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Online Game Asks Players to Guess if City Work Will be Completed On Time

By Nicholas Rizzi | November 22, 2016 10:13am
 Borough President James Oddo launched a new game,
Borough President James Oddo launched a new game, "Undah/Ovah," where residents can guess if city projects will be done in time.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

STATEN ISLAND — The lack of punctuality of city construction projects has become a game on Staten Island.

Borough President James Oddo launched the "Undah/Ovah" online game that's based on a sports radio segment and takes players' guesses on whether city work will be on time or delayed.

It's named after WFAN host Mike Francesa's pronunciation of under and over in his thick Long Island accent and aims to highlight the constant delays in infrastructure building.

"It's a very serious issue and we're using this tool of reductio ad absurdum [Latin for reduction to the absurd] to highlight it," said Oddo, who launched the game on his website last week.

"The Department of Design and Construction never brings a project on budget and on time."

The game includes projects like the widening and reconstruction of Victory Boulevard and Manor Road, which has been in the works for more than two years but is delayed until June 2017, and improvements for Richmond Valley Road which are set to be finished in 2020.

Oddo's Twitter bio lists him as a proud member of Mongo Nation — a social media group of fans of Francesa — and he said he catches snippets of the "Mike's On" show driving to and from events.

A part of the show includes Francesa and his listeners discussing if games will be under or over a certain score.

Oddo, who has rallied against city delays on social media, said he thought applying the game would be a "sarcastic, snarky and fun" way to highlight the problems with city construction.

"With the advent of Mongo Notion, and the fact that guys have a blast with under/over on social media, I thought let's reduce it to the absurd," he said.

"Put pressure on the agencies to stop making excuses and continue to make a case to the highest level of city government that DDC is broken and New York City does not have the ability to build capital infrastructure efficiently."

The game features eight projects so far, and most people have voted "ovah" on them. Oddo said his staff plans on adding more.