Rich: Okay, so today’s topic is penalty shootouts in football.
Rich: Apparently Sepp Blatter asked Franz Beckenbauer to examine the topic.
Gaby: Examine what topic exactly?
Rich: Penalty shootouts in football.
Jhonny: Yeah, penalty shootouts are weird.
Wen: Actually, Beckenbauer says he wants to keep penalty shootouts.
Rich: He does? When did he say that?
Wen: Today. See?
Rich: Well, that didn’t take long.
Gaby: What didn’t?
Rich: Well, Sepp Blatter was talking to the FIFA congress, and he said that penalty shootouts were a tragedy, and he said that Beckenbauer should try to come up with something different.
Gaby: Who’s Beckenbauer? Why him in particular?
Jhonny: German footballing legend. He won the Men’s World Cup with Germany FR in 1974.
Rich: As to why him in particular, because he is leading a task force to study football.
Gaby: Study football? Study it how?
Rich: I guess it’s about how to improve the game. You know. Rule changes, changes to scheduling, the way leagues are set up, things like that.
Jhonny: Well, it’s no surprise he doesn’t want to get rid of penalties.
Gaby: Why’s that?
Jhonny: He’s German. Germans always win penalty shootouts, especially against England.
Rich: Except for Bayern.
Jhonny: Yeah. That was weird.
Gaby: What was?
Jhonny: The Champions League final last week.
Wen: You know. When Bayern lost to Chelsea on penalties.
Gaby: Bayern is Munich, right?
Gaby: So a German team lost to an English team? On penalties?
Jhonny: Yeah. Like I said, weird.
Rich: I think that’s actually one of the signs of the apocalypse.
Gaby: So the world is ending? Neat.
Wen: The Mayans were right.
Nina: [entering] Hey, what the hell’s up with the bathroom?
Gaby: Something wrong with the bathroom?
Nina: Yeah. You know that weird thing the toilet’s been doing?
Nina: No, genius. Where it kinda pauses in between the flush and the fill?
Gaby: The what and the what?
Nina: You know. After the bowl drains, but before it starts to refill. It, like, just stops. Does nothing for a few seconds. And then it’s like, “Oh, okay”. And then it fills up like normal.
Gaby: Oh, yeah. That is kinda weird. So what about it?
Nina: It’s not doing it any more.
Gaby: What, so it just, like, stops after the flush and doesn’t refill?
Nina: No, it just goes straight to the refill. It’s not pausing any more.
Gaby: Huh. I hadn’t noticed.
Wen: Um, isn’t that good? You know, like, the way a normal toilet works?
Rich: Wait. So, what exactly is your concern?
Nina: I told you. It’s not doing the pause thing any more.
Rich: So it had been pausing before the refill but isn’t any more?
Rich: So it had been acting strange, but now it’s acting normal.
Rich: That sounds like an improvement to me. Let’s get back to work.
Nina: I’m serious, Rich! I think it’s still acting weird.
Wen: Yeah, why’s that weird? That’s normal toilet behaviour.
Nina: I don’t trust it.
Gaby: You what?
Nina: I think it’s up to something.
Wen: The toilet? What the hell is the toilet up to?
Nina: I would just feel better if we had a plumber look at it.
Rich: All right. Tell you what. You call Reg and let him know, and then you can get in here with us.
Nina: Okay. What are we talking about today?
Rich: Penalty shootouts.
Rich: Sepp Blatter asked Franz Beckenbauer to study them.
Nina: Oh. So are we working on ways to fix the penalty shootout, or replace it, or what?
Rich: We actually hadn’t gotten that far.
Nina: How far had you gotten?
Wen: About point eight microns.
Rich: Go and call Reg.
Nina: All right. [exits]
Gaby: So, what do you want us to do about penalty shootouts?
Jhonny: Yeah, and why should we be surprised that Beckenbauer wants to keep them?
Rich: Well, what would be an alternative to penalty shootouts?
Gaby: What did they do before penalty shootouts?
Gaby: What’s that?
Rich: The same teams would play again a couple of days later.
Gaby: What if that ended in a draw?
Rich: They would play again.
Gaby: And again and again until there was a winner?
Jhonny: They still do that in the FA Cup.
Rich: Yeah, but now they only have one replay, and if that’s tied, they go to overtime and penalties.
Gaby: Which puts us right back where we started.
Wen: So we need an alternative to penalties that can also be done immediately after the match.
Wen: And in front of all the fans.
Nina: [enters] Have we solved the problem yet?
Rich: What did Reg say?
Nina: I left him a voice mail.
Wen: He’s never here.
Gaby: He went gallivanting off to Cannes with Quentin Tarantino.
Nina: He did? Really?
Gaby: No. I’m just making that up.
Jhonny: Does sound like the kind of thing he would do.
Rich: So what about penalties?
Nina: So are we actually looking for an alternative now?
Rich: Yeah. What have you got?
Wen: Well, I was thinking of something.
Rich: Great. What?
Wen: It’s a little unconventional.
Rich: That’s fine. What is it?
Wen: You’ve never heard anything like it before.
Rich: What is it?
Wen: Are you ready for it?
