Ode to Sports: Pats & Nats, a roster from A(stros) to Z(ion)

A year now passes. How’d I know?

Analytics guys told me so.

They crunched the data. What’s it mean?

Anyone’s guess: 2019.

First Quarter

‘Bama toppled, it’s Clemson’s prize –

White House visit, with burgers, fries.

Fury nearing incoherence,

Saints aghast: No interference?

Super Bowl is kind of boring –

Pats and Brady, not much scoring.

Hall of Fame vote, Sandman enters.

All Rivera, no dissenters.

Osaka sure looks here to stay.

Australia makes her resume.

The neck, the back, the aching knees –

Vonn calls it quits, hangs up her skis.

Taking it to the hoop and hilt,

James Harden scores on pace with Wilt.

Daytona: Hamlin has the car.

It’s 1-2-3 for JGR.

Machado, Padres get all sweet.

Zion’s sneaker is shredded wheat.

Harper’s contract gilds the lily,

A quick ride north up to Philly.

Kraft is busted, cries sabotage.

He simply wanted a massage.

Adidas big-shot goes to jail.

Is college basketball for sale?

Does Nike dine on this foul stew?

Well, Avenatti says it’s true.

Horses die at alarming rates.

Santa Anita shuts its gates.

LeBron and Lakers, not much clout.

Beckham, Giants are down and out.

Baseball season steps to the plate.

Soon homers, K’s at record rate.

Baylor women edge Notre Dame.

Ogunbowale’s off her game.

Virginia’s men can puff their chest,

With last year’s knockout put to rest.

Second Quarter

The Lakers, Magic Johnson … done.

He wasn’t having any fun.

Spring arrives with freshening signs.

Woods stands tall in the Georgia pines.

Hugs and chants and exultation,

Masters crown, a restoration.

Caster Semenya spurned in court

Over testosterone in sport.

Derby? Boy, that’s one big muddle.

The horse in front jumps a puddle.

The stewards rule he interfered

And take him down. How’s that for weird?

Four bounces and Kawhi’s shot falls.

No-name horses in Preakness stalls.

Abuse, assault back in the day —

Ohio State just looked away.

Brooks Koepka hangs on, Bethpage Black.

Indy: Pagenaud owns the track.

Boxing: Joshua’s decked, and hard.

Ruiz is more than vats of lard.

Nadal’s 12th title on French clay –

We toast! A vintage Montrachet.

Outrage, mayhem in D.R. –

Big Papi’s shot in back at bar.

Golden State fans get the willies.

Durant goes down, torn Achilles.

Blues surge from last to Stanley Cup.

Play “Gloria” with volume up.

Warriors tamed, new champs go forth.

Toronto triumphs, We The North.

Koepka tested at Pebble Beach –

Third straight Open is out of reach.

Durant, Jordan, Kemba, Kyrie:

Free agents? Please! Fait accompli.

Third Quarter

Angels shaken in disbelief –

Tyler Skaggs and a wave of grief.

Wimbledon’s next and from afar

Comes Coco Gauff, uncharted star.

The Clippers score, Kawhi is signed,

With sidekick Paul George close behind.

Rapinoe, World Cup, USA.

Stadium bellows: “Equal pay!”

Rockets backcourt stoked, ignited –

Westbrook, Harden reunited.

Novak, Roger play on and on –

Five-set Wimbledon marathon.

Shane Lowry has the game and guile –

British Open, Emerald Isle.

Tour de France, Colombia’s day –

Young Egan Bernal speeds away.

Trade deadline: Greinke to the ‘stros.

Rich get richer, that’s how it goes.

Jay-Z, football find each other.

Rapper gives the league some cover.

Antonio Brown, his life’s a tweet:

His helmet, mouth, his blistered feet.

Raiders cut him; Pats chart new course

But not for long – buyer’s remorse.

In pain, an orthopedic mess,

Luck retires to convalesce.

Open opens, Serena rolls

And rakes Maria over coals,

But not Andreescu, one tough test –

Yes, She The North (South, East and West).

One-hundredth season, NFL:

Push and promote, market and sell.

Quarterbacks battered left and right

But still no Kaepernick in sight.

In college sports, the model cracks –

California has athletes’ backs.

Soon NCAA comes aboard,

Admits it’s not almighty Lord.

Fourth Quarter

A GM’s tweet sets off a brawl:

Human rights vs. Chinese wall.

Adam Silver attempts to say,

We simply don’t play ball that way.

Biles is golden, deft, elastic –

Ruler of all things gymnastic.

For Tiger, one more mighty deed,

His 82 wins linked to Snead.

Washington, really? Can that be?

First World Series since ’33.

Strasburg, Rendon, all of ‘em showed

How best to live life on the road,

Making home at Minute Maid Park

While making music, “Baby Shark.”

Niners perfect, top banana,

Like old times with Joe Montana.

Wounded Warriors dealt bad hand.

This time Curry … break up the band.

Breeders’ Cup Classic, fade to black –

An ambulance is on the track.

“Load management” is now in vogue.

Astros, sign-stealing, going rogue.

Helmet-swinging, prime-time attack.

Myles Garrett can’t take this one back.

Kaepernick’s tryout: scouts dispatched,

A busted play, with strings attached.

Tua’s bloodied, his hip a mess,

His face a mask of pain, distress.

Kyle Busch takes NASCAR and what’s clear

Joe Gibbs’ kingdom has no peer.

Russian dopers get stern rebuke.

Stephen F. Austin wins at Duke!

The college playoff? This will do:

Two Tigers, Sooners, OSU.

Then Marvin Miller makes the Hall;

Gerrit Cole thanks him for his haul.

A Cajun Heisman runaway —

Burrow, bayou and etouffee.

So many doubts he'd get this far,

A league's now smitten with Lamar.

The year’s soon gone, in the books,

And who’s to say just how it looks?

Off we go. Goodbye to all that.

We’ve had our final turn at bat

And one last shot from way downtown.

Now 2020 … double down.

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