Wide Right, No Goal

At last—your online source for wobbly reminiscence and spirited conjecture about Buffalo sports teams past and present

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Robert Creeley, Bills fan

Wide Right notes the passing of poet Robert Creeley, a longtime UB presence. Since this is a sports blog and not an airy-fairy-poetical-musings blog, we felt we needed a gridiron "hook" to justify a mention.

We found one—in an interview RC gave to Bruce Comens back in 1993:

BC: Yes, [David Rattray's] disappeared. Which the culture does too, with media stars--if someone doesn't sell a record or doesn't do a film for two years they're presumed dead.

RC: He's dead, yeah. I was thinking of Jim Kelly now, the great Buffalo Bills quarterback, with his, not displacement, but his having been happily, successfully replaced by Frank Lloyd Reich.

BC: Is that what they call him?

RC: One of the news people: he's the great architect Frank Lloyd Reich, with the Reich stuff, as they say. So he's become locally, but even nationally, this pop hero. This peculiar religious feeling that endures.

BC: Well, in Canada they've made a lot of him being Canadian

RC: He seems a basically curious person. He lives out in Orchard Park. I mean, to be able to sit on the bench so patiently, for whatever part, and to be able to get up and do something, with such heroic competencies would be great.

BC: Yes, and not mind being benched again.

RC: Oh no no no--God's will, God's work. There was a great moment a couple of years ago when Jim Kelly had hurt his elbow and Frank Reich came in and won the game against Miami the next week. He was asked afterwards immediately by the press, what'd you do? He said, well, he'd prayed to Jesus Christ, who'd really come through and all had been well! And I remember they questioned some of his linemen, and they said, well, you know, it may have been Christ, but we were certainly making it all possible. He could've been out there all day long thinking about his next move and no one would've got to him. We were obviously doing a lot there, too!

BC: Do you think that sense of time is different between prose and poetry?

(Read the full interview here.)

Postscript: In an interview with the Chicago Review, Creeley mentions as his favorite sports team, "Red Sox and/or the Buffalo Bills."