Nina: I’m ready to string you up from the goal frame.
Wen: All right. Here it is. First, one guy from one team takes a corner.
Wen: Then one guy from the other team takes a corner. The teams keep taking turns until five guys on each team have taken corners. Then whoever put more corners into the goal wins.
Jhonny: What do they do in hockey?
Rich: They have shootouts in hockey, too.
Jhonny: Yeah, but not in the playoffs, right?
Rich: Go on.
Jhonny: They just keep playing until somebody scores, right? Couldn’t we do that in football too?
Rich: No, we’ve proposed that before. It won’t work. Teams will play defensively and just wait for the other team to get tired.
Gaby: Wait. Don’t they take off a player in hockey?
Jhonny: Only in the regular season.
Gaby: Well, can’t they do that in football?
Rich: Taking off one player from each side isn’t going to make much of a difference.
Gaby: Then take off more players.
Wen: Wait. How about this: Every ten minutes, both sides have to take off a player.
Gaby: Why not every fifteen minutes?
Gaby: Well, that’s how long the overtime periods are in football.
Wen: All right. Every fifteen minutes. Until it gets to, say, three v three, or four v four. Some minimum.
Rich: Isn’t one team gonna score right away if it’s three v three?
Wen: What about four v four?
Wen: Look, the point is, you’re only taking off one player at a time. So you’re increasing the probability of a goal being scored, but only incrementally. So the better team is one that can score when it’s five v five, or six v six, or whatever, when the other team can’t.
Nina: So what happens when the teams get to the minimum number?
Wen: Then they stay like that, but they still keep going until somebody scores. And if it’s, like, three v three, that shouldn’t take long.
Gaby: What if it does take long?
Wen: Then it becomes an epic battle of stamina and will that will live forever in footballing lore.
Jhonny: Well, I do like footballing lore.
Nina: Yeah, and the guy who does score the goal, he’ll become a legend in an instant. His name will live forever in the minds of his team’s supporters.
Gaby: What if the match ends on an own goal?
Rich: Well, I guess his name will still live forever.
Jhonny: I gotta say, I think this would work.
Gaby: Wait. One more question. What if one team is short a man because of a red card?
Wen: Then they’re still shorthanded. It would be ten v nine, then nine v eight, and so on.
Gaby: Until three v two?
Wen: No, you’d stop taking players off when either team gets to three. So four v three.
Gaby: What if a guy gets sent off after that?
Jhonny: Then he’s an idiot.
Gaby: Why’s that?
Jhonny: In a sudden death situation like that, nobody should be making risky challenges that the referee might show red for.
Rich: It could be a professional foul. You know, denying a goal scoring opportunity.
Nina: Yeah. Nobody is going to want to concede the goal, even if it means having to play two v three. And who knows, some miracle could happen.
Rich: How about if after a team gets to three players, a red card forfeits the match?
Jhonny: I don’t know about that. Then no referee is going to want to show a red card. Then he literally will be deciding the outcome.
Rich: Yeah, that’s true.
Wen: Okay, well, that’s a detail we can work out later.
Gaby: Yeah, it’s still a really good idea.
Rich: Yeah. Great work, Wen.
Jhonny: Yeah. So, most important question, what should we call it?
Rich: Our original proposal was the Infinite Overtime.
Jhonny: Let’s say “extra time”.
Rich: Okay. Infinite Extra Time. Infinite Golden Goal Extra Time.
Nina: With Decreasing Numbers.
Gaby: With Player Removals.
Nina: With Attrition.
Rich: Yeah! Perfect! Infinite Golden Goal Extra Time with Attrition.
Rich: Leave out the W. Make it IGGETA.
Nina: Not Sudden Death?
Rich: How about Sudden Victory? Then it’s ISVETA.
Rich: Like Sveta?
Gaby: What’s that mean?
Rich: It’s a name.
Gaby: Whose name?
Rich: It’s a girl’s name.
Gaby: What girl?
Rich: No, it’s nobody in particular. It’s just a name.
Jhonny: No, there’s somebody. He knows a girl named Sveta.
Rich: No I don’t.
Jhonny: She was like, “What do you do?” “I’m in charge of a rapid development facility.” “What’s that mean?” “We come up with ideas.” “Ooh! Can you name one of your ideas after me?”
Rich: You finished there?
Jhonny: Yeah, just about.
Rich: Okay. Then write this one up.
Jhonny: Fine. What name did we settle on?
Rich: ISVETA. Infinite Sudden Victory Extra Time with Attrition.
Wen: I like Golden Goal. IGGETA. Like, “I get a win tonight.”
Nina: Yeah. IGGETA.
Gaby: Make it IGGETA, yeah. That’s better.
Rich: Not ISVETA?
Rich: Fine. IGGETA it is.
Jhonny: Okay. I’ll get going on the report.
Rich: Great. And Nina?
Rich: Keep me posted on the toilet situation.
Wen: That’s a laugh.
Rich: What is?
Wen: “Yes sir! I’ll give you minute by minute updates on the status of the toilet!”
Nina: You’re weird.
Wen: Thanks. Never woulda gotten this job otherwise.
Rich: That’s true. That’s what we look for.
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