’Twas the night before the opener, when all through our home
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Gaffer Gnome;
The kits were hung in the lockers with care,
In hopes that Saint Paul soon would be there;
The rookies were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of dummy runs danced in their heads;
And Kallman in his kerchief, and Ike in his cap,
Had just settled down for a mid-April nap,
When out on the Great Lawn there arose such a clatter,
Jan sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the Brew Hall he sped like a horse,
Raised the garage doors that overlook the concourse.
The stadium lights on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of kickoff to objects below,
When, what did appear past the bricks and the mortar,
But a shuttle from the Fairgrounds and a few thousand supporters,
And fans upon fans, some short and some tall,
Who had all come to see tomorrow’s game in Saint Paul.
More rapid than loons, the people they came,
And they whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Darwin! Now, Ozzie! Now, Calvo and Finlay!
On, Vito! On, Boxy! On, Schuller and Miggy!
To the top of the box! Put it over the wall!
Now overlap! Overlap! Overlap all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So onto the field the players they flew
And Saint Paul cheered them on, plus the rest of Minnesota too—
And then, in a twinkling, I saw gameday so clearly
A stadium packed to the rafters — or just about nearly.
Concession stands humming, the pretzels warm and soft,
On corner kicks the crowd stands with scarves held aloft;
Attackers interrogate the opposing team’s backline,
Defenders hold strong ’til the ref blows for full time.
The cheers rise up from fans in blue, black and grey
Because it’s now become clear: Today is gonna be the day.
As the song sailed away and up into the air,
The vision dissolved and I was left standing there,
The stadium empty, the concourse was quiet,
The United sculpture lit up and PK right by it;
We stood for a while, just taking it in,
Then he turned and he waved before he raised up his wings,
But I heard him exclaim, ere he flew out of sight—
“Scarves up to all, and to all a good night!”