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WEEKLY WHINE

Schmilblick Patrol: Lisle Austin

Edvard: Hello! Hi! Thank you! Yes, thank you everyone! Hello, and welcome to another edition of GoobNet’s Adventures of the Schmilblick Patrol! It’s another chance for you to try to guess what some major newsmakers might have been thinking, and possibly win some great prizes too! So let’s meet today’s participant. He is the president of the Barbados Football Association. He chairs the Referee Committee in CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football. He is a vice president of CONCACAF, and for a few days, he was the acting president of CONCACAF. Please welcome to the programme Mr Lisle Austin!

Lisle: Hello Edvard.

Edvard: Hi Lisle. Good to have you here with us.

Lisle: Thank you. Of course, I would prefer to be on the job right now, but unfortunately that is not the case.

Edvard: That’s true. You were suspended by the CONCACAF executive committee the other day.

Lisle: I was, yes.

Edvard: And before that you attempted to sack CONCACAF’s general secretary, Chuck Blazer.

Lisle: I did sack him. I have sacked him.

Edvard: But immediately after your announcement – which took place on the same day that you took office – the executive committee announced that you do not have the authority to do that.

Lisle: Well, I differ with them in that respect.

Edvard: You believe that you do have that authority.

Lisle: I do have that authority. Obviously not now, due to the suspension, but whoever is the current president of CONCACAF has that authority, ex officio. There is a hearing next month, and I am certain that when all the facts come to light, I will be shown to have acted correctly.

Edvard: All right. Well, are you ready to meet our patrollers?

Lisle: Yes.

Edvard: Good. First, from Kingston, Jamaica, is Guinevere.

Guinevere: Hello Edvard.

Edvard: We have Alice from Cooper, NJ, USA.

Alice: Hi.

Edvard: And Robert from Miami, FL, USA.

Robert: Hi.

Edvard: Those are our patrollers. Welcome, everyone. Good luck. So Lisle, let’s find out what your Schmilblick is.

Lisle: All right. My Schmilblick is: Why I sacked Chuck Blazer this past week.

Edvard: Ah. Interesting. Why you sacked Chuck Blazer, or tried to at least. As we said, Chuck Blazer is CONCACAF’s general secretary, an American. He is also one of three representatives of CONCACAF on the FIFA executive committee. You sacked him last week, but according to the executive committee of CONCACAF, you didn’t have that authority. Well, that’s good. This looks like it will be an interesting discussion. So, patrollers, that is his Schmilblick, why he tried to sack Chuck Blazer. If you can determine his Schmilblick, you will all win tickets to the CONCACAF Men’s Gold Cup final to be held in three weeks’ time in Pasadena, CA, USA. We’ll fly you out there, give you a hotel and transportation for the weekend, along with some spending money. A wonderful trip on offer. But if you can’t get Lisle’s Schmilblick in eighteen queries, Lisle is our winner. In that case, he will win tickets to the final of Alice’s pinochle league to be held in nine weeks’ time in Atlantic City, NJ, USA. We’ll fly you out there, give you a hotel and transportation for the weekend, along with some spending money. But keep in mind, of course, that you will have to report that income to FIFA.

[Pause.]

Edvard: No, of course not. I’m just kidding. FIFA isn’t really that serious about reform. Okay, so. Patrollers, you’ve heard Lisle tell you what you’re looking for. You know what you’re playing for. Are you all ready?

Alice: Yes.

Guinevere: Yes!

Robert: Ready.

Edvard: Ready, Lisle?

Lisle: I am ready.

Edvard: Then let’s go on patrol! Guinevere, you have the first question.

Guinevere: Hello Mr Austin.

Lisle: Hello Guinevere.

Guinevere: Mr Austin, did you believe that Mr Chuck Blazer was acting illegally?

Lisle: No.

Edvard: You did not.

Lisle: I do not believe that his actions were illegal, no.

Edvard: Interesting. All right. Good start, Guinevere. But that is one down and seventeen to go now. Alice, we go to you now.

Alice: Were you retaliating against Chuck Blazer for reporting the bribes that Jack Warner gave out?

Edvard: Well, a very direct start to our game this week. Alice is going for the win on question two, it looks like. Chuck Blazer, of course, has alleged that Jack Warner, CONCACAF president, and Mohamed bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation, gave out bribes last month. Lisle, was your attempted sacking a retaliation for being a whistleblower?

Lisle: No. That had nothing to do with it.

Edvard: Okay. Then that’s two down and sixteen to go. But before we get another question, let’s get to know our patrollers a little better. Robert, hi.

Robert: Edvard, hi.

Edvard: From Miami.

Robert: Yes.

Edvard: Your local team is playing for the NBA championship.

Robert: That is correct.

Edvard: Are you a basketball fan?

Robert: I am. I love all sports. Except speed skating. No, I’m kidding, Edvard.

Edvard: Good. Because I would have had to kick your ass. We Dutch don’t take too kindly to that sort of talk about speed skating. But no. Go ahead, Robert. Let’s have your first question.

Robert: All right. Mr Austin, have there been personal differences between you and Mr Blazer prior to your taking control as acting president of CONCACAF?

