College basketball is one of my favorite sports. Often, I’ll watch a game even if one of my favorite teams isn’t playing.
Last night I watched Illinois play Michigan State. It promised to be a tough game between two teams fighting for the Big Ten lead — but it became an ugly brickfest in which neither team could make a basket. Illinois finally won by the ridiculous score of 42-41. The Illini shot less than 33% from the field; the Spartans made fewer than 25% — 25%! — of their attempts.
The absurdly bad shooting got to be comical, and moved me to verse:
How Do I Brick Thee? (with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
How do I brick thee? Let me count the ways.
I brick thee by hurling thee against glass
And failing to make a capable pass
In an offense so far out of phase.
I brick thee on layup and on three-point shot
The efforts I launch all resound with a clang
And each ugly brick leads to coaches’ harangue;
I brick thee ’cause no teammate is hot.
I brick thee with all the pow’r I produce
Though the results be nothing but lame.
I brick thee and bear the fans’ harsh abuse,
With each miss I shrivel in shame,
I brick thee and see my shots leave a bruise,
I wish I was taught how to aim!