Leaves of Turf is a game-by-game, season-long series of football verse by TWER poet lAUreate Amorak Huey. Respect the game.
Optimism Rhymes with Orange
Season opener vs. Arkansas State, Sept. 4, 2010
Because every season opens somewhere. Because of the forward pass.
The zone read. The Wildcat. The end around. The triple option.
Because of the square jaw, the chest bumps, the mad scientist.
Because of how long we’ve been waiting.
Because no one owes us anything.
Because of the freshmen. Because of the seniors.
Because of 2004. But also because of 2008.
Because of pride. Because of glory.
Because what we expect is a preview of coming attractions.
Because the two-deep is actually two deep this year.
Because of Super Mario, Scootin’ Newton & the Swede Killa,
because of Ziemba & Pugh & Isom & Berry,
Stevens & Bynes & Bates & Burns, oh my,
& because of Byrum, Adams & T-Zac. Because you go to battle
with the weapons you have & who needs an umbrella anyway.
Because of the offense. Obviously. Believe it or not,
because of the defense, too. Because I can convince myself of anything.
Because what lies ahead will be hard. Because anything easy
isn’t worth having. Because we’re tired of talking.
Because we’re ready to play. Because we’re ready.
Because we deserve only what we take for ourselves.
Because this is just the first step. Because the first step is the most fun,
until the next one. Because I believe. Because you do, too.
Because – say it with me – undefeated rhymes with blue.
Amorak Huey didn’t go to Auburn, but he did have a fake Auburn ID so he could sit in the Jordan-Hare student section throughout his college years. A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Amorak spent fifteen years as a newspaper reporter and editor at papers in Florida, Kentucky and Michigan. Two years ago, he left his job as assistant sports editor at The Grand Rapids Press to take a position teaching writing at Grand Valley State University. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Western Michigan University, and his poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals. He lives in East Grand Rapids, Mich., with his wife and two children. You can find him online at www.amorakhuey.net.