Lisle: Yes, there have been.

Edvard: Really? But that’s not your Schmilblick?

Lisle: It is not.

Edvard: All right. So that’s three down and fifteen to go. Guinevere, hi.

Guinevere: Hi Edvard. How are you?

Edvard: I’m great, thank you. You’re from Jamaica.

Guinevere: Right.

Edvard: What do you do there in Jamaica?

Guinevere: I am a baker.

Edvard: Is that right?

Guinevere: That is right. I work at a bakery baking stuff.

Edvard: What sorts of stuff do you bake?

Guinevere: All sorts of stuff. Bread, crullers, cookies, pies, cakes, danishes, everything.

Edvard: Do you have a particular specialty?

Guinevere: Yes. I make chocolate and rum crullers.

Edvard: Chocolate and rum crullers?

Guinevere: Yes. They are wonderful.

Edvard: I would love to try them. But first, I would love to hear your next question.

Guinevere: All right. Mr Austin, did these personal differences come about because the two of you disagree about ethics, or corruption, or anything of that nature?

Lisle: They did not, no.

Edvard: They didn’t?

Lisle: No.

Edvard: Okay. All right. That’s a little bit more that we’ve learned now. It’s now four down and fourteen to go. Alice, hi.

Alice: Hey, how you doing.

Edvard: From New Jersey.

Alice: I am. But I don’t know any of those Jersey Shore guys.

Edvard: Well, good. You should probably try to avoid them at all costs. We mentioned pinochle. Are you a good pinochle player?

Alice: I’m all right. I’ve won my league once before, and I’m hoping to do it again this year.

Edvard: What sorts of skills are required to become a good pinochle player?

Alice: Well, it all depends on being able to figure what your hand is gonna be worth. If you can do that, you can figure out good bids, and that helps you control trumps. You control trumps, you control the game.

Edvard: Good to know. And pinochle is – is it played with partners?

Alice: Yeah. In my league we play with rotating partners, so there’s an individual winner.

Edvard: Great. Then let’s have your next question for Lisle.

Alice: All right. You’ve said you have a disagreement with Chuck Blazer, and it’s been around since before you took over as president. Was it over a woman?

Lisle: No, it wasn’t.

Edvard: Well, another good question from you, Alice. But no, the disagreement had nothing to do with a woman. That means it’s now five down and thirteen to go. Back over to you, Robert.

Robert: Does this personal disagreement have to do with a movie?

Lisle: It does pertain to a movie. And that’s my Schmilblick.

Edvard: Wait, what?

Lisle: You are correct. Chuck and I have had a long dispute over a particular movie, The Running Man.

Edvard: The Running Man?

Lisle: I believe that it is the most awesome movie in all of history. But for as long as I have known Chuck Blazer, he has constantly insisted to me that The Running Man is not a good film. He has pointed out every plot gap that the movie contains, and he has repeatedly said that it did the novel an injustice.

Edvard: So you two have been embroiled in a bitter debate for years, and it’s all about The Running Man?

Lisle: That is correct. I knew that I could not work with someone who does not appreciate that movie as much as I do. So when I became acting president of CONCACAF, I sacked Mr Blazer with immediate effect. But the executive committee believes that this was not a proper action.

Edvard: So it’s all about whether The Running Man is good or not?

Lisle: It is better than good. We live in a society that yearns for entertainment, whether it be good and wholesome – which is why I am involved in football – or base and violent like so much of today’s television. The Running Man is a cautionary tale that ought to make us think about how far we are willing to go.

Edvard: I just can’t get over that your film of choice is The Running Man. Not, for instance, Citizen Kane, or The Godfather, or even The Empire Strikes Back. It seems to me that those would be better barometers by which to judge a person.

Lisle: So you do not believe that The Running Man is the greatest movie of all time?

Edvard: I don’t, no.

Lisle: Then I have no choice but to sack you with immediate effect. I’m sorry it didn’t work out, Edvard.

Alice: Hey, wait a minute here. We’re the patrollers here. We’re the executive committee of this show. Am I right?

Robert: You’re right.

Guinevere: Is that true?

Alice: Of course it’s true. Remember that form you signed to come on the show?

Guinevere: Is that really what the form said?

Alice: Yeah. Section Nine.

Guinevere: I did not read the whole thing.

Alice: Oh, it was on there. Trust me. So we’re the executive committee. And we haven’t authorised you to take that action. Have we?

Robert: No.

Guinevere: That’s right! Listen to the woman!

Alice: So Lisle, we’re suspending you from this show, effective immediately. Edvard, you’re still the host of this show. Please disregard what Lisle said. He is not authorised to take that action.

Edvard: Thanks. All right, well, you guys did guess Lisle’s Schmilblick, and that means you’re all going to Los Angeles for the Gold Cup final. Congratulations to our patrollers. Have a wonderful time out there. And that’s it for this week’s edition. We’ll see you next week right here, assuming there isn’t further action taken against me. I’m Edvard van de Kamp, wishing you good tidings and better Schmilblicks. Good night!

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