Requiem for a Heavyweight



Jeremy enters the control room and proudly holds up the video tape.

Jeremy: I found it!

Dana: Oh thank god.

Elliott runs by and takes the tape from Jeremy.

Dave: We're rolling. Sixty seconds live.

The taped introduction begins playing over the monitors.

Natalie: Where was it?

Jeremy: On your desk.

Natalie: What?!

Dana: (to Natalie) You mean to tell me you had it this whole time?

Jeremy: It was underneath all your crap you got from Michael.

Natalie: It's not crap.

Jeremy: I initially found one tape underneath all your moving guides, and I couldn't decipher what was on it since the tape itself was unlabeled. I naturally assumed that there was a distinct possibly that it was the missing tape, but when in fact I played the tape, I learned I was mistaken when Michael's sad, puppy dog eyes appeared on the monitor. I then found another tape underneath another moving guide and a set of keys which, to the trained eye, appear to be a new set of house keys. When I checked this tape, and judged by the label in Natalie's handwriting stating "Rivera-Clay weigh in", I knew it was that tape which contained the missing cut footage of the weigh-in.

Natalie: Oh.

Dana: Well, thank you for the detective work Lord Peter Whimsey.

Dave: Fifteen seconds.

Dana: (into headset) Danny, Bobbi? Jeremy found the tape, so we can proceed with segment five as originally planned.

Dan is seen in a monitor giving a thumbs up.

Isaac enters the control room.

Dana: Good show, everybody.

Natalie: Good show.

Dave: Good show.

Dana: And Isaac Jaffee is in the house.

Dave: In 5, 4, 3, 2...

Bobbi: (on-air) Good evening. I'm Bobbi Bernstein sitting along with Dan Rydell. College football is in the air, but will Toledo's ground game stop Marshall from receiving a bowl bid?

Dan: (on-air) And speaking of bowl bids, we'll preview the upcoming SEC championship at the Georgia Dome and Big 12 championship at the Alamo Dome. Nothing screams autumn quite like the sounds college football and their bands to go along with the scent of artificial turf and tofu dogs inside a 72 degree dome stadium.

Bobbi: (on-air) But we start this broadcast with a preview of tomorrow night's heavyweight championship between Hector Rivera and T.J. Clay, which you will see live on CSC. Let's go to Jennifer Atwater in Atlantic City.

Jennifer appears on the monitor as her segment begins.

Chris: Sixty seconds back.

Isaac leans over to Dana. Natalie looks over to see what he is about to tell Dana.

Isaac: Don't worry about this, but after the show, I would like to have a brief word with you in my office.

Dana: What's it about?

Isaac: It will be brief and after the show.

Dana: And why did you have to preface it with "don't worry about this"?

Isaac: Don't worry about it.

Dana: Isaac?

Isaac: Dana.

Dana: Don't worry about this?

Isaac: Do you think I'm going to fire you?

Dana: Well, a brief word would be, "Dana, you're fired."

Natalie: That's three words.

Dana and Isaac look at Natalie.

Dana: Excuse me, but we're having a private conversation here.

Natalie: I'm sitting right next to you.

Dana: So?

Natalie: I can hear you.

Dana: Maybe if you were not so close to me and invading my private space.

Natalie: Don't worry about it.

Dana: Natalie.

Natalie: We found the tape.

Isaac: What tape?

Natalie: Nothing.

Isaac: What tape is she talking about?

Dana: A certain tape was misplaced, but we found it in time for broadcast.

Isaac: Who found it and what was on it?

Dana: That's not the point. The point is we have the tape, and there is no longer a crisis.

Isaac: So it was a critical tape?

Dana: I wouldn't say... not necessarily critical.

Isaac: You said "crisis."

Dana: Crisis may have been a little over the top.

Jeremy: Actually, the word "crisis" was of appropriate use. Technically, "crisis" refers to the climax of a situation in which the outcome - either positive or negative - is decided in the immediate future. Thus, we went through a crisis and ended with a positive result.

