Another Football Haiku

Whats up,
I wrote some haikus earlier, but I think I may have messed up the form a little. Anyway, here’s another Football Haiku:

Kick Returner

Facing the Onslaught,

Hands holding onto the ball,

He runs through chaos.

-Greg

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Football Haikus

To anyone who thinks football and poetry can’t get along, I say: think again, pal.

These are some Football Haikus.   For those of you not familiar with the traditional haiku format, it consists of three lines and 17 sylables, usually going like so: 5,7,5.

As for the football side of it: the two poems featured here are describing two different defensive sets: the 3-4 and the 4-3.  The 3-4 consists of 3 down linemen in front, and four roaming linebackers behind them.  The 4-3 consists of 4 down linemen up front, and 3 linebackers behind them.  The 4-3 is the standard D in football, whereas the 3-4 is the more intricate, complicated version of D.  A coach can be much more creative with a 3-4, but it is tougher to put all the pieces together.

These two poems sum up, in haiku format, my thoughts on each defense.  Something tells me the relationship between poetry and football is going to be something beautiful.

Football Haikus:

3-4

If you run the ball,

Into the Gates of Hell,

The Fumble Will Come.

4-3

If you play it right,

Combining speed and smarts,

The Outcome is Bold.

-Greg

Why I hate the Pre-Season, Reason #667

Wanna know why I hate the Pre-Season?

No, really, do you want to know?

Because last night my number 1 wide receiver chosen by myself in this year’s fantasy draft, Donald Driver, had to be carted out due to an “undisclosed foot injury”.  This is why the Pre-Season sucks, folks.  Can we just get it over with already?  And for God’s sakes, start benching your starters, coaches!

Alright, I’m outa here.

Word to your Mother.

Greg

And as the sun faded, they knew it was FOOTBALL. (Cont.)

Out across the valley, the sun was rising.

A lone rider rode towards the fire.  The embers were dying down; having burned all night, they weren’t much more than charred dust.  The horse pulled up, and the man jumped off.

Pop was sleeping in his poncho, to the side of the fire.  The man put a hand on Pop’s shoulder and gently shook.

“Pop, wake up.  Pop wake up, its me.”

Slowly, Pop’s eyes began to open.  Through the bloodshot, he could see the shape of a man, and the rising sun behind him.

“Who’s there?”

“Pop, its me.  I got bad news.”  He trailed off, looking out across the valley.

Pop scratched himself.

“Give it to me kid.  How bad??”

“They got Jimmy real good, he ain’t gonna be around for awhile.  Smokey and Andy too, but they’ll be alright.  They’re hiding out right now.”

Pop nodded.

“But Charlie, Pop……Charlie, he, uh…..he ain’t here no more.”

Pop stared.

“Charlie……..he’s gone Pop…….I’m sorry.”   Not knowing what else to say, the man turned his back and looked out across the plains.

Pop stroked his chin.  Suddenly he got up, and walked to the edge of the clearing.  He stared at the grass on the ground.  And turning around, he walked to where the man was now standing.

Pop stared for a moment, and putting his hand on the man’s shoulder, he spoke:

“We both knew this day would come.  They’ve been squeezin us, squeezin us real good, and we’ve been lucky as all Hell up to this point.  But there’s something they can’t take away from us, kid, and we both know what that is: Football.”

The man continued to stare out at the plains.  And turning his head, he looked into the eyes of Pop.

“We gotta go, Pop.”

Together, they went back to the fire to clean up camp and jump on their horses.  There wasn’t much time.  The Riders were on their way.

And as the sun faded, they knew it was FOOTBALL.

It’s here.

I can smell it.

There’s no better time of the year than the spring. The birds chirping. The dew on the leaves. The warm sun in the sky. There’s a certain smell to spring. When you lie awake in bed at night, it permeates your nostrils. It envelopes your mind. And when the rain comes, the smell of pollen and fresh grass is everywhere.

But now its fall. The heat of the summer having killed the last of the fresh grass, turning it brown, all the charm of spring is miles behind us.

And I can smell it. Just like I smell spring. Its not as pleasant a smell. Its sharp; its the cool breeze you haven’t spoken to in 5 months, coming back into your life, to let you know that he’s still alive, and he’s actually doing pretty well.

Fall is not bad, as long as you know how to embrace it. The smells of spring are gone, but the grass is still around, and the sun is still bright.

Once upon a time, fall meant one thing: school. And after being dragged helplessly along by gleeful parents to buy shirts, pencils, and notebooks, the summer was over. But that was ONCE UPON A TIME. There is no more school for Greg.

And so, at this point in my life, as I look onto the next horizon, to see where my mid-twenties will bring me, Fall means but one thing:

(Drum roll)…………………………………(Silence).

FOOTBALL.

It’s back. After a summer of avoiding ESPN at all costs (which has become something we as sports fans are forced to watch, not something we enjoy to watch), its time to start tuning back into Channel 26 on RCN in Boston (soon to be Comcast…screw RCN). Because as the daylight fades, a rider approaches on the ridge…….and his name is Football.

