Mac Wilkey

Rookie - 19 Points (October 9,1948 / Dayton, Tennessee)

Fullback Jack

Poem by Mac Wilkey

Well, you’ve heard of Jim Thorpe and the other greats,
But have you heard of a fellow who really rates
A notch ahead of that Indian back?
He was rough and tough—old Fullback Jack.

He stood six foot eight and weighed three forty-five,
And there’s hardly a player who’s still alive
That ever met Jack in an open field
Without being maimed, trampled, or killed.

He carried the ball on the back of his hip,
But no fool coach ever gave Jack lip.
He could carry the ball in a purse if he pleased,
And Fullback Jack would never be teased.

It’s said that his team had only one play –
Give the ball to Jack and get out of his way.
They called that play “Old Forty-Four”;
Nine times out of ten it brought them a score.

For fourteen years, Jack’s big team won
Every game that they played and were ranked number one
‘Til they ran up against a team called “The Grays”
Who used a multiple offense and other such plays.

Jack’s team led at the half by “a ton”
And everyone figured they’d already won
When off of the bench came a short, squatty guy
With one long arm and a “radar” eye.

He threw that ball the length of the field
To any spot or man that he willed,
And Jack, who was playing for one of the backs
Tackled each man – dropped him dead in his tracks.

He followed each pass as it flew through the air
And made every tackle – no matter where.
‘Til injured receivers were leaving the field,
And the fans just knew one was sure to be killed.

Then it happened, and people who saw it that day
Were so shook up that they missed the next play.
The one-armed fellow who passed for “The Grays”
Dropped back for a pass like the rest of the plays.

He threw that ball over hard-charging hands,
And he threw it so hard it would land in the stands.
Everyone knew it was “well out of play”
Except Fullback Jack who well on his way.

As soon as the ball left the quarterback’s hand,
Old Jack started for the spot it would land;
He watched its flight, and he built up speed –
Yes, on that ball his attention was keyed.

Fullback Jack hit the concrete wall
With a great impact but his “eye on the ball”.
The wall just crumbled, but Jack did too,
And all that was left was “icky” and “goo”

Where Jack hit the wall, a gate now stands,
And through it come all the football fans.
Each of them reads the plaque on the gate,
“This is the spot where Jack met his fate”.

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Read poems about / on: football, concrete, fate, people, running

Poem Submitted: Thursday, February 3, 2005