Thursday, December 20, 2007

Scrabble Football

This morning in the unfathomable void between sleep and consciousness, I conjured up a bizarre game that conflated Scrabble and American football.

Tucked in the primal warmth of sheet and blanket, I had a bleary vision of defensive linemen designated as vowels, linebackers as consonants and safeties as wild-card blanks.

The objective of this fuzzy-minded game was to encourage gang tackling. Players involved in the tackle would “spell out” a two- or three-, or even four-letter word.

(I warned you this would be strange.)

At the end of the play, after the players untangle themselves, the defense huddles — quickly — to decide what combination of letters, worn on the players’ uniforms, makes a word with the most points.

Any word of from three to five points results in a five-yard “Scrabble penalty” against the offense. Five or above brings a 10-yard penalty. If the defense takes more than 30 seconds to confer or fails to form a word of at least three points, they are penalized five yards.

That’s pretty much it. The lifting fog of my semi-consciousness didn’t allow for anything more, which is probably a good thing.

Don’t ask what any of this means. It could be the utter whimsy of random synapse firings or the onset of some age-related dementia.

Then again it could simply result from an inner conflict that I am watching far too little football to qualify as a normal American male — and playing way too much Scrabble (notably with my mother-in-law).

It’s tough to do both at the same time, unless the defense consists of vowels and consonants and ….

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