The Mighty Briggs

(with apologies to Ernest Thayer)

The rain came hard that October Friday night.

And those two teams put up one helluva fight.

The opening kick was brought back to the two,

And Bobby Briggs then put it through.

He played for King High—sporting red, gray, and white,

While Central Prep wore gold and a blue dark as night.

At the end of the first the score was tied.

The scoreboard read sevens and it never lied.

At the start of the second Briggs and his boys

Stood backs to the end zone—fighting crowd noise.

Now playing D, they called Briggs to blitz.

Coach yelled, “Zero gap fire, and base fifty-six!”

Prep’s QB scrambled, eluding the sack.

He was one helluva damn good quarterback.

He spotted his man, zipped the skin through air.

But by God, thank Jesus, Jimmy Jones was there!

Because he came down with the end line pick,

Though it amounted to nothing but a three point kick.

A stalemate ensued, the mud was too much

To pass, or to kick, or run reverses and such.

Possessions exchanged, the rain came droves.

King’s coach, John Black, shot steam from his nose.

Forever it seemed like seven to ten,

But now Briggs and the boys were at it again.

A nice little scramble brought them down to the three,

And they let that big fullback Briggs run free.

He broke a few tackles and made a guy miss

As Prep’s head coach screamed and hissed,

“We’ll never bring that damn Briggs to the ground!”

And before he knew it—another touchdown!

The first half ended and off went to gun,

But both teams could tell that Briggs wasn’t done.

Prep knew ten points was no easy climb,

Especially covered in grass stains and grime.

Prep’s skipper was ticked—goddamn was he mad!

While John Black stayed stern—straight-faced but glad.

“Hey Briggs, how ya feel? Yer havin’ a game…

Now get out there next half and go do the same.”

The second half began, King kicked the ball long

To a sophomore return-man—short-legged and strong.

But the rain was too much and the rock slipped away,

And a big pile formed in a fog patch of gray.

And guess who lay smiling beneath with the ball…

Briggs of course—another touchdown and all!

Now 24-7, this game’s all but done,

But Prep had a boy who could sure as shit run.

He ran ‘round the conference all season long,

And after a slow start first half the kid felt quite strong.

He ran left, he ran right, he ran and ran more

Until all of that running rang up three scores.

And with every six, Prep went for and got two,

But on the third try…STOPPED by guess who!

The Mighty Briggs came through again—

Proving to all why he was the man at King.

Briggs and that boy met right at the line,

Stopping Prep’s star clean on a dime.

Then both D’s stiffened up—another stalemate.

The rain slowed, the fog thickened in this night of fate.

But now late in the 4th with Prep up by five

Briggs gained nineteen on a twenty-three dive.

King was at mid-field and time ticked away

As Briggs and his boys awaited the plays.

They attempted two passes and tossed a sweep to the tail,

But only gained three because all the plays failed.

Minute left—4th down—and King’s quarterback

Dropped back and scrambled, eluding two sacks,

Set his feet and let it rip—it looked overthrown…

But then out of nowhere came ole Jimmy Jones!

He caught that pass and raced to the ten.

By God, thank Jesus for Jimmy Jones again!

The clock now read forty-five seconds to go…

The rain and the mud—what a helluva show!

A toss to the tail brought them down to the two.

Two sneaks came up short—there was one thing to do.

“Briggsy! Briggsy!” shouted the fans…

Prep called timeout for a defensive plan.

So King got their play—a twenty-three dive

With four seconds left, and down by five.

The raging crowd subsided—a quietness grew.

All that was heard was “Hut one!” and then “Hut two!”

As Briggs thrust ahead and took the ball in stride

He pushed in to the pile with a steaming sense of pride.

Bodies clashed like titans, he thumped toward the line

With those big legs behind him he pushed one more time.

He dove with all his strength and splashed upon the ground,

And with a smile on his face he thought, “I scored the touchdown!”

So the game was ended, and off went the gun,

But the Mighty Briggs was stopped dead cold, crying at the one…

—Brian Geisler