The Year in Verse
By Steve Woodward
Special to Page 2

Who ever said never look back was too rigid,

What's better than memories for warmth when it's frigid?

Never mind that the theme in 2-double-oh-3,

Was coaches and athletes too blind to see,

That behavior still matters among sporting heroes,

Regardless of paychecks all covered with zeroes.

Sammy Sosa
Sosa was portrayed as one big dork, when out of his bat flew oodles of cork.
Be it cork in a bat of Sammy the Cub

Or Mike Price's big night in a topless nightclub,

The era is gone when sports stars get breaks.

Yet trying to skirt the mistakes that they make,

Is Priority One, and we are mere pawns.

Eddie Griffin, Josh Evans, a guy named Keyshawn . . .

Some tread beyond arrogance with unbridled zeal.

Kobe Bryant, William Green Guys, get real!

With the judgment of gnats doing headers toward light,

Our idols so seldom marry smarts with raw might.

Is it just some reaction to jocks strapped too tight?

Oh my, what a year. Tiger yielding to cupid,

While his great rival Vijay was flirting with stupid,

For remarks that he uttered amid Annika gushing,

While the Eagles' McNabb was a victim of Rushing.

So many absurdities flew threw the air

Even those who don't drink acted somehow impaired!

The BCS computer spit out its divisive decree;

Now the Trojans prefer spelling BCS with no 'C'.

The NFL's honchos walk around like Big Brother,

Spying Sharpies and cell phones, one after another.

As the season winds down, we'd indeed be remiss,

Were we not to shout out, "NFL, Please Fine This!"

Down at Augusta, the sponsors went hiding,

Don Zimmer
Zim leapt at Pedro, ready to rumle, but all that happened was Zim took a tumble.
While head member Hootie shunned media chiding.

And what of the crusading, feisty Ms. Burke?

One protester countered: "Iron My Shirts!"

But golf carried on, and soon it was clear,

Beyond Tiger, there's Curtis, Micheel and Weir.

In baseball's post-season, as Cubs hopes grew slimmer,

Boston's Martinez was slamming poor Zimmer,

While McKeon joined ranks with the media darlin's

And Steinbrenner's nightmare was a hook with no Marlins.

Chicago fixated on a fan's fatal reach,

But -- so far -- the kid hasn't washed up on some beach.

The chief Wizard in D.C. sent Jordan away,

While Malone and then Payton touched down in L.A.

Bird's Pacers are flying sans Isiah Thomas,

Who's turned up in the Apple to give the Knicks promise.

Cleveland's quite cavalier from this moment on,

And now the whole league has its eyes on LeBron.

Sad, sad farewells were part of the year.

So long to Shoe, who had no racing peer.

Goodbye to Magnuson, Otto Graham, too.

Praise for McCormack whose rivals were few.

Olympic ring leaders quarreled and pouted,

But soon all the self-serving fools were outed.

They don't need some whiz at the USOC,

Or a corporate fast climber who says, 'Hey, look at me!'

Carmelo Anthony
Coach Boeheim finally won with one special fellow, who are we kidding -- we all know it's Melo.
In fact, what our athletes might need in Greece,

Is a hope and a prayer that the Games enjoy peace

From dispensers of evil, the next THG,

Or soldiers of terror rising out of the sea.

So many this year earned their victory dance:

Roddick, Parcells and an Armstrong named Lance;

Jim Boeheim in hoops, and Jose for "the roses".

And a judge in Salt Lake with the wisdom of Moses,

Who could see no true crime by Olympic bid heads

But was quickly enraged by the arrogant Feds.

Now on to the NFL's nitty and gritty.

St. Louis, the Patriots or Kansas City,

May have the right blend to go all the way.

But what's that a-brewin' way up in Green Bay?

It's the Favre Factor -- really, what more can we say?

Indy, Tennessee and Denver's hot, too,

The betting set can't be sure just what to do.

A season kicked off by Britney Spears,

Might end up as dramatic as any in years.

All the way to the end with no NHL reference?

Perhaps it's a sign of growing indifference.

To think that these clowns are threatening strike

Go ahead, hockey pucks! Go ahead, take a hike!

Steve Woodward extends season's greetings and a word of warning to all: If the guy stuck in your chimney has a beard but no reindeer, it might be John Daly, hunting yuletide cheer.


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