’Twas the week after Christmas, when across this great nation,
All the football fans waited with anticipation.
The TV remote was garnered with care,
In hopes that the bowl games soon would be aired.
The sports nuts were settled down in their recliners
Listlessly watching St. Louis vs. 49ers.
Uncle Joe in his jersey, and Bev in her cap,
Had just faded off for a third-quarter nap.
When from the wide-screen there arose so much static,
The picture was gone; this was more than traumatic.
Through the various channels they surfed quickly, not slow,
Tried every trick they knew to clear up the snow.
But, the satellite feed on which they depended,
Had ceased to exist, the signal suspended.
Then what to Joe’s panicking mind did appear,
An idea that immediately lessened the fear.
He’d hook up the old-fashioned antenna, but then
He realized he wouldn’t get ESPN.
The depression grew deeper, they tried to stay calm;
But the schedule of matches ticked like a time bomb.
They’d miss Music City, Liberty, Chick-fil-A and Sun,
Heart of Dallas, Gator and Capital One.
Outback, Rose, Orange and Sugar on the second,
They would even miss K-State’s Fiesta, they reckoned.
The Cotton Bowl, BBVA Compass (the who?)
The GoDaddy.com, the BCS championship, too.
To the top of the stairs overlooking the roof
They gaped out the window in search of some proof,
That the dish still existed; it was there, with no doubt,
But, all of their neighbors were out and about.
As dry heaves that follow a bout of the flu,
With a sickening feeling the two of them knew,
It wasn’t just their house where the signal had died;
Everyone else’s satellite systems were fried!
The word on the street brought tears to fans’ eyes,
The transmitter had fallen right out of the skies.
As Joe turned from the scene and its general doom,
Whom did he spy in the very next room?
A black and white sportscaster from out of the past
With a fuzzy old TV and antenna mast.
All covered with foil and awkwardly bent
The aerial received all three channels sent.
His face faded in and out like the breeze
On a cold winter’s night as it blows through the trees.
“I’m from long ago, from back in the day,”
said the man as he adjusted his awful toupee.
“And if you’ll allow me, I’ll try to explain
How all of these bowls have become quite insane.”
Joe listened and watched and soon understood
That bigger and more is not always good.
He could remember his boyhood of long, long ago
When three TV channels were all that would show
And only a very few bowl games were ’cast.
Maybe things after all weren’t so bad in the past.
The setup the stranger had placed in the room
Just might do the job; it lifted his gloom.
Who needed a digital, wide-screen TV
When by carefully squinting the games he could see?
As Joe turned to thank him, the stranger just laughed,
“I’ll see you,” he said, “at the end of the half.”
He told it like it was, and that’s how Joe could tell
The man from the past was one Howard Cosell.
And, then, from his nap, Joe awoke with a start,
Looked around the room and knew in his heart,
It was only a dream, that his dish was OK.
Yet he saw what that nightmare was trying to say:
That with so many contests and with so much at stake,
And with all the cash that the sponsors can make,
Perhaps we’ve lost sight of the meaning of sport
And all of this hoopla is selling it short.
But, Joe knew the sad truth as he turned up the sound
The BCS still makes the bowl world go ’round.