Phoenix

Disclaimer

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Jeremy is working at his desk. He is drawing on some graph paper, and his tools consist of a pencil, a calculator, an eraser, a compass, a protractor, and a ruler. He measures and draws a straight line, then he starts pushing buttons on his calculator.

Isaac walks up from behind.

Isaac: Jeremy? How are things going?

Jeremy: Fine, sir.

Isaac: I see you're still working on the evacuation plans.

Jeremy: It's our evacuation plan, and I think I have it solved.

Isaac: Was there a problem with the previous plan?

Jeremy: I didn't factor in the possibility of moving-

Isaac: I mean, before you started working on it.

Jeremy: It was very inefficient, Isaac.

Isaac: But you finally have it solved?

Jeremy: I think I do. We can do a test run with the floor at some point.

Isaac: Sort of like a fire drill.

Jeremy: Yes. Exactly.

Isaac: Tell me this, Jeremy. How have you made it better?

Jeremy: Well, the first option is to make the stairwells wider. It would cost millions of dollars, and there would have to be extensive remodeling of the building because the inside walls on three of the stairwells are weight-bearing walls. That would mean having to build a new exterior to the building. With this being cost-prohibitive, I've done much analysis on just our floor. You see, if we keep all essential doors open-but allowing for each office door to be closed- and we move the desks in the newsroom 12 inches closer together, it will create and wider walkway, which will allow 150 people to go through and leave the newsroom at least 6.2 seconds faster than before. If we also have monthly drills, considering the familiarity factor will trim an additional 5 to 10 seconds.

Isaac: I see.

Jeremy: I have it all planned out here. I just need final approval, and I think we can test this out.

Isaac: These are some nice drawings, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Thank you. I got a copy of the blueprints and had it scaled down to one-eighth scale.

Isaac: Do you mind if I ask you one question?

Jeremy: Sure.

Isaac: What have you discovered as a weakness in the Rams offense?

Jeremy: One of the flaws is if the defense has speedy linebackers. You see, if the Rams go to a four-wideout set, they spread the field. Any defense won't be able to double-cover their speedy receivers, so they counter that by blitzing linebackers, preferably to Kurt Warner's right side. Once they flush him out of the pocket, he isn't as effective- especially if he is sacked or hit as his releases the ball. The Rams can counter this by going to a traditional set, utilizing the fullback and tight end to help pick up the blitz, and maybe even working them into the passing game. Even though the offense isn't as dangerous in a traditional alignment, it is still quite effective for the Rams- and it might allow Warner to take fewer hits and make it through the season minus serious injury.

Isaac: Very good. You can save at least 6.2 seconds?

Jeremy: Plus the 5 to 10 seconds by having monthly drills.

Isaac: I'll make sure we can make it happen.

Jeremy: Thank you, sir.

-----

Dan is on a television screen during the broadcast.

Dan: ...After suffering the tragic car accident three weeks ago, the prognosis for tennis star Tim Howell has improved somewhat. Doctors are now expecting Howell to regain limited movement in his arms, but they are pessimistic he will ever walk again.

Davis Cup captain, Otto Darrington, has yet to fill the spot opened through Howell's accident, and an announcement isn't expected to be made for another week. The United States does not have to play another Davis Cup match until next month, so Darrington has some time to choose the next team member.

When we return from commercial, we'll show you why the Cardinals are flying high in Arizona and what, if anything, can stop the charging defense of the Arkansas Razorbacks. You're watching Sports Night on CSC. We'll be right back.

The television set is turned off.

Casey walks in front of the television set. He is standing in his living room.

Casey: It's past your bedtime, Charlie.

Casey: It's after 11:30. It's bed time.

Charlie: All right.

Charlie gets up from the couch and heads toward his bedroom.

Casey: Your mother would kill me if she found out I let you stay up this late.

Charlie: Thanks for letting me, Dad.

Casey: You're welcome.

Charlie: And thanks for letting me watch television... letting me watch the news with everything going on.

Casey: I think you're old enough to see and maybe comprehend what is going on.

Charlie: Mother banned me from watching television. She says I should not be subjected to such tragedy.

Casey: There are times when your mother is right. I think she is correct on this one.

Charlie: But you let me watch.

Casey: No one should be subjected to this kind of tragedy.

Charlie: Yeah.

The two are silent for a moment.

The phone rings.

Casey: Yes?

Charlie: It's nothing.

Casey: What is it?

The phone rings again.

Charlie: The phone is ringing.

Casey: I know. What is it?

The phone rings a third time.

Charlie: You should get it.

Casey looks at the phone and then back at Charlie. The phone rings a fourth time.

Casey: Hold on for a minute.

Casey races and grabs the phone in the middle of the fifth ring.

Casey: (into phone) Hello?

Dana: (into phone) Hey, Casey. It's me.

Dana is talking on the phone outside of the control room.

Casey: (into phone) Hi. How's it going?

Dana: (into phone) Is something wrong?

Casey: (into phone) No, no. We were just in the middle of something... kinda.

