Scene: Around 9pm at an IHOP in one of the “Super Tuesday” states, Young Enthusiastic Blogger (YEB) is on his fourth cup of coffee with half a stack of pancakes and a pile of papers in front of him. Marginally Attractive Waitress (MAW) is bringing him more coffee.
MAW: Here’s your coffee hon, what are you working on this week?
YEB continues his work without talking; MAW picks up a sheet of paper from one of the piles on the table.
MAW: “Minor League OPS Leaders by Age,” sounds riveting.
YEB: Look MAW, I’ve spent the last three weeks combing through an endless stream of tiny numbers, just keep the coffee coming.
MAW: Aren’t you snippy; did you get embarrassed by the Baseball Think Factory again?
YEB: Why do you hurt me so?
MAW: Because you’re a bad tipper. Just out of curiosity, do you even watch other sports?
YEB: Well, the Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t exactly catching my fancy, but sure, I watch football all the time, golf when it’s on, NASCAR when I’m bored and, well, I pretty much watch whatever is on television when the Twins aren’t.
MAW: Good, you’re not a total case then…so, you have any Super Bowl plans?
YEB: I’m not sure I’m allowed to use the phrase “Super Bowl,” isn’t it trademarked or something?
MAW: Okay, do you have any plans for the “Big Game?”
YEB: Not really, Tom Brady is going to roll right through the Giants. I figured I could take a weekend off and drive somewhere. I’ll catch the commercials on YouTube when I get back.
MAW: It’s the middle of winter; it’s below freezing, where the hell would you go? There’s nothing to drive to. And please, Brady isn’t going roll over the Giants; they just beat Brett Favre in Lambeau Field. You can’t write off that sort of momentum.
YEB: Uh, yes I can write off “momentum” as it doesn’t exist. Brady is going to pick the Giants apart. See, modern football is about moving the ball with a robust passing game. If you look at the numbers…
MAW: Stop, if you’re going to start talking about probability or correlations I’ll slap you.
An Obnoxious Football Fan (OFF) in the neighboring booth overhears the conversation and decides to jump in.
OFF: Dude, did you say you weren’t planning on watching the Super…er…Big Game?
OFF: Dude, you can’t, like, not watch the game man, it’s America’s religion. Go Giants! Whooooo!
YEB slams his head into the table, as he recovers lucidity he is joined by his friend, Liberal Blogger Dude (LBD)
YEB: Good to see you LBD, what’re you doing here?
LBD: Didn’t you hear? This IHOP is going to be visited by Democrat Presidential Frontrunner (DPF) sometime tonight.
MAW: Yeah, the secret service have been snooping around for the last few hours.
YEB: Why would DPF make a campaign stop here at 9 o’clock at night?
MAW: His local campaign office always meets here for dinner, he’s going to join them for a bit.
YEB smashes his head into the table once again.
MAW: You break it you buy it.
LBD: What’s the big deal? I thought you were into politics?
YEB: Not when I’m trying to finish baseball related research, in fact, I’m not interested in politics at all except in the absence of baseball.
LBD: People like you are why this country is in the state it’s in.
OFF: Go Giants, Whoooo!
Groups of people start filling up tables. Some are regulars but most look like journalists. Eventually the IHOP is full except for a reserved table in the back. Unknown Local Journalist (ULJ) takes a seat beside LBD at YEB’s table.
ULJ: I told the hostess I was with LBD; I hope you guys don’t mind.
YEB: No I don’t mind, at this point I won’t be getting anything done.
LBD: YEB, want you to meet a good friend of mine, he works for the Local Paper of Record.
ULJ: Hey, I know you YEB; you got pwn3d by the Baseball Think Factory. I read about it on a popular and insightful, and thus not your, Twins blog.
YEB: I don’t need this, if I wanted to be insulted I could ask MAW out on a date again.
ULJ, reading one of YEB’s scraps of paper: “AA Walk to Strikeout Ratio Leaders, adjusted,” sounds thrilling. Why are all the names blacked out?
YEB: It’s so I won’t show any bias and it helps me maintain test-retest reliability as I rank prospects.
ULJ: You need to get out more.
Several large SUVs and a small armada of police vehicles stop in front of the IHOP and several dozen people pour through the doors. Every journalist, including ULJ, jumped up and rushed the door. Police and Secret Service agents pushed a path for DPF. The air was filled with questions and the sounds of camera clicking pictures. After a few minutes the commotion died down as DPF and his campaign staff were seated at the reserve table.
Their dinner must have been previously prepared since it was served moments after everyone was seated. After fifteen minutes the meal was over and DPF started going around the restaurant shaking hands. Eventually he worked his way to YEB’s booth.
DPF: Good evening everyone, how’s everybody doing?
LBD: Very good sir.
DPF, looking at the papers on the table: Sports statistics? Are we big sports fans?
OFF: Yes Sir! Go Giants! Whoooo!
LBD: We’re mostly sports fans, except grumpy over there, he’s not going to watch the Big Game on Sunday.
DPF: My friend, that is un-American. We must come together as brothers in this society, Blacks and Latinos, Republicans and Democrats, and find common ground. It is time for change, for football. It will be a great day in America when we can provide healthcare and jobs to all Americans and shake off the present administration and move forward for change. The Big Game is something more important than one of us, it is about all of us.
YEB: I bet you’re rooting for the Giants?
DPF: Fate is in their corner, they have momentum. Tom Brady has suffered the slings and arrows of a long season and may find himself on the sideline. Come now son, we are our brother’s keepers, watch the Big Game. I bid you all good night but I expect the rest of you shall help the young man see the light.
DPF is shuffled away by the Secret Service and soon enough the IHOP is back to normal.
MAW: Isn’t that guy a doll? I’d so vote for him.
YEB: All looks, charm and glittering generalities.
ULJ: So YEB, you’re some sort of writer, you going to “blog” this or something?
YEB: I had an idea in mind.
LBD: You’re not going to one of those stupid dialogue columns are you? Do you really think people find you funny?
LBD: Come on, it’s impossible to even keep all the characters straight. Where did you get the idea to do that anyway?
YEB: Well, it was originally a parody of a column written by a guy from his (pointing to ULJ) paper.
LBD: Well, stop. Just stop. Matter of fact, why don’t you just take a weekend off and drive somewhere.
OFF: Like to the Big Game! Go Giants! Whoooo!
YEB, to MAW after popping an aspirin: Where’s my coffee?
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