Target of the Week
Matthew Parker is Vance King’s “Target of the Week” – which means certain humiliation at the hands of the bully! Matthew decides to take matters into his own hands by getting revenge on Vance during an Odyssey Coyotes baseball game.
Matthew is really suspicious and uneasy. After a wet paint prank, Matthew gets really angry. He wants revenge, so he got a glove which looked just like Vance's, but he cut the webbing, making it very difficult to catch a ball with the glove. Matthew switched Vance's glove with the modified glove during the last inning of an 'easy' game against the (0-10) Odenton Barons at Clausen's Field. When Vance dropped an easy catch (which would have ended the game), Matthew and Nelson were pleased with Vance's obvious embarrassment. However, the last inning dragged on to see the Odenton Barons score 9 runs to come from a 2-10 score to 11-10, knocking the Coyotes out of the playoffs.
Matthew found out after the game that the principal of his school gave Vance detention for bullying for a long time and Matthew didn't have to take justice into his own hands. He had to apologize to the team and Vance, and did so at the awards banquet, where he told the team he lost the game. But Ken, the pitcher, told them that the whole team lost the game. They thought the other team wasn't as good as them, and they weren't playing as a team. Matthew later apologized to Vance who said he would leave Matthew alone for a little while.
- Matthew said that Vance was a bully who needed to be stopped “for good.” So what was wrong with Matthew’s plan for humiliating him?
- What could Matthew have done instead?
- What does the Bible have to say about dealing with bullies? (See Matthew 5:38-48 for a starting point!)
- How can you follow Chris’s advice for choosing your own “target of the week?”
Heard in episode
|Matthew Parker||Zach Callison|
|Nelson Swanson||Georgina Cordova|
|Vance King||Jason Earles|
|John Whittaker||Andre Stojka|
|Wooton Bassett||Jess Harnell|
|Chang Fang||Matt Yang King|
|Ken Blaylock||Alex Polinsky|
|Jay Smouse||Whit Hertford|
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The album version of this episode includes an "end credits" scene of Wooton commentating a baseball play.
- This episode introduces the characters of Vance King and Jay Smouse, both bully characters brought in to replace the aged Rodney Rathbone, who had been on the show for 17 years.
- The game is referred to by Whit variously as "the last regular season game", a "playoff game", and that losing the game "knocked them out of the playoffs". Nelson also refers to the game as being "on the brink of the playoffs".
- The music cue before Wooton and Whit's conversation about Kids' Radio includes the very recognizable first seven notes to the chorus of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
- Whit announces that McGwire, a player on the Odenton Barons team, fields a ball to end the top of the 9th. This may be a reference to Mark McGwire, former major league baseball player, though the Odenton McGwire was presumably a third baseman and real-life Mark McGwire played first.
- In Coach Chang Fang's speech about Matthew, he says "you came, you served, you conquered - our thirst" is an allusion to a popular quote attributed to Julius Caesar: "I came, I saw, I conquered".
QuotesNelson Swanson: Haven't you noticed that people are staring at you?
Matthew Parker: Who?
Nelson Swanson: Everyone.
Matthew Parker: Is there something hanging from my nose?
Vance King: Tell him what he's won, Jay!
Jay Smouse: Well Vance, Matthew has won seven unforgettable days and nights of degradation, denigration and humiliation!
Vance King: That's right, Jay! You'll be poked, pranked and prodded by some of the best in the business! You'll also receive physical harm at no extra cost!
Nelson Swanson: Hey Matthew.
Matthew Parker: Ahhhhhhh!! Don't scare me like that!
Nelson Swanson: I just said your name.
Matthew Parker: Well, warn me before you speak to me!
Ken Blaylock: Actually, I did lose the game, and so did everybody else on our team. It would be easy to blame Matthew, and that was a pretty lousy thing for him to do. You know what? It wasn't all his fault. Just like it wasn't Vance's or mine. Though, I know I wasn't pitching my best. The fact is, we didn't play as a team in the 9th inning. We took it for granted that Odenton would be easy to beat. I mean, we thought we had the game won. We were overconfident and sloppy; it's that simple. So, maybe we should keep that in mind when we're passing the blame around; it wasn't any of us, it was all of us. Thanks for the award.
Chang Fang: There is a flow, as the other team rolls like a river towards home plate, we want to disrupt that flow. Do you understand? We must drop a rock in their river cutting them off at second before we worry about first.
Wooton Bassett: And for all those folks who have never heard a game on the radio before. Let me just give you a preview of what it'll sound like.
John Whittaker: What were those sounds at the end?
Wooton Bassett: Ah well you see the ball left the field, and hit the blades of a passing traffic helicopter, and so the ball got flung three miles and landed in the lion cage at the zoo. The mother lion was not that happy. Oh I'm really hoping something like that happens, Whit!
Matthew Parker: Maybe there's a witness protection program for kids like me.
Wooton Bassett: Well, I don't even know that much about baseball and more than that I don't really like baseball.
John Whittaker: What?
Wooton Bassett: Yeah, I mean, not everything about baseball.. Just the parts of the game when nothing is really happening.. Which if you think about in a three hour game is about... Oh, three hours.
John Whittaker: Uh, Matthew.. It's a little cool out for bare feet, don't you think?
Wooton Bassett: Oh Wow! Are you on the "no shoe diet" too?! You know it really works! I lost 17 oz. immediately after I took off my shoes but I put all the weight right back on.
Nelson Swanson: Abort the mission, Abort!