An ode to kickers

Wednesday November 17th, 2010

They're common men with names uncommon.(Where have you gone, Uwe von Schamann?)They're just plain Folks, they're Happy Fellers,These Robbie Goulds, these Roy Gerelas.

A poet desperate for a segueIs grateful for Raul Allegre.And Vinatieri shilled for Snickers,But no one else loves field-goal kickers.

Their teammates, each, are huge and freakish,But they're more . . . Ali Haji-Sheikh-ish.They're K-Marts in a world of Gucci.(Where did you go, Dean Biasucci?)

*****

I'm sure the four Zendejas brothersWere each beloved by their mother.Otherwise -- brotherwise -- Canton plaquesWill never be cast for Gogolaks.

And Chester Marcol of the Packers,Olindo Mare and Neil Rackers,Have suffered fortune's slings and arrows,With sundry Skips and Chips and Garos.

*****

Anderson, Andersen: Which one's which?It's Pete, not Peja, Stoyanovich?Del Greco, Daluiso: Which is which?There's Toni Linhart and Toni Fritsch?

That Ace Ventura: Pet DetectiveWas anti-kicker-filled invective.The villain was a sicko kickerWho dressed himself in ladies' knickers.

The movie Gus was even sicker:It cast a jackass as a kicker.A football horse, half-mule, half-man?'Twas Bengal kicker Horst Muhlmann.

*****

Two Bahrs once meant field-goal perfection;Two bars now mean poor phone reception.Two Bahrs incarnate -- bros Chris and Matt -- Wore one-bar facemasks across each hat.

Dramatic Arts -- Ars Dramatica -- As performed by Bill GramaticaMeant leaping, dancing, great emoting -- (An ACL torn while showboating).

*****

They don't deserve your scorn or laughterThis band of men who kick points-after.Kickers and goalposts both, I've found,Are just built up to get torn down.

Seldom is heard on ESPNThat glorious surname: "Septien."A Vikings fan, I'm purple-hazy --My dreams are still Fuad Reveiz-y.

The tank that's named for General PershingIs not as strong as leg of Wersching.In Oslo this man's fans are legion:Jan Stenerud kicked in Norwegian.

*****

Alone among his fellow kickersMike Vanderjagt misspoke while "liquored".Or so his quarterback insisted.Before the kicker got C-listed.

And so my eyes got somewhat mistyWhen gazing on the Bills' Steve Christie.The Raiders' kicker sure likes his food.That Cowboy Buehler's a righteous dude.

Has any avis been more raraThan Dallas great Efren Herrera?The Dow, the Nasdaq and the NikkeiHave fewer points than Igwebuike.

******

You couch-bound slobs, ruled by inertia:Bow down and worship Rolf Benirschke!The Toe (Lou Groza)! The Foot (Fred Cox)!And barefoot freaks wearing single socks!

The opposite of bland was Blanda,Kicked black-and-white, like Kung Fu Panda;And nerves? Jay Feely could not feel 'em,And nor can colleague Jason Elam.

They're shunned and roughed and waiver-wired;One day they're iced, the next they're fired.John Carney still has not expired.Joe Nedney has not yet perspired.

******

The chicks might dig a perfect spiral;Favre's every utterance goes viral.Americans though still revileAll things described as "soccer-style."

But when these fans go meet their makers,If heaven's run by David Akers,He'll cast aside those heathen sinnersWho shunned him when he missed game-winners.

He'll call the roll in Kicker Heaven:"Bironas, Rob!" and "Butler, Kevin!"Dempsey's a Saint, Norwood's a martyr.The Holy Grail's an 80-yarder.

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