Tower, Collins, and Stone joined Stafford in the already fast filling viewing room. They could've simply had this recreated on one of the holodecks but Tower liked the effect of viewing on the big screens. Besides he had discouraged the use of the holodecks for pure entertainment.
Townsend and Sarnow came in a few minutes later by which time the room was already three quarters full. Fortunately though Tower didn't use his rank to get the best seats he was willing to make sure he saved some seats so the people he was closest to could all sit together.
Goldstein drifted in just a few minutes before kickoff. He was not a really big fan of Gridiron but he knew the people that were tended to be real fanatics and Tower had played at the academy so he felt he had to make an appearance.
"You left Marsden minding the bridge?" Tower said to Goldstein as the XO sat down. "I thought he was a big Miami fan?" "He is." Goldstein responded. "But he's an even bigger fan of sitting in the big chair for a few hours. Besides given where we are currently there is not much chance of any kind of emergency. The experience will do him good."
"And just how much do you have on the game?" Tower asked. Regulations or no regulations, Goldstein was well known for his routine gambling on just about everything. Not that Tower minded. Goldstein was too good at his job to let it be a problem. And he was too good at his job for Tower to care. "Four hundred credits give or take on Dallas" Goldstein responded.
Tower lifted an eyebrow in some surprise. That seemed like more than Goldstein would've wagered but to each his own. Despite serving with him a few years now neither Tower nor anyone else aboard seemed to know where Goldstein got his money.
Tower and the 20 or so others in the crowd quieted down after the coin toss and the teams lined up for the kickoff.
Just as the Dallas kicker approached the ball all four of the big screens went dark. A wave of moans passed over the room as all four of them flashed "signal interrupted".
Tower quickly tapped his comm for the much larger communications center buried deep within the ship. "We're already on it Captain." the officer on duty acknowledged. "Please standby".
A moment later she replied. "Sorry captain. We have a report of a major subspace relay going down. Possibly due to Borg attack. Time until restoration not yet known. Again. sorry."
"I can't believe this!" exclaimed Collins. "This is the kind of thing that used to happen back in the 20th century!"
"The Borg used to attack subspace relay stations in the 20th century?" Goldstein asked. His words dripping with sarcasm.
"Maybe the 21st century. Hell, I don't know!" Collins continued with the mini rant.