Chad Kackert (44) turned to Kipling for inspiration during his recovery.One of the more unusual CFL stories this week was Dan Ralph's Canadian Press piece on the return of Toronto Argonauts' running back Chad Kackert. Kackert, the reigning Grey Cup MVP, has missed nine of 16 games this season thanks to injury, including the last two with a shoulder problem. He'll be back for Toronto's clash with Winnipeg Thursday night, though, and he might help rejuvenate the Argos' rushing attack. None of that is the uncommon part, however; injuries happen, as do recovery stories. The unusual part comes from what Kackert did during his recovery; he told Ralph that he's been taking inspiration from English Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling's famed poem, "If—":
Kackert drew solace from English writer Rudyard Kipling's poem "If," an inspirational sonnet about character and integrity and remaining true to one's self. In fact, two lines from Kipling's composition — "If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same," — are featured above the players' entrance to Centre Court at Wimbledon.
"It kind of talks about stuff you hear about every day but the way he words it is unique," Kackert said. "(The poem offers) perspective and that if I let anything get to my character, then I've lost.
"I kind of had to take that in and understand that's the one thing I do have that can't be taken away."
While many football players are incredibly smart, poetry isn't often featured in game stories or locker-room dialogue. From this corner, that's a shame, as there are plenty of poems that could be perfectly applicable to certain CFL players. Here are quotations from five, with the first three slightly rewritten to better suit Canadian football and the last two unaltered:Read More »from Canadian football poetry: with Kackert turning to Kipling, five other poems for CFL figures