[Inspired by (but not exactly a parody of) Tom Lehrer’s “Elements” song, which is itself a parody of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Modern Major General” song.]
Since the Cleveland Browns came back to the NFL in ’99
The quarterbacks who’ve played for them form a very long depressing line–
There was a lot of optimism (I myself can vouch for it)
When the Brownies first came back into town and got Tim Couch for it.
Ty Detmer was a back-up that they had hired just to mentor him,
And Doug Pederson and Spergon Wynn, they both sometimes went in for him.
Kelly Holcomb got the job, then Garcia, Dilfer, and McCown
And before you knew it, Akron’s Charlie Frye was the newest Cleveland Brown.
But Charlie Frye was out and in his stead was Derek Anderson
Who briefly held off second-stringer Brady Quinn (Ohio’s native son.)
Both Bruce Gradkowski and Ken Doresy brief QB careers did enjoy
And then the job came down to either Jake Delhomme or Colt McCoy.
Wallace, Weeden and Thaddeus Lewis, they all came and went as well,
And then the starting job to veteran Jason Campbell fell.
But Campbell might as well have left his luggage packed up in the foyer
For soon, the Cleveland quarterback was a chap called Brian Hoyer.
Brian Hoyer didn’t last, and soon the Browns fans began to call
For the gridiron magician who was known as “Johnny Football”
But what worked at A&M doesn’t really work beside the lake–
And after starting Connor Shaw, the Browns admitted their mistake.
Josh McCown was signed, but he didn’t play for them for very long,
And Davis, RG III and Kessler form the coda of this song.
Kizer’s next to be the starter–a rookie out of Notre Dame,
And now we’ll sit and wait to find out who’s in after next week’s game!
[Note: the order reflects my prediction for each team’s standing in the division at the end of the season.]
Will Tom get his sixth?
They’re loaded like in ‘seven–
It ends the same way.
They’re not a bad team.
But they’re still just waiting on
Could be good in a few years.
We’ve heard that before.
Usually they’re good
When they’re expected to stink.
But this time, they’ll stink.
I’m not giving up
On my belief in Flacco.
They win division.
Big Ben will get hurt.
Without him, their offense tanks;
And defense is weak.
Believe it or not
They might be decent this year.
But still no playoffs.
Finishing last place
Might get Coach Lewis fired.
But not a sure thing.
It takes more than Luck
To build a consistent team–
Also needs some linemen.
Mariota is good
But Murray will get injured
And still no playoffs.
They will be awful.
That is, really, really bad–
As in, not too good.
And a regressing defense
Causes a meltdown.
Last ride for Rivers?
Their injury luck changes
And they become good.
Two seasons ago
Nationwide was on their side.
Life comes at you fast.
Alex Smith is like
Football’s Rodney Dangerfield–
No respect at all.
Beast Mode will Bust Mode.
Lame-duck seasons aren’t pretty–
They will fall apart.
Prescott is for real.
Behind powerful o-line
They win Super Bowl.
Cousins will be great,
And management will be bad.
Will be wild card.
As they’ve been for a decade;
Save two playoff runs.
Wonder where winning
Wentz went–he’ll regress this year.
Back to the cellar.
Will better defense
Yield better playoff results?
No-lose title game.
Won’t miss Peterson.
But they will miss Brdgewater
And the postseason.
Is the most Bears thing ever–
But without defense.
Stafford’s luck runs out.
Last year was just a mirage;
Cam Newton will lead a run
To division crown.
They are the new Saints–
Fun offense, lousy defense.
8 and 8 finish.
Drew Brees’s last year;
Ends a great career on a
Real depressing note.
A collapse like theirs
Is bound to cause hangover.
Wilson is awesome.
But their window is closing–
Can’t beat the Cowboys.
They must be wishing
They could bring Jim Harbaugh back.
“Don’t know what you’ve got…”
Would have been awesome
Playing in the ’70s–
But now, not so much.
Palmer, Fitz are old–
Without a solid QB
Offense falls apart.
So I started reading Paradise Lost by John Milton. But before I even got to the poem itself, there was this:
“The measure is English Heroic Verse without Rime as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; Rime being no necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem or good Verse, in longer Works especially, but the Invention of a barbarous Age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meeter; grac’t indeed since by the use of some famous modern Poets, carried away by Custom, but much to thir own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse then else they would have exprest them. Not without cause therefore some both Italian and Spanish Poets of prime note have rejected Rime both in longer and shorter Works, as have also long since our best English Tragedies, as a thing of it self, to all judicious eares, triveal and of no true musical delight: which consists only in apt Numbers, fit quantity of Syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one Verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault avoyded by the learned Ancients both in Poetry and all good Oratory. This neglect then of Rime so little is to be taken for a defect though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar Readers, that it rather is to be esteem’d an example set, the first in English, of ancient liberty recover’d to Heroic Poem from the troublesom and modern bondage of Rimeing.” [All the typos are in the Wikisource text, and I assume are as found in some original. I think they are due to the fact that English spelling had not yet been standardized.]
Clearly, Milton was not a fan of rhyming. Or rimeing.
I think it’s sort of funny that he started out his Biblical epic by kvetching about rhyme and meter. I like to imagine that some poor sap saw a draft of Paradise Lost and asked, “Why doesn’t it rhyme?” And it set Milton off.
I particularly enjoy the “It may seem so perhaps to vulgar Readers” bit. That’s brilliant! I think I’m going to put a disclaimer at the start of all my writing from now on: “Readers, if you don’t like this, it means you’re stupid. It’s a work of genius.”
Paradise Lost may be a great poem, but I think it’s fair to say English rhyme is still going strong in spite of Milton’s objections.
This is what they call a “mood piece”.