FALL 2011 ISSUE


The Great Diversion



Never have I welcomed the transition to fall as much as this year. You can probably imagine why with me being a “risk manager” and responsible primarily for controlling POET’s monthly corn costs.




Without a doubt this has been the most emotionally draining summer of my 33 years on this planet. Yes indeed, I’m probably not alone in saying that I will never, ever be the same after having barely survived the 2011 NFL lockout.


What, you were expecting some reference to the mushroom cloud of daily price volatility in the Ag markets? Absolutely not, that’s easy. All that requires is doubling my daily caffeine intake, meditation, the occasional adult beverage and work-outs that leave me feeling physically numb and anxiety-free.


But you take football away from me and most American men and what you have is a disaster brewing of epic proportions. Can fish live without water? Can plants grow without sunlight? Can Jared maintain his size 34-inch waistline without Subway? No, no, and heck no! The same applies with football and guys. Like it or not ladies, it’s embedded in our DNA. It’s who we are and our survival as a species depends on it.


What is it about football that makes it essentially vital to us maintaining a healthy lifestyle? It is without question the greatest diversion that God ever created for mankind. That’s not a slight on American culture, but rather an honest admission that deep within every man over the age of 30 whose life’s trajectory has somehow caromed from Big Man on Campus to taking the trash out every Wednesday. A huge part of us still yearns for the excitement of the Coliseum. You say that’s barbaric and shallow? Maybe, but seriously, how many farmers markets, neighborhood picnics and Bachelorette tell-alls can a guy actually endure without at some point contemplating the potential upside of being kidnapped and abandoned in the jungles of Southeast Asia?


Ultimately, we just need to escape into a world where there is still a battle to be fought and won. I mean even God “rested” on the seventh day. Why? My guess is the Packers were hosting the Vikings at Lambeau Field, playing for the right to go the NFC Championship. Can you really blame Him for taking a sick-day on that first Sunday? Heavens no, I would have done the same thing after six full days of world building.


So please women, for the love of all things honest and pure, let us men drift off into the enchanted forest that is the NFL season for the next five months. I don’t want to worry about combines shucking corn cobs only QB’s chucking the pigskin to open receivers. It was just over a month ago our weekend plans through February 5th, 2012 were on life support. Now our social calendar is full and our life is complete. Furthermore, the only fantasy we’ll be concerned about is who to start at running back on our Fantasy Football teams.


Suffice it to say, I think we’re all winners here. And who or what do we have to thank? Why the NFL and football of course. The greatest diversion handed down from generation to generation since, well, the beginning of time, I guess.


Marcus Ludtke graduated from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., in 2001 and started working for POET Risk Management in May of that year. His primary responsibilities include managing POET’s corn position and market research.





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