After practice, Matt runs into Julie, and asks if she's coming to the game on Friday. She says she pretty much has to, what with her dad being the coach and all. She asks if Matt thinks he's going to start, and he launches into this rambling monologue, like he's being interviewed by a sports reporter. Julie calls him on it, saying, "You need to chill out. I'm not ESPN." Fair enough, but Matt's delivery was more public-access if you ask me. She smiles her goodbyes and leaves him standing there, quietly telling himself, "You're so stupid." Hey, man, some chicks dig that. Not Julie, probably, but some.
Jason's room is rather crowded as he has a physical therapy session. He's making progress, because he's now able to catch a beach ball that's tossed into his lap from a foot away. Even better, he can toss it back, using the heel of one hand and the other inner forearm. The effort is evident on his face as the ball sort of rocks awkwardly between his elbows. And gosh, how do I choose between all of the possible jokes about a young athlete trying to come back from a spinal injury that struck him down in the prime of life? They're all so very appropriate and sensitive. Fortunately, Jason bails me out by doing it himself. "Here's the play," he says to his partner, another spinal injury patient. "Go about fifteen yards, run a post pattern. I'll hit you by the water cooler." The other guy laughs, as does everyone else. Herc chimes in with an order to have Phil the PT send Jason "downtown" "in a van" "this afternoon." Well, that sounds ominous. Phil hesitates, but Herc insists: "I want to show this boy his future." And Herc wheels himself out. Once he's gone, Jason asks, with studied casualness, "What's happening this afternoon, Phil?"