I wrote the following scene four years ago. It was previously available on my old website, posted February 6, 2012.


MARTY (37), decked out in New York Giants gear, sits in a folding-chair behind his parked SUV. He’s warming his hands over a portable grill.

MARTY (chanting): Let’s go, Giants! Let’s go, Giants!

BEN (35) pulls his car into the parking lot and parks in the spot next to Marty’s SUV. Ben gets out of the car.

BEN: Marty?

MARTY: Ben! You made it. Welcome to the tailgate. How you feeling?

BEN: I’m doing all right, Marty. God, I haven’t heard from you in what, four months? And then I get your text message this morning… Are you all right?

MARTY: Am I all right? Who, me? Come on, I’m Marty Cooper. I feel like a million bucks – adjusted for inflation, of course. Haha! Hey, it’s Super Bowl Sunday, I got my best friend in the world with me now, and we’re gonna drink and watch the Giants bring home another Super Bowl. 2010, baby! Let’s go, Giants!

BEN: Marty, the Giants aren’t in the Super Bowl. They didn’t even make the playoffs this year.

MARTY: Ben, you’re sounding like my ex-wife – except you got a nicer ass. Haha!

BEN: Oh. Did you and Lynn finalize the divorce?

MARTY: Well, according to the papers we both signed, we are no longer married in the eyes of the state, but those are just signatures. She’ll come around. This is our year, Ben. Don’t you worry about that. (beat) Oh, come on, it’s a tailgate!

BEN: We’re in a Pathmark parking lot, Marty. You can’t tailgate here.

MARTY: Well, if I had enough money to go down to Miami, I’d be tailgating down there right now. But I don’t. And if Giants Stadium security didn’t know my face and license plate number, I’d be over there right now – Parking Lot 4 – like always, cheering on Big Blue to victory.

BEN: Why don’t you just come home with me, Marty? We can talk about everything.

MARTY: Why did you come out here anyway if you’re not rooting for the Giants?

BEN: I came out here because you sent me a text message saying, “I’m having dark thoughts.”

MARTY: Well then, why are you wearing your Giants sweatpants?

BEN: I sleep in them, Marty. You woke me up, and I came right over. But that’s not important. What can I do to help?

MARTY: You can help me grill up some burgers. You’ll have to buy them first. Haha! And beer. I really need beer – a lot of it. And gasoline—I ran out last night. It was so cold in my car.

BEN: Jesus, Marty. Do you have any money?

MARTY: Not right now – not on me – but I put a grand on the Giants. They’ll cover the spread, I’m sure of it.

BEN: Are you serious? Who the hell are you betting?

MARTY: What, you think I don’t have faith in my team? Well, I do. Remember 2008 when everyone was counting the Giants out? I stood by them, and wewon. We were winners in 2008. Giants bring home the win. Lynn and me, we’re so happy. She wants to have my children. Then 2009 comes around: the Giants aren’t in the Super Bowl, and suddenly everything changes. We’re losers now. Lynn says she can’t stand me. She doesn’t want me to touch her. She terminates the… She terminates the…

Marty, in tears, hugs Ben.

BEN: I know things are tough for you right now, Marty, but you can’t –

MARTY: The Giants have to win this game, Ben. They just have to win. That’ll make everything right again.

BEN: They’re not playing – I mean… You can’t rely on the Giants winning for your only happiness.

MARTY: Everyone’s counting the Giants out this year, just like everyone’s counting me out. Old Marty Cooper – can he pull off the win? Can he? Who? Old Marty? He can’t even pull off his pants! Haha!

BEN: What?

MARTY: I don’t know.

They hold their embrace.

BEN: Hey, hey, I got my money on you, Marty. I do.

They separate.

MARTY: Thanks, Ben. I smell awful, I know. Come on. They’re lining up for opening kickoff.

They stand in silence. Ben watches Marty, who is imagining the opening play.

MARTY: Yes! That’s it, boys! That’s it! Let’s go, Giants! I’m gonna be all right! I’m gonna be all right! Let’s go, Giants! Let’s go, Giants!