I’m not superstitious and don’t buy into the “bad things come in threes” idea, but I have to admit, when something bad happens, the thought does cross my mind. I first thought to write this as a story, but decided to give it a shot in poetic form. If you don’t know anything about football, it probably won’t make a lick of sense; but if you do, you might get a “kick” out of it. It’s kind of about more than football, just uses football to make a point about life. So give it a read if you have time. Thanks.


They say

Bad things come in threes

But I never heard it said

About good things

It reminds me of a guy kicking a field goal

You know

The one that’ll knock you out of the playoffs

End your season



Standing there in the D backfield

Wishing you were ten feet tall

So you could leap into the air

Knock the pigskin into the next county

Then do the discount doublecheck

For the whole dang world to see



But instead, you watch

As the kicker takes that first step

Your eyes getting big as Brian Urlacher’s

That first Monday night

One big difference


Were filled with maniacal glee


Are filling with tears


The kicker’s second foot hits the turf

It’s like slow motion

And feels like he’s stepping on your heart

You knew it was coming

When they converted

Who runs the dang ball

On third and twelve

With the game on the line



Remember your grandpa

Saying life ain’t fair

And the right guy don’t always win

The one

Who knows all the tricks

The one

Who’s willing to take chances

That’s the one

That’ll come out on top


And then everything clicks

Back to regular speed

The leg

Swings through

The ball

Sails over your head

The whole stadium quiet

Every head turning

Following the ball


And when it sails through the uprights

The sound comes back


Sounds like a million people screaming

But not for you

As you

Walk off the field

Trying to hold your head up


You know you’re supposed to

You know life will go on

But right now

It doesn’t seem like it will

Three steps…

Three points…

Game over…

They were right


Copyright © 2012 C Mashburn

Sharing this on dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link NIght #73 this afternoon.


  1. Bad things do seem to come in threes… only said that today as the third one hit! Anyway, loved your footy poem, I was on the winning end at the stadium watching a try unfold that took my team to the finals…was exactly as you described…though I lost my voice when I left the stadium. 🙂

    • I’m sorry to hear that third one hit. But you got to see that winning kick! Hang on to that meomory!

  2. Awe! So thats how i ended up being married times in my life HUH! and all along I thought that the Third time was a charm. “OH Well”… Blessings and thanks .. Bro Pat 🙂

  3. brian said

    haha i love the football imagery as we are pretty well fanatics at this point in the season and its heartbreaking in the moment…and we forget there is next week…and dang if we lose three in a row…well…maybe we will get a good draft pick and be back next year….smiles…really enjoyed man…

    • Yep. Fanatics one and all, even though some of us pretend not to care. HA!
      Thanks, Brian!

  4. Grace said

    I am a foot ball fan but you have captured the intense moments…its long between winning and losing the game ~

    I am not superstitious….fate is fate, and you do your darn best to tackle it to your advantage ~

  5. Pat Hatt said

    What happens happens as far as I know but if you look you can sure find three in a row!

  6. Don’t play feeling but know the feeling. The three aspect cute, though a deeper story than that I felt. Agh. k.

  7. Mary said

    Don’t know which specific game inspired this poem, but do know I am glad that the Green Bay Packers are pulling it together at the moment despite so many injuries. And also that Mason Crosby, their kicker, is managing to do HIS job most of the time….despite his recent slump. Football, like life, has ups and downs. Hoping for more UPS than DoWNS, as we all are.

    • No specific game, Mary. Was more about life in general, just used a common football occurence as a parallel.

  8. Maybe both good and bad happen in threes….like third time’s a charm.

    • A good point, although I see a flaw in the reasoning; The third times the charm usually indicates the first two were not so optimum, and maybe even bad. Juss sayin.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  9. Really liked this one. The whole thing about 3’s and then tying it together with football. Genius!

  10. Raven said

    Charles, I was glad for the intro re: football. It gave me all I needed to get into the “game.” I enjoyed the quickness of the game and the feeling that came with it. I could move along with you, even keep up.

  11. Well you just wrote my grandson’s heart. He’s captain of his 3A team in Navarro. They played San Isabel in the playoffs last Friday. They led for the whole game in the last 30 seconds SI tied the game. It went into overtime. SI won the toss and got a td and extra point first. Then Navarro fumbled when it was their turn, the game was over. The difference had come because Navarro missed their first extrapoint kick and never could make the two point conversions to get more than 6 points ahead. Heartbreaking,…and life. It does go on, but the game stays on rewind for quite a few years as I’m sure you know.

    • Oh, man, that IS tough! I guess I’ve seen about every scenario from both sides of the ball. You win some you lose some, and yes, some of the losses hurt for a few years.
      Thanks for the read and comment, Gail!

  12. ayala said

    This is great 🙂 love it !

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