J.J.: I’m concerned with Casey’s performance on the air lately.
Dan: What's your point?
J.J.: My point is, at the moment, Casey has less on-air charm and charisma than my high school driving instructor, and you know it, Dan. Now I think the time has come for you to think about the possibility of another partner.
Dan: I'm not going to do the show with your high school driving instructor, J.J., if that’s what you’re asking me.
J.J.: Look, Dan, you've got a bright future at this network, and—
Dan: My future is writing and anchoring a sports program, with my partner, Casey McCall. Now, if it's here, it's here. If it's not, it's someplace else. For right now, I'm gonna forget this conversation ever took place. Dana, Isaac, you guys need anything?
Dana: No Dan, you're done here, thanks.
Isaac: I really got to admire the way you manhandled my staff this morning, J.J.
Isaac: No! Don't take me on.
J.J.: The network's not going to wait forever.
Isaac: It's your call Dana, but pretty soon it's going to be my call. Cause here's the thing: I can't let it be their call.
Casey: You wanna do something tonight after the show?
Dan: Yeah, y'know, I was gonna hop a ride on the Staten Island Ferry for awhile, eat a hotdog. You wanna come?
Casey: Yeah, absolutely, and I'll tell you why. Cause it's seventeen degrees outside with the wind chill so what I want to do is stand on a boat in the middle of New York harbor at half-past midnight.
Dan: You have a better idea?
Casey: Well, we could go to a bar, find some people we don't like and beat the crap out of them.
Dana: Hey, look everybody. It's two sports anchors, and that's a good break for us, because we're about to do a sports show.
Casey: Sarcasm, thy name is Dana.
Dan: I have a younger brother named Sam. Sam's a genius. I mean, literally. As a kid, he tested off the charts. The first computer I ever had, he built from a kit he bought with money he earned tutoring other kids in math. He's energetic and articulate, curious and funny. A great source of pride to our parents. And there's no doubt that he'd be living a great life right now, except for that he's dead. Because when you're fourteen years old, all you ever really wanna be when you grow up is your sixteen-year-old brother. And in my case, that meant smoking a lot of dope. The day I went off to college was the day that Sam got his driver's license. And he celebrated by taking a drive with some of his friends. Drunk and high as a paper kite. He never saw the red light that he ran. And he probably never saw the eighteen-wheel truck that put him into the side of a brick bank, either. That was eleven years ago tonight. And I just wanted to say I'm sorry, Sam. You deserved better in my hands. And I apologize.
Casey: You should try making it shorter.
Jeremy: What's the key?
Casey: In this case?
Casey: Making it a lot shorter.
Jeremy: I can't imagine what i'd cut.
Casey: Well, you start off with Cedric, the leadoff batter, at the top of the first inning, despite the fact that nobody scored until the 5th inning.
Jeremy: There's action beyond scoring.
Casey: Yeah, but Cedric grounded out to the short stop and was thrown out at first by quite a large margin.
Casey: Well, that is what is called a routine ground ball. In your search for things that are newsworthy, let the word 'routine' serve as a danger sign.
Isaac: It's taken me a lot of years, but I've come around to this: If you're dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you're smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you. I'm an awfully smart man, and Mark Sabath is an idiot. He had you, and he blew it. You're gonna do great here, but you've gotta trust us.
Jeremy: We shot a deer. In the woods near Lake Mattatuck on the second day. There was a special vest they had me wear so that they could distinguish me from things they wanted to shoot, and I was pretty grateful for that. Almost the whole day had gone by, and we hadn't gotten anything. Eddie was getting frustrated and Bob Shoemaker was getting embarrassed. My camera guy needed to re-load so I told everybody to take a ten minute break. There was a stream nearby and I walked over with this care-package Natalie made me. I sat down and when I looked up I saw three of them; small, bigger, biggest. Recognizable to any species on the face of the planet as a child, a mother and a father. Now, the trick in shooting deer is you gotta get 'em out in the open. And it's tough with deer, 'cause these are clever, cagey animals with an intuitive sense of danger. You know what you have to do to get a deer out in the open? You hold out a twinkie. That animal clopped up to me like we were at a party. She seemed to be pretty interested in the twinkie, so I gave it to her. Looking back, she'd have been better off if I'd given her the damn vest. And Bob kind of screamed at me in whisper, "Move away!" The camera had been re-loaded and it looked like the day wasn't gonna be a washout after all. So I backed away, a couple of steps at a time, and I closed my eyes when I heard the shot. Look, I know these are animals, and they don't play bridge and go to the prom, but you can't tell me that the little one didn't know who his mother was. That's gotta mean something. And later, at the hospital, Bob Shoemaker was telling me about the nobility and tradition of hunting and how it related to the native American Indians. And I nodded and I said that was interesting while I was thinking about what a load of crap it was. Hunting was part of Indian culture. It was food and it was clothes and it was shelter. They sang and danced and offered prayers to the gods for a successful hunt so that they could survive just one more unimaginably brutal winter. The things they had to kill held the highest place of respect for them, and to kill for fun was a sin. And they knew the gods wouldn't be so generous next time. What we did wasn't food and it wasn't shelter and it sure wasn't sports! It was just mean!
