The Champions Of Late

by Duncan Jones

The crowd had gathered early for their Champs so great and tall
The mean and scarred that hit so hard, the statewide dread of all
The sun was high, the morning hot, this much-awaited date
Of the game against the big and bad, the champions of late

The Visitors with their fans a-few came nervous about playing
And that day more than one was said to have quietly been praying
They suited up and took the field to face the Champs but felt
With the temperature and pressure up that hopes would quickly melt

So when all were standing ready, not one showing whether scared
The whistle blew, it had begun, the ball sailed through the air
To the wonderment of many though the Visitors held their own
The Champs were quite unused to this, and a nasty side was shown

Came late some hits and dirty shots, some Visitors went down hard
And one by one the subs were called to face the mean and scarred
More crashes, grunts, and booming punts, they traded with the score
Until the game was nearing end with the Champs ahead by four

Then was felt a great despair, Visitors’ captain hit the ground
For they looked to share a fate with other beaten teams around
And on their bench remained just one from which they had to choose
So quietly he stood, shook Captain’s hand, and scuffed his shoes

The frenzied crowd took not a note as he walked on to the green
The final sub from out of town, rather short and rather lean
This season was his first to wear a number on his back
Come last year from afar, where the favorite sport was track …

Then made the Champs the famous call to “Clear it down the field!”
To run the clock to final end, to ensure the win was sealed
So Champs let fly a cannon shot thought to an empty space
No mind was paid to the undersized who had stepped into that place

All thought that it was over now, Champs fell into their run
And as the ball was flying high … came cheers from everyone
But with final seconds ticking, all eyes following the arc
Fell a sudden deathly silence, as if all had seen a shark

There was no scramble in the backfield from the booming cannon shot
Just a sudden flash of lightning, and the ball was calmly caught
Then time stood still an instant as all stared in disbelief
And anger from the Champs grew wild, they cursed this foreign thief

"Get him!" screamed somebody, all the cheering now long gone
Time started once again, and just like that the chase was on
The ground, they say it thundered, could be seen the dust arise
As they barreled forth to crush him, fury raging in their eyes

They smashed and clawed their way down field, he’d never make it past
But the wolves who’ve had it well forget, some deer are very fast …
So now the game is over, now has finally come some shade
Both teams have taken pictures, speeches from the coaches made

And now they bid goodbye, some are happy some are sad
And now the field is empty, and the fun has all been had
And the Visitors are on the bus, below their bags are tossed
And above they’re going crazy … because today the Champs have lost