’Twas the Night Before Kickoff
or An Account of a Visit from Frank
By James T. Austin
By way of George A. Wallace, III
By way of Clement Clarke Moore
‘Twas the night before Kickoff, and all through the build space,
I alone was left prepping, with not a moment to waste.
Our task was unknown, expectation filled the air.
For the secrets of The Game had been handled with care.
It was thought up a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away,
or at least that’s what the crawl says. In reality, who’s to say?
Soon my time would be booked, my friends told: “see you later”,
I would be ensconced in the shop, mending bad motivators.
When from the machine shop there arose such a clatter
That I knew it could only result from a large mass of matter
Or a small mass traveling at high velocity
Either way it aroused my curiosity.
I hurried to the scene, arriving with haste.
Only to find the shop laid in waste!
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Droids, and Segways, and nine volunteers!
Their leader was unassuming, but seemed a Good Guy,
And he quickly exclaimed, “Hi my name’s Frank! Just thought i’d stop by!”
He saw the mess they’d created, expressed no small shame,
And to his companions he shouted, as he called them by name;
“Now, Baker! now, Beatty! now, Lavery and Russell!
On, Corsetto! on, Martus and JVN! Now, let’s hustle!
Get this place back in order! Get those tools on the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As I stepped back, convinced I was dreaming
To me stepped Frank Merrick, practically beaming.
Dressed in bumper fabric, from his head to his toes,
He kept a Gear as a hat, and a ball of Fuel on his nose.
He gave me a wink and said, “nothing will be left askew.”
I searched my feelings, and knew this to be true.
He rejoined his helpers, as they exited the scene,
And away they did fly, trailing x-wings.
Like that they were gone, with manuals to prep,
And I started to bed, with a pep in my step.
But I heard him exclaim, as dreams I did seek,
“Get some sleep every FIRSTer, matches start in mere weeks!”
This is an adaptation of a post that @George1902 posted on Kickoff Eve, 2004. (I think that’s the earliest iteration).
You can find the original post here: https://www.chiefdelphi.com/t/twas-the-night-before-kickoff/48074