F*** The Leaders
Going back to the days of elementary school, everyone
knows how you'd divide up teams for a playground game:
two people are picked as captain, and they go back and
forth until everyone is on a team. I was usually dead
last for whatever the game was, be it kickball, football
or whatever. But when we went inside and played spelling
baseball for review, I was always first. So I knew which
side of bread was buttered. But I'm OK with that now.
I've gotten past the bitterness.
Really, I have.
Travis Eberle, who also
thinks that his hometown Mariners leave little to be
can be reached at
So, what does that have to do with "The Apprentice"?
Whenever a team is badly outnumbered, Donald calls for a
"corporate restructuring". Whether it's having one
person go to the shorthanded team, or jumbling up the
teams completely, something always shakes up the game. I
understand why it's done, and yet I have problems with
It's hard for a team that has two members to compete
against a team of five. But on Mark Burnett's other
show, particularly this season, the short team has to
make do, usually by having people sit out of particular
challenges. Why change the rules for a different show,
especially when the formats are so similar. If these
people are really the top 18 contenders, they should be
able to make this work, whether they have nine employees
or two. But what's done is done. It makes for better
television too: at least the losing team now has a fair
shake, and won't get stomped into the ground.
So, now let's take a look at the how, as opposed to the
why. When it comes time for someone to change teams, the
shorthanded team gets to pick who will join them. This
goes against everything that makes sense in terms of
fair play, good gamesmanship, and plain ol' common
sense. "Let's let the team that's getting whupped pick
someone to even things up."
The fair and just thing to do would be... well, actually
that would be to have the shorthanded team have to play
with fewer teammates. They lost, they should have to
suffer some sort of penalty for it, and not be rewarded
for their ineptitude. The Expos didn't get to draft
Ichiro Suzuki. They got sent to Washington, D.C.
instead. In the real business world, you don't get to
steal employees without giving something in return or
getting a call from the feds.
A slightly more fair way to execute what Mark desires
would be to a) allow the winning team to decide for
themselves who to send over, or b) to have it be a
random draw of some sort.
I know it's a big hit, and I love to watch the show each
Thursday night, along with the other millions. But it
irks me to see a winning team sunk like that because the
producer has some hare-brained idea about making it a
better show. It's supposed to be a job interview, not a
weekly serial farce, though it's been like that for a
few weeks now. But that's another OTB for another time.