I sent the following in an email to a former student. He knows a lot more about the subject—both first-order and second-order—than I do, and for some reason he found it hilarious, and perhaps true, so I'm posting it (with some typos fixed):
Jon K and Mike B were talking football. And I was finding their discourse very interesting. It was a mix of descriptive and evaluative language, with the two inseparable, in the way natural law theorists like. Understanding almost none of the first order content of their conversation, I wondered what sorts of claims they were making. My first thought was that the evaluative language could be reduced without remainder to means-end stuff: a criticism might be a claim that such and such an action did not contribute to winning, or was not likely to contribute to winning, etc.
But on reflection, no such reduction is possible. Suppose player x does not take an action A such that x's taking A would have increased the chance of victory. This is only a criticism if we add some further claims. For instance, it is not a criticism of a player that he did not run at 90% of the speed of light, though had he done so, it might have increased the chance of victory. Maybe we want to say: we criticize x for not doing A only when x could have done A. But while that may be the case for moral evaluation, it's not the case for sports evaluation. For instance, if I was due to some freak in a football game, it would be appropriate to criticize me for not doing all sorts of things that I am incapable of doing. For while I'm incapable of doing them, they're expected of a football player. The criticism might be phrased: "That Pruss guy shouldn't have been put on the team." But it could just be phrased: "He didn't run fast enough."
Moreover, some of the criticism is probably rather mild. The person isn't being criticized for falling short of what it takes to be a competent football player. The criticism is for falling short of excellence. Maybe that's not entirely fair, but maybe it is. So we need a concept of football excellence. Football excellence is a concept that goes beyond the empirical. [I]f all the players in the world were as incompetent as I'd be, we should say that even the best players fall short of excellence. There may be games like that, say newly invented games that no one is excellent [as] yet. So what measures excellence here? I can't help but think it's some kind of a notion of human nature. Football excellence is a kind of human excellence. Thus, it is not a part of football excellence to run at 90% of the speed of light or to throw a ball with millimeter accuracy at 100 meters. For that's asking for more than human nature can be expected to yield even in the truly excellent. That would be asking for the superhuman, and we don't ask for that (though in a way God does—but he also gives the grace for it). This means that the notion of football excellence depends on a notion of human nature. Moreover, this notion of human nature does not appear to be merely empirical: there is an irreducible normative component.
This means that a naturalist can't consistently talk football.
How's that sound? I may be fudging too much, since I didn't really understand many, or maybe any, of their first order claims.