Let the Madness Begin



Dana is walking down a hall. She peeks inside an office as she is walking. A moment later, she comes to a sudden halt and the person walking behind her runs into her.

Dana: Oh, sorry. You all right?

Everything seems to be in order, so everybody carries on with what they are doing.

Dana goes back into the office. Someone is pulling things from a box and putting them on book shelves and into desk drawers.

Dana: Welcome back.

The person stops and looks at Dana.

Sam: Good afternoon, Dana.

Sam goes back to putting things away.

Dana: Uh... if I had known you were coming in today, we could have done something for you.

Sam: Like?

Dana: Like... cake. We could have had cake.

Sam: I don't want cake.

Dana: Or we could have done something else.

Sam: I don't want something else.

Dana: Or we could have just welcomed you back.

Sam stops putting things away.

Sam: Is there a purpose to this conversation?

Dana: Nope. No purpose whatsoever. I just saw that you were here. And here you are. And I just wanted to welcome you back.

Sam: Thank you.

Dana: Okay.

Dana turns around to leave as Sam resumes putting things away.

Sam: Oh, could you do me a favor and have the tapes from the last three weeks sent to me. I need to review the past performances. And if you have a list of the credits and stories, I'll take those also.

Dana: I'll... I'll have Marsha send them over.

Sam: Yeah, and if you can do it right away. I'm on a tight schedule here, so I don't need any open time to be doing nothing.

Dana: Okay. You'll have them within an hour.

Sam: Thirty minutes, tops.

Dana: Okay. Thirty minutes.


Natalie walks into Isaac's office.

Natalie: You wanted to see me, Isaac?

Isaac: Yes, Natalie. Close the door behind you.

Natalie closes the door and she looks concerned as she and Isaac each take a seat.

Isaac: How do you feel about your recent assignments?

Natalie: Fine. I haven't had any problems.

Isaac: Hockey is going fine for you.

Natalie: Yeah.

Isaac: College basketball? The PGA tour?

Natalie: No problems.

Isaac: How about auto racing?

Natalie: It's fine. What's going on, Isaac?

Isaac: Nothing, Natalie. I can understand that you have a busy schedule especially with the basketball tournaments, playoff races, spring training, and the football draft, which is why you canceled your trip to Rockingham last week and why you canceled on Las Vegas this week.

Natalie: Uh... yeah, Isaac. I've been swamped with stuff. But this is the best time of the year with everything converging at once.

Isaac: So, you'll be all right if I asked you to delegate some of your projects so you can head out to Las Vegas this weekend.

Natalie: I can handle what's going on here. I can delegate somebody to go to Las Vegas.

Isaac: I thought we agreed that we were going to cover NASCAR a little more in-depth and that you were going to handle those duties.

Natalie: I guess so, Isaac.

Isaac: You guess so?

Natalie: Well, no. I was just saying...

Natalie gets up from her chair and goes looking out Isaac's window.

Isaac: You have a right to be bothered and upset over it.

Natalie: I know.

Isaac gets up and goes over to Natalie. He puts his around around her shoulders.

Natalie: I don't know if I can do it, Isaac.

Isaac: It's all right.

Natalie: You know, I could have cared less about NASCAR until this year. It was a sport, but I always thought it was a bunch of rednecks driving in circles. Fans would drink beer and yell 'yee-haw.'

Isaac: There's nothing to feel guilty over that.

Natalie: It was just... this year. I decided to give NASCAR a legitimate chance. That is why I wanted to help produce our segments. I wanted to learn and love the sport, so I could produce quality features.

Isaac: What happened?

Natalie shakes her head.

Natalie: I went down to Daytona. I talked with the different teams and really got to know the drivers and the crews. These guys are so close to each other- like they are family. Even the different teams are close to one another.

They talked about strategy, the different engines, tires, drafting, restrictor plates, how the crews will be run in the pits, and the fast track at Daytona. It wasn't a bunch of guys just making left-hand turns on a Sunday afternoon. It was teamwork. It was strategic planning. It was a sport. Spending that week down there taught me that NASCAR was a sport.

There was excitement. This was the largest crowd to witness the Daytona 500. When the race started I was able to witness the different styles, the execution of when and where to make a move. To see the pit crews, spotters, and drivers working together to achieve something- to get a car across the finish line before anybody else.

Somebody had raced 462 times without a victory. Four-hundred and sixty-two times. Most people I know would have given up- having to go that long without a single victory. Yet, somebody believed in him and had him drive his car. This was exciting. This was racing. This is NASCAR.