Dana glares toward Jeremy while he receives a look of puzzlement from Isaac. Jeremy feels uncomfortable from the reaction of the two.

Jeremy: Or I could just concentrate on what is going on over here.

Dave: Camera one back in 3, 2, 1.

Bobbi: (on-air) Thanks, Jennifer. Earlier today, the weigh-in took place just outside of the arena. The defending champion, Hector Rivera, took to the scale first-

The crew inside the control room concentrates on the work in front of them, while Isaac watches over the production of the show.


Isaac is sitting at his desk with a huge pile of paperwork at one end of it. Dana casually walks through the open door into his office.

Dana: I am here, Isaac, just as you requested.

Isaac: Thank you.

Dana: And you'll notice I am here ten minutes after the conclusion of our broadcast.

Isaac: I can see that.

Dana: And do you know why?

Isaac: Because I can clearly see the clock on the wall has the big hand on the 2 and the little hand on the 12.

Dana: Because I wanted to show you that I wasn't worried.

Isaac: Just as long as you are here.

Dana: To be truthful, in those ten minutes, Natalie and I talked a little about strategy.

Isaac: The strategy of whether or not you should clean out your desk before or after this meeting?

Dana: Well, yes... among other things.

Isaac: Do you think I would fire you?

Dana: Over anything.

Isaac: If I could fire you over anything, don't you think I would have fired you long ago?

Dana: I figured you were looking for the perfect opportunity.

Isaac: Dana, this network is about to receive its highest ratings tomorrow evening. I need you to produce this broadcast.

Dana: Which would be the perfect opportunity.

Isaac: For what?

Dana: To fire me.

Isaac: The perfect opportunity?

Dana: It's the element of surprise.

Isaac shakes his head at Dana.

Isaac: Do you see this pile of paperwork here? All day today, I've been receiving memos on memos about double-checking things which have already been double-checked. Do you understand what I'm trying to say?

Dana: That the network lacks efficiency?

Isaac: We have to nail this thing.

Dana: The fight is going to be a breeze.

Isaac: That's what you said last time.

Dana: And I was wrong. But what are the chances of us airing another 7-second championship bout?

Isaac: Rivera is at his highest playing weight, while Clay is at his lowest body fat percentage.

Dana: And Rivera has been the champion of his class for a number of years, while Clay is currently the second-ranked challenger.

Isaac: Dana.

Dana: Dan's remote set is ready to go. All seventeen camera angles are in their precise locations. All of the equipment went through their proper checks today, and they'll go through their proper checks tomorrow. Tina is prepared to give a two-minute sports update inside the studio after the second, fifth, and eighth rounds- which is subject to change depending on the current status of the fight. We've prepared eighteen different features in which, if all goes well, eighty percent of them will be dumped because the fight will go the distance. All the network trucks are ready to go and are parked outside of the arena. Unless of course, they are double-parked. They might be libel to be towed if they are. Then that may pose a problem.

Isaac: I'm serious here. I need everybody to be on their A-game.

Dana: We are always on our A-game. B at worst. Maybe a couple of C's, but we are aware of the magnitude of this. We are focused. Our A-game will be there.

Isaac: Great.

Dana: Isaac?

Isaac: Yeah.

Dana: What's up?

Isaac: You've done a spectacular job of putting this all together.

Dana looks as if she has been thrown for a loop.

Dana: I come in here for you to remind me the importance and seriousness of all this, and now you just throw out this compliment?

Isaac: The network has recognized what you've done in putting this together.

Dana: I'm just following your orders, Isaac.

Isaac: I've been doing tons paperwork and answering phone call after phone call. You're the one giving out the orders.

Dana: Well, th- thank you.

Isaac: You're welcome. If you don't mind, I have a few more phone calls to make before I can call it a night.

Dana: Okay.

Isaac: Have a good night.

Dana leaves the office, but looks over her shoulder with a look of concern for Isaac.


"The fight of the century!"

Dan walks through the newsroom holding a morning newspaper high in the air. The front page reads, "The Fight of the Century." He walks by Elliot, Chris, Will, and Dave.

