Thursday, January 08, 2009

Football with the hands

I love American football. I don't care what anyone says, it can be one of the most dramatic games going. Its format practically requires a game to have at least one pivotal moment - 3rd and long, no timeouts remaining, yadayada - while each play (I don't think it a coincidence that such a dramatic game should be made up of individual plays) is rehearsed and refined and deployed with remarkable attention to detail. It's an underrated game on this side of the Atlantic.

Superbowl on the 1st of February. Hold my calls.


The opening drive goes three-and-out,
the defence – led by the six-four
two-twenty linebacker
in his eighth year out of Syracuse

mobilises at midfield
as the white-stitched ball is torpedoed
to the punter with the European name
the announcers have yet to fathom
and sent hurtling end over end deep
into the floodlights and falling
snow – inside the twenty, inside the ten
as mathematics and replays determine
where the next possession begins,
where the quarterback sends
his rookie receiver into single coverage
on an in-and-out route the safety
was only half-watching,
where the spiral of the ball will be
interrupted by gloved hands
and carried, screaming,
into the floodlit

See you tomorrow, sports fans,

1 comment:

Claire said...

It's because we Brits are used to "soccer" which goes on interminably for ninety minutes (usually with barely anything happening) and so anything that has breaks every thirty seconds is too hectic for us to handle...

I've watched the Superbowl the past two years with American friends who have now moved away. I don't know if it will be the same without their running "now, when that happens it means..." commentary!