And so the poem goes…
Twas the night before Grey Cup,
And all through the stade,
Not a light graced the big screens,
Not even an ad.
The hopes were all hung by the sidelines with care,
In hopes Earl Grey’s trophy soon would be theirs.
The players were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of championships danced in their heads.
And mamma in her jersey, and I in my cap,
Had brought blankets and mitts for a long winter’s scrap,
When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the press box to see what was the matter.
Away to field level I flew like a flash,
Ran quick ‘cross the concourse, a 40-yard dash.
The lights of Fall Out Boy, our big halftime show,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But both of the mascots, and teams there to cheer,
With the teams’ two drivers, so lively and lank –
I knew in a moment one must be St Hank.
More rapid than eagles their coursers they came,
And Rod whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Williams! now, Bowman! now, Pruneau and Ojo!
On, Mo Price! on, Stafford! on Sean Whyte and Milo!
To the top of the end zone to the last play of the ball!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As sports dreams that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the red zone the coursers they flew,
With the stade full of noise (and the youtube crowd, too).
And then, in a twinkling, I heard ‘neath the lid
The shouting and cheering of each grown, happy kid.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
In the slot ol’ Mike Reilly came through with a bound.
He was all green & gold, from his head to his foot,
And his throws sought the end zone – the game was afoot.
A bundle of plays the coach held in a pack,
Devising his way to denying a sack.
Fans’ eyes – how they twinkl’d! Their dimples – how merry!
My own cheeks were like roses, my nose like a cherry.
Hank’s oft-smiling mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the glare of the lights was as white as the snow.
Their mouthguards and dreams they held tight in their teeth,
And their breath, it encircled their heads like a wreath.
Our game has a broad face, and a round love for many
Stands shake when we cheer, like a bowl full of jelly.
From mountains through farmland, from city to fields,
The game’s true goal is its magic, that gift that it yields.
Hank sprang from the bench, to his team gave a whistle
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them exclaim as they ran out of sight,
“Happy Grey Cup to all, and to all a good night!”