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WEEKLY WHINE

Schmilblick Patrol: Marcel Mathier

Edvard: Hello! Hey! Settle down! Welcome, everybody! Welcome to the programme! Thank you, everybody! Welcome to GoobNet’s Adventures of the Schmilblick Patrol, where it’s your chance to go inside global events, and maybe win some badass prizes along the way. Well, we’ve got a lot to talk about today, so let’s get right to it and meet our participant. He’s a leading light in European and global football, having served eight years as president of the Swiss Football Federation. Today he’s their honorary president, he serves on their committee for international affairs, and he’s the president of the advisory council for Euro 2008. Playing the game today, please welcome the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Mr Marcel Mathier!

Marcel: Hello Edvard.

Edvard: Marcel, welcome to our programme. Good to have you here. Would you like to meet our patrollers?

Marcel: Yes, I would.

Edvard: Great. I don’t know what we’d have done if you’d said no. So, our patrollers today are, first, from Chicago, IL, USA, Kent.

Kent: Hi.

Edvard: Tamika from Ålesund, Norway.

Tamika: Hello Edvard.

Edvard: And Justine from Gent, Belgium.

Justine: Hello.

Edvard: Welcome, each of you. Marcel, please tell us your Schmilblick now.

Marcel: Edvard, my Schmilblick is: Why FIFA decided to take no action after people were found secretly filming a meeting room for the Denmark team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.

Edvard: Why no action was taken after people were found filming a Denmark women’s team meeting. Sounds like a tough one. I mean, you’d have to investigate, right?

Marcel: We did investigate.

Edvard: You did investigate. But no action was taken.

Marcel: Correct.

Edvard: All right. Well, patrollers, if you can figure out why no action was taken, you’ll each win tickets to Basel, Switzerland, for the opening match of Euro 2008 next summer, in which Switzerland will play whoever their first opponent turns out to be. But if you can’t get Marcel’s Schmilblick in eighteen queries, he’ll win a trip to Gent for the opening match of Tamika’s art bowl tournament in December. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about that in a bit. But first, patrollers, are you ready?

Tamika: Ready!

Justine: Yes.

Kent: Yeah!

Edvard: Marcel, are you ready?

Marcel: I am.

Edvard: Let’s go on patrol! Kent, you have the first question.

Kent: Hello Marcel.

Marcel: Hello Kent.

Kent: Were the people spying on Denmark from China?

Marcel: They were Chinese, yes.

Edvard: China, of course, Denmark’s first opponent in the Women’s World Cup. China won that one 3-2 in the dying moments. So one down and seventeen to go. Tamika, you are up.

Tamika: Hi.

Marcel: Hello Tamika.

Tamika: Marcel, were the people behind the one-way mirror reporters?

Marcel: We do not know.

Edvard: You don’t know?

Marcel: We do not.

Edvard: And yet FIFA closed the matter.

Marcel: We did.

Edvard: Okay. Well, that’s two down, sixteen to go. Before we go any further, let’s meet our patrollers. Justine, hi.

Justine: Hello.

Edvard: Good to have you here, Justine. What do you do there in Gent?

Justine: Well, Edvard, I am a copy editor for a major trade journal.

Edvard: Which trade would that be?

Justine: The microwaveable Japanese food manufacturing trade.

Edvard: That sounds absurdly specific.

Justine: There is quite a bit happening in our trade. Just last week, for instance, one of the major European firms announced that it was discontinuing its vegan gyoza product.

Edvard: Forgive me for not being outraged.

Justine: There is considerable outrage. In many places, it is very hard to find vegan dumplings of any sort.

Edvard: I’m sure it is. Well, it’s a living, so what the hell. Justine, let’s have your question for Marcel.

Justine: All right. Marcel, were the spies connected to the Chinese team?

Marcel: We believe they were not.

Edvard: You mean you’re not certain?

Marcel: We cannot be completely certain, but there is no evidence linking them to the Chinese side.

Edvard: Okay. So that’s three down, fifteen to go. Kent, hi.

Kent: Hi Edvard.

Edvard: What do you do in Chicago, Kent?

Kent: I’m a student at Northwestern.

