On this Sunday which in America is synonymous with "the game," I thought it would be appropriate to meditate on the famous Holmes quote: "The game is afoot!" After all, the quote is almost as popular among Holmes fans as the non-canonical "Elementary, my dear Watson." That's why it may surprise some folks (it surprised me!) to learn that the phrase only appears in a single canonical Holmes tale: "The Adventure of the Abbey Grange." Right at the top of the story, we read:
"Come, Watson, come!" he cried. "The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!"
Meanwhile, like Irene Adler, Professor Moriarty, and the aforementioned "Elementary, my dear Watson" quote, "the game is afoot," or variations thereof appears all over the place in a host of Holmes adaptations. The BBC's series Sherlock has gotten quite a bit of mileage out of their variation: "The game...is on!" So, as millions of Americans gather together in front of their TVs to watch "the Big Game" today, one can hope that among them there will be some Sherlockians who share a hearty "the game is afoot", or perhaps "the game is on." Later, I imagine many of them will change channels to PBS to see the Series 3 finale of Sherlock: "His Last Vow."
Below, see pictures of the two big games happening today:
I'm a stay-at-home dad, and Director of Music Ministries at a United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet, TN. And a longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes.