Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dodgeball Politik

Imagine you’re EUDA, the most powerful of regional federations in the world’s most popular sport, Dodge ball, second only to the international federation of Dodge ball Associations in influence. But your power is under threat from Insolent, pompous rich clubs, which purport to start an exclusive Championship in direct competition with the existing motley official competition that is sanctioned by you. Oh the nerve!
And to make matters worse, a baron from the evil empire in the East comes along splashes a bit of money around and altogether upsets the order of things. Now, it’s bad enough contending with elite clubs but there’s some dignity to it. The prospect of dealing with upstarts, who misguidedly belief that money can buy standing, however, is perfectly insufferable, completely without redeeming qualities. Oh, the indignity! What to do, what to do?! Nouveau riche or established riche, they’re all dangerous; and they must be decidedly put in their place and reminded who’s boss! But how?
Soberly assessing the situation and redefining your position so as to remain relevant would be one way. But that’d be too hard, and it would mean that the riche win; no, this calls for the down and dirty, for humiliation - It’s about time a few wings were clipped and a bud nipped!
The strategy is quite simple: promote the smaller clubs at the expense of the more prestigious ones. How is this to be done without exposing yourself to accusations of partiality you ask. Why, that’s easy! A bit of calculated randomness here, and sports psychology there, and viola; mission accomplished! Suppose that in the grouping of teams some property - such as weight, size - of the little balls that contain team names are tampered with, thereby making it possible to discriminate between them, would the process remain impartial? Now suppose that a giant killer is drawn against a giant? Or better yet draw a floundering team, the perfect candidate for patronage, against a giant that is one in name only! Let’s pause and consider the factors that would be at play in such a match up: complacency, and inspiration. The purported giant would underestimate the struggling team. The strugglers on the other hand would be greatly inspired, remember desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.
That would cover most problems save for one: a clinical, dogged upstart team; easelhc dc! That would be a difficult one to get rid of. But squaring it against an established team with a score to settle might do. Grudge match would be a win win situation: a rich team would be eliminated and the one left standing would be too wounded to survive much longer. But upstarts are dreadfully irritating therefore it might be better if they are gotten rid off ASAP. So if you have a discreet referee to subtly make sure of the result you desire, what of it!
And if the years in which the elite clubs and nouveau riche are only punctuations of the years of dominance by a variety of small clubs, who’s to say that’s not the new order of things?


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