Puck Swami’s Civil War Letter on Winning the Gold Pan

In the spirit of Capt. Andrew Luck, our own “Armchair General” Puck Swami has written a flowery “Civil War”-style letter to his wife about last weekend’s DU hockey sweep of rival Colorado College. We invite you to click and play “Ashokan Farewell’ as background music and read the letter aloud in the best Ken Burns-narrator voice you can muster. You can almost hear the strains of the Crimson-and-Gold fiddles playing in Denver’s Camp…

Wednesday, the Eighth Day of November, in the year of our Lord, 2023.

My Dearest Wife:

I am grateful to the Lord above for providing me this quill and paper with which to report to you, my beloved bride of long forbearance, that it has been four days since the smoke of battle has lifted from the November weekend scrap for the Gold Pan trophy. As you will read, the news is gratifying…

Divine Providence has smiled on General David Carle’s band of young Pioneers once again! As the Gold Pan victors for 2023, Denver will be retaining that vital miners’ implement in our Denver Camp for another year, as so ordained by the Lord above and by nature. Yes, once again, our Pioneers have swept those pestilent Kittens of Colorado College some seventy miles back to their lowly camp at the foot of Ole’ Zebulon Pike’s Peak, where they may once again lick their ragged, defeated paws in their ever-eternal state of dubious ignominy.

Perhaps you had heard that one of the Kittens had boldly predicted a 2023 Gold Pan victory some weeks ago in their little rag of a campus fishwrap, but our Denver boys got wind of their slanderous and misguided boast and, with a lone iron nail, had tacked it to a central post in our camp so all and sundry might take a gander at such a bellicose challenge! Needless to say, our Crimson boys became ever more emboldened to lash the Kitties’ hopes around their collective necks, and to squeeze them to a gasping demise for their impetuous temerity…

Last Friday, a record gathering of over 7,000 of the Denver Camp’s finest supporters, including many sons and daughters from our finest university, turned out to cheer our boys at Magness Creek. Shockingly, there was no brass band to provide musical inspiration, yet all were resplendent in their best Denver finery. I saw them consuming many flagons of malted beverages to augment their gregarious demeanor for the entire engagement. Our Pioneer boys took good notice of such fervency of support and opened their hearts to the din of the students’ ribald little ditties (not for your delicate ears, my dearest) that their fellow students did vocalize with such vim and vigor that we surmised before long that our skilled and disciplined Pioneers would win this day.

Alcohol has always been a factor in fandom and in warfare. Photo: Library of Congress

Despite being stunned in the early moments of Friday’s battle by the odious and marauding duo of Kittens called Werner and Veremyev, and their small band of scabrous, malevolent felines, our Denver boys responded nobly and promptly with the pride that resides deep in their Crimson breast and by trusting the ‘proscess’ [sic] that their knowing commanders and lieutenants had worked so assiduously to imbue. During the remaining battle, our Crimson lads made multiple forays into the Kittens’ defensive lines, firing six enormous and unanswered salvos into the heart of General Kris Mayotte’s Kitty Cats, who cowered at the unequalled display of powerful and precise magnificence unleashed by the Pioneers.

All credit is due to the speedy and incisive advances of Denver’s Buium, Broz, and Brown’s battalions, followed by King, Devine and Wright to inflict a spirited and overwhelming artillery barrage that cut down the opponent’s black and yellow lines again and again, as Denver pounded the Kittens’ positions in the offensive zone with relentless efficacy. The steady waves of Denver scoring soon found the shell-shocked General Mayotte and his Kittens so deep in the throes of melancholia as they had no choice but to endure the brutal flogging that our Pioneers bestowed upon them. As a stirring chorus of “Country Roads” sounded in the final moments at Magness Creek, our boys looked up to the magisterial vista of their fellow Denver scholars, their arms locked together and swaying, row by row in bold song, with all eyes misty at the sight of our collective victory, as is annually ordained by our Creator.

