Jeremy writes a letter to his deaf sister about his new job at Sports Night. In it he describes the last few days there, including Dan's writer's block and a story about the carjacking, beating and death of Archibald Russell, an 80-year-old Negro League ball player, whom Isaac knew. He also talks about his interest in Natalie, who, as everyone but he can see, is crazy about him. Elsewhere, Isaac is mad that his daughter is dating a Republican, and Casey tries to annoy Gordon, Dana's new boyfriend, who clearly can hold his own against Casey.moreless
Dana: Casey! Gordon's taking me to Gracie Mansion tonight, for a dinner with the mayor.
Gracie Mansion is the official residence of the mayor of New York City. Due to some odd "blue-law" type legal restrictions, several mayors have not been able to live there, due to marital status.
The show has four rundown meetings a day; at 12 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm for the 11 pm -12 am broadcast.
In this cleverly written episode, Jeremy reveals the background of some of the characters. Isaac Jaffe, the managing editor, started out as a stringer for the Atlanta Journal, and went on to win the Pulitzer Price for his coverage of the Gemini Mission. He later went on to be the London Bureau Chief for CNN, which he retired from. Three years ago, Luther Sachs bought Continental Corp and brought Isaac out of retirement to run a new cable sports show. He has a 16-year-old daughter.
Jeremy has a sister Louise who is deaf and is a sophomore at Amherst College. Dana has six brothers, one of whom plays for the Denver Broncos. She attended all-girl schools prior to her time in college (an earlier episode suggests she and Casey went to the same college).
Nitpick: Before the show's titles, as Jeremy is writing and everyone is talking to him as they leav for the day, Dan leaves the office and turns out the light. He reaches for a place where, in "storefront" offices, typically the light switch is on the door jamb. However, in earlier views of the office (when, for example, Dan and Jeremy talk about restaurants in the previous episode, The Head Coach...(etc)), there is no switch located there.
Jeremy: (voice over) One last thing. Dan finally got over his writer's block. He met Stacy Kerr at the Smoking Dog. Stacy plays on the Women's Professional Beach Volleyball tour. Turns out Stacy's a big fan of Dan's and she was particularly taken by his writing.
(Stacy sits on the office copier as it operates, drunk and wearing a low-cut dress that reveals notable cleavage.)
Stacy: How are you able to write that way? I mean, what goes on in your head? How did you get that
(Dan looks down at her cleavage.)
Jeremy: And in that moment, Dan was reminded once again why he wanted to write in the first place. It's for the same reason anybody does anything: to impress women.
Casey: (to Dana) Do you have a sense of exactly what day you turned into a lunatic, woman?
Dan: How do we know the dog is a he?
Casey: "El Pero" is masculine.
Dan: Sounds like Dana's translation has it leaning another way.
Natalie: On page 66, halfway down in the NFL injury report it says "Collins is expected to miss practice this week, the result of a bulging disk."
Dan (looking at script): Yeah?
Natalie: There's a typo on the teleprompter, they left out the 's'.
Casey (reading aloud): Collins is expected to be sidelined a week to 10 days with a bulging di- Uh oh!
Dan: Whoa, That's a big 10-4.
Casey: My next line in the script was 'Lets go to the video tape.'
Natalie: (deadpan) We might've gotten some phone calls.
Casey: Seriously, you need to relax. Just take however long you need, sip your coffee, and relax.
(Dan takes his first sip of coffee as Natalie walks up behind him and sounds an air horn. Startled, Dan sprays coffee all over the desk.
Natalie: Did it work?
Dan: Natalie, I don't have the hiccups. Writer's block doesn't go away just by...
(Natalie splashes a cup of water in Dan's face.)
Elliott: (in the background) Ten minutes to air! Somebody get Dan a towel.
Casey: Listen, Dana told me you were a little down about the verdict in your trial. So, I just wanted you to know that I'm not gonna do any jokes. I'm not gonna give you a hard time.
Gordon: I appreciate it.
Casey: So, this party at Gracie Mansion must be going pretty late.
Gordon: We'll catch the tail end of it.
Casey: Do you think the mayor's going to chew you out for so spectacularly blundering the case?
Gordon: I don't actually work for the mayor. I work for the US Department of Justice.
Casey: And a hulluva year you guys have been having.
Gordon: You know, Casey, I won't deny this hasn't been my finest hour, but there's really nothing you can say that's going to rattle me. I'm just happy to be here, happy to be talking to you, and happy to be having sex with Dana every night.
