Sunday, October 3, 2010

Joy in Mudville 2/07

Ah, there is joy in "Mudville" tonight. Even if that word "Mudville" was about a baseball game long ago that was lost, it obviously matters not to me. Because I am applying it to the Colts with Peyton Manning as QB in a football game.

I would never watch a Super Bowl game ordinarily as I have no interest in commercial pro football. I DO like the commercials though. Always have, and I will tend to look in occasionally to see those. However, Peyton Manning is our (former) University of Tennessee QB and thanks to him, and the rest of the team of course (I meant leadership in quarterbacking) we at UTK won the National Championship in '98.  Correction:  At the time of the Championship it was Tee Martin who was QB..Peyton had gone on in the draft. 

Peyton can't do it all. Not in a collegiate game nor in the pro games, as the team has to work together as a cohesive unit. No one person can do it all. But Peyton's leadership and focus very much help win the day. And frankly, he is consistently a good man. Best of luck to him and the team in the future. It is a life lesson, matter of fact, and those who know me probably knew I would say that. Cooperation means everything in life as well as games humanly speaking. There are many old adages, old stories and old sayings I could drum up and quote regarding cooperation and fair play, but we generally know them all without my quoting them here.

I just wanted to celebrate the winning of a team I cared about this once, tonight, Super Bowl 41. Go Colts.

For those who may be interested the word Mudville in this context came from:

Casey at the Bat
By Ernest Lawrence Thayer
From Sporting News, January 20, 1906 (info from Google)
A Ballad of the Republic. Sung in the Year 1888). The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows 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 Casey could but get a whack at that --
We'd put up even money now with Casey at the bat.
But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake.
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat.
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.
But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Johnnie safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.
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 flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place,
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped --
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.
From the benches, bleak with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm waves on a worn and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone in the stands,
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it and the umpire said, "Strike two."
"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and the echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.
The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clinched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey'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 shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville -- mighty Casey has struck out.

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