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mall fictional town of Dukesberry, New Hampshire, Davey Stone is a 33-year-old Jewish alcoholic troublemaker with a long criminal record whose antics have long earned him the community's animosity. Davey is arrested for refusing to pay his bill at Mr. Chang's Chinese restaurant, attempting to evade arrest ("Davey's Song"), stealing a snowmobile, and destroying festive ice sculptures in the process. At Davey's trial, Whitey Duvall, a 69-year-old volunteer referee from Davey's former basketball league, intervenes. At Whitey's suggestion, the judge sentences Davey to community service as a referee-in-training for Whitey's Youth Basketball League. Under the terms of the community service, if Davey commits a crime before his sentence is completed, he will serve 10 years in prison. The next day, Davey's first game ends in disaster. As Davey causes disruptions and continuously torments an obese player, White
y then suffers a grand mal seizure, and the game is abruptly halted, Davey forfeiting it to the opposing team for the sole purpose of making said obese player cry. Attempting to calm Davey down, Whitey takes him to the mall, where they meet Davey's childhood friend Jennifer Friedman and her son Benjamin: Jennifer is now a divorced, single mother having moved back to her hometown and taking a job at the mall after her former husband had left her for another woman that he met online. Whitey reminds Davey that he lost his chance with Jennifer 21 years earlier, but Davey secretly still has feelings for her. As time progresses, Davey and Whitey's relationship becomes more strained, especially after Whitey threatens Davey that he will notify the judge when Davey shoplifts a peanut brittle; despite letting him off the hook, Whitey keeps to his word and vows to tell the judge if Davey commits another crime. Whitey's various attempts to encourage Davey are met with humiliation an
d assault—including Davey knocking Whitey into a porta-potty. Later, Davey bonds with Benjamin while playing basketball at the community center with two other men; but then the game stops when Davey lets Benjamin cuss at the guys who had lost to them, leading Jennifer to reprimand Benjamin for swearing and scolds Davey for his actions telling him that she doesn't need her son ending up like him. While the two are driving to their respective homes, they sing about their happy childhood together and how much things have changed ("Long Ago"). When Davey gets home, his trailer is being burned down by one of the men who lost the basketball match to him. Davey runs into the burning trailer to rescue a Hanukkah card from his late parents, then watches the trailer burn down. Whitey opens his home to Davey, who reluctantly accepts; also living there is Whitey's diabetic twin sister Eleanore. The Duvall household has many complex rules, to which Whitey refers as techni
cal fouls ("Technical Foul"). Davey seemingly overcomes them and starts to turn his life around. But Davey's progress in reforming stops short when Whitey recalls what happened two decades ago: En route to one of Davey's basketball games, his parents were tragically killed in a car accident, and Davey learned of their deaths when the police showed up after the basketball game. Devastated by the loss of his loving parents and leaping from foster home to foster home, Davey spent the next 21 years numbing his pain with alcohol and petty crime and a result he ostracized himself away from Jennifer and his other friends. Uncomfortable with this reminder of his tragic, painful childhood, Davey loses his temper and insults both Whitey and Eleanore which results in Whitey kicki