Carroll and the Call

The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Boom-ville ‘hawks that day:
The score stood 28 to 24, with but two minutes more to play.
And then when Kearse missed deep right, and Matthews did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Carroll could get but a red zone ball –
We’d put up even money, now, with Carroll and the call.

But Brady had set the stage, with Julian Edelman,
And the timeouts were down to two and so the ‘hawks needed a plan;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy began to fall,
For there seemed but little chance of Carroll getting to make a call.

But Lockette caught a first down, to the wonderment of all,
And Kearse, the ball bobbled, corralled the bouncing ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Kearse down at the five and a timeout was heard.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the wall,
For Carroll, mighty Carroll, was given a red zone ball.

There was ease in Carroll’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Carroll’s bearing and a smile on Carroll’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he handed Wilson the ball,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Carroll with the call.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands together;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his sweater.
Then while the defensive line got into their formation,
Defiance gleamed in Carroll’s eye, no sign of frustration.

And now the pigskin oblong ball was handed to The Beast,
And Carroll stood a-watching it, no worries in the least.
Right at the end zone The Beast, the ball, unheeded sped-
Brought to the ground was The Beast. “One short,” the officials said.

From the benches, filled with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Feed him! Feed The Beast Mode!” shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they’d a-fed him had not Carroll intervened.

With a smile of Christian charity great Carroll’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the offense, and once more they got the call;
But Carroll he had called it, and he had said, “Throw the ball.”

“What!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered run;
But one scornful look from Carroll and the audience was stunned.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Carroll wouldn’t let them fall too short again.

The sneer is gone from Carroll’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his hand upon his Slate.
And now the center snaps the ball, and now Wilson lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the shock of Butler’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children have fun;
But there is no joy in Boom-ville – mighty Carroll has not run.

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