By Grabthar's Hammer, ye football gods, we beseech you

Cardinals footballOn the eve of the University of Louisville's homecoming week, we ask these things of Grabthar, Set, Hut, and the entire pantheon of football gods:

The pantheon of football gods


Who are the football gods? This is the pantheon of football gods, as originally proposed by football columnist (and all-purpose pundit) Gregg Easterbrook and as refined by the football blog, Grabthar's Hammer:

  • Set and Hut, the twin Egyptian gods of pre-snap cadence and false starts.

  • Lambeau, god of cold games, who wreaks vengeance upon teams whose coaches overdress in ridiculous parkas in good weather.

  • Mozen, god of balanced attacks. Mozen evidently means "balance" in Chaldean.

  • Nike, goddess of marketing. Nike communicates her commands through commercials during the Super Bowl, her feast day.

  • Nortia, goddess of quarterbacks. Nortia is depicted as a vain young woman always with a mirror close at hand. Nortia is popular because of her beauty and does not like to admit she depends on her brother, Bardok, god of offensive lines. For his part, Bardok is a forgotten god with few followers.

  • Fumblius, bumbling little brother of the football gods. Even though no one invites him when the football gods gather, he always seems to show up anyway.

  • Tundra, spirit of frozen turf. She empowers teams with strong running games and is locked in eternal struggle with the capricious Westcoast, who smiles occasionally on pass-wacky teams, but whose favor is tenuous.

  • Fielding, god of clumsy tactics.

  • The chorus of the football gods is headed by John Facenda, deep-throated narrator who was known as "the voice of God" in the old NFL Films productions that dominated the era before ESPN's NFL Primetime.

  • The cheerleader deities are the sisters Sheer and Micro.

  • Quetzalfootbatl, pronounced "qwatch-EL-football," god of wide receivers. Quetzalfootbatl is bigheaded, prone to stunts, and actually believes he is open on every play.

  • Lambasthor, god of halftime tirades by coaches.

  • The chief god of the football gods is Grabthar, who looks down with disdain on practically everything that's happened to the game since he ascended.

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Cardinals! Football gods, hear our prayer Cardinals!

May we enjoy victory this week over the visiting University of Pittsburgh Panthers.

May the weather prove favorable, so that participants in the President's Tailgate will not be forced to sip their beer in 40-degree temperatures in driving rain.

UK football

Ye football gods, we know that you have a sense of humor. We ask, if only for this week, that you laugh at the expense of some other team. Might we suggest some teams from the Big 10, the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the Southeastern Conference, leagues whose teams are fuller of hubris than of talent?

May our Cardinals reach six wins, so that we might join the other three or four dozen teams -- none of whom play home games in South Bend, Indiana -- that attain bowl eligibility during the 2007 season.

Orange Bowl logo

We, the members of the Cardinal Nation, do solemnly pledge never to take conference titles and BCS bowl games in nice venues for granted.

We promise to treat fans of opposing teams with respect and dignity, tempted though we might be to hurl back the beer, hot dogs, and all-purpose garbage that has been showered upon us in Lexington and Morgantown.

We shall never, ever forget that virtually all of our students at the UofL, including our varsity athletes, will go pro in something besides sports.

Remember us in these times of hardship, and we in turn shall keep your gametime sacraments:

  • We shall not run up the score on a defeated opponent.

  • We will kick extra points early and go for two late.

  • We shall honor the offensive line, mindful that one quarterback on his feet is worth two on their backs.

In the name of the University of Louisville Cardinals, and all that is good and holy in college athletics, we humbly ask these things. Go Cards!