Sports Night (1998) s01e11 Episode Script

The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee

Dan: We really got nine|hockey segments tonight? Casey: Three shootouts,|two penalty shots,|Stefan LeCourier -- Jerome will be happy.
|-- Who's Jerome? -- Jerome.
|-- Right.
-- He'll be happy.
|-- Yeah.
-- Sure.
|-- Who is he? -- Jerome?|-- Right.
I'm talking about Jerome.
You can say his name|as many times as you like.
I'm still not gonna|know who he is.
-- Camera two.
|-- What about it? He's the camera operator.
Who? Are you prepared to do|a broadcast right now? Yeah.
The camera guy.
What about him? Is Jerome.
Jerome is the camera|operator on number two.
[ Snaps fingers ]|And he likes hockey.
Now you're with it.
Will: 60 seconds to VTR, two minutes live.
All right, here's a change.
We're flip-flopping the|Virginia Slims quarterfinals|and the lOC meeting.
-- Kill 23.
|-- I never had 23.
Then you won't miss it much.
Jeremy, tell me what's|happening in Chattanooga.
Tell me quickly.
|Tell me succinctly --|bullet points.
[ Snaps fingers ]|We're on the air in|less than two minutes, so don't give me|a Valedictory address.
Talk to me as if|I'm a small child.
Tell me what's happening|in Chattanooga.
I don't know what's|happening in Chattanooga.
Okay, tell me|a little more than that.
I think, as a|New Year's resolution, you should re-dedicate|yourself to the idea|that this is a team.
You play for a team --|a team with many players.
-- And you think|I should learn their names.
|-- I think it'd be nice.
-- I agree.
|-- See, a team's made up of|a group of individuals -- You're gonna keep|talking anyway?|-- individuals who forsake their own individual needs|to pursue a common goal -- the team goal.
In our case, the goal is|a nightly national|television show.
I'm saying I know|the guy's name now.
Will: Roll VTR.
|60 seconds, live.
Show me Tokyo.
|Show me the Chyron on 4.
-- 4 is up.
|-- You've got Tokyo.
That was Brian|in Chattanooga.
All right, tell me|what he knows --|bullet points.
I can feed it|right to Casey and|put it in the tease.
Casey, stand by,|I'm gonna fill the tease.
|What does he know? -- He doesn't know anything.
|-- Stop standing by, Casey.
What's going on? There was an incident|at Tennessee Western involving some|black athletes and|a Confederate flag.
-- What happened?|-- We don't know.
Dave: In 32 Good evening.
|From New York City, I'm Casey McCall|alongside Dan Rydell.
Those stories, plus|we'll head out to|the Hoosier Dome where Bobby Knight's|done a little interior|decorating, and we'll leave room|for more hockey than you can shake|a big stick at.
We'll bring you|the thrill of victory|and the agony of defeat and, because we've got|soccer highlights, the sheer pointlessness|of a zero-zero tie.
You're watching|"Sports Night" on CSC,|so stick around.
We're out.
Back in 60.
What's going on|in Chattanooga? We don't know.
-- We don't know?|-- We don't know.
-- We don't know anything?|-- We don't know much.
But, fundamentally,|we're still a news-gathering|organization, right? Sure.
-- Then what's the problem?|-- We're not very good.
That's what I thought.
Comin' back on Dan|in 32 Woman: Dan, Casey,|back to you in the studio.
Thank you, Kelly Kirkpatrick,|in Green Bay.
You look cold.
|Put some clothes on.
Hey, folks, look outside.
Tinsel, mistletoe It can only mean|one thing.
Play of the year.
Play o' the year.
Our crack staff has been|debating the subject, and we'll bring you our|choice on New Year's Eve, but we want to hear from you, so if you've|got a play of the year, you can contact us at|CSC/sportsnight.
com, or just go on over to|Casey's apartment and|knock on the door anytime.
That's all for us.
|You've been watching|"Sports Night" on CSC.
We'll see you tomorrow.
Good night.
-- Music.
|-- Go.
-- Animation.
|-- Go.
And we're out.
Camera wrap -- 12:06.
