Scene: The Sabres and the Bills are sitting in a cramped room filled with folding chairs. The Bills are sitting on one side of the room in straight lines, patiently waiting for the meeting to begin. The Sabres are sitting on the other half of the room, spread out messily. Many Sabres are leaning back in their chairs. Tim Connolly has his feet up on the folding chair in front of him. Drew Stafford has turned his chair around so that he can play cards with Paetsch who is sitting behind him. The room is filled with chatter and laughter. Katebits enters the room and the noise dies down as she walks up to a podium.
Katebits: You’re probably all wondering why I’ve gathered you here today. You represent the two professional sports teams of Buffalo, the Bills and the Sabres. I have some rather disconcerting news and I wanted to deliver it to you as a group.
(mummer of interest in the room)
Katebits: Please try not to panic as you hear the news. First of all, Bills, congratulations on your four-game winning streak. You’ve exceeded expectations in recent weeks…..which is why I regret to inform you that you have to play…..the New England Patriots this Sunday. On prime time television.
(silence) (The Bills sit quietly, glancing nervously at one another.)
J.P Losman: Yeah, we know. We’ve been preparing for it all week.
(Bills nod in general agreement.)
J.P. Losman: It will be a big challenge, but we’ve been working hard, and our schedule after this game is pretty favorable. We’re excited about the rest of the season!
Katebits: Oh! I’m so glad to hear it!……Well, good. I guess you already knew. (turning to the side of the room where the Sabres are sitting) Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you as well, Sabres.
(Pominville and Roy cling to each other in fear. Crunchy closes his eyes. Vanek pulls his baseball hat down lower over his face.)
Katebits: I am very sorry to have to tell you this….but on Thursday, you have to play the Ottawa Senators.
(Pandemonium erupts. The Sabres leap to their feet in alarm. Toni Lydman kicks over a folding chair. Pommers and Roy start running in panicked circles, knocking heads and freaking out. Brian Campbell puts his head in his hands. Everyone is shouting.)
Pommers: (wailing and rubbing his head which he just knocked into Derek Roy) I DON’T WAAAAANNA PLAY THE SENATORS!
Katebits: (soothingly) And believe me, we don’t want to see you play the Senators, but sadly at this point there is no alternative. Actually, this is a great opportunity for you guys to turn the season around. I know it’s scary, but you can do it. We, the people of Buffalo, believe in you guys. Just try to stay calm, and remember, you’ve beaten the Senators before, you can beat them again.
(The Sabres stare blankly back at Katebits)
Katebits: Seriously. You can do it. Either way, win or lose, you have no choice. You’re playing the Senators. Look at how bravely the Bills are facing the Patriots! (Gestures towards the Bills who are sitting, staring smugly at the Sabres.)
Toni Lydman: As the captain of this team, I accept your challenge, Katebits.
Katebits: Wait. What? This isn’t a challenge. It’s just how the schedule works. You’re scheduled to play the Senators.
Toni Lydman: Whatever. I hate being captain.
Katebits: (with loud dramatic sigh) Listen, just play hard on Thursday, alright?
Toni Lydman: Do you see the stitches on my face, Katebits?
Katebits: (with wry smile) Point taken, Toni Lydman. Good luck, boys.