Sometimes there comes an article with such a hackneyed premise that it captures the imagination and changes your conception of just what awful sportswriting can be. It smacks of desperation during the long college football offseason. It is paradigm changing. It is life alterting. Most importantly, it is fun. And it is here thanks to a man named Pat Forde. Are you ready? Are you excited? I know I am. Let’s mock this bitch:
Midsummer night’s dream reveals puckish prognostications for ’08
Take it in. Bask in it. The headline only hints at the absurdity though.
Because it’s June, and because June is slower than an Ivy League defensive back when it comes to college football news, the boss e-mailed me with a quirky story idea.
Did he really? I suspect Forde realizes how stupid this article is going to be and wants to pass the buck. Also, awesome joke with the Ivy League cornerbacks metaphor. Grow some balls and say what your really mean: white cornerbacks.
He pointed out that Midsummer’s Eve was upon us, and the day has a long tradition of being a time for telling fortunes. Some guy named William Shakespeare even built a story around Midsummer’s Eve — and the suggestion was that I do the same.
Seriously, I call bullshit. But if this is true, that Forde was so bereft of ideas that this one seemed good by comparison, just cancel his offseason writing schedule. Here comes the stupid…
Who can turn down an offer like that?
Anyone. Seriously, anyone with a lick of sense would recognize the inanity involved in this column before getting started, and say to themselves, “Fuck. That.”
After reacquainting myself with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” it seems Shakespeare himself might have had football on the brain when he wrote it. You don’t believe me? I have the evidence.
By “reacquainting” I believe he means googled “‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ quotes.” Also, the premise of this article is that William Shakespeare – poet, playwright, lover of Gwyneth Paltrow, inventor of modern English, dead in the early 17th century – had football – an awesome sport that I’m sure he would have loved, because it is awesome and Shakespeare was awesome, had he not predated it by about 200 years – on the brain when he penned his most revered comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Think about that. Get your head wrapped around that concept. Laugh at it derisively. But: he has proof. Like:
“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” — Was that Puck? Or Tim Tebow?
Puck was a metaphor for Tim Tebow! Of course! It was staring me in the face the whole time, and I refused to see it. If ever there was airtight proof of Forde’s point, this is it.
“Days of absence, sad and dreary, Clothed in sorrow’s dark array, Days of absence, I am weary; She I love is far away.” — The average college football fan in the dog days of summer, waiting for the season to begin.
Shall thee compare thy love of football to thy love of a maiden? No, thee shall not. Fuckest thou.
“Masters, spread yourselves.” — Billy Shakes correctly predicting the era of the spread offense.
God damn it! You’re better than this Forde. Billy Fucking Shakes?!
I can’t take any more of these. There are ten. They are all stupid, and the rage generated increases as you proceed. Let’s move on to the “Puckish” predictions.
1. Notre Dame will be better.
Bold. Careful out on that limb, Pat.
3. Rick Neuheisel won’t bet on his own team in the office bowl pool.
This is true, but mainly because they won’t be in a bowl.
4. Ohio State at USC is the nonconference game of the year.
“I think the obviously best matchup on paper between teams from different conferences will be the best nonconference game.”
5. Georgia at Arizona State won’t be bad, either.
“I also think that a matchup between teams likely to start the season in or near the top 10 will be better than bad.”
9. The one unit in all of college football with the most on its shoulders is …
… BYU’s secondary.
I’m leaving that other part unbolded because he weirdly did that rather than include it in the heading. Also, BYU? They have no chance at winning the national title. How about Florida’s ineffective DLine or secondary? How about Georgia’s linebackers? How about USC’s something-or-other? How about any of the major contenders for the national title over a team that has no chance at a national title and a chance to make a BCS bowl only if they go undefeated?
13. The 2008 season foretold here will end the way “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” ended.
With an admission that none of this is real. Play it again, Puck:
“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream …”
If only it were truly a dream.