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WEEKLY WHINE

The GoobNet SPEED goes to overtime

Rich: Okay, so today’s topic is penalty shootouts in football.

Gaby: Why?

Rich: Apparently Sepp Blatter asked Franz Beckenbauer to examine the topic.

Gaby: Examine what topic exactly?

Rich: Penalty shootouts in football.

Gaby: Oh.

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?

Gaby: Interesting.

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?

Jhonny: Yeah.

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?

Wen: Flushing?

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?

Nina: Yeah.

Rich: So it had been acting strange, but now it’s acting normal.

Nina: Yeah.

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.

Nina: Why?

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?

Rich: Replays.

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?

Rich: Yeah.

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.

Rich: Yes.

Wen: And in front of all the fans.

Rich: Yes.

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.

Nina: Oh.

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.

Rich: Okay.

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.

[Pause.]

Gaby: Facepalm.

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?

Wen: What?

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?

Rich: What?

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?

Wen: Wow.

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.

Jhonny: IGGETWA?

Rich: Leave out the W. Make it IGGETA.

Nina: Not Sudden Death?

Jhonny: ISDETA?

Rich: How about Sudden Victory? Then it’s ISVETA.

Gaby: So?

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?

Gaby: No.

Wen: No.

Rich: Fine. IGGETA it is.

Jhonny: Okay. I’ll get going on the report.

Rich: Great. And Nina?

Nina: Yeah?

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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