Edvard: Go, insert nickname of Northwestern teams here.

Kent: Wildcats.

Edvard: Thank you. And what do you plan to do when you finish?

Kent: I want to become a food critic.

Edvard: Really? Perhaps you and Justine should get together.

Kent: Perhaps we should.

Justine: Do you like nabemono?

Kent: Never had it.

Justine: It’s awesome. It is like –

Edvard: Can y’all flirt after the show?

Kent: Sorry.

Edvard: We’d be happy to serve as your matchmakers, but we need a question first.

Kent: Okay. Um, Marcel, were the guys actually filming the team meeting?

Marcel: No. They were found before the meeting started.

Edvard: Okay, so that’s four down and fourteen to go. Tamika, hi.

Tamika: Hi, Edvard.

Edvard: So we’ve heard about this art bowl. What’s an art bowl?

Tamika: Art bowl is just like quiz bowl, with questions about the arts.

Edvard: Really? Which arts?

Tamika: Any arts. Literature, movies, paintings, dance, theatre –

Edvard: Television?

Tamika: Yes.

Edvard: I see. I see. Any, um, any questions about... you know... us?

Tamika: This show?

Edvard: Yeah.

Tamika: I’ve never gotten one. But if I did, I would be all over it.

Edvard: Good to hear. Let’s have your next question.

Tamika: Okay. Marcel, were the guys from the government?

Edvard: Sounds like this could be a conspiracy theory. Marcel, were the people with cameras from the government?

[Noise that sounds kind of like a wild boar gargling.]

Tamika: What the hell was that?

Edvard: Sorry about that. The guys in the back room are trying out a new sound effect package. Anyway, that sound means you have to be more specific in your questioning.

Tamika: In what way?

Edvard: We would like to know which government you had in mind.

Tamika: The Chinese government.

Edvard: Okay, that’s good. Marcel?

Marcel: We believe they were not from the Chinese government.

Edvard: Okay. Five down and thirteen to go. Justine, what will you ask?

Justine: Did the meeting take place at a stadium?

Marcel: No, it did not.

Edvard: The meeting was not in a stadium, and that’s six down, twelve to go. Back around to you, Kent.

Kent: Was the meeting at the team hotel?

Marcel: Yes, it was.

Edvard: The meeting room was in the team’s hotel, and that takes us to seven down, eleven to go. Tamika, you have the next question.

Tamika: Marcel, were the people filming in the employ of the hotel?

Marcel: We do not believe that to be the case, no.

Edvard: So, like, that would be a hotel policy or something? Record all the meetings?

Tamika: It would be like Disneyland. They could take pictures and then sell them back to the team.

Edvard: That would be an interesting racket. It’s eight down and ten to go. Justine?

Justine: Marcel, it sounds like you believe a lot of things about those guys aren’t true. Is there anything about them that you believe is true?

Marcel: Yes.

Edvard: So you have found something out about them.

Marcel: There is something that we believe is true, yes.

Edvard: Okay. Nine down, nine to go. We are midway through this game, and it seems that we’re working our way toward Marcel Mathier’s Schmilblick, which today is why FIFA did not take action when two men with cameras were found behind a one way mirror in the meeting room of Denmark’s women’s national side. Kent, you have the tenth question. Let’s hear it.

Kent: Marcel, was there another meeting in the same room later?

Marcel: We believe that to be the case, yes.

Edvard: Well, that certainly changes things a bit. Ten down and eight to go. Over to you, Tamika.

Tamika: Were the guys waiting to film the meeting after that?

Marcel: We believe that to have been the case. And that is my Schmilblick.

Edvard: It is?

Marcel: Yes.

Edvard: So those guys were not in fact sitting around waiting to spy on the Danish team.

Marcel: We believe so.

Edvard: They were sitting around waiting to spy on the meeting after that.

Marcel: Yes, we believe so.

Edvard: Well, this is all quite interesting. Congratulations, patrollers. You got Marcel’s Schmilblick. Enjoy your trip to Euro 2008. And until we see you next time, this is Edvard van de Kamp, wishing you good tidings and better Schmilblicks. Good night!

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