For Richard Sherman: A Sermon On Centerfield

I pledge allegiance
to the fans of the
united states of america
and to the hypocrisy
for which we stand,
one scoreboard
under a mob
with trash talk
and concussions for all.

as american as apple pie
football is religion

with its’ opening day kick-off christmas
and superbowl like easter’s resurrection
all praise ye saints of hard hits
and sacred pig skin ritual

communion of cold beers
like lombardi’s blood
may the barbecued wings represent the flesh
of your team’s turnover on the 1 yard line
with 10 seconds to go

lift up the name of sacrifice
to the grid iron gods on high

on this day
let there be wins
as all sins are forgiven

let there be gatorade and fist pumps
let there be pensive glares
let there be chartreuse sewn in the veins of navy blue
let there be unlimited spitting on sidelines
let there be coaching, headsets, grunts
x’s and o’s
let there be limbs bent unholy
let there be prayer
let there be martyrs carried away on carts
let there be thumbs up
let there be monumental cheer
let there be more carnage before the next commercial
let there be billion dollar stadium measured in decibels

(oh thank you grid iron god for the twelfth man)

let there be owners peering through binoculars
in their billionaire boxes
let there be high definition replays of the play
with the sickening crunch
let there be missed tackles face masks sacks for a loss
intentional grounding
let there be trapezius muscles
bruised battered clenched
let there be a numbing from needles

let there be halftime analysis
let there be calls for “aggression believing harder hitting
he better hit him in the mouth too much time in the pocket”

let there be sideline expletives antics
tantrums towels twisting turning pile-ups
fuck the refs
let there be blown calls
let there be electric electricity
let there be power
fire works
red faced fans in extreme
sleet cold snow rain
let there be 3rd and forever
let there be tip in the end zone interception

but not you.

ye though thou made play of the game
play of thou lifetime

not you

ye may not shout
nor smile
not wince
nor seek glory
not embody confidence
nor jeer
nor pounce
nor commit cocky personal foul
even after the game is over
not celebrate
when asked opinion by interviewer
not release guttural outburst

at this,
your mountaintop
at this your pinnacle
at this your moment inside end zone
as your heart pumps
one thousand beats per second

ye compton
ye archetypical black male threat
ye gladiator
ye passion for bloodsport
ye exception (or not)
ye second in high school class (or not)
ye standford grad (or not)
ye young melanin man

without wrap sheet
without shit. damn. fuck.
without pistol or murderous intention

not you, Richard Sherman.


© 2014, B. Sharise Moore

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