Burial of the Season

February is the cruellest month, breeding

Pro Bowls out of the dead league, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull sports with freezing rain.

Football kept us warm, covering

Earth in blissful playoffs, feeding

A little life with upset thrillers.

Fall surprised us, coming over the mid-season mark

With an undefeated team; they stopped in Cincinnati,

And went on without defense, into the postseason,

And met Peyton, and fell after an hour.

Bin gar keine QB, stamm’ aus coach, echt field general.

And when they were champions, standing on the podium,

The commissioner’s, he took out a trophy,

And I was frightened. He said, Tom,

Tom, hold on tight. And finished we were.

In the offseason, there you feel weak.

I read, much of the night, and wait for the draft.



What are the leagues that clutch, what games grow

Out of this stony rubbish? Son of sport,

You cannot say, or guess, for you know only

A heap of Arena images, where the football’s thrown,

And the NBA gives no shelter, the NHL no relief,

And college basketball no sound of madness. Only

There is football on this red rock,

(Come watch this football on this red rock),

And we will show you something different from either

The shadow of the playoffs striding behind you

Or the NFL in August rising to meet you;

We will show you mediocrity with a handful of stars.

Stale weht der Wind

Der Heimat zu

Mein American sport,

Wo weilest du?

‘You gave me pigskin first 15 years ago;

“They called me the pigskin obsessed.’

— Yet when we came back, late, from the pigskin paradise,

The game full, and competition fierce, I could not

Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither

Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,

Looking into the heart of the offseason, the silence.

Oed’ und leer das league.



Mister Mel Kiper, draft clairvoyante,

Has rare hair, nevertheless

Is known to be the wisest man at ESPN,

With a wicked prognostication, Here, said he,

Is your spot, the dishonored Maurice Clarett,

(There will be high-schoolers in the draft. Look!)

Here is Fitzgerald, the Receiver of Touchdowns,

The master of scoring situations.

Here is the man with three names, and here the Mort,

And here is the one-legged quarterback, and his moment,

Which is grotesque, is the LT he carries on his back,

Which kids are forbidden to see. I do not find

The Buck-Toothed Man. Fear death by relocation.

I see crowds of people, sitting round a podium.

Thank you. If you see dear Mr. Irsay,

Tell him I bring the franchise myself:

One must be so selfish these days.



Unreal Season,

Under the grey sleet of a winter dawn,

A crowd flowed to Boston City Hall, so many,

I had not thought victory had undone so many.

Celebrations, loud and frequent, were exhaled,

Yet each man claimed his Sox before his Pats.

Flowed past Fenway and down the 95th Interstate,

To where Saint William Harkness kept the hours

With a dead sound on the final stroke of five.

There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: ‘Eli!

‘You who watched with me on the Monday at Miami!

‘That rookie you planted last year in your roster,

‘Has he begun to play? Will he bloom this year?

‘Or has the sudden frost disturbed his game?

‘O keep Baseball far hence, that’s friend to men,

‘Or with their bats they’ll play that game again!

“You! hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, – mon frere!’

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