Twas the Night Before Kickoff

USA TODAY Sports

It's like Christmas in July! Er, August. And with hack poetry instead of presents.

Twas the night before kickoff and all through the land
Not a student was stirring, not even the band.
New uniforms were hung in the lockers with care,
In hopes that our Beavers soon would be there.

The players were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Rose Bowls danced in their heads.
With Sean in his helmet, and Vaz in his cap,
Who had just finished battle after a long summer gap.

When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
I leapt out of bed to see what was the matter.
Straight to Parker Plaza, I flew like Victor Bolden,
In through the gates to see what Reser was holdin'.

The shine from the lights on the freshly dewed grass
Was like the glow of game day to a new freshman class.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a flat-tailed mascot, leading a cheer.

And with a wide-smiling leader, so hard to dislike,
I knew in a moment it must be Coach Mike.
More angry than badgers the defense they came,
Riley whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dashon! Now, Skotte! Now, Crichton and Wynn!
On, D.J! On, Murphy! Doctor and Martin!
To the top of the Pac-12! To the top of them all!
Now take away! Take away! Take away the ball!"

The defense came to play just like each and every week.
And the eight man rush caused a brutal hit by Tyrequek
On top of the fumble Rashaad Reynolds did land,
Just like Coach Banker had all along planned.

And then, from the sidelines, I saw the quick looks.
As the offense arrived, led by Brandin Cooks.
As I marveled aloud, and was turning around,
Down the field Storm Woods came with a bound.

He was dressed all in black, from his head to his toe,
His uniform all branded with the new logo just so.
A bundle of linemen he had slung on his back,
And he looked like Saint Nick, just opening his pack.

The drive's outcome was obvious, upon further reflection
The play calls were brilliant and run to perfection.
The O-line was stanced all up in a row,
Andrews and Phillip and Seumalo.

The mic was held tight near Riley's teeth,
The headset encircling his head like a wreath.
He kept a tight grin and a little round smile,
Clearly relaxed, he'd done this awhile.

He was confident and smiling, an amenable fellow,
No fear of those wearing the green and the yellow.
A wink of his eye and a hand-off of the ball,
Soon let me know there would be no late game fall.

He spoke not a swear, his team went for a gain,
Then one point off the foot of Trevor Romaine.
And he lay his shoe just straight on the laces,
This Beaver team's score was off to the races!

The game ended well, yet another Beaver rout
And away they all drove to the next In N' Out.
But as the bus drove away, I'm sure Riley did say,
"Happy New Year's to all, and Hip Hip Hooray!"

-- with a tip of the cap to Clement Clarke Moore

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