Dan: That's what they are calling tonight's fight, "the fight of the century!"

Elliott: This century is only a few years old.

Dan: But it's being billed as the best fight over that span.

Chris: Don't they have to fight before they can declare it the "fight of the century"?

Will: And is it the fight of the sport or the fight of the heavyweight division?

Dan: It's the buzz about this fight. People are pumped over this fight.

Dave: I thought it was just P.R.

Dan: The P.R. is the result of the buzz.

Dave: And not the other way around?

Dan: Of course not. It's the buzz, baby.

Dan continues to walk toward his office.

Dan: Are we pumped?!

Dan receives a lukewarm response, but he is oblivious to it.

Dan: That's what I like to hear.

Dan walks into his office, and he sees Casey sitting on his couch. Dan tosses the newspaper over to Casey.

Casey: I hear you are a little mellow over this fight.

Dan: Fight of the century.

Casey: I'll be there to judge it myself.

Dan: You got tickets?

Casey: I'm covering it for my network.

Dan: Oh yes, the network which just has to ride our coattails for this evening.

Casey: Yeah. Your network which is forcing us to do our reports from a hotel lobby, and not even within a hundred yards of the arena.

Dan: If you want to complain, you should take your butt over to see Isaac.

Casey: I'm not complaining.

Dan: I get to host the event from the arena. After the fight begins, I get to go sit with my dad, down there where the action is.

Casey: There's more action near the ring as opposed to sixty rows back?

Dan: They might sweat on me.

Casey looks disgusted.

Casey: Okay.

Dan: Plus, there are two impressive undercards for this event.

Casey: I know.

Dan: Because you have a ticket.

Casey: Yes.

Dan: And you know what's after the fight?

Casey: The press conference.

Dan: And after that?

Casey: The post-fight party.

Dan stops for a moment.

Dan: Did you receive invitations to the party?

Casey: Nope.

Dan's eyes light up and he excitedly runs over to Casey.

Dan: This party is going to be the greatest. I'll get to rub elbows with the masters of the sport. There will be some celebrities, but only the A-list celebs. And you know what? I'm going to be there with my father. We'll get to eat, star watch, and I might be able to strike up a conversation with some of them.

Casey: What will you talk about?

Dan shakes his finger.

Dan: That's an excellent point. I probably should make some note cards to bring up topics of conversation.

Casey: Maybe you should.

Dan goes over to his desk and starts digging around for some note cards.

Dan: I could mix in some politics, some social conditions-

Casey: Some boxing.

Dan: -some boxing- just to keep it going and lively.

Casey: I'm sure I'll see you having a good time.

Dan: You'll see me?

Casey: Yeah, I'll be there also.

Dan: Wha- I thought you didn't have an invitation?

Casey: I didn't have any personally mailed to me.

Dan: But?

Casey: I'll be there as Dana's date.

Dan: Oh.

Casey: But it's not quite as good as being selected by the boxing federation to attend the party.

Dan: Yeah.

Casey: They took the time to invite you to the party.

Dan: Yes, they did.

Casey: And they trusted you to bring along another guest.

Dan: Yes, they did.

Casey: I'm just tagging along. You, you were chosen for this event.

Dan: Yes, I was.

Kim enters the office.

Kim: Danny? Your father called before you got here this morning.

Kim hands Dan a note.

Dan: He probably wants to meet me somewhere else.

Kim smiles politely as Dan reads the note.

Casey: How's it going, Kim?

Kim: Great. You?

Casey: Couldn't be better.

Dan: What?

Casey: I said I couldn't be better.

Dan shakes his head in disbelief as he reads the note. He looks distraught as he picks up the phone. He stops in mid-dial when another idea pops into his head.

Dan: This is a joke.

Casey: What?

Dan: This note.

Kim: I've got to get going.

Casey: See ya' later, Kim.

Dan: People think I hid last night's tape on the weigh-in, and this is their way of getting back at me.

Casey: What does the note say?

Dan: It doesn't matter because this is some kind of joke. I know my father, and I know he wouldn't call to leave this message.