I was jumping up and down on the last lap, until...

As Natalie's head drops, Isaac gives her a hug.

Natalie: I saw the wreck and I didn't think anything of it. Why should I? It didn't look serious. It wasn't a spectacular crash where parts and cars go flying everywhere. I was jumping up and down, Isaac. I was cheering and jumping up and down.

Other people looked really concerned, but I didn't pay attention to them. This was the greatest race I had ever seen. I was cheering and being completely oblivious to everything else going on.

Isaac: It's all right.

Natalie: Do you know what Dale was doing? He was holding the rest of the drivers back. He wasn't trying to win the race- he had already won it before; and we was going to let somebody else win it. Somebody who had never won before. He was in third place... his son was in second... and the man he hired to drive his car, the one who had never won in 462 starts was in first. He was holding back the rest of the field because he wanted one of them to have the sweet taste of victory. He was sacrificing for his team.

Isaac, legends aren't supposed to die.

Isaac gives Natalie another hug.

Isaac: Natalie, just remember this: legends never die. They live on forever. They live in the record books. They live in our memories.


Dan and Casey are in their office and they are supposedly working on their scripts. Casey gets up from his chair, walks over, grabs a reference book, and starts flipping through the pages.

Casey: You know today, 300-games are a common occurrence.

Dan: 300 games?

Casey: In bowling.

Dan: Oh, bowling. People get bigger. The bowlers wear different apparatuses to help them. The pins and lanes stay the same size.

Casey: It's apparati.

Dan: Apparati?

Casey: Yeah, plural of apparatus.

Dan: I'm pretty sure it's apparatuses.

Casey grabs another book and starts flipping through it.

Casey: Apostrophe, apothecary, apotheosis, appall, apparat, apparatus.

Casey closes the dictionary.

Dan: Well?

Casey: You're right.

Casey goes back and sits down.

Dan: Do you ever answer your fan mail?

Casey: I try to.

Dan: Does it seem to be a burden?

Casey: I eliminate the lunatics.

Dan: You eliminate them?

Casey: I get letters from lunatics and I get letters from non-lunatics. I answer the ones from the non-lunatics.

Dan: How do you tell the difference?

Casey: Well, if they are asking for a piece of clothing or asking me to put them on the show- they're lunatics.

Dan: How about this... Dear Daniel... I love the way you convey passion on your show. I find your writing to be very sensual and you have the ability to make sports sexy. If you are ever in San Antonio-

Casey: I think I've heard enough.

Dan: She called me Daniel.

Casey: And she said if you are ever in San Antonio.

Dan: I convey a sexy sports image through my writing.

Casey: And I don't get compliments from MENSA when I do teasers in four different languages.

Dan: Why would MENSA call?

Casey: That's not the point. The point is the author of that letter is a lunatic.

Dan: You think?

Casey: She... if it is a she... is asking you out on a date-

Dan: It's not like I'll go out with her.

Casey: You give her a little attention, then all of a sudden, she shows up on the floor in a wedding gown and looking for her husband, Dan Rydell.

Dan: Nah. She doesn't sound that crazy.

Casey: Didn't you learn anything over the holidays?

Dan: Oh, yeah.

Casey does a "crack-the-whip" motion with his arm.

Casey: Voo-choo! Voo-choo!

Dan: Don't remind me.

Dana pops into the office.

Dana: Guys, we'll probably need another thirty on the NFL report. The Cardinals released more players, and the Broncos are rumored to be releasing some also.

Dan: Will do.

Dana: Hey, Casey.

Casey: Hey, Dana.

Casey and Dana both smile and stare at each other.

Dan: Anything else?


Dan: Anything else, Dana?

Dana: Huh?

Dan: Okay. This is an awkward threesome.

Casey: Did you say something about a threesome?

Dana: Did you say you were in a threesome?

Dan: Casey, yes. Dana, as intriguing as it sounds, no. Now, I've got work to do.

Casey: You're bitter over the fan mail.

Dan: I'm not bitter.

Dana: (whispers to Casey) I'll see you later.

Casey: You're upset because I told you not to reply to that woman.

Dana leaves the office.

Dan: I'm not upset with you.

Casey: Then what?

Dan: I'm upset with myself for sending a reply before asking you about sending a reply.


J.J. goes into Sam's office.

J.J.: Welcome back, Sam. It's good to have you back here to help out with 'Sports Night.'

