' Cinema Romantico: Purify on the Field

Friday, December 29, 2006

Purify on the Field

(The following is a slight revision to the famous Ernest Lawrence Thayer poem "Casey at the Bat" in honor of Nebraska's first bowl game on New Year's Day in 12 years. Happy New Year, loyal readers, and GO BIG RED!!!)

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Nebraska eleven that day:
The score stood 28 to 24, with but one minute more to play,
And then when Taylor took a sack and Lucky only made a short gain,
A pall-like silence fell upon the red-clad patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only Purify could get a crack at catching that ball
We'd put up even money now, with Purify ready to make the haul."

But third and ten became third and twenty, courtesy of a hold
And then Taylor threw it away when no pass was good as gold;
So with that the stricken multitude sighed and they groaned,
For there seemed but little chance of Purify getting to the end zone.

But Swift made a finger-tip grab, to the wonderment of all,
And Jackson broke a run as marvelous as the Taj Mahal;
And when the dust had lifted, and fans saw the run’s effect,
Nebraska was at Auburn’s twenty with seven seconds left.

Then from seventy thousand throats there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and ricocheted off everything in sight,
For Purify, mighty Purify, was split out wide to the right.

There was ease in Purify's manner as he toed the scrimmage line;
There was pride in Purify's bearing as he knew everything was fine.
And when, responding to the cheers, he flashed a smile with a glow
No stranger in the crowd could doubt to #16 they would throw.

Seventy thousand eyes were on him as he faked right and then set sail
The opposing corner tried to stall him but only managed to fail;
Then while the trash-talking safety illegally pushed Purify from his place,
Defiance flashed in Purify's eye, a sneer curled upon his face.

And now the pigskin came hurtling, screaming through the air,
And Purify stood a-watching in the end zone with haughty grandeur there;
Like a phoenix from the ashes did the great Purify rise,
The seventy thousand spectators could scarcely believe their eyes.

The sneer is gone from Purify’s face replaced by a hidden fire,
He pounds his spikes into the turf and stands tall like a spire;
And now Taylor holds the ball, and now he makes the throw,
And now Purify leaves the ground and up into the air he does go.

Oh, down at the Cotton Bowl the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing loudly and the cheerleaders hearts are light;
And corn-heads sip bloody mary's, and Auburn fans in orange frown,
For there was plenty of joy in Dallas when mighty Purify made the touchdown.

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