Football has always been my sport. Any true sports fan will tell you that he has a sport that he simply knows and loves better than others: plays it better, enjoys more, understands it more thouroughly (somone get me dictionary, I’m not going to websters.com right now!). I understand the game, and love the strategies behind it; fun for me is poring through playbooks of offensive and defensive sets. I play it better than others; I love all aspects of playing on the defensive and offensive side of the ball, and have always been able to throw a good spiral. Most importantly, I truly love and enjoy it. And that’s why, as the days shorten, and we harken to our homes as the darkness falls from the sky at 4pm Eastern, I will feel a little bit of warmth in my heart.

My good friend is home, and will be staying on my couch through the month of January.

Let’s talk:

Stories that Greg saw on Monday morning, but didn’t have time to right about until Tuesday night: Yes, that’s the way of a blogger…..never has the time to write at the time. But a couple of stories I need to talk about right now, as if they didn’t happen almost 48 hours ago.

  • The Giants lost like 4 starters the other night in a preseason game. This is why I refuse to watch any Pats preseason games……I know they have to play them, I just don’t want to have anything to do with them as a fan. Ofcourse, the NFL milks its TV deals as much as possible: there’s no way in Hell there should be 4 preseaon games. Three is plenty, thank you. But as long as there’s a market (drunken morons who claim to be diehards cause they watch every play of a preseason game on a Friday night), there will be four games. Oh well.
  • On the bright side for the Giants: now that they’ve lost all these starters, maybe Tom Coughlin won’t subject his players to full pad practices during the week (asshole). Seriously…..why does this guy still have his job?
  • Warning: not football related. I also saw on Monday morning that Johann Santana struck out 17 batters in 8 innings for the Minnesota Twins the other night. In a sport that has been horribly twisted and scarred by steriod use and allegations, brilliant pitching is still one thing that stands un-touched. If the likes of Pedro Martinez, Johann Santana, and Randy Johnson can be dominant, all small and/or lanky guys, its obvious that steriods don’t really play a part. To strike out 17 professional baseball hitters in 8 innings….that’s phenomenal. Way to go, Santana.
  • Memo to ESPN: Hey ESPN, if you’re reading this, see if you can help me out. Every Monday morning during the football season, I watch Sportscenter. Sure, its an hour and a half, and I never know exactly what point of the show I’m at cause I don’t have digital cable, but whatever, I can deal with that. But here’s my beef: there’s this thing called The Ultimate Highlight. You’ve been playing it every Monday morning for, ohh, I don’t know, the last four years. Can you do me a favor? Can it. Seriously. Get rid of it. This way, I don’t have to change the channel in disgust for 30 seconds. Not only would you be doing anyone with half a brain a favor, you’d be doing us all a favor. We don’t like it. Neither do you. So please….get rid of the Ultimate Highlight.

For now, I am putting this piece on hold: I can’t write when fatigued. But I’ll post it anyway. Before I go, a shout-out:
I talked to my man Jim Wood tonight, and he told me what its like to run with the bulls. First, as you stand on the street, a door is opened. Then, from the distance, a rocket is fired. This signifies that the bulls have been released. Once a second rocket is fired, it means that all of the bulls are loose (six bulls total). They run down the street at you. As you run, they either run by you or into you. Then, you all empty into the bull ring, where more bulls are released. And everyone runs around like to survive for as long as they want. And that’s it. That’s the running of the bulls.

Alright, I’m beat. I’ll be back to talk soon. For now, I’m gonna chill, watch an episode of The Wire, Season 2, and be happy, knowing that my friend, Football, is walking back into town.

Until Next Time,

Greg

The Wire=Good TV; Nintendo Songs, Revisited

“If you come at the king, you best not miss.”

-Omar, The Wire

Hey, just letting you know that one of the reasons I haven’t been writing all that much lately is because I just spent the entire week watching the first season of The Wire. For about the last year, all I’ve heard is that The Wire is the possibly the best TV show ever to be produced. I’ve heard this from numerous sources, all of whom I trust deeply. I’ve just never gotten around to watching it. Between softball games, writing in a blog, and doing whatever else it is that I do, it hasn’t really peaked my interest. Don’t get me wrong….its been on my mind. I just didn’t use any initiative.

Well, about a week ago I got my hands on Season 1 through a friend. This was ideal…..I don’t like paying for things….its lame. And so, last Sunday night, I popped in the first episode, and three hours later, I was three episodes deep.

The Wire

I’m not gonna sit here and talk about the what happens on the show…..you don’t have to worry about anything being spoiled. But one thing I do want to say: watching The Wire this week, I realized it was the first time I really cared about watching a TV show deeply in a few years. There’s a lot of things that make a TV show great: plotlines, directing, and all that good stuff are essential. But above all else, in my opinion, are CHARACTERS. I put that word in caps because I think its more important than anything else….CHARACTERS make a TV show.