Sam stops the tape player on his television.

Sam: Is everybody going to do that today?

J.J.: Do what?

Sam: Come in here and welcome me back.

J.J. rolls a bunch of papers up in his hands.

J.J.: Anyway, we look forward to your input and continued success-

Sam: What's been happening with this show?

J.J.: That's a very good question, Sam. In fact, I've taken the time to write down some notes and my own observations on how we can improve 'Sports Night.'

J.J. hands the sheets of paper to Sam, but instead of taking them, Sam just stares at them.

Sam: I've been reviewing the tapes and transcripts from the last six months.

J.J.: Well, since you are pressed for time, I've condensed it down for you.

Sam takes the report from J.J.

Sam: I'll consider it.

Sam takes J.J.'s report and throws it in the trash.

J.J.: Uh, that's all my ideas and recommendations.

Sam looks inside the trash can and then back at J.J.

Sam: Yeah. I considered it. It's trash now.

J.J. tries not to let his frustration show.

J.J.: You've spoken with Isaac.

Sam: When?

J.J.: Since you've been brought back aboard.

Sam: Yeah. I informed him of my travel plans, where I would be staying, and when I would be coming.

J.J.: I'm sure you two have talked about the show and how people feel about you coming back.

Sam: No, we haven't talked about the show and I really don't give a damn on how people feel about me coming back. I'm here to do my job.

J.J. starts making his way toward the door.

J.J.: Good. I'm glad you are focused on your task. If you have any problems or concerns, feel free to come visit me.

Sam: I'll keep that in mind.

J.J.: Great. I'll see you later.

J.J. starts walking through the doorway.

Sam: Oh, J.J.?

J.J.: Yeah?

Sam just stares at J.J., then he smiles at him.

Sam: You know me. I know you. I don't need to say it, do I?

J.J. looks scared.

Sam: Good. I'll see you later.

Sam turns his video player back on as J.J. slowly walks away.


Jeremy walks up to Casey in a hallway.

Casey: Hey, Jeremy. What's up?

Jeremy: Do you have a minute?

Casey: Sure.

Casey pushes open the door to the empty conference room, and they both enter.

Casey: What's on your mind?

Jeremy: I'm not sure how to say this... How... How did you know you were ready to get married?

Casey: I didn't.

Jeremy: You didn't.

Casey: Yeah. (pause) Are you nervous about the wedding?

Jeremy: No.

Jeremy sits down in a chair.

Casey: Are you having doubts about marrying Natalie?

Jeremy: Maybe.

Casey: Have you talked with Natalie about this?

Jeremy winces.

Casey: Jeremy, you have to talk with her.

Casey sits next to Jeremy.

Jeremy: I know. I know, Casey. It's just extremely difficult to talk with her because she is plowing forward with preparations. Everything is happening so quickly, which is what I didn't want to happen.

Casey: You need to communicate with her. This isn't healthy.

Jeremy: It isn't that I don't love her. I love her very much. It's just... it's just everything I do isn't on a whim. I think it through and plan it out.

Casey: And your proposal was on a whim?

Jeremy: Oh... I wouldn't say that. I would say that my emotions got the better of me.

Casey: So you proposed to her because of what you were feeling?

Jeremy: We could have been killed in that accident. I don't know how we didn't get hit by that out-of-control car. I thought it was a miracle. I thought it was a sign. I reacted because I thought I was going to lose her.

Casey: You didn't think it through?

Jeremy: No. I think I should have waited.

Casey stares at Jeremy for a second, then Casey gets up from his chair.

Casey: Don't marry her.

Jeremy: What?!

Casey: Tell Natalie that the wedding's off.

Jeremy: Why?!

Casey: Because you don't love her.

Jeremy: I do love Natalie!

Casey: If you did love her, you would not have come to me about this. You're supposed to propose to someone using your emotions. Life doesn't go according to plan.

Jeremy: Casey-

Casey: You were right to have doubts about getting married.

Jeremy: I thought you would support me.

Casey: Hold on a second. I am supporting you. You came to me with your doubts, and I agree with you. You just don't agree with my reasoning.

Jeremy: Casey, I don't know what to do.

Casey: You need to let Natalie know what you are feeling.

Jeremy: Okay.

Casey gets up from the conference table and starts to leave.

Jeremy: Casey?

Casey: Yeah?

Jeremy: You're wrong. I do love Natalie. I really do.

Casey nods his head as he opens the door and leaves Jeremy alone in the conference room.

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