Baby's First Sports Book An A-to-Z primer for toddlers who don't know Yogi Berra from Yogi Bear

August 26, 2001

A's for Al Michaels, waxing on lyrically.
Who knew that sports could make us feel miracley?

B is for Boston, its cursed Bambino.
And Buckner, who choked on an iced Mookiechino.

C is the letter that's worn on the shirts
Of the Cubs, who suck wind like others suck Certs.

D is the average grade on the tests
Of athletes with UNLV on their chests.

E is for eBay, where you can buy Harmon Killebrew's '65
Series-used Charmin.

F's for Ford Frick, and F's for Fred Funk.
And F's for the Fridge, who has junk in the trunk.

G is the string that is favored by strippers,
For holding the bills of NBA tippers.

H is for Hammerin' Hank of Milwaukee.
H is for Howe, a.k.a. Mr. Hockey.

I is a pronoun that pros leave unspoken:
"Herschel thinks Herschel's ankle is broken."

J is for Jesse, who upstaged the Nazis,
Whose swastika armbands then became Schottzie's.

K in a coach's name often falls mute,
As in Knight or in Knox, Krzyzewski or Knute.

L is for two kinds of Louisville Sluggers,
Ali and that other one, loathed by tree-huggers.

M's for Martina Navratilova.
M is for Michael, our jumpin' Jehovah.

N is for Nicklaus, for being, quite simply,
The first pro golfer who made us goose-pimply.

O is the start of The Star Spangled Banner.
Something no team will again use Roseanne for.

P's Papa Halas, who founded Da Bears,
And P is for Pele, with feet like Astaire's.

Q is for Queensberry's rules, and he wrote 'em
After sustaining a punch to the scrotum.

R is for Rodman, whose first name is Dennis;
He plays, by himself, mixed singles in tennis.

S is Suzuki, whose first name is Ichi,
Clearly the superman foretold by Nietzsche.

T is for Tyson, with malice abundant.
He thinks the phrase baby food is redundant.

U is Unitas--the only thing squarer
Than Johnny U's haircut: news with Jim Lehrer.

V's for Vince Carter, whose legs have more springs
Than the typical sportswriter's bathtub has rings.

W--Woods--has a fame that's gone global.
He's got more titles than both Barnes and Noble.

X is the X-Games, whose dangers excite us.
All those nipple rings bear hepatitis.

Y is for Yogi, with brain transcendental:
Ninety percent of his game was half mental.

Z is for Zimmer's breathtaking cranium,
One part Popeye and two parts titanium.

And Zzz is the sound we make when we snooze
And dream of a swing like Rodney Carew's,

Or a jumper like Bird's, swaying the nets,
Or offenses clicking like two castanets.

So hush little baby, and drift off to sleep,
But don't waste time counting fluffy white sheep.

Count touchdowns and goals, until you've a bedful.
For life without sports, my child, would be dreadful.