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Inspired by the short lived comic, all new episodes for Television

Episode 1: "the Mask"

The setting is a minor league hockey team, the Springfield Braves, circa 1950. They are the best team in the league but are struggling to get past the first round of the playoffs. The players morale is extremely low, and its because of the tyrannt owner Sam Shale. On top of it Shale is an extreme bigot, voicing his negative opinions on jews, blacks, and homosexuals to the press. The Braves' opponents have 2 jewish players on their team who Shale rallies against and tries to get his players to goon up. Shale says he would never allow a jew or black on his team. The Braves lose the 5th gme of the playoffs are are now facing elimination down 3 games to 2. After the game he berates his team in the dressing room, especially his star goalie, Pete Braxton. He calls Braxton so soft that he might be a homo. Finally Braxton says he has had enough and quits despite Shale's telling him he'll maintain his rights so he can never play again.

Shale is in a fix, and late at night he is visited by a dapper man who Shale believes must be the devil himself. The man tells Shale he will loan him this magical goalie mask and his team will win for sure. In return Shale must do something for the man (but we do not find out what at this stage).

Game 6 rolls around and Shade enters the dressing room finding his players half dressed and moping about. Shale yells at them to dress up, but they say why bother with no goalie. Shale tells his players that he has found a world class replacement and he should be here by game time. He will be wearing a mask because of a broken nose he is protecting. The players seem dubious but dress in silence.

After the players hit the ice, Shale goes into a dressing room and starts to put on the goalie equipment and the black mask. Just as the game is about to start the goalie comes out. He stones their opponents, the Americans with one amazing stop after another. Despite being outplayed the Braves win the game 2-0.

Shale flees the ice immediately after the game, much to the bewilderment of the players. He undresses in his office and leaves the arena via a back door, driving home still wearing the mask.

Game 7 comes and the players are loose, getting ready and noting the absence of Shale. Like in game 6 the players take the ice and Shale soon after joins them. Once again the mysterious black masked goalie turns in a stellar game with the Braves winning 1-0 in overtime.

We see 2 mobster type characters hanging around the dressing room. They discuss that they will carry out their orders from Shale tonight to the letter. One shows the other a noose he has made.

Celebrating in the dressing room the goalie joins the players. They are all making jokes at Shale's expense and patting the goalie on the back, asking who he is and where Shale found him. Finally Shale whips off the mask with a pleased look on his face and says "it's me you fools, I told you anyone could play better then that has-been." The players though just stare at Shale, looking down at their feet. Finally the captain steps forward thanking the man for his wonderful efforts, admonishing him for saying something bad about a friend of theirs, and then warning him to leave before Shale gets back or he'll regret it.

Shale is confused but he catches a glimpse of himself in a mirror on the other side of the dressing room. Stunned, he walks across the room and stares at the black face staring back at him.

Shale flees the dressing room in horror, right into the waiting arms of the two gangsters. Shale tries to plead with them, tell them who he is, but they just laugh, not recognizing him. Shale sees the man with whom he made the deal. He calls out but the man just winks at him and then walks by. He is carrying the black mask.





