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THE BALLAD OF BRANDON SCHERFF: A POETICAL TALE OF PAUL BUNYAN-ESQUE STRENGTH

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The story of how a young lad from Denison, Iowa strode the world performing feats of strength and how he became in time the greatest blocker in the land.

The man who blocked the world, Brandon Scherff
The man who blocked the world, Brandon Scherff
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Gather ye children and grab ye some turf

And settle to hear the tale of Big Scherff.

A mightier man you never would see,

he could block anything just like swatting a flea.


The day he was born, in the maternity ward

The doctor went to cut the umbilical cord.

But he found his scalpel held by a strong baby fist.

That was the first thing blocked on Brandon’s life list.


He grew up blocking everything that came into his sight.

He blocked blocks, he blocked hats, he blocked left, he blocked right.

He bothered his mom by blocking the way to the car,

He blocked his poor dad from watching Jamie Farr.


Out on the street blocking was all that he did.

He blocked writers and Chips and even that new kid.

His parents agreed something had to be done.

Little Brandon was blocking everyone’s fun.


So they showed him a team on TV called the Hawks

And their line of big men who made nothing but blocks.

Big men with names like Gallery, Steinbach and Goff,

Whose only job was to fend tacklers off.


Young Scherff was entranced and he knew then his quest:

At blocking to become the supreme and the best.

He read every book on the line-blocking art,

And studied game film, but only the line-blocking part.


He played football at recess and played in Pee-Wee,

But blocking mere children was far too easy.

He went to his mentor, the coach of his team

And asked him advice on reaching his dream.


"Brandon" said coach Brock in a gravelly voice.

"If you want to be great at blocking you have just one choice."

"Go out into this great land of ours" said coach Brock,

"And block everything until you find The Thing You Can’t Block."


Brandon bade farewell to his mom and his pop.

And blocked his way down to the old Greyhound stop.

He thought "here’s a chance to test my blocking skill"

So he put his li’l hand on the shiny bus grille.


The bus driver applied his foot to the gas,

And Brandon staggered back against the accelerating mass.

But when he found his footing he stopped that bus where it stood,

Then drove block that heap all the way to Fort Hood.


In Texas he found lots of big things to block:

Cadillacs, oil wells and herds of livestock.

A giant steer named Gabe even made him break a sweat,

So he blocked that big ox and then made him his pet.


Across the land he and Gabe rode blocking all and sundry

Doing good and growing strong blocking all over this country.

He blocked avalanches and fires from destroying small towns.

He blocked floods and mudslides and won great renown.


But soon frustration overcame Gabe and Scherff.

"I can’t find a thing I can’t block on this earth."

"I’ll go to Tibet and find a wise old guru on a rock,

and maybe he’ll know The Thing I Can’t Block."


He blocked up a mountain with Gabe at his side.

And found a lorn spot where a guru did reside.

"Wise sir, I’m on a quest from Coach Brock,

Please tell me, if you can, The Thing I Can’t Block."


The guru stroked his beard and he thought and he thought.

Then he said "you’ve blocked many things but the one thing you’ve not

is easy to see but never comes into your view:

the one thing you haven’t blocked, my dear lad, is YOU."


A light went on above wee Brandon’s head.

And he pondered long and hard what the wise guru said.

It was true, there was just one thing left to block on the shelf,

He had to find out whether he could block himself.


There’s a riddle that for years has turned wise men’s brains to mush:

"Could God make a rock so heavy even he could not push?"

That riddle played out in real time on that rock in Tibet.

As Scherff faced a challenge he never ere had met.


The struggle was fierce and kicked up storms of dust

As Brandon blocked Scherff right through the Earth’s crust.

He emerged on the other side looking dirty and gritty,

And found himself in a town called Iowa City.


Eventually he blocked so hard he had to quit

And he stumbled wearily looking for somewhere to sit.

He noticed a great building made of mortar and brick,

and collapsed in a heap on the field of Kinnick.


"I’ve finally found the Thing I Can’t Block

And know now I’m ready to take up my spot.

Here I will play and win every block prize

In my new rightful place with the Iowa Hawkeyes."


And that is the story of how a boy named Scherff

Became the greatest young blocker known on planet Earth.

And now that we’ve told the tale of that great blocking freak,

We can close the book on the first, last and only Scherff Week.

Enjoy the Fair, everyone!