The March Madness Of ... Football?

Are you ready for some football? Because everyone else seems to be. (charamelody/flickr)
Are you ready for some football? Because everyone else seems to be. (charamelody/flickr)

Bill Littlefield, Cognoscenti contributor and host of WBUR's Only A Game, frequents the sports-oriented websites … a dirty job, but he maintains that somebody has to do it. He’s noticed recently that the half-dozen or so top stories wherever he goes have to do with a sport nobody’s actually playing right now.


In days gone by, back in the day, or yesteryear, whatever…

All March was full of baseball talk, some stupid, some quite clever…

The chatter in the infield as the boys of summer ran

Or jogged, at least, or almost did, as baseball players can…

And chatter, also, as the fans talked trades and acquisitions,

And wondered who would take the field at various positions.

March also featured basketball, as tournaments concluded,

And some teams were anointed while the thoroughly deluded

Would watch their dreams of glory fade to unfulfilling sadness,

“Alas,” they’d say, “for once again we’re left out of the Madness.”

(Perhaps they didn’t say “Alas.” Perhaps they yelled instead

Some word that — if I said it now — would kill my day job dead.)

My point is, in the month of March, when there was talk of sports…

When we considered trades or scores or injury reports,

We talked of college basketball or baseball in the sun

In Florida or Arizona. Now, those days are done.

For everything is football now, though nobody is playing.

The game with that misshapen ball is all the rage, just sayin’…

From Dallas to Miami, from New England to L.A.,

It’s all about the NFL, no matter that today

Los Angeles is not a place where you can go to see


A pro team play, though soon you might be able to watch three.

There’s talk of players big as houses changing their addresses,

And players getting shot and getting into other messes;

There’s shock regarding options not picked up and players dumped

And everywhere the fans of football, adequately pumped,

Are sounding as if basketball and baseball, once adored,

Are afterthoughts at best with which the populace is bored.

No matter that the baseball season’s cranking up to start,

And college basketball, which once fired up the tired heart

By pitting better against best and making bettors sweat,

Is swatted, like a blocked shot, toward the courtside seats. I bet

In days to come, the future, our tomorrows, and so on,

That football will be all that’s left and all else will be gone.

Headshot of Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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