Sports Night
The Head Coach, Dinner And The Morning Mail

Episode Report Card
Daniel: B | Grade It Now!
Someday he'll find it, the restaurant connection

The next day, in Dan and Casey's office, Natalie tells Danny that she spoke to building maintenance about the air conditioning and they're sending someone up. "That's good, um, but the problem we're having in the studio is with the heat," says Dan. Casey laughs and Natalie swears. She starts to run out, all flustered. Dan asks if she wants to sit down for a bit, shoot the breeze. She says, "I can't shoot the breeze right now, I have to do my job. Or do you think it's just safer for everybody if I don't do anything?" Casey says no, and Natalie continues, "My two anchors are going to die of hypothermia on the air, but that's okay, no problem, because Natalie's a little distracted!" Then she says she's not distracted and she can do her job, and she says again that she has to get the heat fixed. As she leaves, Dan calls after her, "Also, if you see Casey" -- Casey glances up, confused -- "tell him to lighten up on Rostankowski." Casey rolls his eyes. Dan then pretends to see Casey for the first time and tells him himself. Casey gets all snitty and says he stands by his position and that he's doing his job. "I do it proudly, I do it vigorously, and I do it for the following three reasons," he says. "Here come the table of contents," says Dan, employing less-than-stellar subject-verb agreement. Casey makes that "so what" gesture that anal people make when someone calls them on their analness and says, "I like to organize my thoughts." Then he asks Dan why he's looking at a dictionary, because I guess it's really unusual that a guy who does a lot of writing might occasionally check a dictionary. Dan says he doesn't think "pundit" means what Casey thinks it means. This is so pointless. "Pundit" is one of those words that are only ever used by the media, much like "blaze" when referring to a fire and "tony" when referring to an upscale neighbourhood. Each then accuses the other of not letting it go, like, I hope I grow up before I'm older than these two guys are. Casey points out that for two weeks Dan said Latrell Sprewell should not be allowed to play professional basketball again. Dan reminds Casey that there's a difference between making a bad call in a college football game and attempting to choke your coach (point: Dan). We also learn that Rostankowski coaches at Casey's alma mater. Casey all of a sudden gets really agitated and says, "We were this close to beating Miami." Dan suggests that Casey see a therapist.

Isaac's office. Dana wants to know what the upshot of the budget meeting was. Isaac says they have to figure out a way to cut $17 million dollars. What? Exactly how much of a budget does this show have? $17 million has to be an awful lot to cut, certainly enough that Dana might want to actually react to that announcement. All-new Puffy-Hair Jeremy bursts into the office, saying he found an email death threat to Natalie and he's been going over all the phone calls and letters Natalie has been receiving. "Jeremy, is this why you haven't been sleeping at night?" asks Dana. She says she doesn't want him obsessing, and he says he isn't. Dana says that network security's working with the FBI and they pretty much have the bases covered. I wish my job had security that worked with the FBI. Every day strangers just kind of wander through the newsroom, and if you ask them if they need anything or anyone, they just say, "No, it's okay," and you want to say, "Well, GET OUT OF HERE, then." Jeremy says the security's not doing a good job since this email got through. Dana says Jeremy shouldn't be reading Natalie's email, and he says it's the only way he can stop her from doing so, thereby making Jeremy, I guess, the most well-intentioned fascist I've ever met. Dana expresses surprise that Natalie gave him her password, since she won't give it to Dana. Jeremy says he figured it out, after wondering how many six-letter words could there be? "Um, five thousand," says Dana. Oh, yeah, you know, Dana. Jeremy says it's 14,200 and change, but he got it on the thirty-eighth try. That would be what, "abacus"? You see, because that's close to the beginning of the alphabet and if he were doing them in order...oh, forget it. Despite Dana's protests, Jeremy reads the letter, which is addressed "Dear Slut" and says Natalie shouldn't have been in the locker room, and she deserves what Patrick did and more, and ends with "I hope you get killed. " Jeremy also makes a snide comment about the poor spelling in the letter, because sending a nasty letter is one thing, but not running spell-check on it beforehand -- that's just not done. Isaac says they've seen the letter. "It came yesterday, Natalie gave it to the police," says Dana. Jeremy gets upset that Natalie's seen the letter. "I don't want her seeing this stuff!" he yells. I don't know that Jeremy's been there long enough to be this protective, really. I mean, Sars gets death threats all the time from MBTV readers and she doesn't really whine that much about it anymore, possibly because the only reaction she ever gets out of me is a grunt and a "so what do you want me to do about it?" ["I'd like you to stop sending them, tough guy." -- Sars] Dana tries to calm Jeremy down and tells him to go to the conference room so she can talk to him. He leaves, apologizing for raising his voice. Dana seeks assurance from Isaac that they really shouldn't worry. She wants to know that "a reporter goes into a locker room, has a run-in with an athlete, the reporter becomes the story," isn't any big deal. Isaac says it happens about twice a year. Dana wants to know why this feels different. Is she really wondering? "Because it's happening to us," says Isaac. "Right," says Dana. It's clear she's thinking, "Damn! I knew that one!" Then they go back to the budget.

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