Sports Night, Ep. 8


Dan: By the way, know what today is?
Casey: It’s Monday.
Dan: What else?
Casey: It’s November 23rd.
Dan: And what does that mean? Come on.
Casey: November 23rd.
Dan: What happened on this date?
Casey: Boston College upsets Notre Dame.
Dan: Wrong.
Casey: Gretzky’s 500th goal.
Dan: Think.
Casey: Alberto Salazar wins his fourth New York Marathon.
Dan: No.
Casey: Alberto Salazar wins his third New York Marathon.
Dan: Casey, you’re not…
Casey: Does it have anything to do with Alberto Salazar or the New York Marathon?
Dan: No.
Casey: Let me take one more stab at it.
Dan: Go.
Casey: Alberto Salazar wins his second New York Marathon.
Dan: Casey.
Casey: Well what? What is it?
Dan: Forget about it.
Casey: Come on!
Dan: Forget about it…
Casey: Let me take one more shot at it. Is it, um…
Dan: Our anniversary.
Casey: Our anniversary?
Dan: Our anniversary. Tonight is our anniversary.
Casey: So uh, how is it our anniversary.
Dan: It’s the anniversary of our first show. November 23rd, five years ago.
Casey: No, we went on the air two years last July.
Dan: I’m not talking about Sports Night. I’m talking about our first broadcast.
Casey: Lone Star.
Dan: Lone Star sports.
Casey: November 23rd.
Dan: That’s right.
Casey: What do you want from me?
Dan: Nothing, Casey. I’m just going to sit over here and do my show.
Casey: Impersonating my ex-wife never won anyone a place in my heart.
Dan: It’s an important day to me.
Casey: It’s an important day to me, too.
Dan: (laughs) I don’t think it is.
Casey: How can I prove it to you?
Dan: Remembering it would be a step in the right direction.

Although he is unsure why, Casey is stuck in an argument with Dan about the significance of their first show together, five years earlier in a small/regional show before going national on Sports Night. Dan remembers the day as their anniversary, Casey remembers the day as a different sort of anniversary altogether.

Dan: What was wrong with you that day?
Casey: There was nothing wrong.
Dan: Why won’t you tell me?
Casey: I was nervous. It was our first show.
Dan: You weren’t nervous. There was something wrong.
Casey: Why are we still talking about this?
Dan: Was it because of what happened with Conan O’Brien’s show?
Casey: It had nothing to do with Conan’s show. You’ve made way too much out of that. My name was mentioned a couple of times, I was never seriously considered for the show.
Dan: Yes you were.
Casey: Yes, I was what?
Dan: Being seriously considered for Conan’s show.
Casey: No I was not.
Dan: Yes you were. And when you didn’t get it you were stuck doing a little sports show with me in Dallas.
Casey: It was a good show, Danny.
Dan: It wasn’t good enough for Lisa.
Casey: Yeah, what WAS good enough for Lisa?!?
Dan: What haven’t you told me?
Casey: There’s no mystery here.
Dan: Casey, I’ve known you for ten years. We’ve been working together for five of them. What haven’t you told me?

(Casey stands and walks away…A few moments later, he enters Issac’s office)

Isaac: You’ve never told him, have you?
Casey: No.
Isaac: Why?
Casey: I don’t know.
Isaac: You’ve got to learn to show people how you feel about them, Casey.
Casey: Why do I have to prove it to him?
Isaac: Because he feels like a consolation prize.
Casey: He’s not.
Isaac: Tell him. So you say a few words, you make a gesture, remember an important date. Small price to pay for what you get in return. For what you get in return, it’s a steal. The rest is all vanity.

When Casey later re-enters the studio to complete the broadcast, he sits down next to his partner:

Casey: I was gonna buy some flowers on the way back from the control room, but…
Dan: I don’t know if you noticed, but I dropped that like 15 minutes ago.
Casey: Good.
Dan: I just think that…
Casey: Danny… they offered me Conan’s show.
Dan: They did?
Casey: Yeah.
Dan: They offered it to you?
Casey: There was an offer. They offered me the show.
Dan: And you passed?
Casey: Yeah.
Dan: You passed on your own network show?
Casey: Yeah
Dan: To work with me in Dallas?
Casey: It was clear we were going national.
Dan: No it wasn’t.
Casey: Look, I passed on the show, what does it matter why?
Dan: If you passed on the show, Lisa must’ve gone thermal.
Casey: She wasn’t happy.
Dan: Case? Was that the beginning of the end? With you and Lisa?
Casey: Yeah.

On that one day, five years earlier, two close friends shared a desk (and an hour of work) together. It was a day that would shape each of their lives for years to come, yet they both took something different from their experience, because even the closest of friends have secrets to keep. For Dan, it was the beginning of a burgeoning career, but for Casey, it was also beginning of the end of his marriage. In a moment of reflection, both characters are reminded that “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” (Seneca)

Today, before I knock on the doors of each of 6 different patients, I will pause for a moment and remind myself, “This is another beginning…”


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