I had some free time today. Here is the result:
‘Twas the night before Pittsburgh, when all through the state
no Mount'neer slept well, nor could hardly a'wait.
The beer was iced in the cooler all tight
in hopes that a Win would come forthright.
The frat boys were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of co-eds danced in their heads.
Mama in her nightie, and I in my jeans,
had just settled in for a long night's scene.
When outside The Lair there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from her arms to see what's the matter.
Away to the street I flew like a flash,
and down to the stadium I went in a dash.
The moon on the turf and the empty silver rows
gave the light of a night game to the objects below.
When what to my wondering self should approach,
but faint apparitions of players and a coach.
The players were bedecked in Old Gold and Blue,
while the coach wore a vest just like Coach Stew.
More rapid than Panthers, his charges they came
out of that tunnel as he shouted their names:
"Now Harris! Now Talley!
Now, Walker! Now, Avon!
On, Bulger! On, Amos!
On, Patrick and Tavon!
Past the first down marker,
To the goal line move the ball!
Now dash again! Dash again!
Dash again all!"
As dry leaves that before Thanksgiving winds fly
when they meet an obstacle mount to the sky,
so to the field these Mountaineers sailed,
with purpose, passion, and the chant of "All hail!"
And then, in a twinkling, I heard from the stands,
the "Let's Go!" cheer, the sheer hope of the fans.
As I turned my head and was turning around
the empty stadium was filled with the sound.
The shape of it all just stuck in my mind.
The curve of the decks, the field with its lines.
The heartbreaks and joys that we have each shared.
The joys and heartbreaks still yet to be dared.
This team - how they try. Their effort so true.
All I can ask from the Old Gold and Blue.
And then, in a blink, the coach was beside me.
He said: "Noel needs his touches. That is a key."
His long arms folded, his jaw clenched tight.
It was clear that he knew we were in for a fight.
"But fear not, my lad, because I don't believe
those Panthers are aware of our need to achieve."
He spoke in couplets, his headset not right,
and I laughed when he spoke, in spite of the slight.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke no more to me, went straight to the sidelines
and barked to the men just the right guidelines.
He told them that story of the man in the well,
told them to scratch, and to claw, to get out of that cell.
They gathered around him, all bouncing together,
and he shouted at them they would remember forever,
the night of this Brawl and its mem'ry burnt bright.
He shouted: "Leave no doubt! Leave no doubt tonight!"
BEAT PITT!!! And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!!