It’s a question that needs to be asked.
This week, the NFL announced that inaugural poet laureate Amanda Gorman would be performing an original poem before the Super Bowl. According to HuffPost, Gorman will “perform a poem honoring the three people tapped by the league to serve as honorary captains for the Super Bowl this year…[t]he trio consists of nurse Suzie Dorner, educator Trimaine Davis and Marine Corps veteran James Martin.”
Now, no matter which way you lean, it’s hard to downplay how great Ms. Gorman’s poem, and the reading of said poem, was on Inauguration Day. Even if you didn’t like it, our poet laureate has the resumé to shut pretty much any of us down. According to her website, theamandagorman.com, Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, graduated cum laude from Harvard, and has performed for the White House and Lin Manuel Miranda.
Great move by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL here, incorporating poetry with the sports.
But wait a minute…hasn’t someone else been doing this for a while now? Bringing prose and pros together to spin a story involving athletics is one dynamic idea. Where did the NFL get this idea? That’s right…
Whether you’ve been rocking with UDS from day one or just started checking us out a week ago, you would have noticed our weekly recurring series, Sunday State of Mind. We take the week that was in sports and recap it with truly, truly awful rhyme schemes and wording that would make real poets like Amanda Gorman question the art form of poetry itself. You can read some examples of our exemplary work here, here, and here.
This has nothing to do with Amanda Gorman, who has more talent in per pinky finger than most other writers today. Totally innocent in all of this; who wouldn’t want to perform at the Super Bowl?
All I’m saying is…we’ve been on this sports poetry tip for a while. All of the sudden the NFL comes barging in and totally jocking our schtick by incorporating one of the country’s best poets into the biggest game of the year? I’m calling shenanigans. I see through it, Goodell, and I just want you to know that.