This Week in Milford

February 9, 2019

I’m from the psychologist’s office and I’m here to help


It’s been a very long day for yhs and I have a sneaking suspicion that however I choose to snark today’s strip, it’ll already have been done to death on the Curmudgeon. With that in mind…

Time moves slowly in the Valley. Milford may be 1959 with cell phones, but in Tilden they whip out their 143-year-old campaign posters to decorate the gym.

Wow, will ya look what a little counseling – or just the promise of counseling – will do.  Just like that shortstop-in-waiting Filion has turned into Mr. Helper. Even with Gil having benched the four failed wannabe billboard defacers, the Filion-driven Mudlarks are putting the Tildenites away in short order.

Meanwhile Marty thinks he’s being witty by labeling Marcell Ledbetter Irby the “stovepipe sophomore,” which conjures up imagery of Ralph Sampson, Chuck Nevitt or Manute Bol. His face tells another story, revealing the unfolding, horrifying realization that a winning Gil Thorp-coached team will destroy the Marty n’ B/Robby Show’s raison d’être. Not to fear, o soused sportscaster: Milford only wins when other teams have either thrown in the towel or benched their starters to rest them for the playdowns.


  1. “The Stovepipe Sophomore” is what they called Abe Lincoln when he was on his high school basketball team, the Springfield ‘Splitters. He started wearing the hat when he first ran for office, to capitalize on his hardwood fame.

    (Yeah, I know Dr. Naismith hung up his first peach basket in 1891. Don’t ruin a good yarn with your “facts”!)

    Comment by jvwalt — February 9, 2019 @ 11:22 pm

  2. Actually, John, I was thinking the same thing when Marty uttered that remark. And I remember when Dick Vitale came out with an All-President’s team in conjunction with President’s Day. I can’t remember all the “players”(darn the luck) but I DO remember Dickie V. sticking Honest Abe in the middle, noting “he’s a real space-eater on the court.” So go ahead and take some liberties with this one. I liked ‘Splitters!!!!!!!!!!!
    Plus I don’t know if a snake like Marty has it in him for another metaphor or simile.
    “And Coach T., like a bad muffler about to get pitched down at Midas, chokes up another one, benching his stovepipe sophomore after Mr. Stovepipe told Coach T. that this team couldn’t perform like Mimi. And that Mimi said Gil had stovepipe issues in his pants.”
    Well, at least it’s within Marty’s character.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — February 10, 2019 @ 8:35 am

  3. Rail Splitters is a pretty common high school team nickname around where I come from.

    Comment by timbuys — February 10, 2019 @ 8:58 am

  4. Items of tangential relation to Gil Thorp:

    Here is a story of how come Bob Costas ain’t on NBC no more due to his airing the NFL’s issues with CTE.

    Also, regarding Little Libraries, I have previously stated here that there are no better way to get rid of old children’s books. Well, today we dropped off three board books at the Little Library in our neighborhood park and they were claimed by a couple and their young children within an hour. It was pretty damned cool.

    Comment by timbuys — February 10, 2019 @ 12:48 pm

  5. Our friends are right, that real depression does not lift as a result of a single session, or certainly of the mere promise of treatment, but sometimes the recognition that someone else recognizes you’re in trouble, does not judge you for it, and wants to help provides a boost in the early going. A great many depressed people are “other-oriented,” and Mike Filion’s determination to help his teammate “have a huge game” is a classic example.

    Comment by vaganova — February 10, 2019 @ 4:01 pm

  6. I’m pretty sure down in Lincoln, Illinois they are know as the Railsplitters. I could check but my mind is like a stove pipe, so why bother. Former Illini great Brian Cook is from Lincoln.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — February 10, 2019 @ 5:07 pm

  7. Ah, Chuck Nevitt. I have an uncle who claims he worked out at the same gym Nevitt did back when Nevitt played for the Houston Rockets. He says that Nevitt drove a Monte Carlo with the front driver’s seat removed so he could fit inside, and that he would drive sitting in the back seat. This caused endless double takes from passers by, who at first glance saw a car being driven without a driver.

    Comment by billytheskink — February 11, 2019 @ 8:33 am

  8. “stovepipe”?

    Comment by hitorque — February 18, 2019 @ 8:36 am

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