My good friend, Tom Braxton, has penned this poem in the same verse as Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven."
As always, it is brilliant work:
Once upon a barstool dreary, while I pondered, dim and beery,
Over many a tired and tedious volume of old Bill James lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a yapping,
As of someone just recapping, flapping gums about some score.
“’Tis some blusterer,” I muttered, “flapping gums about some score.
Only this, and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was far beyond September,
And each bumbling Sox defender left me with an open sore.
Eagerly I wished the springtime; vainly I had missed the pastime
That provided dreams of bigtime – bigtime games in South Side lore –
For the rare, triumphant Series when the champagne dared to pour –
Ten years past, and nothing more.
And the distant sound of boasting as the revelers were toasting
Thrilled me – filled me with the memory of joys I’d felt before;
So that now, to stop the bruising of my ears, I tried deducing,
“’Tis some family just boozing down the hall and through the door –
Some crowd just came a-cruising late tonight and through the door –
That it is, and nothing more.”
Finally my nerves got stronger; wasting time not any longer,
“Folks,” said I, “or family, may I ask what lies in store?
The fact was I was drinking, and all the while was thinking,
And your happy glasses clinking, clinking gaily through the door,
Brought me to a mind to join you” – here I walked on through the door;
Cub fans there, and nothing more.
Deep into their blankness staring, long I stood there, lost, despairing,
Baffled, building thoughts I’ve thought of many times before.
But their cheer was unrelenting, none among them were dissenting,
As they spoke of Schwarber sending homers further than before.
And I wondered as their chorus mumbled back the words, “He’ll score!”
Dreams of madness, nothing more.
It was then I saw no mystery, pointing out their dismal history,
As I reminded them of crashes that had gone so long before.
Not the least attention paid they; not a set of facts had made hay
With the stern conviction they say that would bring them safe to shore.
And my stronger stern conviction naming one they all abhor –
“Think of Bartman, nothing more.”
Then the Cub fans were beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the vapid, empty manner of the countenance they wore.
“Though thy jersey may say ‘Bryant,’ I don’t think that if you tried it
You could not maintain a scorebook as was done in days of yore.
You must understand the balk, the bunt, the meaning of ball four.
Quoth the Cub fan, “Nevermore.”
“Be that word our sign of parting, fan or fake,” I cried, upstarting.
“I’ll go back into the South Side and the black hats we adore!
Leave no T-shirt as a remnant of those guys who’ll miss the pennant!
Leave me be in my resentment! I leave you through that barroom door!
Take thy ivy from my face, and take thy phony Cub décor!”
Quoth the Cub fan, “Nevermore.”
And the Cub fan, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the greenish planks of bleacher high above the grounds-crew door.
And his eyes have but the interest of a picture dumped in Pinterest,
And the iPhone light that’s simplest casts his shadow on the floor.
And my soul from that long shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!