Casey: Danny.

Dan: This is a joke.

Casey: Maybe you should call just to confirm it's a joke.

Dan: Okay. I'm going to call, and I'm not calling because I'm falling for this joke. I'm standing firm because I'm not falling for this joke.

Casey: You're standing firm.

Dan: I'm just calling to confirm where we are going to meet before the fight.

Casey: You're standing firm.

Casey watches Dan carefully dial his phone.

Dan: Could you close the door, Case?

Casey: Sure.

Casey gets up and closes the door to the office.

Dan: (into phone) Hey, Dad. I was just calling because some people are trying to play a joke on me. I'm not falling for it because they gave me this note- (listens as the blood drains away from his face) Yeah... yeah. (wipes his chin and neck) No, I understand. It's no big deal. I know you are just interested in the fight. (listens) The sports section has a huge headline this morning. You would be close enough they could sweat on you. (listens) I'm not trying to be cute. Hey, I've got to go. The broadcast starts at 8, and there are two great undercards tonight. I'll talk to you later.

Dan hangs up the phone and stares into nothing.

Casey: What's up?

Dan: My dad... has stuff. He had something come up. Stuff. He can't make it down for the fight.


Jeremy is sitting at his desk and on the telephone.

Jeremy: (into phone) Yeah, I need all the info on turnover-assist ratio and minutes played by the point guards. You can get that to me later this afternoon? (writes a quick message on a notepad) Great. I'll be looking for it later today. Thanks so much.

Jeremy hangs up the phone and begins mentally planning his next feature.


Jeremy spins his chair around and looks up to find Natalie standing directly behind him.

Jeremy: Hey.

Natalie: We need to discuss a feature.

Jeremy: If it's about the point guard efficiency, I've already started-

Natalie: It's not about the point guards.

Jeremy: Then what is it?

Natalie: Let's talk about it inside the conference room.

Jeremy: We can talk about it here.

Natalie: Inside the conference room.

Jeremy: Natalie.

Natalie: Inside the conference room.

Jeremy stands up.

Jeremy: Is there some sort of secret we need to keep?

Natalie: That's it. You figured it out.

Jeremy: Are you sure?

Natalie: Yes. Let's talk inside the conference room.

Still unconvinced, Jeremy reluctantly grabs a notepad and is escorted to the conference room by Natalie. As the two enter the empty room, Natalie opens her hand to invite Jeremy to sit down. Jeremy selects a center chair at the table. He takes a seat, expecting Natalie to also sit down. Natalie slaps her clipboard onto the table. He becomes worried when Natalie continues to stand next to the table.

Jeremy: So, what's the feature?

Natalie: The first rule of expressing displeasure to someone is to take that person out of the public environment.

Jeremy: Did I do something wrong?

Natalie: The first rule of expressing displeasure to someone. You'll notice I've taken you out of the public environment.

Jeremy: I'll take that as a "yes."

Natalie: Why did you have to call me out like that last night?

Jeremy: Call you out on what?

Natalie: Your displeasure on my relationship with Michael.

Jeremy: What did I say?

Natalie: You pointed out my moving guides and the set of house keys Michael sent me.

Jeremy: I just stated-

Natalie: You had to just throw that in there when you could have just as easily said you had found the tape on my desk.

Jeremy: I threw in what exactly was hiding the tape.

Natalie: And you threw in your displeasure- it was in your tone.

Jeremy: Yes, I had displeasure because I spent over two hours looking for the tape! You lost the tape, and I did you a favor by looking for it. I found the tape on your desk, and I expressed displeasure because I wasted two hours looking for something which could have been easily found if you only had cleaned off your desk.

Natalie: I keep my desk nice, neat, and organized.

Jeremy: Except for the pile of crap you had sitting on top of it last night.

Natalie: There you go again, subliminally expressing your displeasure over my relationship with Michael.

Jeremy: Am I sending you messages telepathically?

Natalie: So you admit you don't approve of my relationship with Michael?

Jeremy: I'll admit I don't approve of the way he has been treating you.

