Sunday, March 30, 2008

Opening Day!

We believe the following poem is the most poignant metaphysical meditation on baseball since Field of Dreams. And although it has its share of metrical infelicities, at least it doesn't have Kevin Costner.

"On the Eternal Implications of America's National Pastime"

For me, the World Series of 1990
Had all the holy force of St. Paul's blinding.
O! the Lord did earn my infinite praise
When Cincinnati swept the Oakland A’s.
As I watched each game I was begging, kneeling,
clasping my hands and staring at the ceiling.
I promised God that, should the good guys win,
I’d lead a holy life, one free from sin.
An early homer clubbed by Eric Davis
Confirmed the gospel word that Jesus saved us;
His Resurrection was briefly in doubt
With runners on corners and no one out,
But God can lose no spiritual quibble
If His bullpen includes Robbie Dibble,
Who did much more than simply save two games—
He saved my soul from Hell’s fierce flames.

To cheer a losing club for nine long innings
Can kill your soul as sure as mortal sinning.
For Heaven’s sake, be careful who you choose—
Eternal damnation’s yours if they lose.
That deadliest of vices, Doubt, creeps in
When your team’s dead last and can’t buy a win.
The faith of fans is fragile: “Oh, why bother
To reconcile my soul with God the Father
When He and I could never get along:
His taste in teams is vile! His judgment, wrong!
It’s bad enough He lets a good man suffer—
But letting Boston blow a two-run buffer?!”
(So Billy Buckner lost the Catholic Church
With that famous, graceless, run-ceding lurch.)

It seems unfair that Peter turns his keys
For all those jerks who root for the Yankees;
Meanwhile, no Cubs fan’s passed through Heaven’s gate
Since, what, nineteen hundred and zero-eight?
But don’t question God’s justice or wisdom.
Just find a first-place team and root for them—
Until they start to stink. Your next move’s simple:
Go cast them out, like changers from the temple;
Profess your faith in who’s the new best squad,
Till one wins it all—and wins you for God!
The jealous, bound to law, won’t understand;
These Pharisees will spit, “fair-weather fan!”
But years from now, enjoying paradise,
You’ll thank me for my verses and advice.
(I’ll be wearing a hat beneath my halo,
Spitting seeds with Christ and Christopher Sabo.)

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