So, what are you|planning on cooking|tomorrow morning? I'm not cooking.
|It's not a cooking show.
-- Are you sure?|-- It's a news show.
-- "The View"?|-- Yeah.
The one with|Barbara Walters and|the four women who cook? They don't cook.
|It's a news show.
-- Who are the other guests?|-- It's just me|and another guy.
-- Who's the other guy?|-- You're havin' a good time,|aren't you? -- Who's the other guy?|-- It's Wolfgang Puck!|You want a piece of me? No, but thanks.
You know, it wouldn't|kill you to go out there|and do a little press.
I've been grounded,|remember? How long's the network|got you in the penalty box? No public statements|for six months.
-- You want me|to talk to somebody?|-- No.
-- I can.
|-- I'm perfectly happy just doing my job|and keeping my mouth shut.
I don't need|to give interviews.
I don't even want to|give interviews.
I'm happy for the chance|to not give interviews.
-- You don't want me|to talk to 'em?|-- No.
-- Okay.
|-- Talk to 'em.
-- Danny|-- I need to give interviews.
|I like to give interviews.
It's the only chance|I get to talk to a huge|group of total strangers.
-- Except for that hour every|night you're on television.
|-- That's right.
-- I'll talk to 'em.
|Dana: Hey.
-- Knock 'em dead on|the cooking show tomorrow.
|-- Thank you.
[ Laughs ] [ Cheers and applause ] And welcome back|to "The View.
" We are talking with|Casey McCall, co-host of "Sports Night, " which can be seen every night|at 1 1 :00 P.
on CSC.
Yes, with my partner,|Dan Rydell, who couldn't|be here this morning.
Hope he has a good excuse.
-- Yes, uh, he likes|to sleep late.
|-- Good enough.
Before we went to commercial,|you were saying that you and,|uh, Dan write together.
How does that work? Well, I take|the nouns and verbs.
Danny handles the adjectives|and prepositions, and, uh, anything with|an umlaut, we toss a coin.
Now, Casey, you know|we can't let you go without asking you|about those ties.
Ah, the ties.
The famous neckties.
Now, listen up, ladies.
|You're single, right? -- Yes, I'm recently divorced.
|-- Well, I think you|should know that a man who knows|how to dress himself|is a very sexy thing.
Which is why so many of|us are drawn to Carrot Top.
Debbie: Absolutely.
All right, if you're|a sports fan or just like neckties,|don't miss "Sports Night" with Dan Rydell and our|guest, Casey McCall, every night at 1 1 :00 on CSC.
We'll be right back|after this.
[ Cheers and applause ]|Thank you.
|Thank you very much.
By the way, in the memos|that are circulating, we're spelling Chattanooga|about 14 different ways.
Now what do we know? Two O's, three A's.
-- That's it?|-- No, there are|other letters, too.
-- But surely that's|not what you meant.
|-- No.
Roland Shepard is a tailback from a small town in western|Tennessee called Tipolo -- one "T," one "L.
" He rode the bench|for two years, and then two weeks ago,|he won the starting job when Lillias went down|with a torn ACL.
He rushed for 218 yards|in his first game, That 2-game total's|a conference record,|by the way.
He scored four touchdowns|on the ground, two of them against|the third-ranked rushing|defense in the nation.
He also caught a pass|for a touchdown and ran a punt back|for a touchdown.
He's carrying|a 3.
3 GPA with a major|in chemical engineering, and the engineering department|at Tennessee Western|is for real.
-- So what's going on?|-- They're gonna kick him|out of school.
They're threatening to|kick him out of school.
-- The Confederate flag?|-- Yeah.
They fly the flag|outside the stadium? -- Yeah.
|-- Also, students wave 'em|in the stands.
Nothing you can do|about that.
Yeah, but outside the|stadium, that's the school.
Anyway, there'll be|a press conference at 3:00.
We have it on satellite.
The rumor is Roland won't|play unless the school|takes the flag down.
The school's gonna|announce that Roland|is suspended from the team, as a result of which his|scholarship will be revoked, as a result of which|Roland will go back and pump gas|in Tipolo, Tennessee.
