This is primarily an Ordinary Times post, but I think it might be amusing even without some of the meta…

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KELLY: Welcome to the Ordinary Sport Halftime Report. This is Tod Kelly in the studio with Will Truman and Malcolm Blue. As you may know, this is a special game here in the Ordinary studios because Will here went to Southern Tech, while Mal attended St Roche.

BLUE: Happy to be here, Tod.

TRUMAN: Likewise.

scoresheet-oscKELLY: So it’s another week of Eastern Metro Conference action against these two longtime rivals and it has been an exciting thirty minutes of play. The thing that stands out most from the stats sheets are turnovers. Ball control has been a serious issue all aro-

TRUMAN: Let me stop you right there, Tod. You act like “turnovers” have been a “general issue” with the implication that they are evenly distributed between teams. But if you look at the stat sheet, you will notice that St Roche has three turnovers compared to two turnovers. Further, from those three turnovers, the Packers have scored twice while the Buccaneers have only scored once. So there hasn’t been a general problem with “both sides” having turnovers in a “general” sense and I don’t think you’re actively portraying the game as it has been played with that implication.

KELLY: I understand that, Will. I’m simply saying that both sides have had some issue…

TRUMAN: There you go again, Tod. “Both sides”? It’s been a problem for St Roche. You can’t look at this game as one with “a lot of turnovers” when it’s the Buccaneers that are having serious problems with ball control.

KELLY: Two turnovers in a half with one being converted into a touchdown is a problem no matter…

TRUMAN: They have three. Do you understand that, Kelly? Are you actually going to look at the stat sheet or are you going to persist with this fiction that everybody has a lot of turnovers so oh well I guess it doesn’t matter.

KELLY: I never said it doesn’t matter, Will. I simply said that there have been a lot of turnovers. If you’d let me finish, I would have said that it’s particularly been a problem for St Roche.

TRUMAN: That still implies that it’s been a problem for Southern Tech, which if you look at things, it really hasn’t. There have been two turnovers, from which seven points were made. That’s simply not comparable to three turnovers from which ten points were made. Not comparable at all.

BLUE: If I could interject here, if you notice at that second turnover, there was an uncalled defensive pass interference that occurred prior to that. So in reality, that shouldn’t have counted. So really, there have been only two turnovers. The third doesn’t count.

KELLY: Doesn’t count, Mal? The “pass interference” you cite was hardly pass interference, and it was on the other side of the field. And your quarterback threw it right into the defender’s hands. There wasn’t even a Packer anywhere in site. The interference had nothing to do with the…

BLUE: Oh, I get it. You argued with him so now you have to argue with me.

KELLY: That’s not what this is about. But fine, let’s move on from turnovers. The score is 27-17. Can we at least agree on that?

BLUE: Only technically, Tod. First, as I mentioned, the pick-six shouldn’t have counted. That brings the score down to 20-17. There was an additional three points scored off that fumble on the sixteen yard line. And a kickoff return that was scored for a touchdown. So if you look at actual offensive points, it’s 17-10 and we’re winning.

TRUMAN: The field goal was scored by the offense, Malcolm. So that’s 17-13. But even setting that aside, it’s not as though only offensive points count. That’s ridiculous.

KELLY: Can’t argue with that. And the score is 27-17. It’s right there on the scoreboard.

BLUE: You can point to your “scoreboard” all you want. The stat sheet is less skewed, and if you look at the stat sheet we have 273 yards to their 212…

TRUMAN: We couldn’t get the yards because you kept giving us the ball and penalty yardarge!

BLUE: Let’s be clear here, both sides have turnovers in this game. So we really shouldn’t be counting those points. We’re winning this game.

KELLY & TRUMAN: YOU ARE NOT WINNING THIS GAME!

BLUE: So of all of the metrics you could be looking at, you’re just going to be fixated on the scoreboard?

KELLY: Sigh. Yes, we are. But let’s move on. Another factor in this game has been penalties. While both sides have six penalties…

TRUMAN: There you go again, Tod, both sides. We have six penalties for 40 yards. And they’re barely penalties like “offsides” and “delay of game”. Meanwhile, they’ve committed several holding and pass interference penalties for 78 yards!

BLUE: 83 yards. Also, to go back to the missed pass interference call…

KELLY & TRUMAN: THAT HAD NO BEARING ON THE OUTCOME OF THE PLAY!

BLUE: A penalty is a penalty, and as long as we’re going to get all high and mighty about who is body-slamming whom in the backfield…

TRUMAN: Look, I’m just saying that you can’t really talk about “penalties” in a general sense because only one of these teams has been having a persist problem breaking the rules in a meaningful way.

KELLY: I know you hate the term, but both teams…

TRUMAN: Ugh!

KELLY: Both teams have had a lot of penalties called on them. You’re right that they haven’t resulted in equal yardage, but…

TRUMAN: So you’re just going to fixate on the one statistic that makes each side look equally bad. Got it.

KELLY: Sigh. No, I never said it was equally bad. But let’s move on to offense. With the exception of that interception, Teddy Barton has been ripping Southern Tech’s secondary apart with 229 total yards and fourteen completions out of 21 attempts…

TRUMAN: Grunt.

KELLY: Now what?

TRUMAN: I know it’s your job to pretend that this game is exciting and that there are things going for both sides, but you really need to be more honest about it. Barton has only 195 passing yards. An additional 36 rushing yards doesn’t necessarily say anything one way or the other about the secondary and in fact could be indicative of scrambling due to the lack of an open receiver. I know you said “229 ‘total’ yards, but that seems pretty clearly an attempt to exaggerate the performance of a quarterback with a scurrilous accusation against our secondary, which has held them to under 200 yards.

KELLY: Which is impressive, I guess?

TRUMAN: It seems telling to me how fixated we are about who has thrown the ball more than whom. In case you missed in, Tod, the Packers are winning this game 27-17. I know it’s inconvenient for you to acknowledge that one team has more points than the other, but you can’t just dance around it talking about unimportant statistics. Reality has a Packer bias here and it’s time we stop pretending otherwise.

BLUE: You’re just fixated on the score because that’s the one place – other than penalties and turnovers – where Southern Tech is doing better than St Roche. Offensive yards really do matter here. As does the fact that we are more highly ranked.

TRUMAN: What does that have to do with anything?

BLUE: We are clearly the better team. We have more quality wins this year. We won far more games – and the EMC title – last year. You cling to that scoreboard as though it is the only thing that matters when, if you look at a deeper level, you’re losing.

TRUMAN: A deeper level like the fact that we are winning the division this year and have a better record? That we have beaten you the last five times we’ve played?

BLUE: We beat you the three before that, but that’s not the point. Earlier in the year we beat Temple Hill and Ole Tex and we were projected to possibly even be in the playoffs!

TRUMAN: You can latch on to those things all you want, but at the end of the day the entrance requirements to get into Southern Tech blow those of St Roche out of the water, with our school having an average SAT score of 1260 compared to theirs of 1220. US World and News Report puts us in the top tier while you are stuck in the second tier. The crime rate at St Roche…

KELLY: Guys, I think we’re getting off-track here. What do you think we can we expect to see in the second half?

BLUE: We will continue to win and the scoreboard will stop being so skewed.

TRUMAN: We’re going to kick their ass because that’s what Carnegie rated Very High Research Universities do to lowly High Research University schools.

KELLY: And with that, thank god, it’s back to Mary on the sidelines…

{Mr Blue assisted with this post.}


Category: Elsewhere, Theater

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

3 Responses to The Half Time Report

  1. Mike Hunt Ray Rice says:

    The times of possession are off.

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