Twas The Night Before Chiefsmas, Merlin’s Version


Twas the night before Chiefsmas, when all through the stadium
Nothing was stirring, not even Pioli’s cranium.
The stockings were hung by the lockers with care,
In hopes that a playoff berth soon would be theirs.

The players were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of touchdowns danced in their heads.
And Clark in his tie, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the luxury box I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old coach, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Hank Stram.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dawson! now, Taylor! now, Tyler and Robinson!
On, Bell! On, Lanier!, on Thomas and Richardson!
To the top of the stadium! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the stadium top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of footballs, and Hank Stram too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on a seat
The prancing and pawing of each big cleat.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the tunnel Hank Stram came with a bound.

He was dressed trench coat, with a hat and a playsheet,
And his clothes were all tarnished with grass stains and feet.
A bundle of footballs he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the jowls of his cheeks, reflected off the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the lockers, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, to midfield he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Just keep matriculatin’ the ball down the field, boys and all will be right”