The NFL’s second round of playoff games will transpire on Saturday and Sunday. Commentator Bill Littlefield acknowledges that his attention will be on one particular player…and how hard he gets hit.
I’m told that some will travel from the west down to the east
To see if Arizona will subdue the mighty beast
That is the Carolina Panthers, sleek and quick and sly…
I’m told that in New York there are some people who will die
If they are anywhere but Jersey when the Giants try
To ground the Eagles Sunday and to bake some Eagle pie…
In Tennessee, the Titans, rested after last week’s break,
Will try to show the Ravens that it is a bad mistake
To come to earth in Nashville, and no country music words
Are likely to be sadder than the ending that those birds
Will suffer there in Music City. That’s the straightest dope…
Or so the fans of Tennessee and Kerry Collins hope.
But these are not the games that I’ve been thinking of this week;
There is another game about which I would like to speak,
As this half-addled riming bumps along its muddled way…
About this weekend’s football games I’d only like to say
Whatever might transpire, and whatever might be said
I hope nobody hits Ben Roethlisberger in the head.
For Ben, who’s known as “Big Ben,” went down just two weeks ago.
For fifteen minutes, more or less, those watching didn’t know
If he would play again this season, let alone that day:
His arms were numb, his head was scrambled. On the field he lay
Until they brought a stretcher out, and took him from the stage,
And when the Steelers people afterward were asked to gage
How badly Ben was hurt, they said it’s not so bad at all…
T’was minor, that concussion, that was their official call.
Now, “minor” in this context means Ben didn’t quite forget
That he was Ben or where he was, and that was fine, and yet,
Does anyone remember that within the past three years,
This guy has three times bounced around that lump between his ears?
The first time saw three Falcons beat Ben’s head into the ground.
In number two he crashed a motorcycle, and the sound
Of head sans helmet bouncing echoed hollow ‘cross the land…
So let us hope that bad things come in threes and understand
That Ben, like football players everywhere, is bound to play…
And let us also hope the Pittsburgh Steelers find a way
To keep their fragile quarterback quite safe within the fray,
Lest “Big Ben” be “Big Goofy Ben” on some sad future day.
This program aired on January 9, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.