(with apologies to Homer)
What are seers to Zeus? What they foresaw, a narrow margin for the aspirating Browns, meant as much
to the bringer of clouds as a droplet that disappears as it falls into the vast sea.
As uneasy Night came upon them, the battle began slowly, tentatively, hesitantly. Neither side could
impose their will.
Then Zeus, lifted high his golden balance, the scale of victory and defeat, and the fate of the Browns,
once again, went down. Atonement seemed no nearer. The punishment for hubris committed by the
past Agamemnon’s of the Browns seemed unending. Where is Hope, the modest citizens of the peaceful
lake asked? Have we not replaced squanderers with wizened experienced sages?
The Jets, champions of the city of yearning huddled masses, namesake of the goddess who proudly lifts
her lamp high by the sea-foam proclaiming virtue and welcome, became energized, without fear,
sensing victory. The Browns’ breathing was hard, their legs heavy and their wits were dulled. Alarm was
in their hearts.
Zeus silently observed as always.
What He witnessed next was unthinking and inexcusable. Full of joy in his premature glory, a Jet committed an act of hubris, the worst of all sins in the eyes of the gods. None can bring honor to himself with a vile act. Zeus saw, leaned closer and frowned.
Then another mocking act of hubris on the sideline changed fortunes. The lord of the lightning flashed
his awesome anger. Again, He raised the golden balance in the center and the fate of the Jets went
Soon, like Godlike Achilles, quick-acting First-of-Firsts entered the battlefield and his coming was like
THUNDER. His aristeia shown like the sun. Heralds sang his praises. Pallas Athene gave all Browns great
strength and courage. All took heart…animated, invigorated, revitalized… but most of all, confident. Out
they poured like wasps of the roadside that foolish boys make angry.
The defenses of the Jets parted and faded like rosy-fingered Dawn. Offenses fared no better. Their blows
were like feeble, blunted sticks trying to pierce a mighty shield. Fear replaced bravery. Defeat crept in
where Victory seemed resident.
Cleveland rejoiced. The inaccessible became unlocked. The humble possum became a symbol of victory.
Fresh acts of hubris had changed outcomes. Were the Jets’ acts only selfish or shameful? What words
are selfish and shame compared to hubris? Like mortals to a God. The moira of grim-faced Bowles and
youthful Darnold shortened.
Unanswerable questions, persistent as the Furies, dogged the losers. Discordia crossed the field to the
environs of the Jets and She smiled. She brought her constant companion, Doubt. The Browns always
had the strength for victory; it was Doubt who clouded their hearts, kept them from seeing their true
worth. Now Discordia and Doubt were gone, performing their mischief on the Jets.
Great joy on the peaceful lake was seen.
But Zeus is not a gentle, compassionate, understanding God. He is prone to anger, spite, jealousy,
revenge, and he does not forget.
Cassandra, she of perfect vision but cursed by Apollo to never be believed said:
When the Browns commit a new act of hubris, Zeus will hold the golden balance again. Discordia and Doubt are never far away.