SI Vault
 
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.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 08, 1999

No News Is Good News

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

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.

But every week something or somebody would ruin it for him. Once, his flipping brother-in-law in Sheboygan called and gave the result away just by his tone of voice: "You're gonna luvvvv watching this one!" Another time, just as Morty was rewinding the tape, the final score scrawled across the bottom of the screen on Headline News. He'd even heard the outcome on the classical radio station on the way home. That was Beethoven's Fourth Symphony. Speaking of fourth, what about that amazing fourth-quarter Packers comeback?

God, Morty hated working Sundays. Since when did a kielbasa company need a 24-hour customer service line? Like, there was going to be some kind of kielbasa emergency? Help me! The cheese kielbasa's got my little girl!

Every week he became a little weirder about it. He yelled at people. He began answering his interoffice calls with, "Don'ttellmethescore!" His wife wondered if he didn't need to see a therapist. He was developing a facial tic. Finally, on Week 13, after 12 straight weeks of frustration, he went from cubicle to cubicle, warning people, "Don't tell me the score of the game today! I'm taping it! Just don't!"

"But—" said Stan from sales.

"Ach, ach, ach," said Morty, cutting him off.

He stuck a sign on his cubicle entrance: DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT TELLING ME THE PACKERS' SCORE!

"But—" said his best friend, Howard.

"Ach, ach, ach," Morty said, shooing him out.

At first, things went pretty well. When he wasn't resolving the nation's kielbasa emergencies, he had his headphones on, White-snake full up. He avoided his E-mail, the Internet and his pager. He put a black cloth over his fax machine.

Continue Story
1 2