A college-football coach was deeply troubled. His star player was faced with the possibility of being declared academically ineligible. So he pleaded with the math professor not to flunk the athlete.
The professor said, “I’ll ask him a question in your presence. If he gets it right, I’ll pass him.”
The athlete was called in. The professor asked, as the easiest question he could think of, “What is two and two?”, and thought, “This way, both the athlete and the coach are sure to achieve what they want. As for me, I did a big favor for the coach. I might ask him to return it someday in the future.”
For the first time after constantly taking zero marks in mathematics since he entered the college, the athlete could easily solve this problem, and answered, “Four.”. He inwardly gave a sigh of relief.
For the coach who was holding his breath, however, the athlete’s answer meant a failure of this special treatment. His ability in mathematics was even lower than that of the athlete, and the answer he had calculated was different from the athlete’s. Convinced that his answer was the correct one and, in consequence, that the athlete couldn’t pass the exam, the coach frantically cried, “Give him another chance! Give him another chance!”