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The Tell-Tale Shart

I teamed up with ol' Eddie Poe to interview one of our rivals 'greatest'' players as we approach perhaps our greatest game and talk about one of their career defining moments.

Calm exteriors often belie a tortured secret.
Calm exteriors often belie a tortured secret.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

TerribleMetaphorGuy: Matt,would you describe yourself as nervous during that Rams game a few years ago?

Matt Ryan: TRUE!--nervous--very,very dreadully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses -- not destroyed-- not dulled them.

TMG: So you were diseased at the time, but still played through? That is madness!

MR: Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution-- with what dissumulation I went to work!

TMG: You played more cautiously because you were ill. . . how,then, did the infamous 'event' come to pass?

MR: Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh,no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight,when all the world slept,it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me.

TMG: Thanks for elaborating on your feelings, Matt, I'm sure the rest of Atlanta is waiting for you with a big box of tissues or at least Charmin, but that doesn't explain how you let more than a little slip in what you described as a state of sharpened senses.

MR: When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing [The Rams] lie down, I resolved to open a little --a very,very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it --you cannot imagine how stealthily,stealthily --until, at length a simple dim ray, like a thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.

TMG: Lantern? Well that is certainly not a euphemism that I have heard before for that particular function. Unless it isn't a metaphor and you are on some new agey diet that makes it phosphoresce. Anyway, how did you react to this unexpected turn?

MR: I smiled,--for what had I to fear? I bade the [Rams] welcome. . . My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things.But,ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.

TMG: Sound, it was that loud?

MR: No doubt I now grew very pale: --but I talked more fluently,and with a hightened voice. Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a [high, shrill,and moist] sound --much such a sound as a [whistle] makes when enveloped in [slobber]. I gasped for breath --and yet the [Rams] heard it not.

TMG: Oh,that is terribly disgusting. We can end this interview now if you wa. . .

MR: I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the [Rams] --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!

tell-tale shart

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the [pants]! here, here! --It is the [bleating] of [this] hideous [shart]!"