Episode #2: Strike Four
This episode centers around two teammates, a star pitcher, and his catcher. They are best friends although they are completely different types of people. They are playing for a major league baseball team known only as Los Angeles and it is circa 1970.
The pitcher is a free wheeling, socializing, single guy who is fond of losing his paycheque up in Las Vegas. His catcher is a more down to earth family man who must support four kids on a salary one-third the size of the catcher's.
The catcher is in some financial peril due to having a very sick child, when he is approached before the game by a man (the devil?) who offers him a deal. He says that if Los Angeles has a comfortable lead in the top of the 9th, with two outs, he wants the catcher to tip the batter of an incoming fastball so that he can hit it out of the park. The man says that if the situation occurs he will be placing a large wager with very good odds on a home run getting hit. He tells the catcher that in return he will give him a large cut to take care of his mounting bills. The catcher is hesitant to accept, but the stranger assures him it will have no effect on the outcome of the game, so who will it harm? Finally the catcher agrees to it. The man (the devil?) warns the catcher that they have a deal and that failure to fulfill the contract will result in him getting the catcher's soul. At first the catcher looks worried but then breaks into laughter, "okay buddy, whatever you say."
Later that day the same man (the devil?) approaches the star pitcher, who is also in financial peril due to mounting gambling debts. He says that if he is still pitching in the top of the 9th he will have the opportunity to make a bundle of cash - cash which will help him keep his gambling debt problem a secret for much longer from the team's management.  The plan is to place a rather large wager, with large odds, that the pitcher will strike out the side in the 9th inning. No one will be expecting him to have that much gas left in the tank so the odds will be high, and the man, the pitcher, and the batters will all take home a sizeable fee, as the batters will be on the take as well. The pitcher looks at the man like he is crazy, but the man says what do you have to lose? Just do your best to get the pitch over the plate and the batters will do the rest. The pitcher agrees, and then receives the same dire warning that the man gave to the catcher, and again the ballplayer just laughs off the mention of his soul.
Sure enough the game progresses to the top of the 9th inning with Los Angeles beating the hapless Seattle team 7-0. The pitcher throws some dead balls but the Seattle players flub attempts to make contact. The first batter strikes out, as does the second. With one out left the catcher sets up behind the plate...but then changes his mind and calls for time. He heads to the mound. Racked by obvious guilt he spills the beans to his best friend, and offers to cut him into the cash. The pitcher looks sick as he realizes they have made opposite wagers. The umpire comes out to break up the mound visit, and the catcher just tells the pitcher to throw what he calls for and that he will take care of it.
The catcher sets up and calls for a fastball. Unsure, the pitcher hesitates and then shakes him off. They go through various signals before he calls for a pitch, and the batter wiffs at the incoming ball. The next pitch also yields a strike, so its 0-2. The catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher he turns into the hitter and says, "high fastball coming, teach this prick a lesson." However, when the swing comes its way out front of the pitch, its an offspeed pitch and gets the hitter swinging. However, the catcher takes the pitch off the shoulder and it bounces away. The hitter takes the chance to advance and sprints to first base. The catcher retrieves the ball but his throw to first is off-line and the hitter reaches base by error.
The next batter comes up and the pitcher hangs a breaking ball high and the batter knocks it out of the park for a 2 run homer. The next hitter though goes down on strikes and LA beats Seattle 7-2.
Following the post game celebrations, the pitcher and catcher are leaving the tunnel together when the man (the devil?) walks out of the shadows. He has a deviant smile on his face. He says he warned them about cheating him, and that they don't know who they are dealing with. The pitcher steps forward and says, "no, you don't know who you are dealing with. My buddy has eaten, slept, and breathed baseball for over 30 years now.". The catcher steps forward and explains to the devil how they fulfilled the promises. The pitcher struck out the first three batters of the inning, thus striking out the side. After that the rest of the inning was not the pitcher's responsibility due to the passed ball. The pitcher adds that the man should be able to collect on that bet. The catcher then says that he agreed to let a hitter hit a home run with two outs. He did that. The man is furious and says that may be true but he lost the bet, because he bet that the third batter would hit a home run - which he did not. The ball players just shrug their shoulders and say thats not their problem.
As they are walking away, the catcher suddenly stops. He calls out to behind him, "but why would you place two bets at the same time, that you couldn't win?"  But when he turns around the man is gone.
Episode 3: "Run to the Lights"
The show opens with a scene from Vietnam. A troop of American soldiers are meandering up a path, one of the soldiers, a short, stocky black man has "Flash" written on the front of his helmet. Suddenly a booby trap goes off, guns blaze and the Americans are getting mowed down in an ambush. Flash and another soldier take cover in the bush off the side of the path, only to find themselves about 20 yards away from an armed Vietnamese soldier. Flash's companion has been shot, but not mortally. The enemy solier is reloading and Flash is stuck like a deer in the headlights, not moving. His friend is urgin him on but he can't get himself to move. Finally the Vietnamese soldier gives up trying to reload his apparently jammed rifle and disappears into the woods. Fast forward to a battlefield HQ hearing where "Flash" is being accused of cowardice; we find out his buddy died from his wounds.
Next we see a series of clips of Flash back stateside playing football, as a running back. He explains to us in narration that he wasn't much of a football player at the College level, mostly used as a back-up at Penn State. Never had a sniff from the Pros. Upon his return from Nam with a dishonorable discharge attached to his name, he could hardly find steady work so he tried to supplement his income playing some semi-pro ball. He soon found that he channeled all his pent up energy and emotion over that incident in nam into his game. He would have flashbacks (which we see) as he ran the ball, causing him to play with a tenacity that no sane man could ever match. He soon drew the eyes of the pros and was given a try-out, and shortly thereafter made the NFL.
Flash rode the bench of course at first, but soon made use of his opportunites busting some big runs, but also getting more then his fair share of penalties along the way. Soon enough he won the job as starter as his team hobbled and squeaked into playoff position. His sudden rise from College back-up to Pro starter drew the interest of the press who ran unflattering stories of him, depicting him as a coward in 'nam, and accusing him of using amphetimines to fuel his new found success. We see a scene of his team mates telling him not to worry about it, ripping the newspaper from his hands, shredding it to pieces and throwing it in the trash. However, we also see them going to the bar after practice and Flash begging out, only to go home alone and drink...to remember, and to forget.
First round of the playoffs and we see Flash's runs through his own eyes. The players and field disappear, replaced by jungle and viet cong. He racks up the first downs and touchdowns and his team goes out to a demaning 20-3 lead. However, during one of Flash's runs he sees the referee just standing there...who soon takes the shape of the vietcong soldier, reloading. Flash hears his buddy yelling at him to charge him, and charge he does, lowering the shoulder into the unsuspecting referee. A flag is thrown, and despite the total lack of logic behind it being intentional, and no motive, the head referee throws Flash out of the game for his actions. Flash though has a smile on his face as the last thing he sees is the viet cong soldier lying there, knocked out cold.
We skip to the next game, no suspension for Flash and his team needs to win this game to go to the Super Bowl. Flash gets the ball from scrimmage and is rocked back after a one yard gain. No flashbacks. They try again, end around, and he is rocked, the wind knocked out of him after a small loss. The next set of downs see a similar result. Everyone seems to be upset by this; the coach, the announcers, the teamates; but not Flash who is smiling ear-to-ear. The coach can't stand the smile any longer and berates Flash. But the next set of downs he is stuffed at the line, and as he is stood up, he is rocked by a second hit to the knee. It's a bad, vicious, dirty hit and something tears in the knee. Flash is down in pain, and with the pain comes another flashback. He sees himself, Flash looking down, and realizes that he is now the other soldier, the wounded one. He looks at his leg and sees the blood seeping from a wound in his thigh. He looks up and the lights alternate between the bright lights of the stadium and the bright Vietnam sunlight. The pain is too much and Flash passes out from the pain.
The sportscasters are not kind to Flash, calling him Flash in the pan, as his injured knee will not allow him to play football again; in fact we see he now requires a cane to walk with as he makes his way down the street..a smile on his face...whistling a happy song.