As Super Bowl XXXV looms now just two days away, it seemed only natural to devote this space to that topic. However, in the 12 days since the conference championship games were played, reporters have covered nearly every angle possible, no matter how ridiculous — from Trent Dilfer’s life story to Jason Sehorn’s hair gel. And so, with apologies to Edgar Allen Poe, I have attempted to present a relatively new and different perspective, with this Super Bowl rendition of “The Raven (and the Giant fan).”

At once I must begin this column, not of golf or track or slalom.

I hope that won’t present a problem — too late now, I’m through the door.

But if this cannot find your fancy, and you feel you’re getting antsy

Please just try to keep your pants, we wouldn’t want to make you bored.

We hope you’ll give us leeway, ’cause we hardly care for readers bored,

We entertain, and nothing more.

As I sit here dutif’lly writing, I’m just dreaming how exciting

Was the final outcome of that Super Bowl, number XXXIV.

Eagerly, I wish for Sunday — my, how that will be a fun day! —

And I wish that on that one day, the Giants will on Jim Fassel pour

Their Gatorade, with victors’ spirit, and on John Fox their water pour.

That I wish, and nothing more.

But as their win I sat there planning, suddenly there came a tapping

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

To that place I quickly hustled, seeking out that noise and bustle,

And with all my might and muscle, opened wide my chamber door.

“Who disturbs my daydreams?” shouted I beyond my chamber door —

Darkness there, and nothing more.

Angry now, I sighed and shuddered, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.

“Get you away!” I sharply shouted, as he stamped his foot and pouted

“Wait two days, you’ll all be routed! All you Ravens from Baltimore!

On Monday, you’ll resume your pouting, beaten back to Baltimore!”

This I said, and nothing more.

His face assumed unfriendly features, as he said, “You’re quite a creature!

Such a pompous football fan as I have never seen before.

On Monday, when they’ve played the game, you’ll see your offense is to blame;

Your confidence is quite insane to think that you will ever score

Against our Ravens’ defense. I am telling you, you will not score,

Never once and nevermore.”

I felt my face turn red as cherry, as I cried, “Oh, quite contrary!

In fact, I happen to be very confident that we will score.

With Barber, Comella and Ron Dayne, you’ll soon see quite a running game.

Mind you, our defense brings the pain like you have never felt before.

Armstead, Strahan, Hamilton — nothing you have felt before;

You’ll weep to see the final score.”

“You’ve lost it,” said that haughty bird. “Such craziness I’ve never heard.

Our defense will have you seeing stars as you lay crying on the floor.”

And so in silence stood we two: but echoes swirled about the room,

And the only sound we heard there spoken was the whispered word, “Sehorn!”

At this I jumped, but the raven smiled, repeating, mocking me, “Sehorn?

His wife’s TV show I adore!”

But then the sound came back like so — and frightened that bird, from head to toe —

“Trent Dilfer!” said that voice unknown, and made the bird jump from the floor.

“Trent Dilfer!” came that voice again; the bird cried out, “Stop that refrain!

He’s terrible! He’ll lose for us! Don’t say that name, you I implore!

He’ll throw six interceptions,” said the bird. “Please silence, I implore!

Six at least, if not more.”

But laughing, I thought I’d join in. “With Dilfer,” said I, “you cannot win!

He throws like Martha Washington! Six INTs? No, many more!”

With that, the bird burst into tears, and placed his wings over his ears.

“This, I cannot bear to hear!” he yelped, and bolted toward the door.

“You’ll never win!” cried I, just as he scuttled through my chamber door.

But quoth the raven, “You’ll never score!”

I tried hard to recapture ease, but soon fell down upon my knees,

And muttered skyward, “O Lord, please, do not make me sour and sore.

Give the Giants 40 points, and then world champions them anoint.

And send those Ravens home a group of losers back to Baltimore.

Send them melancholy, empty-handed back to Baltimore.

That I ask, and nothing more.”