Date: February 13, 2021
Season 1, Episode 11
Music Video of the Day: Happy 13th Day of Black History Month!
Interstellar News: Today would have been my Grandpa Freddie’s 97th birthday. Two days ago would have been Grandma Gloria’s 90th. I miss them both so much. It has also been cold and rainy all damn day, sigh.
Isaac: Thank you, Casey. Exaudio, Comperio, Conloquor. That’s a Latin phrase that translates: To Listen, To Learn, To Speak. Those words are carved into the stone arches that form the entrance to the undergraduate library at Tennessee Western University. This afternoon, an extraordinary young man named Roland Shepard made what had to have been an excruciating decision. He said he wasn’t playing football under a Confederate flag. Six of his teammates then chose not to let Shepard stand alone. And I choose to join them at this moment. In the history of the South, there’s much to celebrate. And that flag is a desecration of all of it. It’s a banner of hatred and separation. It’s a banner of ignorance and violence and a war that pitted brother against brother, and to ask young black men and women, young Jewish men and women, Asians, Native Americans, to ask Americans to walk beneath its shadow is a humiliation of irreducable proportions. And we all know it. Tennessee Western has produced some outstanding alumni in the last hundred years. People of wisdom and vision. Strength and compassion. One of them is Luther Sachs. Luther Sachs owns Continental Corp, which owns the Continental Sports Channel, which you’re watching right now. Luther Sachs is a generous alumni contributor to Tennessee Western with a considerable influence over its Chancellor, Davis Blake, and its Board of Trustees. Luther, you’ve got a phone call to make. You’ve got to call Chancellor Blake and tell him to take down that flag or he can stop looking for your checks in the mail. You’ve got to put these young men back in a classroom, and I mean pronto. These boys are gonna make you proud one day, Luther. I challenge you to do the right thing. Not an unreasonable request to make of a man whose alma mater declares Exaudio, Comperio, Conloquor: To Listen, To Learn, To Speak. In the meantime, God go with you, Roland Shepard and you six Southern gentlemen of Tennessee. God’s not done with any of you yet.Isaac speaks the good words.
“Without Maureen, I wouldn’t know gunmetal from a hole in the ground.”: I love this episode for two wonderful reasons. One is the way Isaac and the team handle the situation at the fictional school of Tennessee Western, and the other is how Dan and Casey give thanks to the staff by naming them on air.
As a northerner who moved to the South, I never understood the Confederate Flag. To me it’s the flag of a group who lost a war, and that war symbolized hatred. Why anyone would want a daily reminder of that is beyond me. I also, however, understand that I am not from this culture. I loved that the main player was not only Black, but that he was majoring in chemical engineering. As someone who teaches future engineers, we don’t get a lot of student athletes and we certainly don’t get them from the football team. It was a nice bit of writing that was subtle but awesome, as engineering needs points of view from all walks of life to be effective and efficient.
Dan and Casey taking time, on the air, to give special thanks to everyone who works on the show was just so heartwarming. It shows how much the Sports Night team is a family, but still a young one. Casey’s head has been so up his ass that the dressing down he gets from Monica is fantastic and also earned. It doesn’t hurt that the woman who plays Monica also plays a wonderful character on The West Wing. Gosh, I really do love this episode.