Thursday, October 14, 2010


It’s late in the game, and the beleaguered coach of the recovery team gathers his clutch players together to come up with crucial new plays and team substitutions. He huddles with his key clutch players: Central Bank (CB), Finance Minister (FM), and Commerce Minister (CM).

COACH: Okay team, looks like we’re getting clobbered really bad in here. We’re down 30 points, and everyone in our team on the court is not doing his job. They’re just standing there while our score gets deeper into deficit. We need a play, and I’m putting in key substitutes.

Coach looks over to FM and CM: you guys are going to go out there and rouse everyone into better play. You need to come in big, and you need to do it quickly.

CM and FM: Yes coach!

COACH: FM, you need to take the ball and start passing it around. We need to get the other players into key positions to make a score. You know the drill. You can always get the ball when nobody else can. You do your job. CM, you need to make some key defense maneouvers. The other team is really good, and our players and getting creamed. You need to protect each one of them so they can get into the scoring position that we want them to get into.

Suddenly, CB starts shouting at the coach.

CB: But coach, why are you sending in these two guys? I’m way better at getting the team back into play. You know this, I’ve done it many times before!

COACH: I know. I’ve been sending you out every time we were behind previously. But we need a different play this time. It seems that every time you get in the game, everybody else gets too complacent and expect you to do everything. You grab the ball, you run with the ball, and then you’re supposed to shoot. It just makes it worse because it gets everybody else out of the game. We need everyone working their positions, CB. I don’t want your play dominating our team. It’s not sustainable.

CB: But coach, I can sustain it. I have many more tools up my sleeve. You have yet to see them!

COACH: No, no. you’ve done enough. The team already anticipates your moves, and are automatically adjust themselves to you. They no longer have their eye on the ball whenever you’re out there. They don’t focus on the other team or the game. They just focus on you. I want this to stop. I want our new play to consist of FM passing on the ball and setting up our other players to key scoring positions. But CM needs to do his job of defense as well. The other team has been playing it dirty.

CB protests: But coach, FM has this tendency to pass the ball to his favourites. They’re not always the best ones to make the score. We only end up wasting scoring positions. And every wasted score by FM only makes our team more tired! When I do my play, nobody gets tired. I do the heavy lifting for everyone! You have to see….

FM protests this time: Now wait a minute, CB. That’s a big accusation. I don’t play favourites here. I just pass to whoever has the position. You may not like my methods much, but I’m effective, because I can see the entire court. I just happen to want everyone to be happy, so I have to give everyone a chance to get the ball.

CB: See, that’s the problem! You don’t really see the entire court! You never see the opposing team coming up behind your back. How many times have you lost the ball that way? And this business about giving the ball to everyone who asks for it….

FM: Hey! I resent that! I at least have better teamplay and accountability than you! The other players understand when I tell them to move this way or that way. They know what I’m trying to do. Whereas you, you march to your own drum. Everybody just ends up wasting effort trying to read what you’re going to do. You end up making everyone pile into the same position they think you’re going to. That creates a dangerous crowding of the players, and just creates a large offensive opening for the opponent.

CB: Hey, that’s been effective in confusing the opponent too. You see them also crowding into the same positions too. I can manipulate them, so as to create an opening for the others. Your endless passing around of the ball is the one that’s confusing, and, as I said, tiring for the players.

CM: You too should just really chill, okay. The players are well able to score by themselves, okay. They don’t want either of you manipulating anything. Just let me help set up their defense. I’m also going to organize a stronger clustering play. You’ll see. We’ll start making points as soon as I set them up to double team the opposing team.

FM: You and your harebrained plays! The team is outclassed this time. They need my help. I run faster and see farther than any of them. I’ll run over to where they can’t run, and start passing. That’ll revive their spirits. That’s what we need right now. A rekindling of the fighting spirit. They’ve lost it, because of the disorganized play that resulted from your constant insisting that we leave them alone.

CM: You can’t run forever. You’ll eventually tire.

FM: No I won’t. I’m not subject to the same constraints as the others. I can keep producing a new ball to pass. The more balls going around, the better our chances of scoring.

CB: I can also produce balls myself. Let me do it. And I can immediately replace the balls that the other team stole, either because you passed it to the wrong person, or he misplayed it. That way, no player is ever left without a ball.

CM: What! This is madness! What utter madness! Do you know what it will do to the other players and their games if you keep giving them a ball for every one that they lose?

COACH: Enough, all of you! Look at the other team. Their own CB player is doing exactly the play that CB is contemplating. Constantly replacing all the lost balls of their team. FM, CM, sit down. CB, get into the game! You’re the only one who can defend us against this vile play. FM, you’re gonna have to cool it first. Your play is pointless if the other team keeps producing a ball for every one you steal. You too, CM. There’s no better defense against a constantly ball-replenished team than having team that’s also constantly ball-replenished.

CB shouts, as he runs towards the court to play: Don’t worry coach. I won’t let you down. I’m going to keep at my play until we run down the clock. No way the other team is going to win with that play while I’m in the game.

COACH: God help us!

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