Isaac: So you say a few words. You make a gesture. You remember an important date. A small price to pay for what you get in return. For what you get in return, it's a steal.
Dana: I've named this Thanksgiving. I'm calling it "The Thanksgiving of Mom's Disapproval." Included on the two-record set are the hit songs "Why Aren't You Married?" and "Sports Is No Place For An Educated Woman," and "Didn't Anyone Ever Tell You How To Cook a Turkey?"
Dan: A couple of months ago I wrote a check to someone. Now I'm in the middle of Dickensian London.
Natalie: Two guys have ascended five miles into the sky. They walked up a wall of ice, and are preparing to knock on the door of Heaven itself. There's really no end to what we can do. You know what the trick is?
Jeremy: Look at me. I'm not lying to you. I have a straight.
Natalie: How do you know I don't have a big house?
Jeremy: A FULL house. Dan already folded the six you needed, and I have the other one. You don't have a house of any sort, you don't have a pup tent. You've got trip sevens, and I have a straight. I want you to trust me right now. I want you to say to yourself, yeah, I've dated a string of jerks in my life, they were stupid, they were mean to me, but maybe this one's different. Maybe I should take a chance and not adopt the break-up-with-him-before-he-breaks-my-heart strategy. I want you to remember that when I started liking you, I didn't stop liking tennis. And I want you to know that I don't think there's a woman in the world that you need to be threatened by, no matter how glamorous you think she is. But mostly, I want you to trust me, just once, when I tell you you have three sevens, and I have a straight.
Sally: Anyway, I really appreciate the two of you sticking around and filling in.
Casey: It's no problem.
Sally: Oh, please, you think I wanna be stuck doing the two a.m.? This is just a temp gig.
Casey: Temp gig?
Dan: Temporary gig.
Sally: My stuff's out there. I talk to a lot of people.
Dan: Just as long as none of them are talkin' back.
Sally: CNBC, MSNBC—
Dan: Oh, like she's listening to anybody but herself.
The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee [1.11]Edit
Isaac: Danny, I need to talk to you.
Dan: Good, 'cause I need to talk to you too. Who should go first?
Isaac: Since I don't really care what you have to say, I think it should be me.
Isaac: Exaudio, comperio, conloquor. That's a Latin phrase that translates "To listen, to learn, to speak." Those words are carved into the stone arches that form the entrance to the undergraduate library at Tennessee Western University. This afternoon, an extraordinary young man named Roland Shepard made what had to have been an excruciating decision. He said he wasn't playing football under a Confederate flag. Six of his teammates then chose not to let Shepard stand alone. And I choose to join them at this moment. In the history of the South, there's much to celebrate. And that flag is a desecration of all of it. It's a banner of hatred and separation. It's a banner of ignorance and violence and a war that pitted brother against brother, and to ask young black men and women, young Jewish men and women, Asians, Native Americans, to ask Americans to walk beneath its shadow is a humiliation of irreducible proportions. And we all know it. Tennessee Western has produced some outstanding alumni in the past hundred years. People of wisdom and vision. Strength and compassion. One of them is Luther Sachs. Luther Sachs owns Continental Corp. Which owns the Continental Sports Channel, which you're watching right now. Luther Sachs is a generous alumni contributor to Tennessee Western, with a considerable influence over its chancellor, Davis Blake, and its board of trustees. Luther, you've got a phone call to make. You've go to call Chancellor Blake, and tell him to take down that flag, or he can stop looking for your checks in the mail. You've got to put these young men back in a classroom. And I mean pronto. These boys are gonna make you proud one day, Luther. I challenge you to do the right thing. Not an unreasonable request to make of a man whose alma mater declares, "Exaudio, comperio, conloquor." "To listen, to learn, to speak." In the meantime, God go with you, Roland Shepard, and you six Southern gentlemen of Tennessee. God's not done with any of you, yet.
Casey: "A neighborhood park all covered with cheese"?
Dan: I said cheese?
Casey: You said cheese.
Dan: Dana, did I say "park all covered with cheese"?
Dana: There's a consensus, yes.
Dan: What are you lookin' at?
Casey: I'm here for you, man.
Dan: Let me fix it when we come back.
Dana: Fix it when we get back.
Casey: Are we sure it's wrong? Are we sure the park isn't all covered with cheese?
Dan: It's covered with trees; now shut up.
Casey: I was just about to change my mind and recommend you.
Dan: Dana, Casey's being mean to me.
Dana: Casey, be nice to Dan.
Casey: "Sophomore sensation credits her agility and quick first steps to her father, who used to take her to a neighborhood park all covered with cheese." Dana, we got all kinds of sentence construction here. I think he's gonna have to explain that it's the park that's covered with cheese and not the father.
Dan: This is an unforgiving room.
Casey: I gather it went well.