Dan, be on|the press conference.
Meantime, I need to hear|some plays of the year|by the end of the day.
Thank you.
Back here at 6:00.
Danny, I need|to talk to you.
Good, 'cause I need|to talk to you, too.
|Who should go first? Since I don't really|care what you have to say,|I think it should be me.
Fair enough.
Luther Sachs has taken|a special interest in that situation in|Chattanooga.
-- He's an alumnus.
|-- He's got a couple of|buildings named after him.
-- Yeah, he's|a hell of a guy.
|-- He's a Southerner.
Luther Sachs is German.
He's a Southerner|for three generations.
Faulkner was a Southerner.
Faulkner was|a Southern gentleman.
There's a difference? The difference, Danny,|is all the difference.
So, what does Luther want? A piece on|Southern gentlemen, the Southern tradition -- the Southern tradition|in sports, in culture, in history.
-- All symbolized by|the Confederate flag.
|-- You learn fast.
-- You really want to|do this?|-- No.
-- Then don't.
|-- There are days, Danny, -- when I'm just too tired|to fight that man.
|-- You gotta let us know when it's one of those days,|and we'll fight him for you.
You gotta stop|thinking of me as the champion|of all things black.
Now, listen up, ladies.
|You're single, right? -- Yes, I'm recently divorced.
|-- Well, I think you|should know that a man who knows|how to dress himself|is a very sexy thing.
Which is why so many of|us are drawn to Carrot Top.
Debbie: Absolutely.
[ Knock on door ]|All right, if you're|a sports fan or -- -- Excuse me, Mr.
McCall?|-- Yeah? I'm sorry.
|Is this a bad time? -- For what?|-- I'd like to ask you|a question, but if you're preparing|the show, if this is a bad time,|I can -- I can come back.
What's your question? Well, uh|what's my name? What's your name? Yes.
Um what are we doing|right now? If this is a bad time,|I can just come -- I'm sorry.
|I'm not very good at|remembering names.
Who was the number-two man on the Boston Red Sox|staff in 1977? It was Ferguson Jenkins.
My name is Monica.
I'm the assistant|wardrobe supervisor|for "Sports Night" as well as two other|shows here at CSC.
I think you hurt|the feelings of|the woman I work for.
Her name is Maureen, and she's been working|here since the day|you started.
Well, I know Maureen.
Can I ask you|a-another question? I'm sorry I didn't|know your name.
-- Do you know|what color this is?|-- Well, it's gray.
It's called gunmetal.
Gray has more ivory in it.
|Gunmetal has more blue.
Can you tell me|which of these shirts|you should wear it with? [ Chuckles ]|l-I don't know.
No, you don't.
There's no reason|why you should.
You're not expected|to know what shirt|goes with what suit or how a color in|a necktie can pick up|your eyes.
You're not expected to|know what -- what's gonna clash|with what Dan's wearing or what pattern's|gonna bleed when Dave|changes the lighting.
McCall, you get|so much attention|and so much praise for what you actually do,|and all of it's deserved.
When you go on a talk show|and get complimented on|something you didn't, how hard would it be|to say, "That's not me.
"That's a woman named|Maureen who's been working|for us since the first day.
"It's Maureen who|dresses me every night, and without Maureen,|I wouldn't know gunmetal|from a hole in the ground"? Do you have any idea what|that would've meant to her? [ Sighs ]|Do you have any idea|how many times she would've played that|tape for her husband|and her kids? I know -- I know this is|when it starts to|get busy for you.
I hope I didn't take up|too much of your time.
[ Exhales deeply ] Please don't tell|Maureen I spoke to you.
She'd be pretty mad at me.
I won'tMonica.
Elliott: We need a plan.
-- We definitely need a plan.
|-- We need a plan.
Here's what we're gonna do --|we're gonna make a list of all the sports moments|that are potential|plays of the year.
Then we're gonna|list the pros, and then we're gonna|list the "cons.
" Why do women like|making lists? -- Women don't like|making lists.
|-- Yes, they do.
They're never quite so|happy as when they're making|themselves a little list.
You ever think about|why you make lists? It's so I can|cross things off it.
