April 12, 2016

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Ravens

You may not know this, but I am a die-hard Ravens fan.

It started in quarterback Joe Flacco's rookie year, when they made it to the playoffs. I became slightly obsessed. I started listening to sports talk radio. At first it was just during the playoffs, then it was all season long.

I have a Ravens jersey and Ravens earrings (both gifts). A Ravens stocking for the holidays and a wreath on the door with snowmen dressed in Ravens tees. On game day, I make the dog wear his Ravens jersey (he hates it).
Sam mopes every time we put him in his jersey.
The Ravens have been in the playoffs for four straight years, but have not been in the Superbowl since they won in 2000. Not coincidentally, we moved to Baltimore just a few months prior to that game.

When the Ravens lost tonight, I thought, we may be the only NFL team named after a work of literature, but maybe we should have picked a different work of literature. Something uplifting. Something you can get behind. Something with a more "We're going to kick butt" line than the opening of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven":

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,"

It's not exactly the poetry of champions.
While I am not proposing a new poem and name for Baltimore's football team, I did need to work out my feelings of anger, disappointment and overall nausea after the loss. To the Patriots. On a flubbed 32-yard field goal attempt.
Ravens are purple and black -- to represent the dark circles under Poe's eyes?
Naturally, I turned to  poetry. I give you my version of Poe's poem, with apologies to its original author.

The Ravens
by Laura Shovan

Once upon a Sunday dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over a decision to run for a conversion on down four --
While I cried, instead of clapping, suddenly there came a snapping,
As of dying wings a-flapping, flapping on the stadium floor--
"'Tis some dream," I muttered, "a figment flapping on the stadium floor--
               Not the Ravens, I implore!"

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak of winter;
And each hopeful ember dying in our hearts, now sore.
Eagerly I wished for spring; -- another team with the Superbowl Ring
And Charm City past the sting — the sting as we lost and swore--
For the rare and glorious trophy which escapes our grasp once more--
               Nameless here for evermore.

And with players sad and humbler, the gleam off of each purple number
They almost thrilled me— but flubbed a tie with errors never seen before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"Not the Patriots, I’m entreating, celebrating on the stadium floor--
My eyes deceived me, the kick went through, of that I am sure;--
               A bad camera angle, nothing more."

Presently my dread grew stronger; I could avoid fate no longer,
"Kids," said I, "Don’t bug your mother right now, I implore;
“The fact is I was hoping we would win and now I’m moping,
To see my Ravens choking. They were knocking on the Patriots’ door!
That I scarce can believe I heard the correct score;
               It was a dream and nothing more.”

Deep into this darkness peering, long I sat there staring, fearing,
Doubting, cursing dreams a Ravens fan could have no more;
Hope is gone, our will is broken, on the team bus, no words spoken,
A deathly pall, no one dares whisper, “But we had a chance to score.”
The clock ran out. An echo murmurs through the streets of Baltimore --
               Another year of Nevermore.

Feel free to share this with anyone who is feeling my pain.


aarbaugh said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing your pain & creativity with the rest of us - who happen to still be in shock!

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Ann. I am also in shock. Crazy to say it, but it would have been an easier loss if they'd played poorly the whole game. It felt like they threw it away. Sigh.

Tabatha said...

Great job, Laura! I read it to my kids. Too bad you couldn't have written a happy version of the Raven...maybe next year! (I saw a bunch of people in Orlando wearing Ravens jerseys, btw.)

Author Amok said...

Hi, Tabatha. We can hope. This morning feels bleak. Especially with the second game going into OT. That could have been us.