Littlefield: An Ode to 2013

The goal sits on the ice at Joe Louis Arena home of the Detroit Red Wings. (AP/Paul Sancya)
The goal sits on the ice at Joe Louis Arena home of the Detroit Red Wings. (AP/Paul Sancya)

The start of a new year presents the illusion
That faced with a landscape that’s rife with confusion
In terms of our games, as in most other stuff,
We might hope for order. I realize it’s tough…

How could it be easy, or very much fun
To suggest to each athlete that having a gun
Is likely to make matters worse than they are,
No matter the wealth and the fame of the star?

It’s winter that sees the new year ushered in,
So maybe I goofed when I didn’t begin
By hoping that hockey as played by the pros
Has seen its worst days as this winter wind blows,
And that oncoming winters will witness the loss
Of his job by the NHL’s scrooge of a boss,
A man who would rather hold out for a buck
Than let compromise lead to the drop of a puck.

Which brings me to wonder for various reasons
As we’ve endured lost, short, or truncated seasons
If maybe this year we might all come to see
That the games are more numerous than they might be?
Perhaps if the NHL started today
And ended, perhaps, on the second of May,
We’d have all the checking and goals we would need,
And the heck with the owners, the networks, the greed.

We’ve all heard that NBA players can’t feel
Completely committed to making a real
And most passionate effort in every night’s game;
The season’s too long, and for that who’s to blame?
This pastime’s a business, there’s no doubting that;
But the seasons grow longer, the owners grow fat.

Beyond that, there’s more a new year could bring in
If a new year were really a time to begin
Making sense for a change, and not cents with a “c.”
What if sports were not something to sit back and see,
But something more people went out there and played,
Not only as kids but as slowly they grayed,
‘Til their knees started creaking and ankles were rolling…
And then, even then, they could maybe go bowling?

I don’t even dream that these changes will come
As the calendar turns and we march to the drum
Of the empires that all of our pro games have wrought,
No matter that this isn’t quite what we sought,
But as one flawed year ends, and another begins,
And we growl about losses and cheer about wins,
It’s great fun to dream of the changes that might,
Make the New Year we’re in now a little more bright.

This program aired on January 2, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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



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