Natalie: And you should also notice I never once said a word when you started going out with teenage naked stripper girl.

Jeremy: Part-time model.

Natalie: Full-time lady of the night.

Jeremy: And for the record, she's twenty-one, she models for a department store catalog, and we only went out once.

Natalie: And yet, you never heard a word of displeasure from me.

Jeremy: Well, she's not trying to drag me out to the other side of the continent.

Natalie: Michael's not dragging me anywhere.

Jeremy: If moving to L.A. or your relationship is over isn't an attempt to drag someone, then I don't know what is.

Natalie: It's called compromise.

Jeremy: The only one compromising is you.

Natalie: Michael is building his career, and I need to support him.

Jeremy: So he drags you off to the West Coast, so you can obviously tend to the garden, do laundry, cook meals, and watch over the kids, while he goes to the mill and earn a real man's living.

Natalie: I could have a good career out in Hollywood. A great career.

Jeremy: So how's the job search?

Natalie: I... I'm not going to get into details over my job prospects. I'll let you know I have some pretty good leads.

Jeremy: Some pretty good leads.

Natalie: Yes.

Jeremy: Well, I don't think you should go.

Natalie: I see what this is.

Jeremy: What do you see?

Natalie: Jealousy.

Jeremy: Excuse me?

Natalie: You're jealous because you see me with another man. You can't stand the fact I have found someone which measures above you, someone with more accomplishments than you. You just can't stand the fact that Michael is more successful than you. You just have to settle for staying here and dating teenage stripper girl.

Jeremy: I'm not dating her. I didn't settle for anything. I love working for "Sports Night."

Natalie: And I do too, but that isn't stopping me from reaching for my dreams.

Jeremy: Which are?

Natalie: I don't have time to go into details with you. You just better not call me out like that ever again.

Jeremy: Well, it seems like you've made up your mind on moving to Los Angeles, so I won't have many more opportunities to tell you what kind of mistake you are making.

Natalie: I'm making my own decisions, and they are not mistakes.

Jeremy: He is trying to control you, and he doesn't respect you, much less love you.

Natalie: He does so love me.

Jeremy: And he's taking away your dreams.

Natalie: I have aspirations. They'll just take place in Los Angeles instead of New York.

Jeremy: While he's prancing around London, Paris, or wherever his next project is taking place.

Natalie: Jeremy!

"What's going on in here?"

Natalie and Jeremy notice Dana has entered the room.

Dana: We're about to have a meeting. What's going on in here?

Natalie: A justified scolding.

Jeremy: It isn't justified.

Natalie: Fine. We'll just do it the Jeremy Goodwin way and just bring it out in front of everybody.

Jeremy: Natalie.

Dana: You two cool it. This is about the fight coverage. Put aside your differences and focus your energies on the biggest night of your careers.

Natalie crosses her arms and takes a seat. Elliott and Kim enter the room. Casey enters the room to everybody's surprise.

Casey: I just wanted to wish you guys the best of luck this evening. This is a big night for you, and I know you will do a fabulous job.

Dan looks drained of all energy as he enters the conference room.

Dana: Danny? I thought you were all pumped up for this fight?

Dan: I'm conserving my energy.

Dana: Okay.

Dan: Plus, my father will be unable to attend the fight and post-fight party.

Elliott: What happened?

Dan: He had something come up. It was stuff. It is urgent, so he can't come down to the fight.

Dana: I thought his schedule was completely clear.

Casey places a hand on Dana's shoulder. A shake of his head tells Dana not to press the issue any further.

Dan: Yup. Good ol' dad won't be there.

Dana: Okay, let's get this meeting underway. Casey?

Casey: I take it when I'm not needed. Best of luck guys, I'll see everyone later.

The group thanks Casey as he exits the room.

Dana: Everybody, we absolutely need to bring our A-game to the table tonight. We need to be completely focused on the fight. I don't want any distractions.


Natalie is gleefully running down the hall. She appears to jump through Dana's door into her office.

Dana: Natalie?

Natalie: Michael's on his way! He just called me! He's on a flight right now!

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