• WARNING: Spoilers

    A few members of the high school varsity football team are talking in the hall when they are joined by big-talking but unathletic Mel Stone. He brags about his hot date with Susan Harper, the not-quite-girlfriend of Dean, the quarterback. It turns out that the "date" consisted of Mel driving Susan home from the library, and subjecting her to more of his bragging. Later, Mel tries buttering up Dean, praising his skill while denigrating Andy, the player who failed to receive Dean's crucial pass in the last game. Mel mentions that he saw Andy walking outside, after the players' curfew.

    After a practice goes poorly, Dean asks Andy if he's getting enough rest, and Andy says he is. Unsatisfied, Dean keeps an eye on Andy and catches him out late again. It turns out that Andy is exercising his hurt knee, hoping no one will see him. If the coach or team doctor find out, he'll lose his place on the team just before the big game. However, Andy didn't lie about getting enough sleep - he takes naps earlier in the evening to make up for going to bed late. During this discussion, Mel drives by and sees them both violating curfew.

    The big game is a fiasco, as the team gets "clobbered" (as Mel puts it to himself) and Andy's knee is hurt again. At the post-game dance, everyone is already sufficiently depressed when Mel shows up and starts hurling accusations about Dean and Andy. The attitude of the rest of the group, put into words by one particularly assertive team member, is that Mel is bothering everyone and should beat it. Mel seems utterly shocked that everyone seems to hate him. We don't hear Mel's words as he attempts to justify himself, since the narrator comes in at this point with some questions, a hallmark of the "Discussion Problems in Group Living" series. What makes a person like Mel act the way he does? Is the group ever at fault? How would you cope with someone like Mel in your group? Could you help him? What do you think?