Littlefield: A Rhyme About Sports During A Pandemic

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(Courtesy WBUR)
(Courtesy WBUR)

The outlook isn’t brilliant for the Major Leagues today.
Who knows which clubs can field ten healthy fellows who can play?
The rosters are depleted by the plague, which is a shame.
But baseball stumbles on, as if to say “Hey, it’s the same
As if there were no virus and although you can’t come see us.
We know that, in your dreams, you would sincerely like to be us.”

The NBA is bubbled up, and I suppose that’s fine.
But how long will it be until the players start to whine,
Contending that life in the bubble’s brutish, empty, boring.
And some may hear their teammates as they’re quietly imploring
The guys to lose tonight and then tomorrow night as well.
"Eliminated, we will leave the bubble. We won’t tell
That we have missed some foul shots that we know we could have made
So we could go back home, where we would certainly have stayed
If we had had the choice. Of course we didn’t, so we’re here.
But we can lose and burst the silly bubble, never fear.
Because, although the idea might have seemed completely grand,
I gotta tell, you, brother, I am sick of Disneyland."

And meanwhile, to the north, the NHL has limbered up.
It’s staging what might look a little like the Stanley Cup.
Although the season’s truncated, and no one’s there to cheer,
On TV they’re still selling life insurance, drugs, and beer.
And that’s the bottom line, I guess, for each and every game:
A plague is just a plague, but business goes on all the same.

Though I suppose of college football that cannot be said.
I’ll shed no tears on that account, and if the game were dead,
I’d not be much lamenting it, or sighing, long and deep.
But that’s beside the point. I think that it is just asleep.
The game’s proponents liken it to young men off to war.
I turn the sound off when they say it. I can take no more.
But, happily, I’ll open up my yap and I will say,
"It’s fine that no one’s turning to the N C Double A
For solace or direction or a plan to carry on."
Few hearts would shatter if the N C Double A were gone.

I hope you won’t conclude from this that I am out of sorts.
And I am not complaining I no longer write of sports.
The times provide, as I have found, and so there is no dearth
Of more significant concerns here and around the earth.

Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game for its first 25 years. Now he writes novels no one has published ... yet.

This segment aired on September 26, 2020.

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



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