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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO Guest_Columnist'S COLUMNS

PURDUE MENS BASKETBALL:
The Cardinal


MrHoops.com Forum Hall of Fame


Date: 12/18/2004
Author: BoilerBrian
© Old Gold Free Press Columnists

    by Robert Montgomery Poe (t)


    Once upon a Midnight Madness, while I pondered William Gladness,
    Lumbering through a quaint and curious half court drill of yoreó
    By now the crowd was nodding stiffly, hoping for some dog with frisbee,
    To lift their drowsy tepid spirits off the cream and crimson floor
    "Stupid spectators!" I muttered, "Crowding up my practice floor--
    Only this and nothing more."

    Ah, distinctly I remember! It would be a bleak December,
    Crushing every dying ember of hopes upon on the hardwood floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow; -- vainly I had sought to borrow
    From new recruits surcease of sorrow--0 sorrow for the lost Bannore--
    For the rare and radiant fabric that the angels name Bannore--
    Nameless here for evermore.

    Later in my office pouting, after endless hours of shouting
    Suddenly there came a tapping ≠ tapping on my office door;
    "Who could that be?" I stood repeating:
    "Perhaps some cheerleader entreating entrance at my office door--
    Some playersí girlfriend entreating entrance at my office door;
    This it is and nothing more."

    Presently my lust grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
    "Babe," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was moping, and was in no mood for groping,
    When so gently you came rapping, rapping on my office door,
    That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door;--
    Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness leering, and before long I was fearing,
    The form of Connie Chung appearing with reporter friends galore;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Boilore!"
    This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Boilore!"--
    Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into my office turning, all my soul within me burning,
    Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    "Perhaps," said I with great perdition, "A messenger bearing extradition
    Papers which will compel me to that distant Puerto Rican shore--
    Let my heart be still a moment. Call my lawyer and implore,
    Clemency - forevermore."

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with a great flit and flutter,
    In there stepped a stately Cardinal with knee pads and bandages galore.
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he,
    But dove with fierce unbridled passion at the ball upon my floor --
    At the leather basketball that sat beside my office door--
    "Mine," he said, and nothing more.

    Then this redbird stood beguiling my sad countenance into smiling,
    Reminding me of hustle and passion that my teams had shown of yore,
    "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
    But ghastly, grim - a bunch of losers - is my current squad of Hooisers that
    I must put upon the floor
    I must get these stiffs to dive upon the court once more!"
    Quoth the Cardinal, "Nevermore."

    Much I marveled that this gawky - bird would be so very squawky.
    Suddenly, my temper flared as my sorry quintet I deplored.
    "Get thee gone or I will smite thee. Like Neil Reed, Iíll kick and bite thee
    Like some other Bird that I chased from Bloomington before
    Like every new IU recruit, Iíll crush your spirit forevermore."
    Quoth the Cardinal: "Nevermore."

    "So you dare such great pretense, ye? With man-to-man I will defense thee!"
    But the Cardinal stood undaunted as his scorn he did outpour.
    Many expletives I muttered, ones that make good mothers shudder
    "Every worn out play from decades past, Iíll try them all once more
    Iíll even try the motion offense - Who knows? Itís worked before."
    Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

    Then as I looked on in horror, at this cheerful happy Boiler
    "Is that," said I, "Your message. That youíll sweep my team once more?"
    My clothing, now was I rending. "Is this sweeping never ending?
    I shall practice them at three a.m., until their tongues drag on the floor
    Perhaps weíll have a better chance if my team is tired and sore!"
    Smiled the Cardinal "Nevermore'"

    "New recruits!" I cried, half-drooling. "Send the old ones off prep-schooling!
    Better yet, letís call them football players, so scholarships weíll store."
    But the tune that Fife was playing, was a dirge that just kept saying:
    "When we crush their spirits too, weíll go and get some more.
    When we crush their spirits too, weíll go and get some more"
    Croaked the Cardinal "Nevermore."

    So I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
    As my sorry Hooiser fivesome was blown right off the floor;
    Though the rout was just appalling, still no timeout was I calling
    They will learn their lessons so much better if they lose by fifteen more!
    Instead I watched my red wool belly as my belt it drooped down o'er
    I shall see my waistline, nevermore!

    But neither cussing nor my rending, could stop the sweep that lay pending
    And my nightmare vision of Austinís shot dropping as time expired once more.
    Then I heard the Cardinalís laughter, that shook my Hall up to its rafters
    "Respite--respite and nepenthe from threepeats by Boilors!
    Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget these foul Boilors!"
    Quoth the Cardinal, "Nevermore."

    "Prophet!" said I, "Season spoiler!--prophet still, if bird or Boiler!--
    But if only at Assembly Hall, I could raise a banner once more,
    Then," I said meekly entreating, "I would gladly grant threepeating."
    With tear-filled eyes I asked, "Tell me truly, I implore--
    Wonít I ever lift a banner? Just one? Just one more!"
    Quoth the Cardinal, "Nevermore."

    "Prophet!" said I, "Season spoiler!--prophet still, if bird or Boiler!
    I know all there is to know about the game we both adore--
    Get thee back to Mackey - I will fill my squad with lackeys
    Once again I will clasp the trophy that the angels name Bannore--
    Clasp the rare and radiant fabric that the angels name Bannore."
    Quoth the Cardinal, "Nevermore."

    "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--
    "Get thee back to Lafayette - To Mackeyís golden floor!"
    Then with wooden chair uplifted, all my weight I forward shifted,
    Hurling with great force and vigor, a chair that splintered hard against the door!
    "Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy ball out from my door!"
    Quoth the Cardinal, "Nevermore."

    And the Cardinal, always leaping, still is sweeping, still is sweeping
    Guarding the leather ball that sits beside my office door;
    And his eyes have all the baiting of a champion that is waiting,
    Of the triumphs that await his teammates upon the hardwood floor.
    And the banners to the rafters from my Stygian cream and crimson floor
    Shall be lifted--nevermore!


As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

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