This Week in Milford

September 7, 2019

Stop The Presses!!!!!!!!! They’re Playing Football!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Filed under: actual action, football, Oakwood — tdrewhardin @ 8:20 am


Gang, some of you old-timers might remember when George Plimpton did a commercial for Intellivision where he praised the football action on the screen and criticized the Atari Video Football Game because it left him, in his own words, “rather flat”.

Well, of course, Atari wasn’t going to let Intellivision walk away without a rebuttal so they hired Ed “Too Tall” Jones, a stand-out defensive lineman (dude was 6’9″, that’s TALL in football. I wouldn’t wanna block him) for the Dallas Cowboys back in the ’70’s, to promote their football video game. Here’s what he had to say

“I’m hearin’ Mr. Plimpton flappin’ his jaws about Atari Football. Well, I PLAY football so I know. And it’s got real passing. And real kicking. And I can sack the quarterback ALL BY MYSELF. So who you gonna listen to, some dude who just talks football or a nice guy like ME who PLAYS it????”

That’s what I remember anyway. Jones would have his hand on the stick while maneuvering the football players on the screen, going through his sales pitch. It helped that he had his pads and uniform on, as if he had just stepped off the field. And it helped that he ended the commercial with a toothy smile. Which is what I think was the idea. I may be stompin’ yo’ ass in the turf, Mr. Plimpton, but I’m bein’ a gentleman about it. The rebuttal worked.

Gotta hand it to Thorpiverse today. There’s REAL football action today. REAL runnin’. REAL evadin’ the defense. REAL tacklin’. I had to check the video manual several times, make sure the DVD was inserted properly, make sure the wide-screen TV was plugged in, make sure my popcorn was properly buttered. You know how friends like to spike the Orville Redenbacher Special-Popt.

Now don’t get your hopes up, Gang. You KNOW if you saw Chet Ballard showing what some high school parents are like the other day, the Atari action figures might be taking a breather for a TV time out while we return to “Peyton Place”. As a couple of TWIMers have noted, Chet is still smarting from the smackdown he got from Hadley Video. I don’t think he intends to lose the grudge match.

Really, the new Atari has REAL bitchin’. And REAL arguin’. There’s Chet down on the sideline doin’ some REAL rantin’ and REAL ravin’ at Gil, askin’ why isn’t his stepson the REAL McCoy. He’s doin’ some REAL fumblin’. They didn’t list that in the video instructions, under the icon list.


If yore Atari Live Action Hog Rasslin’ Video has REAL hogs and REAL mud and yore tryin’ ta move the stick around all over the living room cuz yore doin’ some REAL rasslin’ with a Yorkshire and it’s doin’ some REAL squealin’ cuz ya got it on the 2 count and ya go huntin’ in the woods later on fer REAL blammin’ yore gonna do on REAL squirrels, ya might be a redneck.

Okay, Thorpiverse, you’ve convinced me, you CAN play some football when the occasion arises and when it counts. I salute you. But any way we can eliminate those Gazoo helmets? Whoa, hoss. In the Berrill days, players like Luke Bunkin had helmets they could fit their Bucket Burgers in and still be able to tighten their chin strap, no problem. Those things today look like something I’d be wearing when I’ve got my ray gun and I’m hopelessly trying to hit Buck Rogers on the chest. Science fiction and football makes for strange bedfellows.

Sheesh, I can’t even imagine Chet Ballard coming in Monday morning and chewing out Coach Thorp in his office or Coach Shaw in another dimension with THAT thing on. Complaining about his stepson’s PT?

“Mr. Vader, I promise Luke will get more touches in the next game. We’ll work on late-game fumbling procedures on the practice galaxy.”


Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J.’s Football Video Game ‘Simpson Smashes The Big Boys On The Gridiron-2019!!!!’ Out In Stores Today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Man, you oughta see how high I could jump. If you move the stick right, you can leap over L.C. Greenwood and Mean Joe Greene for a TD.”


And P2 is STILL MORE football action. And Tiki is in an actual football uniform doing some actual tackling playing an actual football position. Even the terminology is being used correctly today. No more “Blitz right on the block-out during the second free throw”. Sure I bought the right video? I had my heart set on the Madden 2019 XBox 2376, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman version. That’ll teach me to pay attention when I’m shopping  at the  Milford Wal-Mart and I look away at the Marie Callender Frozen Creamed Hackberry Pie endcap while taking the video off the rack. I wonder if real action videos are refundable. I’ll ask the CSM at Wal-Mart.

The other glitch I noticed is that while the wrap-around technique deserves a 4-star rating, it is hoped the Oakwood Walnut running back still has his Hanes on when he’s being helped up. Tiki grabbed lots of his rear end. What was he instructed in practice, Gil?

“Dammit, Jansen, that’s the 4th time I’ve had to tell you to hang on to his butt!!!!!!! You’ll never tackle a guy by his tailbone!!!!!!!!! And quit wrapping around his pelvic area!!!!!!!!!”

