Can We Throw In For Schneider?

As a Packer fan and a Democrat I have a question. Can we just throw in for Schneider?

For those of you who don’t play the game (and if you’re a Wisconsinite you really have no excuse) Schneider is a term from Sheepshead. It means losing but not losing that badly. In Sheepshead, there are 120 total points, so you need 61 to win (well, 60 if you didn’t pick the blind). Half of the winning amount (30 or 31 if you picked) is called Schneider. If you get Schneider you still lose, but you only lose half of what you would have had you not gotten that many points.

In friendly games of Sheepshead, the side with an obviously losing hand will sometimes ask, “can we just throw in for Schneider?” That means you’re conceding the loss but asserting that you would still have gotten half the needed points. You just want to move on and play a more competitive hand next time. The correct response on the part of the victors is not, “no, let’s play,” but rather, “sure, and can I get anybody another beer while I’m up?”

This should work in other parts of life, say sports and politics. For example, the Packers travel to Buffalo next Sunday to take on the legitimate Super Bowl contending Bills. Buffalo has a heavy Polish population that should fully understand the concept of Schneider. Why should the Packers make the trip all the way to western New York just to get slaughtered in front of a Sunday night national TV audience? On the other hand, at the start of the season the Pack was thought to also have a fair chance at going deep into the playoffs. So, you never know. They might be better than the last three games would suggest. So, hey, why not just save everybody a lot of bother and just throw in for Schneider? We’ll accept a final score of, oh let’s just say, 31-24. Buffalo still gets the win and the Green and Gold gets away without being embarrassed. It’s a win-win. Well, okay, it’s a win-didn’t-lose-by-as-much-as-expected.

Yeah, it feels like this.

We can apply this same rule to the upcoming elections. It looks like the Democrats will just get pasted. But here again, you never really know, do you? We were looking pretty good just a few weeks ago before everything just went to hell on us. Maybe it’s now the Republicans who have peaked too soon. Why not just throw in for Schneider? Save everybody the cost of the election and just, say, concede loss of the House while we’ll keep control of the Senate. Let us have Gov. Evers back, but we’ll give up Doug La Follette. Good deal? Okay, let’s do it and move on to 2024.

I know. I know. I’m making light of an existential decision (I mean the election, not the Packers, but most Wisconsinites might not be so sure what I mean). This is the most consequential election of our lifetimes, just like the last dozen elections have been the most consequential elections of our lifetimes.

I’m just acknowledging that expectations have been lowered. I’d be happy if the Badgers went to a bowl game played on an obscure channel on a Wednesday in mid December. I’d be okay with the Packers getting into the playoffs as a wild card team. And I’ll settle for my Democrats holding on to the Senate and the Wisconsin governor’s office. Is that too much to ask?


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

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