And then the gracious good night enfolded our lads, while the devastated Kittens beat a hasty retreat to their grim and odiferous lair to the south. Our Denver quartermasters then fortified our Pioneer forces’ brave bellies with bountiful Chipotle, and our boys were able to comfortably bed down for the night to restore their powerful legs and brave hearts in preparation for the 75-mile march southward to finish off what little remained of the haggard Kittens.

In the shadow of Ole’ Zebulon Pike’s Peak, in the second (and decisive) engagement on Saturday, the battle unfolded just as the first, with our Pioneer boys needing only five salvos to smash the terrified remnants of the Kittens into oblivion, surrounded only by their once-feeble hopes burned now to nothing but ashes on their very own campus. The Saturday engagement was made still sweeter at the sight of the eternal sadness of the Kittens’ 3,500 dispirited supporters at Robson’s Mill, who could drink only their tears of futility to accompany what little possum meat they could corner.

The CC Kittens gave up 11 goals on the weekend, and scored only two as the Gold Pan remains in Denver yet again. Photo: Dreams-time

With the Gold Pan now resting securely in safety in the Denver camp, now our boys must rest for this week’s long march to the Southwest. There on the banks of the Salt River in Arizona Territory, where the Pioneers expect to meet the determined upstart Arizona Staters, under General Gregory Powers at Mullett’s Crossing. I must say, as an aging general (of the type known to pontificate from his well-upholstered armchair) who has witnessed a multitude of Denver battles over many years, it is always daunting and worrisome to fight in the desert, where the comforts of home are so far away. Heaven grant this be another opportunity to show our Denver mettle and assert our rightful Pioneer dominance in the West, under General David Carle’s fine leadership. Huzzah!

I remain yours, with ever-loving fondness and affection, your obedient servant,

 — Gen. Winfield Parnassus (“Puck”) Swami

Puck Swami is a longtime Denver fan and alumnus. He shares his views periodically here at LetsGoDU 

8 thoughts on “Puck Swami’s Civil War Letter on Winning the Gold Pan”

  1. Honourable and clairvoyant Swami. News of our beloved Pioneers’ most triumphant victory has reverberated throughout the land and among the faithful, due, in large part, to your own vivid recounting. A grateful Bearded Band of Boones celebrates your account and hoists a tankard of frothful ale in your direction. Lead us on to continued success in our campaign to recapture the cup of Pensose and to victory among the four most frozen — With most sincerity, Chase

  2. Huzzah, indeed. Swami, your letter provides solace on this cold night. But pray, why did you not heap praise upon Freddie, who stood tall in the twine, as our family did in the storms and pestlience of yesteryear? Nonetheless, it sustains me that the loathsome felines have not been champions for 3 score and 6 years.

    1. A very well-pointed assertion has been made by the commenter at 6:37, which deserves an answer commensurate with the high quality of the said assertion…I can well agree that young Halyk’s fine work certainly contributed to the gallantry of Denver’s weekend rout, in very strong measure.

      It is my fervent hope that Mr. Halyk continues to develop his stoic resolve and that the icy water that clearly cascades through his veins remains as cold as the Alberta plains from which he was chosen for this great and noble adventure…

      However, my report clearly favors Denver’s offensive initiative (and subsequent success) as the military narrative preference. As the great Chinese General Sun Tzu said “Defend yourself when you cannot defeat the enemy, and attack the enemy when you can. One defends when his strength is inadequate; he attacks when it is abundant. Those who are skilled in defense hide themselves as under the nine-fold earth; those in attack flash forth as from above the nine fold heavens. Thus, they are capable both of protecting themselves and of gaining a complete victory.”

      For Denver’s battalions to seize its Gold Pan objective as a result of offensive explosions that scattered and demoralized the opponent far better conveys the rightful power imbalance behind Denver’s 11-2 utter dominance of the Kittens.

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