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No News Is Good News
Rick Reilly
November 08, 1999
All Morty Finsternick wanted out of life was to get through one Sunday at work without hearing the score of the game played by his beloved Green Bay Packers. All he wanted to do was get home, pop a cold one and enjoy the game on tape, start to finish, all alone, as though the Pack were on live.
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November 08, 1999

No News Is Good News

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There was one near miss: Freddy the Fin from customer service, the guy who bet everybody five dollars on everything, came roaring into Morty's cubicle, yelling loud enough to make the Walkman useless, "O.K., I got a fin that says the—"

In a blink Morty was on him, knocking Freddy backward and putting a hand over his mouth. They bounced hard into the ficus tree. Fin's eyes were as wide as Frisbees. "Not another word!" Morty growled, pushing on Freddy's mouth. "I...am...taping...it!!!"

A half hour before quitting time, just to be safe, Morty hid in the custodian's closet, with a flashlight and three back issues of Packer Report. Then at 7 p.m., he sprinted down the hall, out the back exit and into his Honda. (He'd made sure to turn the radio off that morning.) He was flying now, only six blocks from home. Then he had a horrifying thought. Damn! The new bank on the corner had one of those outdoor electric tickers that flashed the news. Didn't it run NFL scores on Sunday?

Panicked, he swerved onto West Kilbourn Avenue, nearly hitting a woman on a bike. He fishtailed until he got the car back under control. Then a worse thought hit him. If he went any farther, he'd go right by Major Goolsby's, the biggest sports bar in town! If the Packers won, people would be spilled out onto the street! If they lost—nobody! A total giveaway!

Possessed, he knifed across two lanes of traffic and turned into an alley, where he nailed a dumpster with his left fender and then a telephone pole with his right, sending him into a spin. He plowed through the back door of the dry cleaners. When the cops arrived, they saw Morty lying there in his Packers sweatshirt, a gash in his forehead and a silk camisole hanging off his glasses. "Hey, buddy," said the cop. "Just because the Pack—"

Morty couldn't help himself. He bolted upright and ran at the cop. He didn't even know he'd been shot until he felt the mush where his thigh used to be. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital, woozy from the drugs, he could hear the paramedics talking.

"Lousy day," said one.

"Damn straight," said the other. "Don't you hate it when the Packers have a bye week?"

Morty tried to rise to choke the man.

"Ach, ach, ach," said the paramedic.

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