In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the second canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In the first circle of Dante's hell, Limbo, the souls that lived without knowing "God" were trapped, unable to reach heaven for praising "God", but not punished severely for they knew no better.
So following Davy Crockett into the burrow lead us down a tunnel. After a few hours, we reached a large opening, a vestibule, we had reached the outer limits of hell. As we entered, Davy explained that hell was a lot like how Dante described it in whatever the hell that book was. It's not important. Apparently there's 9 circles of hell, each holding certain groups of people based on their sins against Michigan football.
After crossing the river Acheron, I walked through the barren land and noticed several large groups of spirits in the distance. Crockett saw me eyeing the groups and broke the silence of the last few hours, "Here in the first circle of hell, you got all your non-fans. All those that lived before Michigan football, all those that never were exposed to Michigan are cast to this circle. This circle is the one that I call home. Ain't much torturing or anything here. We souls in these parts aren't punished for not knowing Michigan football because it just wasn't available. But since we weren't able to experience it, we can't ever make it to the Big House in the sky. It's not so bad, we just gotta put up with jerks like Thomas Jefferson. The man never shuts up about hooking up with a servant girl. Always gloating."
"Umm… alright?" I respond, trying to reassure myself that John Wayne, and even Davy Crockett was born in an era when talking like that was considered politically correct, then pondering on the repercussions of not being politically correct when I now know that heaven and hell aren't based on religious morals but instead, your life as a fan of Michigan. Damn, my head hurts.
As we walked along, we would hear the occasional crowd of spirits explode in excitement. Crockett just walked along as if all was normal, so I just subdued my interest the best I could. That didn't last long though, as when we passed close to one group, I stopped and walked closer to them to take a look.
The sound of my boots on the dirt alerted the spirits to my presence before I could get within twenty-five feet of the group. They immediately became hushed and turned to me. This was the first time I realized that the spirits didn't actually walk on the ground. Being ghostly, they have no mass, and therefore move no dirt when they walk.
I stared blankly at the ghostly figures and they stared back at myself. I broke the silence after a good 30 seconds of awkward, "Hi, I'm formerlyanonymous."
"No you're not. We don't know your name. You're still anonymous," said one of the spirits as he stepped out in front of the crowd.
"No, that's my name. My name is formerlyanonymous."
"Well that's just silly. Clever, but silly. I'm Rudyard. I was once a poet. I am the leader of this group of souls."
With excitement in my voice, "You mean you're Rudyard Kipling? You once said For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. Michigan football used to use that as a major motivational tool."
"Indeed young man. While I may never reach Michigan Stadium in the afterlife, I am lucky enough to be enshrined in its lore."
"Yeah, I really love how we've moved from your wolf pack to Barwis's wolves. I really liked that we are able to keep the wolf theme when it comes to attacking on defense," I replied.
Kipling looked stunned. "You mean my quote is no longer the driving force behind Michigan football? The last time Bo came down here to heckle Woody, he told me that my quote was a centerpiece of Michigan lore?"
"Yeah, with the coaching change, Rich Rodriguez is now the coach. He's not sophisticated to know the likes of you, sir. He quotes things like the Lion King. Now we've got this weight coach, Mike Barwis. He owns wolves as pets. It's AWESOME!"
"Damn you Mr. Mike Barwis! You've taken my connection to Michigan football!" exclaimed Kipling.
"Uh oh, you better duck kid,"announced Crockett as he motioned to get down.
All of a sudden, a fiery whip flew down from the dark sky above as if it came out of the clouds. The whip lashed down and wrapped up Kipling, lighting him on fire. Kipling was then wrapped up, circled nine times by the rope, and lifted through the sky in the dark clouds.
Crockett got back up, dusted off his pants despite there being no dust on him as he's a ghost. "Ya see kid, those who turn on the program belong to a different level of hell. Mr. Kipling here just turned on a member of the staff. The keeper of the gates to the city inside the depths of hell just reassigned Rudyard to a place much deeper."
Alright, all you guys who just lost your leader, go ahead and get yourself reorganized. Get back to your games, I'm taking this boy and headin' down the dusty trail."
I turned to start walking, when it dawned on me that I never figured out what the group was cheering about in the first place. So I went to ask Crockett.
"They play this game down here," he started. "They call it limbo. Two guys hold up a stick and you have to walk underneath it. If you knock the stick over, you lose. It's been all the rage since skee-ball finally got played out."
As I walk dumbfounded forward, I ponder just how crazy this hell really could be. I've made it through one circle of hell and I've already seen Rudyard Kipling flung to a deeper circle of hell and a bunch of ghosts playing limbo. I must continue.