Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 17: The games we play . . .

I played touch football once.
You darted past me so fast;
I didn't realize I was supposed
to block you.
Now we watch football on TV,
Sunday afternoons together,
your voice-over another
on who does what and when and why.
Thousands roar in the stands
as we yell from the couch.
Another player's down.
The gods of Rome smile.

Remember Nick Nolte in North Dallas Forty (1979)? The movie opens the morning after a big game. Nolte can't get out of bed. Bruised and stiff from pain, he stumbles to the bathroom. That was my first awareness that pro football players wind up hurt. Today, football headlines focus on the brain damage that football players incur at every level -- including elementary school. The NFL heads up a multi-billion dollar industry, yet supports some research to protect players. Change will be slow, but documentaries, like the PBS special "League of Denial" highlight risks of heatstroke, concussion, and long-term brain damage.

A gamer I'm not -- unless you count that ultimate time-waster, Solitare. The cards flip down so easily, brainless I tell myself, a harmless warm-up before I work on serious stuff. In the last several years, I've played Farmville to stay in touch with my sister who lives in a different state, Lexulous (an online word game like Scrabble), a tiny bit of World of War Craft (free preview, never got out of the training level), and Diablo II (that was totally fun but way too time-consuming). This afternoon I played 10 minutes of Candy Crush, recommended by someone from Octpowrimo. Oops.

Today's prompt was to write a poem about a game . . . See what others have written for Octpowrimo.

Larry Fitzgerald catches a touchdown pass
2009 Pro Bowl (Wikipedia)


  1. Those last few lines got me, it's like a vaguely sinister warning. Very nice!

  2. I agree with Christine regarding the close of your poem. There's always something extra hidden in a seeminlgy simple set up, with you Beth.

    Like you, I'm not much of a game player in life or for fun, either. :) Who has time?

    1. Thank you, Shah -- and Christine. Deceptively simple. Somehow my poems slide to the dark side, whether I wish it or not. Shah, I like games very much, but even retired, there's so little time!

  3. Anonymous10:50 AM

    I also love the last line!