Dan: You know sometimes it's worth it, taking all the pies in the face. Sometimes you come through it feeling good.
Dan: And how was your day?
Casey: Sometimes you just stand there, hip deep in pie.
Dan: You're nineteen feet tall. Why are you wearing heels?
Sally: Are you feeling diminutive?
Dan: No, but now I have to go look up that word.
Jeremy: Number two, I'm Jewish. And her family is, you know, incredibly not. Which isn't by the way any sort of a problem for me but I do think it might be a problem for them. Because after all there are those who think I killed their Lord Jesus Christ. Not me directly, mind you. I didn't drive the getaway car or anything.
Dana:: Listen, Isaac's gonna want to show us pictures from his vacation, so I'm gonna get a "welcome back" cake and we'll have a little party in his office tomorrow.
Casey: What kind of cake?
Dana: What kind of cake?
Dana: I don't know, Casey, why do you ask?
Casey: I'm particular about cake. And I have to say, it's been my experience that men buy better cake than women. I've found that women tend to get these yogurt-frosted low-cal things laced with a rum and fruit concoction that make eating cake into something you do to be polite. So that's why I was asking what kind of cake you were planning on getting to celebrate Isaac returning from vacation.
Dana: Wow. I didn't know you felt so strongly about it. But now that I do, I guess the answer is "whatever cake I damn please."
Dana: You're damn right there's an economy of language. I got the job done in two words. And I think... I can make another cut! Yes. We don't need "back"! We can cut the "back".
Dan: I think it was. You once took a trip to Napa and you visited a small vineyard there. You told me you tried some wine that you loved and could never find it anywhere. I thought I remembered the name but I wasn't sure. Is this it?
Dan: Good! I always like wine with cheese.
Dana: I know.
Dan: I wanted to get you some cheese. There's a great cheese place over on Second Avenue. I went over there after I got the wine but it's gone... there's a hardware store there now.
Dana: That's okay.
Dan: I got you some spackle.
Isaac: Just because we didn't execute all the network's suggestions doesn't mean we weren't listening, it just means we didn't agree. You didn't expect me to substitute your judgment for mine, did you, J.J.?
J.J. Not then, no.
Isaac: But now?
Isaac: Will it keep my staff from losing their jobs?
J.J. Excuse me?
Isaac: If I allow you three to go in there and mess with my show, will it keep my staff from losing their jobs?
Dana: There's no question that there's a way to look at this where it's my fault.
Jeremy: What's another way to look at it?
Dana: There's no other way to look at it.
Dan: Good evening from New York City. I'm Dan Rydell alongside Casey McCall. Those stories plus Luciano Pavarotti shocks the track world by running the 100 meters in six seconds, my mother hits for the cycle, and Martina Hingis sings selections from No, No, Nanette.
Casey: You're watching Sports Night on CSC.
. . .
Casey: Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute, was 26 for 32 in passing...
Dan: He's still alive if that's what you're asking.
Dana: Oh, man.
Dana: Hey, you think there's any chance he was gay?
Dana: It would make a better story.
Natalie: He's on his death bed.
Dana: I am about to make this man the most famous 7th place archer in the history of sports. I think the very least he can do is die in a timely manner... and be gay.
"The Giants Win the Pennant, The Giants Win the Pennant" [2.10]Edit
Dana: "Momentarily" does not mean "in a moment."
Chris: Here's two dissolving to three.
Dana: It means "for a moment."
Dana: That makes me crazy.
Jeremy: We've been wondering what the source was.
Dan: The one that he wanted was you anyway.
Dan: All this is doing is making him feel a lot less like the man he is, which is why he left Lisa in the first place. I know what he wants, and I gotta say, he's done a pretty good job of going after it, which isn't, like, the most natural thing in the world for Casey to do. And I know what you want, and all I've seen you do is hide behind this psychotic behavior all dressed up as cute. He wanted you, and he told you every possible way he could. You've just been hanging out in the men's room.
Isaac: Does the porn star know you're this much of a dork?
Dana: Guess where I've been.
Dana:You see? He knew.
Jeremy: I was standing right here.
Draft Day, Part One: It Can't Rain at Indian Wells [2.17]Edit
Casey: You're dating a porn star?
Jeremy: I have met and spent social time with an actress who appears in adult films, yes.
Casey: How you manage to make dating a porn star sound like a day at the public library is beyond me.
Natalie: I broke up with you, Mr. "Obviously has a short-term memory loss with a myriad of other problems which I won't even go into but thinks he broke up with me because of the short-term memory loss which is so obvious".
Jeremy: No need to be formal. I've seen you naked. Call me Jeremy.
Draft Day, Part Two: The Fall of Ryan O'Brian [2.18]Edit
Casey: I'm sorry.
Casey: I'm very sorry.
Dan: I don't think you are.
Casey: I am. In fact, I'm so sorry it's almost hard for me to think of different ways to say "bite me."
Casey: Sounds like you're ready to go for it.
Jeremy: I am. I absolutely am. I mean, if not now, when? If not me, then who?