A poem about teamwork.

June 24, 2010

Admiral Farragut Academy, Pine Beach, NJ, Fall 1963

25 Crossblock
(to coaches Stan Slaby, Bob Hunt)

The concept was simple,
The execution was difficult,
The result was glorious.

Roommates rehearsing over and over again,
Barefoot on cold linoleum, cramped dorm room,
Slow-mo to get the timing perfect.

The tackle and the end blocking
each others matching opponent,
crossing, exchanging positions.

At the snap the end stepped in
As the tackle stepped out,
One in front, one behind.

Where there were two
For a split second, one organism,
Then appearing as two again.

On the left side of the line,
The two lower case xs crossed
forming one big capitol X.

The opponent watched
In awe, his man disappearing
Followed by a blind impact.

In an instant formed a gap in the wall
Like the smile of the lineman
Who invented the immortal play,

Or as a front portal of a villa, inviting,
The halfback, then the fullback bearing the gift,
Leisurely entering the backfield.

From the ground we watched with joy,
His image becoming smaller, smaller,
Strolling into the green garden of the end zone.

William C. Padgett  2009