SCENE: Mitch BERG walks into Sluggo’s, a sports bar on University . NFL games are on on six big-screen TVs around the room. Around five, there are small, dilatory groups watching games. Around one TV, though, there are a group of people crowded around; men in “Che Guevara” and “Don’t Park the Bus” t-shirts, a few younger women in similar attire, older women in “peasant” dresses. BERG recognizes several people from the group: Avery LIBRELLE, Moonbeam BIRKENSTOCK, Inge CARROLL, Edmund DUCHEY, Brian FURIOUS, Sol GALLIVAN, Gutterball GARY, Cat SCAT, Professor William KRIEPPI, Gretel STROMBERG, Betty Rae TORSTENGAARDSEN and other liberal activism / alt-media / blogging mainstays.
BERG: So…uh, hey. Watching some Football?
LIBRELLE: Yes, Merg. It’s the American pastime!
BERG: (thinks about it, decides not to pursue the error). Huh. So all of…(points at the crowd, who seem to be staring, uncomprehending, at the screen)…you are football fans.
DUCHEY: My whole life. While you’ve been writing “Sh*t in the Park” (some of the other gathered liberals snicker) I’ve been watching the Vikings greats like Pele and Bill Havlicek.
(BERG looks, notices that the teams have not yet taken the field. Suddenly, it dawns on him).
BERG: So – you all remember Tim Tebow, right?
(General incomprehension breaks out. Then Gutterball GARY chimes in).
GARY: He is the Christianist who took a knee before games.
(General hissssssssssssing breaks out from the crowd)
CARROLL: He hates women!
STROMBERG (sotto voce): “womenandtheirchildren”
CARROLL: (sotto voce right back) What, ,you think women are defined by their children?
SCAT: He was a racist, sexist, ableist, ageist, classist, Christianist… (trails off)
(CARROLL and STROMBERG continue to argue. On the TV, the teams are coming out onto the field)
BERG: So – Tim Tebow was all sorts of awful things because he exercised his First Amendment right to express his faith in public.
(Generalized booing and hissing).
FURIOUS: Everybody shut up. It’s starting.
SCAT: Oooh, I love the suspense.
(The national anthem starts. The camera pans over dozens of player taking knees. FURIOUS and DUCHEY frantically note the names and numbers of players that remain standing. Cheers break out throughout the crowd)
BERG: So – NFL players who take a knee over “social justice causes”…
TORSTENGAARDSEN: Heroes speaking truth to power.
BERG: While Tim Tebow…
BIRKENSTOCK: Racist sexist classist ableist cisgenderist Nazi who is literally Hitler.
(Anthem finishes. The entire crowd risers from their chairs and heads for the exits)
DUCHEY (to GARY) Good game. Good game.
(Within seconds, the table is empty. The WAITRESS comes over.)
WAITRESS: 35 people at a table, and I got six dollars in tips.
BERG: Wow. They stiffed you pretty bad.
WAITRESS: Well, technically, kind of – they ordered about $100 worth of kombucha, artisanal tea and one “gluten free lite beer”, and the rest just had water.
BERG: You don’t even have kombucha or artisanal tea here, do you?
WAITRESS: I can’t hear you. Naaah naaah naaaah. (Walks away)