an (imperfect) zork

The 1982 Championship

An Epic in Rhyme
by Manus Hand

a goal on a zork court
A cold day dawned, the frozen ground
Lay waiting for the battle
"To school!" the morning's cry did sound
"Go hear your teachers' prattle!"

With bleary face and tired mind
Pubescent students go
Their notes to take, their friendships bind
Their fashion sense to show

Among these multitudes were found,
Among these herded cattle,
Four men who knew the frozen ground
Lay waiting for the battle

Four men who planned their every day
Around the treasured zork
Not caring that everyone else
Thought each one was a dork

These four, these grizzled, hardened four
Knew this not every day
For after lunch, they'd out the door
...For champion's rights they'd play

Not for a heavy trophy fair
For naught except the knowledge
That victory would leave one pair
Last Zorkball champs 'ere college

'Twas nineteen eighty two when came
That game of Zorkball lore
No fan of this most hallowed game
Need be told any more

The morning crawled, the four await
The traditional pre-game meal
While in the halls, the hand of fate
Answers one team's appeal

An appeal to the Zorkball gods
To Ozone's grace profound
That this team might defeat the odds
And champions be crowned

Then lo, the signal bell did call
And off to feast they run
With nerves on edge, but courage tall
They faced the winter sun

Then from his pack, one of the men
Per ritual and plan
Removed the disk that once had been
A Dr. Pepper can

And so the game was underway
The championship match began
No points would tally on that day
But by the best of man

A kick, a pass, the defense jarred!
Into the zone they follow
And at the post they quick stand guard
They know there's no tomorrow

The feet they fly, the zork reacts
It skips on frozen dirt
It nears the post, and then abacks
And finally out it squirts

They chase, these four, these bravest four,
They chase it in the grass
Till zork in hand, they chase no more
And then, a sudden pass

A pass! Into the zone again!
Alone, the teammate stands
No defense there, but woe is him
The passed zork hits his hand!

And with the handzork call the game
No longer scoreless stood
One down, the sullen teammates came
To swear their vengeance good

They passed, they kicked, they reached the hose
The zork they then flung down
From flailing feet it then arose
And made that awesome sound

That clang, that wondrous precious clang
Aluminum on steel
That said -- nay, all would say it sang --
"Tie game!" was its loud peal

And from this start the game progressed
And Zorkball history made
These four men gave their very best
Their greatest Zorkball played

With one team clinging to a lead
Then fate its hand would play
One goal the difference when the deed
That would decide the day

Stood Matt (or Tay), out in the court
With zork in hand afar
A goal their lead and time was short
To victory no bar

Awaiting only just the bell
That would give them the win
But suddenly stood Sean as well
Starting to count to ten

Delay of game would be the call
If play was not resumed
So to the ground the zork did fall
And through the air it zoomed

The zork flew fast and far and strong
Out of the field of play
"Chipzork!" the cry arose like song
Sean fetched and Manus stayed

Stayed in the zone with Tay and Matt
Who pressed themselves before
The post -- for should the zork hit that
The game would tie once more

The zork, most carefully, was placed
Upon the curb, askew
The defense huddled, then one raced
To challenge as it flew

Alas! the outer defense fails
The zork heads for the goal
The four in silence stand like rails
One pressed against the pole

Then Manus breaks his silence and
"Two-Handing!" is his boast
For lo, the defense has both hands
Upon the sacred post

And as his last syllable rang
And all eyes turned to see
The penalty, the zork it clanged
Against "No Parking"'s "P"

"Two points!" the claim, "One from the goal
The other from your crime"
And though they begged to disagree
The bell had rung the time

Now Tay and Matt claim to this day
(And doubtless will their heirs)
The championship, by the week-long match,
A tie-game had made theirs

Of course, they're wrong, they're very wrong
Their claim a vicious lie
Unless I just made up this poem
The champs are Sean and I

So this, my friends, is how it came
To pass in Zorkball lore
Long after that immortal game
Was Zorkball played no more

So all you Zorkball players who
Now come to play this game
Remember well four founding fools
Who to that tundra came

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