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In which John talks about thinking someone else has it all figured out and the consequences of that. The Wimbly Womblys play Middlesbrough.

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Hello and welcome to Hankgames without Hank. My name is John Green. I'm the manager of the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys, playing in the championship - so called because it is actually the second tier of English professional football, behind only the premier league. We are just one step away - one magical season away - from potential glory! However, we are playing teams that are much better than us, every day. So. There's that!

(0:26) Um, today I wanna talk about having it figured out. Um, particularly in the context of the disaster, the absolute unmitigated disaster of our team's poor decision-making in the last season, as we um... W- it all worked out in the end, but it was still wrong. Still wrong to throw games. We just lost our way! And the whole- I just wanna talk about figuring it out and having it figured out. And um, kind of defiguring it out, I guess.

(0:54) But today - first off, we're playing Middlesbrough - Middles-bruh. Middle- you wanna say Middles-borough, but that isn't correct. It's just Middles-bruh. Um, we got Seb Brown starting in goal. The White house out on the- as one of our full-backs. The other, of course, the great Callum Kennedy. Girls just wanna have Fundingsrud and Leonardo Moura, our center backs. Hells Pells, Francombstein, and then up front, we've got less Moore. Less is always Moore, and we're playing three at the front - very aggressive style for us today. Dicko, John Green and John Green. What? I'm just saying his name! His name is Dicko. It's not my fault that his name is Dicko.

(1:32) Um, as Meredith pointed out- wait, is your last name public? Ah, I won't make this joke. Um. So um... I uh... When John Green came to me with the idea of throwing a bunch of games on purpose- I mean, I knew- it isn't illegal, right. I mean, it isn't match-fixing or anything like that. It's just unsporting. But I think of it that way.

(1:58) All I thought was, "that's an awesome idea". Like, it's narratively beautiful, uh, we'll get to uh, humiliate our foes and everyone will have a wonderful time. Um, oh, oh! Ahhh, speaking of everyone having a wonderful time... Everyone almost just had a wonderful time, thanks to that cross into the box, but no. Like so much effort in this world, it came to naught.

(2:18) That's not a good pass! Um... So, uh, I um... It was one of those moments- I mean, you know. Like, I've been a semi-professional FIFA manager for a number of years now, and I was- I had one of those moments where I felt like I had it all figured out.

(2:33) DICKO! Ohhhh. Um. And um, this happens to me periodically, where I feel like I have it all figured out, but what interests me is that like, I'm in a weird position in my life where like, a lot of people think that I have it figured out, or else that I should. Partly because of my age and partly because um, you know, like, the platform and audience or whatever that I have now. And um- come on, boys! Uh, and I don't, of course. I don't- I don't have it all figured out. And there's lots and lots and lots of things about being alive that I don't know.

(3:10) But I also remember thinking that other people had it all figured out when they clearly didn't. Um, the most- the biggest example of this in my own like, personal life was uh, Kurt Vonnegut, this writer who I really, really admired. Um, especially in high school. But I still- I still admire his work a lot.

(3:27) And I remember I went and saw Kurt Vonnegut speak at Tuscaloosa Alabama when I was uh, fifteen or sixteen years old, and, you know, he was really smart. First off, I wanna make it clear that I'm not comparing myself to Vonnegut. He's a much better writer than I am, and also like, I think he had it figured out more than I do.

(3:42) But he was really, really smart and um, and interesting, and I just- I just really admired him. I admired everything about him. I admired his sense of humor, I admired the way that he went about life, I admired what he seemed to have learned. That he seemed to be a wise- a wise person, who knew- understood things about the world that maybe most people didn't. Especially about- ohhh, Bald John Green- I mean, Other John Green. You're better than that!

(4:08) Especially about maybe my own experience. Like, he seemed to be able to reflect something- Dicko! I appreciate your effort. Um, seemed to be able to kind of understand or- something about my own experience of being in the world, that was very helpful. And um, I don't know. It just felt like he kind of got me. And um, I remember thinking "man, I wish I could be like Vonnegut. I wish I could-" and I knew rationally that Vonnegut had attempted suicide not long before, that Vonnegut was in fact like, very- oh! Ohhh. Ohhhh. Brilliant defending by Middlesbrough.

