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Grit And Guts On The Gridiron - 1

Mud and leather dirt and nerve bloodied laughter collision to serve, distance, drive and demolition battle axe ambition in the wild air muscle and mind joined in steeled instinct, a stitched pigskin ball, the grail of the Fall to fumble it means spleen infamy while intercepting it invokes Victory's voice, in the huddle a plan is revealed firmly by the Field General and the men move into attack formation as the Defense swaggers with malice to menace the neutral zone, the Quarterback becomes a hollering harlequin inciting misdirection, feigning action, teasing the tigers suddenly the warword is exclaimed, "Hut!" the warzone is afire, bodies are banging torn green turf spicing the nostrils the sound of ripped jersey threads intones brute surge metal facemasks scrape within frenzied scrimmage, spines in the audience stiffen in anticipation of vengeance chop blocks and head slaps are underway the Passer fakes pitch right and bootlegs left Linemen begin to froth in a riptide to the flank the Center neutralizes the Nose Tackle with leveraged strikes to the ribs a rolling block by the Right Gaurd collapses the rabid Defensive End as the Tight End belates a blitz but suffers a forearm to the throat by a snarling Linebacker, beyond the tumult of the titans upfront the sprint and dash of leopards and lions is on, well rehearsed and timed patterns are disrupted disrespectfully in one on one pawing and punching the Receiver is desperately defiant as the Cornerback pursues him like a cold psycho, the ball is launched in last second leadership and it flies like a spinning rocket the Quarterback takes a helmet to the jaw no infraction, just a simple payment for the price of honor, through the flurried air the ball crests and cruises coming down into the action with immaculate velocity one target, two claimants two strides, one prize, a single step separates them from glory the football finds the Receiver's flexed fingers like a Lady's love bombshell death itself could not wedge the catch the score is his, brought down to the earth by a horsecollar tackle the pain is sharp, the victory sure, This was American football before the 21st century, before the glitter and gimps when gladiators roamed the torn grounds and stood for their Nation's Anthem, I often think about, and admire the men who sacrificed themselves in order to make pro football a wonder throughout the world the coaches and players who succeeded in bringing a sophisticated and savage war into professional sport, men like Red Grange who once said to kids, "Football teaches you how to take a lick without crying about it, and how to give one without bragging about too...", I'm inspired by the 2 minute drill Johnny Unitas invented, it's strategic efficiency and how it won championships, Johnny's first pass in the NFL was a pick six againgst the Bears in '56 yet he believed in his arm and heart, becoming a legitimate American icon, while in the pocket, aiming for glory Unitas was struck in the face by a Rusher's paw, in the huddle his nose was gushing blood thickly, his teammates were concerned for their leader, Johnny scooped some mud off the field and stuffed it into his nostrils telling his Center, "Its alright baby, we're gonna score!", Jim Brown, impossible to intimidate, he ran to be bold, he believed bruises were gold, "Concrete Charlie" Bednarik laid out Frank Gifford at the Polo Grounds in 1960 with a one arm death strike, when Minnesota still had the balls to play outdoors they procured the "Purple People Eaters" of the '70's, cerebral and horned, harassing backfields demonicly, getting to three Superbowls in fours years the Viking were exorcised each time, never wining the trophy, their Defensive Tackle Allen Page is the only defensive lineman to earn the MVP Award and after retiring became a Judge, Lambeau Field, aka. "The Frozen Tundra" is the Mecca of of pro football, theater for a ruggid religion it is the oldest, it is the fittest, green and gold are the colors of the pigskin sanctuary and in it's open knave battle is celebrated, trailing the Dallas Cowboys 14-17 late in the 1967 Championship game, Bart Starr, a stoic assassin, and greatest Quarterback of all time, with wind chills negative 40 degrees in Green Bay told his coach Vince Lombardi that he could win the contest with a QB sneak at the 1 yard line, Starr stood behind his Center, arms outstretched like a militant martyr, staring with serene lethality into Bob Lilly's burning eyes, he took the snap, spearing himself forward into the savage den, it was the "Ice Bowl", and its emblematic of self sacrifice, in 1972 the Miami Dolphins achieved the unimaginable, the perfect season, 17-0, their "No Name Defense" and Running Back Larry Csonka, more a killer whale than a dolphin outsmarted, outpunched, and outscored everyone, they will be forever undefeated, J.A.B.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016




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Date: 12/11/2016 2:50:00 PM
Hi Justin, I'm with Paloma, I'm not a big fan of football. But I'm fan of your incredible pen. This piece was no exception. Well done . A without a doubt seven:-) Alexis PS, I apologize for not coming by sooner.
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Justin Bordner
Date: 12/16/2016 6:49:00 PM
Never apologize for being beautiful Alexis...Justin
Date: 11/2/2016 7:00:00 PM
If only Football was still as passionate, as intense as you make it in this piece of work...I being a fan for years... having sat and watched it with my Father as we yelled or quietly watched our team win or lose....your poem brings back memories..... beings back meaning.....-Love Ettie
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Justin Bordner
Date: 11/3/2016 8:33:00 PM
Yes Ettie, there is a strange kind of boring, rife throughout all professional sports now. The UFC is the only athletic contest that provides the type of skill, danger and personality that I can admire these days. I will never watch a modern football game ever again, including the Superbowl. I am grateful that my poem summons those memories for you and elicits the excitement that once embodied pro football...J.A.B.
Date: 11/2/2016 3:56:00 PM
I'm not even a fan of the sport, but this was so skillfully written, I made it all the way to the end zone. :) Captcha is JET, don't know if you're a fan.
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Justin Bordner
Date: 11/2/2016 6:25:00 PM
We can get across the goal line together Paloma...if JET stands for Just Eternally Tempting than yes Poetess...J.A.B.
Date: 11/1/2016 3:39:00 PM
"spines in the audience stiffen in anticipation of vengeance" Love that line, as I would stiffen in the audience just that way.. lol, I love how you set the poem up in the middle of action. Awesome imagery as you are great at doing..."torn green turf spicing the nostrils" Love that line as well - it really puts the reader in the piece. I don't know a lot about football, but I found this composition quite exciting and inspiring. Always, Laura
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Justin Bordner
Date: 11/2/2016 1:08:00 AM
A single skirmish, in any given game of traditional football would reveal every aspect of the sport, and the spirit of the men battling Laura. On any given play a player may suffer crippling injury, display dominance, feel the panic of failure, or taste the red heat of affirmed pride. Every man had a mission, the success of which directly impacted his team's potential triumph. I wanted to harness, and release the athleticism, intelligence, diligence and inherent poetry that was once pro football...J.A.B.