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[SCENE: the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium]

USHER: Row C is right here.

NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH FAN: Thank you, my good man. [offers a handshake, slips something into the palm of the usher’s hand]

USHER: Sir, that’s not necessary.

IRISH FAN: I insist. Use it wisely.

USHER: [looking in palm of hand] This is a coupon for 10% off an oil change on my Audi.

IRISH FAN: You’re welcome.

USHER: I do not own an Audi.

IRISH FAN: Not with that attitude, you don’t. Now, run along!

USHER: [departs]

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY NITTANY LIONS FAN: Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in.

IRISH FAN: We meet again, my old friend.

PENN STATE FAN: It’s been quite a while. Why, I don’t think I’ve seen you since the ‘07 matchup! Time sure has passed since then. That was JoePa against Charlie Weis!

IRISH FAN: [somberly] May they both rest in peace.

BOTH: [moment of silence]

PENN STATE FAN: We’ve sure been through a lot, but now here we are, back together again.

IRISH FAN: The #1 program in the hearts and minds of the football-loving American public,

PENN STATE FAN: - and the Fighting Irish, too!

IRISH FAN: [spits out brandy] I say, old boy, your wit is riper than ever! Did they finally get Sniglets in your valley? It must be hard to read through the coal smoke and tears.

PENN STATE FAN: A fine pot to my kettle you are, chum! I hear northern Indiana is lovely this time of year.

IRISH FAN: I’ve never been, but I’ll take your word for it! Nonetheless, it’s quite a fine season you’ve had this year, quite fine indeed. Beating Ohio State like that, in overtime, after that close 4th-down play!

PENN STATE FAN: Yes, quite a nail-biter, but the officials got the spot right!

IRISH FAN: I don’t think they’ve ever gotten a spot wrong in that stadium.

BOTH: [mug towards the hypothetical camera for a beat, looking straight at you, the EDSBS reader]

IRISH FAN: It was sporting of you to then lose that game to Rutgers. Gentlemanly, even. Taught a great lesson in charity, and it was hilarious that you still won the Big Ten.

PENN STATE FAN: I’m fairly certain they poisoned us.

IRISH FAN: My good man, if you’re not expecting poisoning, you shouldn’t have dinner with a Piscatawan!

PENN STATE FAN: But still, I must return the compliment. You could’ve given up on the season after that early loss to Georgia - and with a home stadium full of their fans!

IRISH FAN: Quite a bit of money was made selling them those tickets, my chum, you should understand the art of profiting from failure. It worked for our fans, it worked for my father’s private equity business, and it worked handsomely for Coach Weis!

BOTH: [somberly] May he rest in peace.

PENN STATE FAN: Still, you recovered from that loss, pulled yourself together, and ran the table! That was a mighty impressive win over the Hurricanes in Miami!

IRISH FAN: Yes, we haven’t seen any have that good a time at Hard Rock since you got those free appetizers on your honeymoon in Myrtle Beach!

PENN STATE FAN: And that defensive effort! Why, I haven’t seen a shutout like that since you applied to the Ivies!

IRISH FAN: Notre Dame is consid-

PENN STATE FAN: No it’s not.


IRISH FAN: Yes, good lad, I’m looking for a robust port, something from-

VENDOR: Sir, you can’t vape in here.

PENN STATE FAN: [engulfed in a cloud] What are you, a cop

IRISH FAN: Anyways, it’s been quite a run. I know we’ve had our differences, chum, but there’s no one I’d rather end up sitting next to at this game than you.

PENN STATE FAN: I couldn’t agree more. You’re my best friend. You’re my only friend.

ALABAMA FAN: Hey, would you guys shut the hell up? We’re trying to watch our team introductions here.

CENTRAL FLORIDA FAN: Seriously, why are you guys even here?

PENN STATE FAN: We bought the tickets in November. Totally underwater on value.

IRISH FAN: I told my wife I was traveling for a job interview.

PENN STATE FAN: I told his wife that, too.