You ever think about why|you've got so much crap|in your wallet? I save my receipts.
You save fortunes|from Chinese restaurants.
-- [ Clears throat ]|Can we work now?|-- Well, I think we should.
But Natalie's|gonna want to list|the pros and the cons.
-- Women's ice hockey.
|-- You're kidding.
The U.
women's team won|the first Olympic gold medal|in ice hockey, and there were over|4,000 fans in the arena|to see them do it.
They beat a bunch|of Slovakian cocktail|waitresses, and there were over 4,000|people at my cousin Jacob's|bar mitzvah.
[ Laughs ]|What do you got? Mark McGwire hits 70.
It's a little obvious.
Our goal isn't to be|cunning, is it? Can we keep this organized?|Pros and cons.
Well, the pro is he broke|an unbreakable record, and the con is Kim likes|women's ice hockey.
-- What's next?|-- Jeff Gordon.
|-- No.
-- Why?|-- 'Cause it's NASCAR,|and who gives a damn? -- Who gives a damn?|-- How many people give|a good damn? Well, it's the world's|most popular sport, so probably more than 4,000.
-- Next.
|-- All right.
Austrian skier Herman Maier.
-- Pros.
|-- He got up from one of|the most horrific accidents in Olympic history|and won the gold medal|two days later.
-- Cons.
|-- It's downhill skiing.
-- And?|-- Who gives a damn? It was very important to|my parents and to their parents that I be the first in|my family to attend college.
But I can't imagine|that any of them would feel anything|but shame and humiliation at the sight of me playing|football under that flag.
I wish no disrespect|to my school, my fellow students,|or my teammates.
I'll answer any questions|you have at this point.
What do you think's|gonna happen to him? [ TV volume decreases ] I keep watching it|over and over.
I think it's all|I've done today.
Shepard will get picked up|by another team.
I'd imagine.
The thing is,|six of his teammates stepped down, too --|six of them -- two of them white and|none of them starters.
They're the ones who are|gonna have some trouble.
What'd you come in|to tell me? I wrote the piece.
I'll tell Luther to watch it.
It takes the position|the Confederate flag is|a symbol of a culture -- a culture with|a great tradition of|literature and art, -- music and architecture,|great statesmen.
|-- That's crap.
-- So why are you telling me|to write it?|-- I'm not telling|you to do anything.
I think we're all pretty|surprised you're not doing|a commentary yourself.
|What's going on? -- Nothing's going on.
|-- What's going on, lsaac? [ Sighs ] I don't want to make|this into a big deal.
You don't want to make|what into a big deal? Luther's been looking|for an opportunity to|fire me.
He has been for|about six months.
-- Are you sure? 'Cause|I think you're wrong.
|-- No.
-- I'm not.
|-- He has a lot of respect|for you, Isaac, and while I may not like|the guy, he's sure no idiot.
I like my life right now.
|I've never been happier.
I used to pick fights|with management twice|a day, just like you.
They wanted to fire me,|that was fine.
There was always someone|who wanted to hire me.
That's not the way it is now.
Luther can hire someone|half my age to do my job.
I like my life right now,|and I'm proud of this show.
I can't believe it.
I come in here|with you talking about those six players who|stood by Roland Shepard, and you don't have the same|respect for the people|who work for you? You don't think if Luther|ever showed you the door there wouldn't be about|a hundred people lined up|right behind you? There's something|real bad going on in|Chattanooga, Isaac, and Luther can fix it.
|And you know it.
Tell Dana to throw this one|out of the rundown.
Tell her you're gonna do|a 2-minute editorial.
Not this time.
Uh, Danny Don't tell anyone|about what I said.
The Yankees win|the World Series.
That was a big shock|after they won 1 14 games.
What is it with this|element of surprise|you people are looking for? You know|what we're forgetting? -- What?|-- Michael Jordan and the|Bulls win the NBA championship.
Yeah, there's something|that doesn't happen a lot.
What do you guys think? -- Us?|-- Yeah, what do you think? -- About what?|-- Play of the year.
We're eight days away.
-- I hadn't really --|-- What do you think? We're studio technicians.
