? I’m not familiar but I’m intrigued.

  • Barbara

    Phranc is a Jewish lesbian folksinger. I wasn’t able to find a link but will try to burn you a copy. From memory, the lyrics may be out of order. I first heard it when The University of Connecticut radio station played it as part of a tribute to the 1995 championship women’s basketball team: rebecca Lobo et al.

    Oh give me a pair of pectorals like Diana Nyad,
    I want to swim for 89 miles.
    Give me a pair of deltoids like Tracey Caulkins,
    I want to be strong….like those amazons.

    Strong strong, like an amazon.

    I want to run in the Boston Marathon,
    I want to go go go like Alison Rowe.

    I want to learn to dribble like Annie Myer,
    I want to shoot, like Cheryl Miller.
    I wanted to play for the Dallas Diamonds,
    and live with Martina like Nancy Lieberman.

    Strong Strong, like an amazon.
    I want to be strong, strong, like an amazon.

    I want to play badmitton like Tammy Canard,
    I want to slam a birdie like Christy Cook,
    I want to acquire the perfect drop shot,
    have total control over that shuttlecock.

    Strong, strong etc

    I want to play tennis like Billy Jean King.
    I want to serve and volley like Martina can.
    I want to be strong like an amazon,
    I want to smack the ball like Yvonne Goolagong.

    Strong strong etc

    I want to learn to drive like Janet Guthrie.
    I want to zoon zoon like Cha Cha Muldowney,
    I want to be strong, like an amazon.
    I want to be strong, strong, like an amazon!

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