The Rose Bowl, Act the Firste

Editorial Note: I didn’t have any particular insight into the Rose Bowl wherein USC worked over Illinois, so plainly the thing to do is a literary re-interpretation of the game. Each quarter will get its own post… once I get round to writing the other three. Parody is hard, y’all.

The Rose Bowl, Act the First.

Enter Emeril, a Jester Chef, a referee, and the Players from USC and Illinois

Emeril: POW!

Referee: Hush, the Jester Chef approaches, for the tossing of the ceremonial silver

[Emeril flips a coin.]

Referee: Indeed Dame Fortune does not smile upon the Illini, who must defer to the merciless Hordes of the West!

A Trojan: Faith, ’tis not just to describe us as merciless, when we but tackle as commanded

Referee: Argue not, young Trojan, lest I throw a call to the Illini later

A Trojan: Whatevs, faithless referee, thy lords in Connecticut demand fealty and you shall throw no flags

Referee: [to the audience] Indeed it is so, I must be true to my commands. In truth, it is no hardship; though I hate to bow to the Trojans, richly do I love to torment the Bruins.

A Trojan: We shall defer to the Illini, if only out of curiosity.


[Upon the sideline of the Illini]

Zook: Fear not, my brave sons of Chief Illiniwek, the spread offense shall leave these Trojans stricken in our wake, and powerless to prevent our advance [headbutts a camera stand.]

Juice Williams: Though it is not my place to argue, Sire, hath thou not noticed their Samoan Warrior? He speaks little, but his actions reveal his contempt for those such as myself

Zook: He has contempt but no control, young man, and will whisper past you as a spring breeze in his over-commitment

Juice Williams: so be it sire, and if not, I have faith in my brother Mendenhall

Mendenhall: I am not fooled, sire, by the gaudy colors across the field, they are soft and know the fear of trees and ducks. They shall not stop me.

Zook: It is well that you have faith, younglings, go forth and conquer.

[Across the field]

Pete Carroll: Angels, there is no fear, only joy. There are no excuses, only actions. Fly to the ball, be at their ankles as a starved hound, push them aside as if they were the first shoots of wheat in the spring fields – they shall not stop us.

All: Fight ON!

[The ball is kicked off].

Mendenhall: Faith, I shall rush through this team many times this day.

Williams: Huzzah, brother I shall pass

Mendenhall: Thy pass did not succeed but I shall

Williams: Your failure is my failure, brother, but we shall regain the path anon

Jackson: Thou shalt not, thou shalt punt.

[The Illini punt.]

Booty: Shall we not pass and rush to the fortress of the Illini, but 72 yards from this spot?

All: We shall

[A touchdown for USC ensues…]

Zook: Stay calm, young warriors – though their runners catch and their catchers run, we shall not be afraid.

Williams: Very well sire, I shall rush and pass as I can

Mendenhall: Perhaps, friend, I may try with our brother Weil, for some first downs?

Williams: We begin to roll, brothers, and we have some field to our backs – now we shall start to show these Trojans that we are made of sterner stuff!

Maualuga: Indeed you throw the ball with great strength, Juice, and I was sorely pressed to hold on to it – but hold on to it I shall.

Illini, Omnes: Oh noes, say we.

Sarkisian: [sotto voce] Let us not toy with the emotions of these Illini – I am of no mind to wait for further satisfaction. Let the slattern enjoy our sudden thrust, anon

Trojans, Omnes: Sorry?

Sarkisian: [sighs] You shall turn the heads of the Illini with a trick play, for they recognize not our humble knight Green for his marksmanship. He shall throw to the cripple Reed, and there shall be celebration aplenty.

Reed: Cruel fortune has left me adrift, my liege, but still I can run in the cause of victory!

Sarkisian: You are brave, young Reed, but your valor cannot undo the cruel ravages of the unmowed grasses of South Bend upon thy knee.

Reed: Alas, Sire, it is so, but who can blame the Irish? Their chieftain Weis consumed the flock that had feasted on the field, the grass grew as it must, and my knee was sorrier for’t.

Carroll: Hush, angels, and take the field – we can do naught for the past but bury it.

Trojans, Omnes: Fight on!

[They take the field, and score]

Williams: We crash against these Trojans as a wave on a rock – time wears down rocks but I fear we have it not…

[The Illini punt again.]

Booty: Verily, y’all, though there be an error or two, I feel we have the measure of them

Harrison: You have made a measure, but only measured as far as my arms, the ball is ours!

Booty: As my receiver slips, so does my rating; tis as well that the defense is stout

Williams: Fortune smiles upon us, let us scale their walls

Mendenhall: I run, and catch, and we are closer, fortune smiles upon us indeed

The Trojan Offensive Line: We smile not, and you shall run not.

Reda: I shall place the ball over the wall and through the uprights, here begins our resistance! [Misses the kick.] Dame Fortune has turned her back upon us, the bitch!

Jackson: Men see their smile and think that it is Dame Fortune’s, tis no different when they cry forlorn bitch!

END of Act the First.


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