Sports Night

Season 1 Episode 6

The Head Coach, Dinner and the Morning Mail

Aired Tuesday 9:30 PM Oct 27, 1998 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • At the time of this episode airing, there were no major college (i.e., Div. I) head coaches named Rostenkowski

    • Natalie: Dan! I spoke to building maintenance about the air conditioning, they're sending someone up.
      Dan: The air conditioning...
      Natalie: Yeah.
      Dan: That's good, ummm, but the problem we're having in the studio is with the heat.

      In any modern commecial structure (as well as most domestic facilities), the two, heat and air conditioning, are a part of the same interrelated system, usually known as "HVAC" (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning). Someone sent up to deal with problems in one would be able to deal with the problems in the other. Unless the entire structure is having lack of heat issues, a problem like this most likely would relate to a valve not opening properly to allow the heated ventilation into the area. Dan's concern with the nature of the problem is irrelevant.

    • Jeremy states that there are more than 14,000 six-letter words which could have been Natalie's password. The actual number of possible passwords is at least 26^6 (the sixth power of 26), which is over 308 million passwords (this assumes that the case of the letters are irrelevant and that numbers and punctuation are disallowed). Presumably, the 14,000 figure represents the number of actual, legitimate six-letter words which she might have used. Usage of actual words for passwords is frowned upon for exactly this reason. Such a password is much, much easier to hack.

    • Casey: Excuse me, but wasn't I sitting next to you for two weeks when you said that Latrell Sprewell shouldn't be allowed to play professional basketball again?

      Latrell Sprewell was a talented NBA player who was thrown out of the NBA for a year after a 1997 incident in which he choked, then later threw a punch at, his coach. Subsequent arbitration restored him to league play in 1999.

  • Quotes

    • (after Jeremy has expressed difficulty deciding on a restaurant to take Natalie to on their first date)
      Dan: Make it someplace that you like. Restaurants, they don't impress women as much as we think they do, and food always tastes good on the first date. You're not in Vegas, and you're not in L.A.... You are in the most magnificent city in the world. It's the city of Gershwin and Cole Porter. Damon Runyon and Fiorello LaGuardia. Surprise her, but make it feel comfortable, make it feel different, but make her feel at home.
      But mostly -- make it someplace that you like.

    • Elliot: Have you ever been to the Great Lakes?
      Casey: Yeah, four of 'em.
      Elliot: How are they?
      Casey: They're great.

    • Casey: How am I conversationally anal retentive?
      Dana: Let me answer that question in four parts, with the fourth part first and the third part last. The second part has five sub-sections...
      Casey: All right, all right...

    • Dan: So I have a complaint. Two complaints, actually.
      Casey: You're cold.
      Dan: Three complaints.
      Casey: What're the first two?
      Dan: I didn't put these in any order....
      Casey: Ok...
      Dan: ...I haven't numbered them, I'm not conversationally anal retentive the way you are.
      Casey: I'm conversationally anal retentive?

    • Dan: Next up, Steve Dentan looks for a new gig, the Hawks defend a streak, and we answer the question: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

    • Gordon: Oh, by the way, for what it's worth, I'm right with you on this Rostenkowski thing.
      Casey: Thank you.
      Gordon: It was a terrible call.
      Casey: Lost the game.
      Gordon: I don't know how he made that call. Any idiot knows you hand it to Jermaine, you send him up the middle.
      Casey: Yeah -- well, you're not gonna go up the middle against an 8-man front, but still...
      Gordon: Oh, still, maybe you run a play-action fake, you toss it off to the tight end out in the flat.
      Casey: The problem with that is that without establishing a running game first, no one's gonna bite down on the play fake.
      Gordon: Oh, but still.
      Casey: Still...
      Gordon: A post pattern, a slant...
      Casey: He'd be going against a defensive back who was second-team All-American as a true freshman.
      Gordon: What would you have called?
      Casey: Me?
      Gordon: Yeah.
      Casey: The thing is, I haven't watched film all week. I haven't seen scouting reports. I don't have an offensive coordinator talking in my ear. I don't have 80,000 fans screaming in my face. So it's easy for me -- I don't have 10 million people watching at home on TV, including a pack of rabid alumni. I've had three days to think about it. He had seven seconds. So it's a lot easier for me to make that decision than it was for him. But since you asked me what play I would have called, I'll tell you. Now that I think about it, I have no idea.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • Episode Title
      This episode's title represents its three main themes. "The Head Coach" involves Casey's harsh treatment on a coach's bad decision. "Dinner" is about Jeremy's quest for the perfect restaurant for his date with Natalie. "The Morning Mail" is about the hate mail Natalie receives after the events of last week's episode.

    • Dana: You know, Jeremy, Don Quixote was a hero of my father's, and my father would like you, you're a very 'quixotic' character

      Don Quixote, also known as The Man of La Mancha, is the hero of a highly influential and classic tale of Spanish literature by Miguel de Cervantes. The character embodies chivalry and honor, but taken to the extreme of foolishness and madness. The term "quixotic" refers to being foolishly noble or chivalrous, to an extreme, usually self-destructive level. The term "tilting at windmills" derives from Don Quixote, specifically to the title character, in a fugue of hallucinogenic madness, attacking a windmill while imagining it to be a dragon. The Quixote reference is particularly apt with regard to Jeremy, as Quixote's madness is caused, in part, due to excessive reading and sleep deprivation.

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