Jeremy Bloom — yes, the Jeremy from The D- Poems of Jeremy Bloom — is in trouble with his poetry teacher. She's offering him a chance to pull up the D- grade he received last year, but there's a catch — he has to write more poetry. And Jeremy's just not psyched about spending another year writing poetry when there are all those sports teams he wants to try out for. He's especially not psyched when she turns out to be a sports fan who jinxes his team into a never-ending losing streak. But then, maybe the agony of defeat isn't a bad emotion to try to get across in a poem . . .
When Mrs. Stegowitz expressed interest in taking in a hockey game, Michael and Chad were skeptical.
"Mrs. Stegosaurus doesn't have another hat, does she?" Chad asked. "And maybe this one looks like a puck?" Chad was a pretty sarcastic guy sometimes.
"Don't be stupid!" Jeremy scoffed. "It's indoors, so she won't wear a hat. Plus I'll get her to sit in the back. Nothing can go wrong. I guarantee it."
Sure enough, at game time, Mrs. Stegowitz was in the very last row of seats, right up against the arena scoreboard.
The game was end-to-end action. The Jets were the superior team, but the opposing goalie was making some spectacular saves. His brilliant play was preserving a narrow 2-1 lead over the Jets. Suddenly, a lead pass found Jeremy in the clear. He spun around and charged for the net on a clean breakaway, intent on tying the score at 2. He crossed the red line! He crossed the blue line!
The spectators roared to their feet, and with them rose Mrs. Stegowitz. As she flung her arms over her head, her purse swing back into the scoreboard, hitting the button that reset the game clock. The timer immediately went to zero, and the green light came on. The siren howled, signifying the end of the period.
Deflated and disappointed, Jeremy stopped in his tracks.
"Keep playing!" bellowed the referee. "The period's not over yet!"
A defenseman blindsided Jeremy. His helmet went one way, his stick another, but Jeremy himself was propelled straight through the goalie's legs into the net. The puck, unfortunately, wasn't with him.
Orr had his spin-o-rama,
Gretzky, his behind-the-net wraparound.
All marquee hockey players
Perfect a trademark move.
Mine is skating full speed
Into the boards, stick first
Jamming the butt-end
Deep into my stomach.
It won't help me make the NHL,
But it will give me
A unique perspective
On how a shish kebab must feel.