In a movie, characters develop in a couple hours. In a show, it takes a whole season. And that’s why there is nothing quite like watching an absolutely terrific show. I’ve dabbled in a few shows over the years: Deadwood, Entourage, Lost, and the later seasons of The Sopranos have all been watched by yours truly. And sure, I enjoyed them all, but I never truly felt much for the characters (don’t get me wrong: Al (Deadwood), Ari (Entourage), Sawyer (Lost), Locke (Lost); these are all characters that I admired and enjoyed to watch. But they never, well, how do I put this…..became a part of my life).

When a show is truly great, the characters, atleast to me, begin to become real. When someone on a show is shot, and you end up thinking about it all that day, and wondering “Why did it did have to happen like that?,” and then that night, when you try to go to bed, you stay up thinking about it for an hour before you fall asleep, well, thats when you know a show is good. And yes…..this happened to me.

When you start thinking about the characters as if they’re real people, and wondering things like, “Man, I hope Bubbles is doing alright, I’m worried about him,” or “I wonder what Omar’s been up to lately,” despite the fact that they are not real people, you know the show is damn good. If I was to show up in West Baltimore, I would expect to run into half the people from this show…..because there is a totally irrational, child-like part of me that truly believes that these people are real.

The last time this happened for me was about four years ago, when I was watching the first and second seasons of Six Feet Under. I’ve always believed that the first two seasons of Six Feet Under were the most brillant episodes of TV, bar none. I stopped watching during the third season…..I was pretty much disgusted and disillusioned at where the show was going, and gave up. I was very bitter for about three years….when a show gets this good, it starts to feel like a close friend or relative. And if it gets messed with…..we, as diehard viewers, get angry. Someday I might start watching again…I’ve heard from reliable sources that Season 5 makes up for seasons Three and Four. But the point to all this rambling……the show was brillant, and the CHARACTERS were off the charts. Between Billy, David, Brenda, Nate, the dad, and everyone else on that show….I was always thinking of someone. I never stopped thinking about the characters. The only other show that ever did this to me were the early Sopranos seasons…..but Six Feet Under even more so, simply because it was so damn breathtaking, and the characters were so damn complex…..and real.

And so now I’m ready to start season 2 of The Wire (which, I have heard by pretty much all accounts, is fairly mediocre…..I’ve also heard season 3 & 4 are mindblowing), and I just want to say….I’m happy. A couple months ago, when The Sopranos finally ended, I wrote probably the worst piece of shit I’ve ever written on this blog: it was supposed to be my thoughts on the final episode, and it ended up being a stinking pile of garbage that would have been flushed down the toilet by any self-respecting editor (in hindsight, I don’t know what the Hell I was trying to say). But honestly….I think I was just unhappy, and didn’t know how to express my thoughts. And now….well, for the first time in awhile, I’ve truly found TV show happiness from The Wire. I feel good when I think about the characters: McNulty, ‘D’, Kima, Bubbles, Wallace, Lester, Pooh, and ofcourse, The Man of the People, Omar: they’ve become a part of my life, in a way that only great TV CHARACTERS can. I’m happy…..and I can’t wait to keep watching.

Moving on:

About four months ago, I decided I wanted to rate the best Original Nintendo songs of all-time. Quite a project, especially considering that I’ve never owned a Nintendo, and really wasn’t qualified to write about it. With the help of my collaborater, Kevin Canavan, we made a big list, and I started posting about them, with Youtube videos imbedded. The only problem…..even with the help I was getting, I never really felt that I knew what I was talking about. After three posts, I left the project unfinished.

Well, I got an email this week with the following link: the message above it read “They’re stealing you’re idea.” I clicked on the link and saw that it was none other the IGN, probably the best video game related site on the web (they’re on my blog role, you should check it out), and they were also ranking the ‘Top Ten Eight-Bit Video Game Songs.’ Ofcourse they didn’t steal my idea…..I’m sure they have no idea what ‘Greg’s Words of Wisdom’ are. But I have to say…..I felt really cool. I mean, if they had stolen my idea, that would have been great (you know, because it would have been an honor). But just to know that we think somewhat alike…..that makes me feel good. Now I wish I just finished the damn thing. But just to get the record straight, I was going to post a link with the ‘Best of the Best’ and I was going to include:

Super Mario 3

Mega Man 2

Bubble Bobble

Marble Madness

Rad Racer

Super Mario

Dr. Mario (specifically, ‘Chill’)

Paperboy

Mike Tyson’s Punchout

Anyway, I guess I’ll officially put it to rest for now, but here’s the posts I wrote on the subject previously (most of the videos have been taken down….I wonder if nesguide.com was pissed that I used them).

Also, here’s the IGN link again if you didn’t click on it above. They only gave themselves 10 spots to choose, which is pretty much impossible, considering there are literally endless Nintendo games, but like many of the commenters, I was amazed that Mega Man 2 didn’t make the cut (it made honorable mention). I don’t know…..I would have made one or two on my list (Zelda would have been one). But again…..to pick 10 is simply impossible. There’s way too many.

Alrighty….I’ve said my piece. If I’m not around that much this week, it’s cause I’m watching The Wire.

See ya.

Until Next Time,

Greg