|Will Dunk For Brains
"And so congratulations to Coach Williams both on his 500th victory, and on having the courage to wear that ugly, ugly tie on national television. Coach, we salute you and your fashion sense."
"I'm Dan Rydell."
"And I'm Casey McCall. Tomorrow we'll have a special feature on the history of ugly ties in college basketball, a face-off between Bruce Pearl and Bruce Weber's orange sports coats, and idle speculation on whether Greg Oden or Kevin Durant is the real real thing."
"You've been watching Sports Night."
"Sleep tight, don't let Joakim Noah bite, and we'll see you tomorrow."
"And we're out," Natalie said from the control room.
"Pop quiz," Dan said, dropping his mike on the desk and swiveling around in his chair. "Who would you least like to meet in a dark alley, Noah or Tyler Hansbrough?"
"Noah," Casey said. "Absolutely Noah. He looks like he sells babies on the black market."
"But if Hansbrough was lost," Dan said. "And hungry. And it was just him, and you, and no food, in the dark alley. He might eat you. Or Noah's black market babies."
"He's a power forward, Danny, not a cannibal."
"Top five college basketball players most likely to be caught eating their own teammates' brains," Dan said. "Go."
"Nick Fazekas, Nevada. Engin Atsur, N.C. State. Acie Law, Texas A&M. Derek Raivio, Gonzaga."
"Raivio? He's a Jesuit. He doesn't eat brains."
"He's a Jesuit with a shaved head and a tattoo," Casey said. "He might eat brains."
Dan said, "Besides, that's only four."
"You interrupted me with your semantic complaints about religion. I was getting to it."
"So go on."
"And ... Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina."
"There," Dan said smugly. "See? Tyler Hansbrough eats human flesh. It's the only explanation for him."
Casey twitched his head toward the control room, and when Dan followed his gaze, Casey said, "You know, while you were rhapsodizing about Jesuit zombies and maligning a Player of the Year candidate, either everybody else got up and went back to their desks, or Nick Fazekas came and ate all their brains."
"You were the one talking about Jesuit zombies," Dan said, loosening his tie and heading for their office. "I was talking about Tyler Hansbrough eating babies. Hey, speaking of Carolina --"
"Were we speaking of Carolina?" Casey said, collapsing facedown on their couch.
Dan said, "Absolutely. We were speaking of Tyler Hansbrough committing cannibalism in dark alleys, that's practically like speaking of Carolina. So speaking of them, do you think we should do some commercials like Bilas and Davis, like the Duke Boy commercials for Game Day?"
"First off," Dana said, stomping barefoot into their office, "We have no Game Day equivalent, and second, you went to Dartmouth, Dan, and Casey went to the Ohio State University, and those two universities are not exactly tearing up the country with their rivalry. Casey, the SID from Carolina is on the phone. He says that Williams' tie was a personal gift from Alexander Julian."
"So?" Casey said.
"So you offended one of the principle men's designers in the Southeast United States," Dana said. "So you have to apologize to the SID for making fun of Williams' tie."
"I don't care if it was a personal gift from the Pope," Casey said. "It was an ugly tie, and Alexander Julian, whoever he is, should be ashamed of himself."
"Who do you think the Pope roots for in the tournament?" Dan said.
"NOTRE DAME," Kim, Elliott, and Jeremy chorused from the newsroom.
"And a follow-up: if there was a zombie epidemic and the entire Notre Dame basketball team become brain-eating zombies, would the Pope still root for them?" Dan asked.
Kim stuck her head into their office and said, "In my opinion, the Pope would be the head brain-eater in this epidemic. And I'd put good money on Notre Dame making the Final Four that year. Dana, Steve Kirschner is still holding."
"Roy Williams clearly does not have a Maureen of his own," Casey said petulantly.
"If faced with an army of zombies, which college basketball team would you want backing you up?" Dan said.
"Ohio State," Kim said immediately. "Greg Oden would scare them all off."
Elliott said, "Providence, I think. They're responsible for Rick Pitino, Billy Donovan and Rick Barnes. Clearly a place that produces terrors of the highest level. Even zombies would be afraid of them."
"I am not apologizing to the Carolina SID because Roy Williams left the locker room without looking in a mirror," Casey said to Dana.
"This isn't a request, Casey," Dana said.
"Boston College, I think," Natalie said, worming her way past the Kim-Elliott-Dana log jam in the doorway, and dropping down squarely onto Casey's back, where he was still face-down on the couch. "Sean Williams looks like he'd beat you up for 20 bucks. Casey, pick up the phone."
"I can't pick up the phone, I can't reach the phone, ow, Natalie, you're going to pay for my chiropractor's bill," Casey grunted. "Maureen would never have let him wear that tie."
"Kim and Natalie are on the scoreboard with those answers," Dan said, propping his feet on the edge of the desk. "Elliott, I'm sorry, you score no points, because I am willing to bet that you cannot actually name a single member of the Providence men's basketball team this year."
Elliott frowned, and said, "Okay, that's fair."
"Casey, phone," Dana said.
"Make Natalie stop sitting on me," Casey said.
Natalie stood up. Casey cracked his back. The red light on the phone flashed. Everyone looked at Dan. "I am out of zombie questions," he said. "But give me a minute, I'll think of something."
Casey reached out and picked up the phone receiver. "Hi, Steve. I'm sorry what I said about Coach Williams' tie tonight. It really wasn't as ugly as I implied that it was."
Dan snickered. Dana put her face in her hands.
"Well, actually, it's good to know you think so, too," Casey said. "Yeah, no problem. Can we get Hansbrough for a segment next week, before the Rutgers game? ... No problem. Wake Forest? That should be okay ... Yeah, thanks, Steve. Sorry again ... tell Coach Williams we said congratulations again."
He hung up the phone. "Kirschner thought the tie was ugly, too," he said to Dana smugly. Natalie snickered quietly. Elliott rolled his eyes and disappeared back into the newsroom.
"So," Dan said brightly. "Dick Vitale: zombie, banshee, or succubus? Discuss."
author's notes: written for my own putting the sports back in sports night challenge, based on roy williams' 500th victory late in 2006. i have no excuses, only shameless giggles. it's not every day a girl gets to write the line, "he's a power forward, not a cannibal."