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"We are amazed how well the Japanese take to football," we tell him. "How well they know the game."
"They don't know it at all," says Jeffrey. "They enjoy the pageantry and the cheerleaders showing their thighs and they like the excitement of seeing large men crash into one another. And, of course, they're terrific hosts. They would think it a loss of face if they didn't make the teams feel welcome. But they have no idea what's going on."
"Then why have they paid $25 a seat to sit out here on a miserable day and suffer a one-sided game?"
"Like me," says Jeffrey, "they probably got in free. The house is mostly paper. Also, if you will remember, Mitsubishi gave away a car in the first half."
We ask Jeffrey how he knows these things. He says he knows Mitsubishi, a powerful conglomerate with a lot of indebted associates in the business world to put the arm on. Mitsubishi and its corporate allies buy the tickets and pass them around, he says. "I got mine from the International Sacred Hearts School."
"That's very interesting," we say, "but how do you know they didn't happen to get 60,000 Japanese who know American football?"
"First," says Jeffrey, "you would have to assume that 60,000 Japanese who know English also know football. It ain't likely. Then you would have to remember what you've been hearing all afternoon—a public-address announcer who hasn't spoken a single word of Japanese. All the action has been reported in English."
We think about it, and listen for a while. Jeffrey is correct. There are no Japanese translations. The P.A. announcer speaks fluent English. He reports the scoring of no tatche downs or feerudo goals. No kwata backs have thrown any fowado passes. No shimpans (referees) have walked off any bassoku (penalties).
"Take my word for it," says Jeffrey, offering his flask. "They have no idea what's going on."
No, thank you, we say, but promise to meet him later, when, with some Japanese friends, we will "tour an area of Akasaka" that he "knows well." He says he once toured it alone and remembers being on the verge of passing out. He woke the next morning in his bed in his apartment. His wallet was in his pocket, untapped. His shoes were arranged neatly on the floor.