(4:46) Um, I knew that Vonnegut was like, you know like, depressive and- and had- and didn't- you know, obviously, you don't try- don't attempt suicide if you like being alive, if you're enjoying your life. Or if you have a life that, you know, that you think is good. Um, and the fact that Vonnegut did, I think- ooooooooh! It's our first goal of the new season! And who does it come from? Why of course, it comes from (sings) Bald John Green, John Green, he gives it all for the team, upon his moustache we're keen, Bald John Green, John Green!

(5:35) (talks) What a beautiful goal. It could have gone- he could have passed to Dicko. He could have passed to his husband, but Bald John Green said "I take this team on my shoulders!" Speaking of which, my shoulder is doing much better. Cortisone shots are amazing! Just amazing.

(5:51) How about to Dicko? Or to John Green! Nope. How about to Dicko?! Think about- think about Dicko! I like that pass! Bald John Green? No? Alright. Well, we- this 4-3-3 is making us look like magic, ladies and gentlemen. Great first half of football against uh- a blisteringly talented side from Middlesbrough. (laughs)

(6:12) Um, but anyway, my point is that I felt like Vonnegut had it figured out, even though he was a deeply unhappy person, and um, and didn't have it figured out at all. Um... He made good work, but was a- you know, was a- was a person who suffered- suffered a lot. Um, even when he was famous, even when he was successful. In fact, like, I think that his fame and success did not in any way affect his um, like, overall level of functioning, except to maybe make it slightly worse.

(6:44) Um, and I think- I- I've been thinking about that, not- again, not because I think that I'm like Vonnegut, or- and also, I should say that I'm not um, you know, I don't have suicidal ideation or anything like that. And if I did, I would talk - (laughs) talk to my psychiatrist about it, not to- not to y'all. But um, I've been thinking about it just because- I've been trying to figure through why I had that assumption that um- why on earth did it occur to me that Vonnegut would have it figured out, just because he made good work?

(7:18) Oh, disaster. Very disappointing. Very disappointing. Stop doing that thing with your arm - you look ridiculous. Tries to hit the corner flag... I despise you, sir! Nah... I don't wanna be too...

(7:35) But um, but you know... I'm trying to understand it, because rationally, I knew that he didn't have it figured out. Just as I think like, rationally a lot of people understand that I don't have it figured out. But we still have like- I still have that expectation of him. And I don't think it was really even that unfair of me to have that expectation of him. Like, I think it was just part of, you know, like, part of him having an audience at that time in his life.

(7:57) And so I'm trying to puzzle through that, because I- I don't have it figured out. And I'm trying to figure out, is there a way to say "I don't have it figured out. I might screw up. I might lose games when I should try to win them" et cetera. But, for the record, I am trying to win this game. But I'm failing! We're down two-one. I still hate you! Stop doing that thing with your arm! Oh, I- argh! this is all going poorly! Maybe 4-3-3 was a terrible mistake. Hmm. Hmm!

(8:30) [What] this games needs, is a goal from Dicko. Okay. We're fast enough! You're fa- cut back! Yes! Get it to- uhhh! Get up, Dicko! YES! I love your courage! Ohhhh. That was great though. I loved th- I loved the work. The work-rate was good! And I like the fact that he's on the ball a lot, you know? That's encouraging to me.

(8:53) Um. Less Moore, you're better than that! I feel like we might have to take somebody out. Trying to get a point out of this game, since we're down two-one. This is- this is getting epic.

(9:03) So that's my only point. I don't- I don't have it figured out, and I don't ever expect to. Like, I expect to be like, kind of screwed-up and confused for the rest of my life. Now that I'm old- I used to think that like, at some point I would know what the hell I was doing. But now that I'm old, I really don't. I expect to be like, kind of s- confused and baffled, and trying to figure it out and trying to do my best on a day-by-day basis as long as I'm around. And like, I'm okay with that.

