TOM SHALES: I thought that even though we’ve each done books on our own, we should do another one together.
JIM MILLER: Fine, but this one’s about ESPN, and you hate sports.
SHALES: I do not hate sports. I hate beer. Besides, I watch the Super Bowl every year. That’s sports.
MILLER: Yeah right. You watch it for the commercials.
SHALES: And the half-time show.
MILLER: But you know, it might be kind of a plus that you’re not a rabid sports fan, because this should be a book for everybody.
SHALES: Right. I can help make sure people like me, who don’t give a shit about sports, will still want to read it.
MILLER: I thought you just said you didn’t hate sports.
SHALES: Er. Well, anyway, I want to do this book. In fact, the IRS insists that I do this book because I still owe them for the last book.
MILLER: Sure you feel up to it? I know your knees are hurting you.
SHALES: It’s my weight. Don’t worry. I’ll lose it. I’ll get down to a 44-portly-short again.
MILLER: That’s what you said when we were doing “Live From New York.”
SHALES: Oh. But – uhhh – there were extenuating circumstances.
MILLER: Like what?
SHALES: Well, for one thing – Ben didn’t kill Jerry. And Jerry didn’t kill Ben. If only they’d gone out of business at least.
MILLER: How about all the Cokes? Couldn’t you at least switch to Diet Coke?
SHALES: Diet Coke makes me pee.
MILLER: You’re supposed to pee.
SHALES: Every five minutes?
MILLER: Okay, well I’m telling you, if you’re going to do this book with me, you’d better get in shape, because it will be even more work than the last one.
SHALES: (Gulp). Where’s my Xanax? Where’s my Ativan? Where’s my Propecia?
MILLER: We’ll be interviewing an even larger number of people than we did on “Live from New York.” Including one or two of the same ones.
SHALES: Not Victoria Jackson!
MILLER: No. The thing is, we owe it to our readers.
SHALES: Owe what?
MILLER: To talk to as many people as possible. To get a full, objective, accurate account. To—
SHALES: “To boldly go, where –”
MILLER: Just keep your promise. And not only for the book. Remember – you’re the godfather of my three children.
SHALES: Right! I’ll do it for them! For you. For the IRS. For humanity. For all those quarterbacks out there trying to score three-pointers….
MILLER: Oh yeah. I can see this is shaping up just perfectly.
SHALES: Look out, world, we’re comin’ through…