Exodus NW: The Plague of the Jocks


    Now it has been written that, at the dawning of the Third Millennium, there was joy in the Land of Sasquatch. For, after years of famine and disappointment, the sports gods did smile upon the people.
   Behold, the Huskies won 11 games, and were victorious at the Bowl of Roses. And Ichiro the Quick and Edgar the Ancient led the lowly Mariners to a hundred victories and more, and they overthrew even the evil Yankees. And the Seahawks, led by Shawn the Sure-Footed, won many victories and were elevated to the Bowl of Bowls. And the lowly Sonics won, owing to the many heroic deeds of Gary the Glove.
     And the people of the Land of Sasquatch were most pleased, praising the shooters of basketballs and hitters of baseballs and carriers of footballs. And they built great Palaces iin honor of  their champions, and paid for them by levying hotel taxes upon innocent visitors.
    Now it came to pass, in the reign of Gregory the XL, that there arose a new master of the Sonics, and his name was Clay the Philistine. And the Philistine desired that the players of basketball should journey from the Land of Sasquatch unto the Land Flowing with Milk and Honey, which he believed to be somewhere in Oklahoma.
   But, yea verily, the Sonics had rendered a solemn oath to play many more years at the Basketball Palace, in the center of the Land of Sasquatch.
    So Clay said unto Gregory XL: “The Basketball Palace is no longer satisfactory, for the wealthy Pharisees demandeth to sit on high upon the skyboxes, but the Basketball Palace hath too few skyboxes. Therefore we beseech thee to construct a greater Basketball Palace.
    At this, Gregory the XL was confused. And he went before the people and asked of them: “Shall we build a greater Basketball Palace for Clay the Philistine?”
     And they people said with a loud voice: “Nay! A thousand times Nay! For verily we hath not yet paid for the old palace.”
   And so Gregory XL said unto the Philistine: There shall be no new palace.
   Now Clay the Philistine was greatly troubled. And he said unto Gregory XL: “Thou hast spurned by request. So therefore I shall take my players of basketball and travel through the wilderness to the Land Flowing with Milk and Honey.”
    But Gregory XL said: “Thou canst not violate thine oath.”
And the Philistine said: “I will make sacrifices and burnt offerings to the people, and thus satisfy my oath to play in the Basketball Palace.”
    But Gregory’s heart was hardened. And he said: “Send us not thy burnt offerings, but only thy players of basketball.”
    So the Philistine said unto him: “Therefore we shall journey to the Land Flowing with Milk and Honey. Let my players go!”
    But Gregory’s heart remained hardened, so that he spurned the Philistine’s entreaties.
    And so the Philistine became angrier so that he fell upon the ground and swooned. And he summoned his magicians for advice. And lo the Philistine held forth his staff, and waved it, and said onto the people of Sasquatch: “Woe upon thee, and especially upon thine sports palaces!”
   And it came to pass that a great cloud descended upon the Land of Sasquatch. And while the rest of the world became warmer, there were only dark clouds and cold rain across the land of Sasquatch, even unto the month of June.
   And Clay said: “Let my players go!” But Gregory’s heart remained hardened.
   So the Philistine waved his rod and caused a Plague of Jocks. And, lo, the Husky football coach bore false witness, so that he was banished into the wilderness. And the Husky players flunked beginning basketweaving, or were arrested for sundry crimes, and were disqualified so that the Huskies could not defeat the Beavers, much less the Trojans.
And the Philistine caused Shawn the Sure-footed to be injured, so that the Seahawks no longer journeyed to the Bowl of Bowls.
    And Jamie, He of the Slow Pitch, was banished to the Land of the Phillies. And Edgar the Ancient and Jay of the Bones retired to green pastures, so that only Ichiro the Quick remained. And the Mariners were victorious no more, but instead humiliated the people of the Land of Sasquatch.
   And the Players of Basketball were scattered asunder unto far-off lands, and were replaced by lesser players. And the people were humiliated further.
   Trouble and discontent spread across the Land of Sasquatch. And the people descended into the streets of the city and fell down to rend their T-shirts. And they erected a great burning altar among the sports palaces, and brought their Ms caps and Ichiro bobblehead dolls and Gary the Glove hooded sweatshirts, and cast them upon the fire, crying aloud: “Woe upon us, for these are indeed the darkest days ever in the Land of Sasquatch.”
    And they went unto the High Priest, and beseeched her to prevent the lesser players of basketball from journeying into the wilderness. And amongst the plaintiffs was one Sherman, the Poet, who said unto the High Priest: “We beseech thee to prevent our players of basketball from journeying to foreign lands. For unto us, the players of basketball are as Greek gods.”
    At this, the clouds parted, and a bright light shone from the Heavens. And the bright light produced a Very Deep Voice which said: “Greek Gods! What hath been wrought upon the Land of Sasquatch?”
   And the Very Deep Voice became deeper still, and said: “Verily I say unto you, people of Sasquatch: Get thee a life.”

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