Chiefs to Ravens: “Nevermore!”


I thought since the Chiefs would be taking on the Ravens tonight that it would be cool to re-run one of the best posts in AA’s history, staff writer Victor Wishna’s poem “Chiefs to Ravens: “Nevermore!” Victor’s crafted a poem based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” weaving together some very difficult verse. You can read it below and you can listen to Victor read the piece on NPR Kansas City. -PA

On Sunday, the AFC West Champion Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Wild Card Baltimore Ravens, perhaps the only NFL team that is also a literary reference (with the possible exception of the Chicago Bears, who are actually named—though this is not well known—for “The Berenstain Bears”).

So at the risk of turning this into a poetry blog (see here and here), I hope you’ll indulge my lyrical rallying call to the task at hand—with all apologies to Edgar Allan Poe (and none whatsoever to the Baltimore Ravens).

The Raiders turned my Sunday dreary, and I pondered, pissed and weary,
How my fair Chiefs could wind up on the biz’ness end of such a score.
But a new faith then came to me, like an arrowhead shot through me:
“There’s no need to feel so gloomy,” I grinned, “we have what we’ve yearned for—
More than we expected. We’re knocking, knocking on that playoff door!
Think of that and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember, ‘twas that last week of December,
Once the Chiefs had topped the Titans, the Chargers finished up the chore.
They choked hard in Cincinnati—Carson Palmer? He’s your daddy!
And then everyone went batty, for the Chiefs were West Champs once more!
Yes, playoff thrills, gone too long from Arrowhead, would come home once more—
Not since seven years before!

But into our dread sea of red, which contender was soon to tread?
While Haley refused to discuss, playoff matchups we did explore.
It would probably be the Jets—on that contest, pundits laid bets
(Such as Mitch Holtus and Bob Gretz) that against New York we might score.
It seemed a fine wager, since Sanchez is lame, Rex Ryan a bore—
A loud-mouthed oaf, nothing more.

But one Week-Seventeen stumble, and despite a late Colts fumble,
Peyton Manning—ever humble—made good, and our Three Seed’s no more.
So now the Chiefs have dropped a spot, we take a look at who we’ve got,
And see a team that’s running hot: ‘Tis the Ravens of Baltimore.
The Chiefs must meet and then defeat those dreary birds from Baltimore.
Victory—no less, no more.

Their defense filled with ex-convicts, they’ve prevailed in most their conflicts,
Finishing the reg’lar season at an impressive twelve-and-four.
With grit and occasional flare, a quarterback from Delaware,
A running game with yards to spare—they have a tendency to score.
John Harbaugh will have them ready, and single-minded to the core—
To their dirty, rotten core.

No respect from the Vegas spread—we’re underdogs at Arrowhead!
Our Chiefs are all but left for dead by those who think that they know more.
But those “tough” Ravens? We’ll show ’em! Hell, their team’s named for a poem!
And they’re a long way from ho’me—K.C. ain’t the Maryland shore.
From Chesapeake they come to drown, and sink to the Red Ocean floor—
Gasp, gasp, and breathe nevermore.

Before Charlie Weis can resign, Jamaal Charles will slash through their line,
And Cassel, in form, is divine, hitting Bowe in stride for a score.
While on Flacco, Tamba will feast, and the Brandons take west and east,
To swat or pick—if it’s released—any pass that happens to soar.
DJ, Berry, Dorsey, and Shaun then surge in to slam shut the door.
Quoth the defense, “Never score!”

I smell a win, so here’s prayin’, when the teams are all done playin,’
I’ll dine not on crow, but Raven—and then just desserts galore.
But I shan’t over-celebrate, because Pitt or the Pats await,
And Raven bones cleaned from their plate, the Chiefs will just hunger for more.
The first playoff win since Joe Cool will leave us all starving for more—
Ravenous for days of yore.

So if Ravens fans are giddy—well, welcome to Kansas City.
I warn you, it won’t be pretty. Get ready for blood, guts, and gore.
We’re glad to have you in town, but here’s how it’s going to go down:
One long drive, then one more, and then another, another Chiefs score,
Grinding those birds and pushing them back, all the way to Baltimore—
Bleeding, pleading, “Nevermore!”