A Halloween Football Poem from the 1980s

My father worked evenings so many of our daily communications were via notes left on the kitchen counter. One day, I came home from high school to find a note from my dad asking me to write a Halloween football poem to go with some video highlights.  I wrote a lot of poetry in those days. He suggested it should have liberal use of “fear,” “hit,” “hurt,” and “scare”.

My dad’s draft:

From ghouls and ghosts and long legged beasts

Pete Rozelle, please deliver us…

A note from my father

But they might as well have played touch.

They tried to run, they tried to pace

Maybe it was their uniforms, all orange and black,

By the end of the game, we knew we didn’t want to come back.

You can imagine my pride at my dad asking me to write a poem for his sports show! But truth be told, I knew so little about the game then and was never good at writing on command. My father and I drafted a poem, back and forth. It was fun to hear my words eventually read through the TV on what was then Sports Final, later The Sports Machine, football highlights overlayed with images of jack o‘ lanterns.  Unfortunately, I didn’t save our final poem. I wonder if I will ever stumble across that video clip on YouTube; someone did recently upload a bunch of shows from the 1980s so you never know!

These days, I know more about football (thanks to my son), so if I had to write it again, it would go something like this:

A Halloween Football Poem

Playing in the NFL can feel like hell—

Torture and pain for the smallest gain.

The only reprieve is on All Hallows Eve.

When spirits of past players whisper in your ear,

“There’s nothing to fear.

That ball is yours to take back.

Go for that QB sac.”

Those O-Line men are monsters in disguise

With their evil eyes and massive thighs.

The right tricks on the field

A touchdown can yield.

A win is what you want.

A loss will forever haunt.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Cindi Michael, author The Sportscaster’s Daughter



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