Skip to content


September 9, 2012

Apropos of the start of football season:

“Someone would have brought a radio, and he was one of the few people I ever knew who loved as much as I to listen to college football scores on Saturdays in the early fall drifting in from everywhere–first the little Eastern schools like Bowdoin or Colby, or Allegheny and Gettysburg and Susquehanna, on down to the Southern and Midwestern ones which really mattered, then slowly westward–a roll call of America. ‘There’s a poetry of its own in that, ain’t it?’ he said.”–Willie Morris writing about his close friend in “James Jones: A Friendship.”

Long before I read this, when I was in college, I spent Sunday mornings looking at the college football scores in the morning paper, enchanted by the names: DePauw, Monmouth, Culver-Stockton, Grinnell, Bluffton, Eureka, Siena Heights. I follow the results on high school football to read the same poetry of names: Waubonsie Valley, Neuqua Valley, Geneseo, Solorio, Alden-Hebron, Minooka.

Reading the names, I wonder what the towns look like, how many people live there, whether the football game on Friday or Saturday night is the highlight of the week. Thinking about life in a small town, reciting aloud the names of Wasco, Lily Lake and Virgil, has always brought me repose from the daily stress of living in Chicago.

No rhyme or meter, but it’s poetry still.


From → Language, Verbiage

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: