John F. McCullagh

Gold Star - 5,123 Points (09/28/1954 / Flushing)

Sweetness - Poem by John F. McCullagh

We had traveled here to Canton to the football hall of fame.
I made the pilgrimage with my brother; He's a student of the game.
There were many fine exhibits, photos in my mind ingrained:
Y.A. Tittle, his blood gushing, was kneeling in a world of pain.
Ameche flying towards the goal in Football's greatest game.
As our visit was near an end, we stood before a plaque.
It read Walter J. Payton; Chicago Bears (great)running back.
We read the records he had held; some since have been surpassed.
They play more games now in the NFL than they did in the past.
"Numbers aren't all that matter." My brother patiently explained.
"Not the true measure of this man and how he played the game."
"True he was his team's heart and soul and ranked among the best;
it was for compassion towards his fellow man that he is called "Sweetness"."
Payton died still a young man. I'd know that much before.
It was only then I noticed he was born in Fifty Four.
I'd started my own journey then; now he's gone and I remain.
I've never been the man he was and I never played the game.
Imagine what one man can do with his time here on earth,
"Sweetness" valued everyone above what we are worth.

Topic(s) of this poem: football

Form: Ode

Poet's Notes about The Poem

A tribute To Walter J. Payton, American, who had he lived would have been 63

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, December 10, 2017

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