Romantic Literary Period Basketball

Dale Denny & Jennifer MacAdam

© 1993

Like Keats's game of literary checkers, Romantic Literary Period Basketball places great poets on an unlikely field of play. By observing their exploits with the ball and basket , their exploits with the quill and parchment attain an added dimension of action and interest. Several games in the best of seven series use the topics discussed in class and the plots of the poems to determine the performance of individual players.

Tournament Rules

1.   Teams consist of five starting players and one reserve.
2.   No more than two starting players can be characters from
     fictional works.  The reserve player may be an author or
3.   Teams may acquire players from other literary periods by

4.   No critics may play.
5.   No player may reenter a game after committing crimes to
     humanity or the gods, but may keep score and/or  bring
     towels to other players.

Tournament Schedule

Game 1 Cadiz Memorial Bullfight Ring Game 2 Maid's Auditorium-Saragosa Game 3 Seduction Sports Hall-Malta Game 4 Alastor Arena Game 5 Mont Blanc Sublime Stadium Game 6 Dartmoor Druid Multipurpose Building Game 7 Urn Amphitheater

Team Roster

The Harmonispheres Starters: Percy Bysshe Shelley Forward John Keats Guard Felicia Hemans Forward Frankenstein (The Creature) Center Claire Clairmont Guard Reserve: Alastor

Team Roster

The Giaourers Starters: Lord Byron (George Gordon) Center Mary Shelley Guard Samuel Taylor Coleridge Forward William Wordsworth Forward/Guard The Maid of Saragosa Guard Reserve: Prometheus

Game One

Cadiz, Spain: Memorial Bullfight Ring: A decidedly pro-Byron crowd saw the Giaourers defeat Shelley's Harmonispheres in double overtime, 64-59. Byron led all scorers with 23 points. William Wordsworth fouled out with 3:14 remaining in the game. He said, "That Percy Shelley. He was all over me. Where's the foul on him?" As he headed for the showers, Wordsworth flung daffodils to the cheering crowd. Giaourers lead series 1-0.

Game Two

Saragosa, Spain: Maid's Auditorium: The hometown hero led the Giaourers to their second consecutive victory, 117-100. The Maid's 5 of 6 shooting from three point range, 7 assists and 11 rebounds enthralled the screaming Saragosans. Impressed with the play of The Maid, Byron said, "She shoots the ball as she fires the cannon--with faultless aim supreme. I am eternally in her worship." He also mocked Keats's jumping ability by saying, "When it comes a leap, he hath Negative Capability." Giaourers lead series 2-0.

Game Three

Valletta, Malta: Seduction Sports Hall: The Harmonispheres took advantage of Byron's late arrival to the game to build a significant lead that the Giaourers could not overcome. Byron explained his tardiness by saying, "On this beauteous isle, with southern clime from Afric shores, I had to cool my blood which hath been strangely warmed of late." Frankenstein(The Creature) missed all 18 of his three point attempts and was benched late in the game by P. Shelley. Final score: Harmonispheres 89, Giaourers 81. Giaourers led series 2-1.

Game Four

Kashmir, India: Alastor Arena: Inspired by a local fan club, "The Maidens of the Vale", Alastor led the Harmonispheres to an early lead. Seconds before half time, a fight between Claire Clairmont and Mary Shelley resulted in the disqualification of both players. Clairmont said, "She can tell a decent ghost story, and she can write a novel, but she can't dribble to save her soul." Shelley replied, "Claire's just jealous. She couldn't think of a ghost story. She can't dribble, shoot or pass. All she does is talk, eternally talk" Alastor fell ill late in the game when his fan club left the arena to catch the last train to Punjab. Frankenstein went 0 for 19 from 3 point range. Final: Giaourers 89, Harmonispheres 81. Giaourers led series 3-1.

Game Five

Geneva, Switzerland: Mont Blanc Sublime Stadium: Percy Shelley, overwrought with joy over playing in the Alps, led the Harmonispheres to a 119-89 win over the Giaourers. Members of both squads were somewhat fatigued after a late-night ghost story telling competition. Byron skinned his knee early in the game, and seemed intent on tasting his own blood despite Keats's admonishments to dress the wound. M. Shelley and C. Clairmont avoided conflict, but each seemed distracted by Frankenstein, who having learned a bit, improved his three point shooting by going 7 for 14. Giaourers lead series 3-2.

Game Six

Dartmoor, England: Druid Multipurpose Building: Stellar performances by Felicia Hemans and Frankenstein helped the Harmonispheres tie the series at three games all. Hemans scored 41 points, made 6 assists and hauled down 12 rebounds. Byron chased her all over the court, but eventually fouled out. "These Druid-fierce cagers doth vex me to purple faced fury!" said Byron. Keats replied, "The Giaourers are but Titans destined to fall." Prometheus attempted to intimidate Frankenstein by starting a towel fire, but was ejected from the game. Final score: Harmonispheres 121, Giaourers 98.

Game Seven

Moorfields Pavement: London, England, Urn Ampitheater A sellout crowd of 18,032 watched the climactic struggle of the Romantic Literary Period basketball teams end with a bizarre outcome. With the Giaourers leading 112-108 late in the game, Milton, newly acquired by the Harmonispheres in a trade for Claire Clairmont, inbounded the ball to Keats. Keats was fouled by Beowulf, acquired by the Giaourers in a trade for Coleridge, and given two shots. Keats made both, but a technical foul by Byron for illegal use of his club foot in tripping Frankenstein, gave Keats two more shots. Keats made both, and with the score tied at 112-112, Byron inbounded the ball to Beowulf with 7 seconds remaining. Frankenstein stole the ball from Beowulf, but shot the ball over the backboard. The ball bounded into the royal box and struck Princess Victoria on her crowned head. The game was stopped. Victoria, though dazed, was not injured. Her immediate comment prevented the resumption of the contest. "Oh, let us have no more of this physical display. Things have gotten too improper. Everyone ought to cover themselves up and go home."


The game ended in a tie, as did the tournament. The teams disbanded and retired to their respective anthologies and monographs, except for Frankenstein, who went to Hollywood and waited 87 years in an orange grove for the movie industry to be born.