Dana: (into phone) You and Charlie?

Casey: (into phone) Yeah.

Dana: (into phone) Oh. Listen, then... um... I'll let you go.

Casey: (into phone) You called in the middle of the show.

Dana: (into phone) We're in commercial.

Casey: (into phone) I saw.

Dana: (into phone) You're watching?

Casey: (into phone) Yeah.

Dana: (into phone) That's sweet.

Casey: (into phone) Dana-

Dana: (into phone) I know, I know, I know. I just want to say that I'm sorry.

Casey: (into phone) It's all right.

Dana: (into phone) No, we we're supposed to go out tomorrow night.

Casey: (into phone) Dana-

Dana: (into phone) And we're pressed for people tomorrow, so we have to- I have to- stay here and work.

Casey: (into phone) It's all right.

Dana: (into phone) I'm really sorry, Casey.

Casey: (into phone) Don't worry about it. We both work in sports. We both know what it's like and what can happen.

Dana: (into phone) I'm sorry.

Casey: (into phone) If it's any consolation, I'm sorry too. We'll deal with it, though.

Dana: (into phone) Thank you for understanding, Casey.

Casey: (into phone) You're welcome.

Dana: (into phone) Oh. I've got to go.

Casey: (into phone) Take care.

Dana: (into phone) See you later.

Dana hangs up the phone and races back into the control room.

Casey hangs up the phone and stares at it for a second. He then heads back down the hallway. He notices Charlie isn't in the hallway, and he peeks into his son's darkened room.

Casey: Charlie?

Casey: What is it you wanted to say?

Charlie: Nothing.

Casey turns on the light.

Casey: You wanted to say something. We got interrupted, but I'm back. I'm here for you.

Casey sits on his son's bed, and Charlie sits up.

Charlie: I'm just... confused.

Casey: What's wrong?

Casey takes a deep breath.

Casey: You mean... with... about... New York and Washington?

Charlie: Yeah.

Casey thinks about it for a moment.

Casey: Some evil men decided to kill many innocent people.

Charlie: Why did they crash our planes?

Casey: They felt what they were doing was right. They're terrorists.

Charlie: I read some stuff where they have declared jihad, a holy war, on Americans.

Casey: That's what they say. The truth is that Islam teaches people about peace and giving one's self to God. These terrorists are using religion as an excuse.

Charlie: They say God is on their side.

Casey: Do you believe in God?

Charlie: Yeah.

Casey: Then he's on your side.

Charlie: How can God be on both sides?

Casey: God is with all of us, and history has taught that God has allowed much holier men die before us. God is with us and with them, but it doesn't mean one is going to survive... or succeed.

Charlie: I saw on television that some people in New York were celebrating the attacks.

Casey: They have the right to celebrate, the same way we have the right to grieve.

Charlie: Why?

Casey: It's part of the First Amendment of our Constitution- the right to free speech.

Charlie: It isn't right.

Casey: You have a right to disagree with the celebration, but you have to realize that those people are ignorant.

Charlie: Ignorant of what?

Casey: Ignorant that the attack was on them, too.

Charlie: I don't understand.

Casey: This attack took place on our soil, but Americans were not the only ones killed. If you look at the list of people who are missing, you will find Brits, Aussies, Japanese, Germans, Chinese, Spaniards, Italians, Mexicans, and Canadiens on the list among Americans. Innocent people of the entire world were attacked, so this could be considered an attack on the world.

Yes, these terrorists despise our way of life, and they want to destroy us. The people who celebrated these attacks don't realize that this was an attack on their way of life. The same liberties which allow them to work, play, and even celebrate are under siege. Do you think if the very fabric of our country was destroyed, they would have the same privileges as they do now? Do you think they would be able to celebrate and have the basic foundations of their country stand behind them, even though the rest of the country disagrees with them? They can celebrate, but they need to realize that their right to do so was under attack.

Charlie nods.

Charlie: What are we going to do? Are we going to war?

Casey: Notice how everybody has pulled together. Our President has the highest approval rating of any president. People want to help each other, and the fact that we care so deeply about one another tells me that we will stick together no matter what happens.

We are one nation, and much of the world has joined us. They have offered us support and relief. We are not alone in this fight, which many may call a war.

This is a war against terrorism, and the way to combat this is to continue to respond the way we have. We need to be there for each other, care for each other, and listen to each other. If we have a greater understanding of what is going on and how it affects people, then we will become a better, stronger people.

Charlie: Are more people going to die?

Casey: Honestly, I wish I could say 'no.' In all probability, more people will die. Over two-hundred years ago, ordinary people stood up and fought and died for freedom. Our Civil War threatened to keep this country apart, but freedom prevailed. World War I and World War II threatened to destroy freedom, but it prevailed. This is our fight, our chance to stand up and defend freedom.

Casey: Yeah?

Charlie: Can I have a hug?

Casey: Sure.

Father and son hug.

Casey: One more thing.

Charlie: What's that?

Casey: You'll never have to ask me permission for a hug.

Charlie: Thank you.

The two hug once again.