(9:28) Oh! John Green! You've gotta finish in that situation! John Green. I don't wanna say that I expect better of you, but I do! I do. I do expect better of you. That's a very disappointing outcome for me, John Green!

(9:46) Bringing in ya Bamba. That's what this game needs. He may only have a 56 skill level, but he's got heart! That's what we seem to be- that's what we seem to be lacking at the moment. Also taking out less Moore, and I'm taking out Francombstein. He was injured in the last game.

(9:59) Bringing on the patron saint of lost crosses, K Sainte Luce, 'cause we don't have anyone to back him up. Alright. Let's make sure that this is right. Hells Pells, uhhhh. I'll switch you guys around there. Yep. That's what we wanted!

(10:16) Now it's gonna be perfect. Now we're gonna come back. We're gonna shock the world! We make three substitutions at the same time, just like the pros do. I've been watching the World Cup. I know how you do this! Three substitutions in the 67th minute. We've changed the whole tide of the game. Boom! Bang. Roar.

(10:32) That's the name of Henry's favorite picture book about dinosaurs. It's an ABC book. It's about dinosaurs who are also construction workers. It seemed a little bit problematic to me, but I don't know. We don't know that much about the lives of dinosaurs. Could they have been construction workers? Possibly! We don't- you know, there's a lot we don't know. Um, but God! Let me tell you, as a father of a four-year-old, there's a lot we DO know about dinosaurs.

(10:57) Dickooooooooooooo! Ahhhh. He needed to cut back, but he was so excited, and who can blame him? He just- he got on the ball great. Ahh. I don't know that he needs a nickname Meredith. Can't we just call him Dicko?! That's his name! Yeah, we need a song for him, I guess. What rhymes with Dicko? Licko? Um... Sicko? Uh... Tricko? I don't know. Do you have anything? She doesn't have anything. Um, she said she's steering clear of this, and that uh, I should probably stop trying to rhyme with Dicko.

(11:34) Uh... Yeah! You don't have it figured out, um, I don't have it figured out. I appreciate- so I wasn't kidding when I said like, I appreciate being um- I appreciate people saying, like, wait a second! We shouldn't be losing games on purpose! And I appreciate people like um, you know, I appreciate it because it means that you believe in the Wimbly Womblys, which is exciting to me.

(11:53) But I also appreciate- oh, what a pass from Dicko! To K Sainte Luce, the patron saint of lost crosses. The patron saint of lost- it's deep! It's good! It's not good enough. Oooooooh! What was that, almost?! It was like a- that was like a "sweep the leg Johnny" kick from the Gaulden child! None of you get that joke, because it's from the Karate Kid, which came out in 1979, but whatever! Oh, that was beautiful from the Gaulden child. That sweet scissor-kick, but it didn't go in.

(12:19) I s- you know what, we may lose this game, and we tied the last game, and we're in big trouble... But I like the way that we're playing. It's open, it's flowing. It's a little bit crazy. Uh, it reminds me of the old Wimbledon FC from the eighties, where like, it was just a bunch of crazy, beautiful uh, guys, who loved the game and loved their club. That's what I'm feeling right now. I'm feeling like, yes, we are playing in a weird style, but I kinda like it.

(12:45) That's a nice ball! Get there, John Green! Show some courage! Alright, we gotta try to win this game. Well, we may not have it figured out, but here in the ninetieth minute, we do have a chance to do something special, which- oh, oh! Stay with it! Stay with it! (pause)

(13:02) Ya Bamba! Noooo. Oh, it was offside anyway. Oh, ya Bam- I'm telling you what, Meredith. If I'd left John Green in this game, we'd be tied. 'Cause Ya Bamba's five foot three inches tall. Probably should've thought that through. He's a tiny little man. And uh, yeah, that was my mistake. Like I said, I don't have it figured out.

(13:24) Congrats to Middlesbrough, and Jutkiewicz on a heroic, famous victory for their club. One goal from John Green - not enough. Uh, we've gotta find more goals. We're gonna be looking to Dicko, and others. Thank you for watching. Best wishes.