The Meaning of Life



Dan and Elliott are next to the tape library in the newsroom.

Elliott: You actually think you can stop their shots?

Dan: Yeah. I think I have the ability to stop them. It's only soccer for pete's sake.

Kim comes over and reaches for a tape between Dan and Elliott.

Kim: Excuse me, while I get this tape to finish my feature.

Elliott: Hey, Kim. Do you think we could stop shots on goal from the women of the WUSA?

Kim: As defensemen or as a goalie?

Elliott: Dan says he could be a goalie.

Dan: I'm just saying, I don't see the talent in this league.

Kim: Dan, you wouldn't have a chance.

Kim starts to walk away, but Dan follows her.

Dan: Kim, Kim, Kim. Yes, the national women's team pulled at our heart strings a few years ago, and that is why this league was started. But you can't deny the fact that women players are typically weaker than their male counterparts.

Kim: Oh, I agree. I just don't consider you to be their counterpart, and now that I think about it, I think you are nowhere near their equal.

Dan: But I don't think it takes much skill to stop a shot. As a goalie, you have a 50-50 chance. I stand in the middle of the goal and go either to my left or my right.

Kim sees Natalie across the room.

Kim: Hey, Natalie! Dan thinks he could be a goalie in the WUSA!

Natalie: Dan, you wouldn't have a chance!

Natalie comes over to join in the conversation.

Kim: Dan thinks he is their counterpart.

Natalie: What?

Dan: I'm not being sexist here. It's just that they kick the ball at a slower speed, and that increases my odds of being able to block their shot.

Natalie: Well, a 30 mile-per-hour ball isn't much different than a 40 mile-per-hour ball when it hits you in your-

Natalie attempts to kick Dan in the groin. Dan flinches, but Natalie stops her follow-through.

Dan: Hey there, Natalie. No need to become offensive.

Natalie: You're the one who thinks he can play defense.

Dan: I think I can stop their shots.

Kim: Dan, you want to know why we think you can't stop their shots?

Dan: Sure.

Kim: One-

Natalie: They are professionals. They get paid to play this game. It isn't like they can come in and do your job. Two-

Kim: You think. When you are a goalie, you need to react. You need to read eye, head, and body movements. If you think for a second, the ball is already in the net. Three-

Natalie: You're a guy.

Kim: Definitely a guy.

Dan: Okay. Say what you want.

Natalie turns toward Kim.

Natalie: He's not convinced.

Kim: No, he's not.

Natalie turns toward Dan.

Natalie: What do you think about a friendly wager?

Dan: What kind of wager?

Natalie: An athletic endeavor. I'll make a couple of phone calls and see if I can get a member of the New York Power to challenge you.

Dan: The electric company?

Kim: That's the name of the team in the WUSA.

Dan: What's in it for me?

Natalie: Soccer highlights. You win this challenge, and you will never have to do soccer highlights again.

Dan: All right! What do I have to do?

Natalie: Hmmm...

Kim: Penalty shots.

Natalie: That's it. You have to stop a penalty kick. To make the playing field a little more even for you, Danny-boy, they get five penalty kicks. If you stop one- and only one- shot, you win.

Dan: One-out-of-five shots?

Natalie: Yeah. If they make five-out-of-five, you lose.

Dan: That sounds like a deal.

Kim: What do they get if they win?

Natalie has a devilish grin.

Natalie: Dan gets all the soccer highlights, and he does it with a smile on his face.

Kim: Yeah.

Dan: Hold on there-

Natalie: What's wrong, Danny-boy? Afraid you might get beat by a girl? Afraid they might kick the big, bad ball into the teeny, tiny net?

Dan: I'm not afraid.

Natalie: Do we have a deal?

Dan thinks about it for a second.

Dan: Deal.

Natalie and Dan shake hands.

Natalie: I'll make a few phone calls, then you are going down.

Dan thumps his chest.

Dan: Bring it on, baby. Bring it on!

Dan heads toward his office, while Natalie heads toward her desk.

When Natalie reaches her desk, she picks up her phone and starts dialing. She looks across her desk, and she sees Jeremy leaning back in his chair. He is staring straight ahead and looks like he is in shock. Natalie hangs up the phone and goes over to Jeremy.

Natalie: What's wrong, Jeremy?

Jeremy: It's been four hours, and they haven't heard from them.

Natalie: Who?

Jeremy: Eric Rasmussen and his team.

Natalie: What happened?

Jeremy: Well, they left the fourth camp earlier today to climb to the summit of Everest. They radioed to the base camp once they reached the summit, but the base camp hasn't heard from them since.

Natalie: Was there a storm?

Jeremy: The radars don't show any inclement weather, other than the normal 20 mile-per-hour winds and lack of oxygen.

Natalie: Four hours?

Jeremy: They're supposed to radio back every 30 minutes.

Natalie: Have they sent a rescue team?

Jeremy: They are taking a helicopter up to the fourth camp, but they'll have to climb the rest of the way. They may not have the daylight to reach them in time.

Natalie: Was there any sign of danger?

Jeremy: Natalie, the whole climb is a sign of danger. It is something few men have achieved safely.

Natalie: Don't get nasty with me.

Jeremy: I'm sorry. It's just... it's just the story I did not want to have to produce.

