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The One, The Only Knute Roachne

Updated on July 22, 2015
The One, the Only Knute Roachne
The One, the Only Knute Roachne | Source

All across America, Friday night under the lights means high school football! Families and friends, boisterous and bumptious and bundled in their team’s colors, gather under the crisp chill of star-studded evenings, to cheer their boys on to glory between the hash marks. And, as our beery family room munch-athons move deeper and deeper through the NFL Season, more and more of the pregame chatter on the nation’s multivariate sports channels is devoted to who’s a hero, who’s a goat, who’s up, who’s down, and who’s Super Bowl bound.

But, no matter how far the sport of football may progress in our collective flatscreen fever, and no matter how many pigskin heroes may come and go, there may never again be a gridiron great quite so great as Knute Roachne. It seems that the Great Knute was here long before we arrived, and will be here long after we are gone.

Which may be quite literally true, since he’s an immensely overgrown Periplaneta americana, a not-so-common common American cockroach, and there’s absolutely nothing that can take this little bugger down. Not defensive linemen, not special teams, not three-on-one, not bug spray, not some miniaturized plastic ‘hotel’, and certainly not that fuzzy slipper you are attempting to wield from your icked-out cowering crouch in the corner of the shower stall! It is clear why this guy has got the longest-running continuous football career in history, with no signs yet of slowing down.

And, as we all well know, this guy is fast. Incredibly, ridiculously fast. (Who ever knew that a mere six legs could move at such speed?) Just like all the other little Roachnes in his ridiculously overextended and ubiquitous clan, he can make it from the trash can next to the pantry, across the room, and under the door to the basement, before the echo of the sound of the light switch snapping on has passed your eardrum. It’s no wonder then that this guy’s got more runbacks of greater yardage than any four or five teams combined!

(It is a popular, but unproven, speculation that even if one were to clothesline quick Knute, taking his head clean off, his speedy torso would still continue, unfazed, to the end zone to score on you yet again. No one has actually gotten close enough to the little lightning hexaped to even make such an attempt.)

In light of his prowess and proven decades-long reputation, it is not at all surprising that just the distinctive Roachne stance and that intense bug-eyed stare may be enough to intimidate opposing players. Even the most monstrous of meaty macho defensemen have been known to flinch and cringe at their first glimpse of the five-pointed crouching Knute.

Many are unaware that, though Knute is an americana, he is descended from a long (and I mean REALLY long) line of wagon-making Norwegian roaches from the dross-pits of Voss, along the rail line connecting Oslo and Bergen. Seems the young nymph — yes, even young boy cockroaches are called nymphs — didn’t even take up the sport of football until long after his distant ancestors had stowed away aboard a fruitboat bound for Chicago’s Navy Pier, becoming illegal insect immigrants lo those many years ago.


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