Casey: You know (long pause) it really wasn't my intention to discuss any Dana-related matters. Now, I was just reading this New York Times piece on the forensic evidence, the ballistics match, the eye-witnesses, and the 78 hours worth of wire-taps, a portion of which included the defendent saying "I killed him, I killed him, I killed him dead," and was wondering what the heck a fella has to do to get thrown in jail on your watch?
Gordon: How 'bout I run you through an IRS audit and we find out.
Casey: You got nothin' on me, counselor. I live my life as clean as my mother's kitchen floor.
Gordon: Is that your name up on a Monday Night Football office pool.
(Gordon points to wall where there is a Monday Night Football office pool chart)
Gordon: Are you familar with federal section code 4 of the RICO act?
Gordon: Then, before I decide to subpoena your whole family, why don't you go write your television show and leave the smarty-boy remarks to those of us with post-graduate degrees?
Casey: (sheepishly, clearly cowed) OK.
Dan: And I wanna ask for your patience and support during this period.
(Natalie splashes a glass of water in Dan's face)
Dan: Ok. Why did that happen?
Natalie: Shock therapy.
Dan: Shock therapy?
Natalie: Leave this to me. I'm gonna knock the writer's block right outta you.
Dan: By throwing water in my face?
Natalie: By surprising you with the unexpected. That was step 1. There's not gonna be any more water.
Dan: What's step 2?
(Natalie splashes another glass of water in Dan's face)
Dan: I thought you said there wasn't going to be any more water.
Natalie: It was surprising and unexpected.
Dan: (nodding, drawls) Yes it was.
Elliot: How's the writer's block?
Dan: You're gonna need to get someone to fix my computer.
Kim: What's wrong with it?
Dan: It's in several pieces on my floor.
Isaac: My sixteen-year-old daughter is dating a Republican in her class named Chad.
Dana: Chad's a sixteen-year-old Republican?
Isaac: That's right.
Dana: I didn't know sixteen-year-olds had party affiliations.
Isaac: Chad was just elected president of the Connecticut Young Black Republican Caucus. He has a 3.9 GPA, he is co-captain of the lacrosse team, he plays the french horn, and does volunteer work at a crisis hotline.
Dana: Sounds wonderful.
Isaac: Dana! Did you hear me? He's a Republican?
Dana: A lotta folks are running in that direction these days, Isaac.
Isaac: Yeah? Well, I don't want them sniffing around my women!
Dana: What're you going to do?
Isaac: What any reasonable man would do. I'm calling a building contracter and installing a dungeon. (pauses, thinking)
Isaac: ... What was I saying?
Dana: You were building a dungeon to incarcerate any Republican suitors.
Isaac: And a moat. A big moat.
Casey: All right, all right, listen to me. We're the best, OK, the very best.
Casey: Well...maybe not the best but we're pretty good.
Casey: I put us easily into the top thirty or forty.
Jeremy: El Pero Fumando...?
Dana: The flaming dog.
Casey: Smoking dog.
Dana: Not the flaming dog?
Casey: The dog's not gay.
Dana: I wasn't suggesting the dog was gay. I was suggesting the dog was on fire.
Casey: He's not smoking on fire, he's smoking a cigarette.
Elliot: He's smoking a pipe.
Kim: He's smoking a cigar.
Dan: I say he's gay.
Dan: What are you doing tonight?
Casey: Going to sleep.
Dan: Come out with me.
Dan: El Pero Fumando!
Casey: The Smoking Dog?
Dan: If you wear something blue you get two dollars off a giant blue margarita.
Casey: You know, I make a pretty good living. I can acually afford to wear what I want and pay full price.
Dan: I'm not promoting the economic upside as much as I am the oppertunity to drink something giant and blue.
Casey: That's all for us. I'm Casey McCall alongside Dan Rydell and if you've had half as much fun watching the show as we've had doing it, well then we've had twice as much fun doing the show as you've had watching it. That's Sports Night, see you tomorrow.
The song Dana dances to is "Boogie Shoes" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Felicity Huffman would later dance to the same song in the Desperate Housewives second season episode "They Asked Me Why I Believe In You" (2x05)
Natalie: ...the result of a bulging disk. ...There's a typo on the teleprompter, they left out the "s".
This actually happened to Steve Levy of ESPN's SportsCenter. Levy wasn't forewarned, however, and read the line, causing co-host Keith Olbermann to begin cracking up on the air.
This show indirectly alludes to a technique used by the TV show M*A*S*H (usually a letter by Radar, but sometimes others) to perform similar duties -- filling in background and to flesh out characters -- and to make what is probably a fairly easy to write show, since it stitches together vignettes and thus makes plot interactions much easier.
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