Natalie reaches down and pats Jeremy on the shoulder a couple of times.

Natalie: It will be all right. They will get rescued, or a miracle will occur.

Jeremy: One can only hope.


Sam and Isaac are talking next to the window in Isaac's office.

Isaac: You know what, Sam? It's a really beautiful day out there. It's a shame we have to be inside.

Sam looks out the window and then back at Isaac.

Sam: I guess.

Isaac: Sam, have you thought about expanding your responsibilities with Sports Night and the network?

Sam: I've already turned down their job offer.

Isaac: Yes, I know.

Isaac walks back to his desk and sits down.

Sam: They're not pleased with my decision.

Isaac: It wasn't the type of response they were expecting.

Sam walks to the front of Isaac's desk.

Sam: So, they thought I would immediately accept their offer.

Isaac: They felt you should at least think about it.

Sam: Instead of turning them down immediately?

Isaac: Yes.

Sam crosses his arms across his chest.

Sam: Isaac, they have to understand-

Isaac: Understand that it isn't the way you operate. I know that, you know that, but they don't know that.

Sam: So, you're suggesting I should have used a little more diplomacy?

Isaac: Diplomacy would have made the rejection much easier to take.

Sam drops his arms and smiles.

Sam: Hmmm. (shakes his head) They want to get rid of me.

Isaac: Oh, no. They still want you. They don't want you for just Sports Night. They want you for the network as the ratings consultant.

Sam: So, in other words, if they change the title of the position, maybe Sam Donovan will accept it.

Isaac: It's not the same position.

Sam: And of course, the pay would be similar to my current position because I'm not up in the executive suite.

Isaac: Sam, there's no reason to be hostile over this.

Sam: Let me guess. If I turn down this offer, the network will probably eliminate my position with Sports Night.

Isaac: My instincts says they might.

Sam: And, of course, they ask you to offer it to me instead of offering it themselves.

Isaac: They've already been slapped in the face once. They don't want it to happen again.

Sam: I guess the correct thing to say right now is I'll place it under consideration.

Isaac: Please do, Sam.


Dana walks into Casey's office and closes the door behind her. Casey looks oddly at Dana.

Dana: Where's Dan?

Casey: He's prepping for the American League. How did the meeting go?

Dana: Stand up.

Casey: You didn't call me last night.

Dana: I know. Stand up.

Casey slowly rises from his seat.

Casey: How's your face?

Dana walks over, grabs Casey's head, and kisses him.

Casey stands, dazed momentarily.

Casey: It's safe to assume the news is good.

Dana smiles, pulls her arms in close, takes one hop back.

Dana: It's wonderful news.

Casey: You're not getting into trouble.

Dana: Well, yes, I am. Isaac asked me about our relationship last night, and I admitted it.

Casey: What clued him in?

Dana: Sam had his suspicions.

Casey: I wonder what made him suspect us. What could have happened to make him go to Isaac?

Dana: Our chemistry? I don't know. Maybe he saw us?

Casey: I don't know. Maybe he's spying on us.

Dana: Spying on us?

Casey: Yeah, you know, to bring us down.

Dana: Oooooh, I hate Sam Donovan.

Casey: What happened? What kind of trouble are you in?

Dana: Isaac is willing to accept our relationship if we continue to do our jobs as professionals.

Casey: So, making out on the control room panel is out of the question.

Dana: (points at Casey) Out of the question.

Casey: Well, you kissing me right in this office... doesn't that constitute an act of unprofessionalism?

Dana: Maybe.

Casey: What's to keep me from reporting you?

Dana: The fact- that if you do- you will never, ever, ever, and I mean not-in-a-million-years ever see me naked again.

Casey: Good reason.

Dana: I'd like to think so.

Casey: So, what's your punishment?

Dana: Natalie's running the show next week, and I am her assistant.

Casey starts to laugh.

Dana: What? What's wrong with that?

Casey: Nothing's wrong with that.

Dana: Then why did you laugh?

Dan walks into the office.

Dan: What's up?

Casey: Natalie is running the show next week, and Dana is going to be her assistant.

Dan: Why?

Casey: It's Dana's punishment for dating me.

Dan: Hey, some women considered it punishment enough just to date you, Casey.

Casey: Hold on there. Let's get back to the main focus, and that is Dana is Natalie's assistant next week.

Dan starts laughing as he sits at his desk.

Dana: What's so funny?

Dan: Dana, we know you and we know Natalie. I don't think you will be able to handle working under Natalie.

Dana: Well, I... I was an associate producer out in Los Angeles.

Casey: And a very good one at that. It's just that we can picture Natalie-

Dan: Taking advantage of the situation.

Casey: Right. She'll take advantage of the situation.

Dana: Natalie will not abuse her position. She respects me too much for that.

Dan: Remember Thunder Bay?

Casey: In February? The World Ice Fishing Championships?

Dana takes a second to refresh her memory.

Dana: No, she wouldn't.

Dan: As I recall, a certain executive producer became upset because a certain senior associate producer was digging into the executive producer's life.

Casey: Yeah, that was when you were still seeing Kevin, wasn't it?

Dana: There was a sporting event there! I didn't just send her there because she wouldn't shut up and leave me alone. Oh no.

Dan: Start planning for a future itinerary right now.

Dana looks worried, while Dan and Casey laugh.

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