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WEEKLY WHINE

Schmilblick Patrol: Luís Figo

Edvard: Hello everyone! Welcome! Thank you! Welcome everyone! Welcome to another edition of GoobNet’s Adventures of the Schmilblick Patrol, wherein three people who don’t know one another will come together and try to get into the mind of someone else that they haven’t met. Well, we’ll see how successful they are with our patroller for today. Let’s meet him right now. He was a longtime footballer, appearing for clubs like Sporting Clube de Portugal, Barcelona, and Real Madrid. He was the best known of Portugal’s famous Golden Generation, which won the 1991 under-20 World Cup. He went on to earn 127 caps for Portugal and wore the captain’s armband at the 2006 Men’s World Cup. He is now in the front offices of the game. So here he is, Luís Figo!

Luís: Hello.

Edvard: Hello Luís. Welcome. It’s a pleasure to have you here.

Luís: I am pleased to be here.

Edvard: Great. Would you like to meet today’s patrollers?

Luís: Certainly.

Edvard: All right. Here they are. First, we have Melania from Oporto, Portugal.

Melania: Hello.

Edvard: From Newark, NJ, USA, we have Gregor.

Gregor: Hey.

Edvard: And from Bath, England, UK, we have Timofeo.

Timofeo: Hello.

Edvard: So, welcome to all of you. Luís, would you like to tell us what your Schmilblick is today?

Luís: Are we not supposed to play the game first?

Edvard: Well, yes, but in order to do so, the patrollers require a broad description of what your Schmilblick pertains to.

Luís: A broad description.

Edvard: Yes.

Luís: Such as why I withdrew from the election for the FIFA presidency?

Edvard: Why you withdrew from the election for the FIFA presidency. Good. That should be a challenge for our patrollers. They will have eighteen questions in which to try to determine your Schmilblick, Luís. If they are successful, they will win a fabulous trip to Berlin for the UEFA Champions League final. We’ll fly each of you round trip to Berlin, where you’ll spend four nights in a hotel of some sort. We’ll get each of you into some of the most exclusive parties of the week. Then, on match day, we’ll take you to the Olympiastadion and give you a chance to see the warmups pitchside before we get you settled in your premium seats for the match between Juventus and Barcelona. But if they can’t identify your Schmilblick in eighteen queries, Luís, you will be our winner. In that event, you will win a fabulous trip to Newark for Gregor’s bridge club final. We will fly you round trip to Newark, NJ, USA, where you’ll spend four nights at Gregor’s apartment. We’ll get you into some of the most exclusive parties of the week. Then, on bridge day, we’ll take you to Ron and Kendra’s house and give you a chance to see the warmups tableside before we get you settled in your premium seats for the match between whoever is playing. What do you think of that?

Luís: That sounds... fun.

Edvard: Spoken like a true politician. Patrollers, are you ready?

Timofeo: Ready!

Gregor: Yes!

Melania: I am ready.

Edvard: Luís, are you ready?

Luís: Yes, I am.

Edvard: Great. Let’s go on patrol! Melania, we go to you first.

Melania: Thank you. Hello, Luís.

Luís: Hello Melania.

Melania: I am so excited to meet you. I have always been a big fan.

Luís: Obrigado.

Edvard: Let’s have your first question, please, Melania.

Melania: Oh. Yes. My question for you, Luís, is: Did you withdraw from the FIFA election because you realised that it was all a giant sham run by spineless toadies in which everything was weighted so heavily in Sepp Blatter’s favour that it should really be described as a coronation and that neither you nor the other challengers had any realistic chance of winning or even coming close to winning?

Luís: Yes. And that’s my Schmilblick.

Edvard: Wait, what? Really?

Luís: Yes. Well done to you, Melania.

Melania: Oh. Obrigada. Thank you so much, Luís.

Edvard: That’s your Schmilblick? Just like that?

Luís: Yes. You see, there are so many people throughout the footballing world who recognise the urgent need for change within FIFA. However, they are not willing to do what we must do in order to effect that change.

Edvard: And what is that?

Luís: We must vote for new leadership.

Edvard: Prince Ali bin al-Hussein?

Luís: Yes.

Edvard: Not me?

Luís: I will support your election any time, Edvard.

Edvard: Great. Look at that, everyone! I have a ringing endorsement from Luís Figo! Well, thank you for joining us today, Luís. Our patrollers have identified your Schmilblick – well, one of them did – and so they have all won that trip to Berlin for the UEFA Champions League final. Congratulations to all of you. Have a delightful time there. Well, we still have another twenty four minutes to fill. Anyone have any suggestions of what we can do for that time?

Timofeo: I could give a demonstration of how to tie various types of knots.

Edvard: No.

Luís: I have a highlight reel of my playing career.

Melania: Omigod! Yes!

Edvard: Does that include the match against the Netherlands in 2006?

Luís: Yes.

Edvard: Then no.

Melania: [crestfallen] What?

Edvard: Any other ideas?

Melania: Could we have an enormous song and dance number about how FIFA is an unbelieveably corrupt organisation full of people who seek to fill their own pockets with the flood of cash from the World Cup and will do anything to protect their own positions, including elect a man whose understanding of the game has repeatedly been revealed to be severely lacking and who gives but lip service to the ever growing need for transparency throughout the organisation while at the same time seeking to tighten his grip on power through any means necessary, from absurd exaggeration of his own accomplishments to outright blackmail of his opponents?

Luís: I would enjoy that.

Edvard: You know, so would I. Let’s have a giant song and dance number about the systemic corruption at all levels within FIFA.

[Giant song and dance number about the systemic corruption at all levels within FIFA.]

Edvard: Well, that was delightful. Great idea, Melania. Thank you to our patrollers, and congratulations as well. Thank you to Luís Figo for joining us. And of course, thank you to our musical guests Green Day, Avril Lavigne, and Elvis Costello for helping show us all just how much of an embarrassment Sepp Blatter really is. That’s it from us! We’ll see you next time! This is Edvard van de Kamp, wishing you good tidings and better Schmilblicks. Good night everyone!

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