-- Yes, we know.
|-- These are editorial|questions.
Yes, we want to hear|what you have to say.
-- Really?|-- Go ahead.
There are|no wrong answers.
Nothing's too stupid|to suggest.
Except women's ice hockey,|but Kim pretty much has|that covered.
So what do you think? -- You really want to know?|-- Absolutely.
Mark O'Meara|winning two majors.
-- Cal Ripken ending|the streak.
|-- Peyton Manning.
Well, that was a colossal|waste of time.
Good evening.
Isaac, I haven't|seen you all night.
Dana, I hate to do this|to you on such short notice, but I'd like|a couple of minutes|of airtime tonight.
-- Really?|-- If you need to make|some room, I believe you can dump|that piece that Danny|was planning on doing.
I don't think he'll mind.
No, I don't believe|he will.
He said something to|you, didn't he? Will get lsaac wired up.
Earlier in the show,|we told you about|Roland Shepard and the six other players|who were dropped|from their team and then their school for|refusing to play football|under the Confederate flag.
Here's lsaac Jaffee,|managing editor of|"Sports Night," with an editorial|comment.
Isaac? Thank you, Casey.
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 separatism.
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 last 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 got 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.
That was our managing|editor, lsaac Jaffee.
We'll be back.
We're out.
[ Applause ] You can bring it, boss.
You know I could|kiss you on the mouth|right now, right? [ Laughs ]|Then stay over there.
I could get very physical|with you right now.
Danny I'm having some|very kooky thoughts here.
[ lndistinct talking ] -- Thank you all.
|-- Isaac I can't even --|that was -- l-I mean|-- All right! We've lost radio contact|with Dana.
[ Laughter ] -- Isaac|-- Yes? No kidding --|play of the year.
Thank you, Jeremy.
Isaac? Showtime? Luther Sachs on line 4.
Hey, lsaac Yes? Right behind ya.
Back in 10.
It was -- I've never [ Sighs ] I mean, I'm serious.
|That was just In 32 That's all for tonight,|but before we sign off, we felt that with Christmas|only a few days off and with people making up|lists and checking them|twice, it was as good|a time as any to|mention some people who are important to us|here at the show.
It seems that quite|a few of you, for instance, Iike the way Dan and l|dress on the air, and you should know|that we're dressed by Maureen Gates|and Joseph Roveto.
Maureen and Joseph are|assisted by a young woman|named Monica Brazelton, and Monica is not|to be trifled with.
Our camera operators|are Ray, Wayne, Bruce,|John, and Jerome, who wishes we'd do|more features on hockey.
Not gonna happen, Jerome.
Every time I pick up|a pencil or put down|a coffee mug, that's Jody Mann and her|trusty aid John Frantz, and if you've ever|wondered what a gaffer|was or a best boy, you should ask|Keith and Mark.
We've got some people|who don't get paid much, but that's okay, 'cause|the hours are terrible.
They're our P.
s,|and their names are Lauren, Victoria, Jake,|Lee, Ashley, and Brad.
This is a script.
|Dan and I write it.
And then two people come|along and put it together|so that we can also read it.
Their names are|Joan and Chris, and they, us, and everyone|else here are pretty much at the mercy of|the script supervisor,|Carol McKechnie, who's got a little thing|for me, and I think it's|time she admits it.
-- Keri Mclntyre|-- Nicole Burke -- Shawn Hanley|-- Jeff Wheat -- Mark Johnson|-- Cajun -- Cajun|-- How 'bout Skip Cook? -- How 'bout Phil Heath?|-- How 'bout Karen, Julie,|and Angela in makeup? How 'bout Brenda,|Cammy, and Jody in hair? We've got film on this show.
|You know who cuts it? Janet Ashikaga.
|Know who her assistant is? Laura the wonderful.
We've just named a small|fraction of the people who put|this show on television, which means we've|left out many more, and we'll try and|rectify that as we head|towards December 25th.
But for now, I'm|Casey McCall alongside|Dan Rydell wishing everyone|in your home, along with everyone|here at my home, a very happy Christmas.
Good night, everyone.
[ Rock music plays ]