I left Spain in 1940 and after some years found myself in Idaho. The leaves are yellow on the cottonwoods there and the wind brings a coolness to the rooming houses. I was driving the road one day and saw a mountain and in its foothills lay a small tavern. The sign along the road said welcome to Boise. I did not stop at the sign. I kept on driving. There was no pulloff there for pulling over to look at the welcome sign.
I went into the tavern and ordered grappa. What is grappa, said the bartender. So instead I ordered white wine and nachos. The nachos came with meat and tomatoes and yellow cow’s milk cheese. I dipped pieces of fried cornmeal into the meat mixture and tipped the plate to drink the oil of the meat, and then I washed it down with the crisp white wine. What the hell are you doing, asked the bartender. I gazed at the cheese as it hardened on the plate. I have unseen scars, you see.
A small television flickered in the corner and it displayed a blue field. It was a field for football. A boy’s game. The game of a boy before he goes to a woman. Before he knows the true sport of man — that of hunting another man. In the dark. Or the autumn.
I wonder if Nevada will beat Maryland in the Humanitarian Bowl, said a man on the stool next to me. I wanted to tell the fool that for a humanitarian to bowl there would first need to be humans. Nevada has a lot of good runners including their quarterback, he said. What’s the good in running. I ran but not to escape and I escaped anyway but it was not to freedom.
Colin Kaepernick is the Wolf Pack quarterback and he is the WAC player of the year. He can run like the cool clear stream behind Ochoa’s house just east of Andalusia. Marko Mitchell is their primary wideout and Via Taua is their tailback. They are both first-team all WAC and they can dance like fine bulls or trouts on the spawn. The offense averages 37.8 points per game. The defense allowed 31.5. That is not very good. For the Terps, Darrius Heyward-Bey has this last game to prove his draft mettle. Those in Maryland, for the sake of the game if not his return to school, may hope that he takes full advantage of this opportunity. Maryland says its true strength is defense but it finished ninth in the ACC in total defense and I do not see how they can say defense is a strength when they cannot defend themselves. Offenses can break boys and will know that day that they killed but they will do the killing and they will go on.
There are forces and there are objects but these are all weak and eventually they will all die and their dreams will feed the cottonwoods. When the prize is 8-5 there are no long lines for the barrera seats.
The Boise State field is blue. Like the blue fields of Kilamanjaro.
I left the tavern and went out into the street.
Final prediction: Nevada 37.8, Maryland 31.5