Take one for the team, Tiki.


Oh, boy, I’ve got the XBox “Who Shot Coach Shaw 2019 SLR 5113” game and I’m about to find out WHO SHOT COACH SHAW, nah, nah, nah, NAH, nah. I understand there’s REAL shootin’. And REAL stabbin’. And REAL dancin’ at the Milford Girls-a-Go-Go Club. None of this flatboard Cha Cha stuff you’ll find on the Atari games. Awright, here we go


But I understand Saab bought them out!!!!!!! Where’s my receipt?


We return to reality in P3. Didn’t this scene occur from “A View to a Kill”? Isn’t May Day the one that’s #31 about to take off that uniform and sneak over to press the button to jettison the Mudlarks out of the Zorin Industries balloon? And whattup with the tables? Zorin Industries serves sloppy joes and green eggs and ham when Max Zorin is discussing total world domination on shoulder pads? Marjie Ducey, you better have your pen and steno note pad ready. If you haven’t been dumped in the ocean first.

“So, Gentlemen, an investment of $30 zillion from each of you is all that is needed to run out the competition and COMPLETELY bring Milford Valley to its knees. Furthermore-”

“Zorin, you’re so full of shit, you could stand dog poop on end without a prop. I only got $20 zillion and I ain’t wasting it on some Tommy Rich hair jerk who I could knock over with JUST a knee pad.”

“Very well, Mr. Thorp. Well, the rest of the meeting must be held in COMPLETE confidentiality. Would you mind stepping outside?”

“Anything to get away from a man Tiki could tackle with both hands tied behind his back.”

“May Day will show you to the bar for a drink”

“This way, Mr. Thorp.”

“Thank you. Hey, where’s my playbook-





Then there’s those concrete floors. Oh, well, with $30 zillion, Zorin can buy a floor that Steve Luhm can actually buffer on without picking up concrete shards in the buffer pad.


“And that’ll wrap up the first half. Things have quieted down since the Milford National Guard escorted Chet Ballard out of the stadium. I know you want your stepson to be the next O.J. Simpson but God almighty. With score, Oakwood, 7, Milford, 0, this is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Lear Field Sports.”


“Y’know, when I’m not coaching kids, with REAL addresses or UNREAL, I like to unwind and sink my teeth into the finer things of The Good Life.

Hi, this is Coach Thorp for Milford Beverage Warehouse. And the entrants are still comin’ in for the 6th Annual Frisbee Golf Tournament. We are just overwhelmed by all the people lining up at the table by register #7. It just goes to show how much fun and booze we have around here. When you have a place that’s got REAL beer, not that pseudo-Bud Lite stuff that The Bucket is trying to disguise as Bucket Tapioca Pudding Float, well, the people know where to go for REAL Coors is all I can say.

And where else can you go for REAL fun? I understand the EPA shut down The Bucket Sand Volleyball Tournament for one day until the absentee owners could convince the EPA it wasn’t being used as a litter box anymore. And this pushed back the double-elimination format back a couple of days.

Not at Milford Beverage Warehouse. Where else can you go for REAL targets? A par 3 dog left left until you hit Bud Man on his machine-operated moveable butt while discoing to KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Shake Your Booty”? Makes me want to shake my own.

How ’bout the challenging par 5 dog leg right where ya gotta clear the lane separating the Jim Beam Hickory Water stacks? Boy, knock one of those things over and you’ve got whiskey all over your Izod and your frisbee won’t spin true the rest of the Tournament. And you still have to hit the fan inside the freezer of all the Miller Genuine Draft Tall Boys without setting off the alarm? Better bring your game, people. Talk about a REAL challenge.

And as if things couldn’t get any more daunting, check out the par 4 dog left left where you gotta hit the Milford Snacks Lo-Fat Pork Rinds bag in the middle of the Milford Valley Aged Supreme Since 1758 White Wine rack. If you hit the bag without knocking over the bottles, you’ll get a Milford Snacks Gift Card for $25. Shoot, The Bucket can’t match that. You can cart out Milford Snacks Sour Cream Potato Chips by the 3-pak and some bags of Milford Snacks Hard Shell Peanuts and still be able to buy that 24 pack of Schlitz Dark ‘n’ Dry and still be able to buy your kids gum out of the gumball machine up front. You can’t even buy a Bucket Burger with their gift card and still pay the parking fine.

Come on in and get some REAL booze, either Budweiser in the 12-pack for a price so low I can’t say it over the radio or The Bucket customers would be stampeding HERE to grab and go or some Skyy Vodka for a song and a dance. If you can do the Rumba, you got the booze. Step right up to the plate and get some REAL booze at REAL prices while checkin’ out all the REAL action on this Frisbee Golf Tournament and tell ’em Coach Thorp sent ya up to pinch-hit.”


All right, Gang, have at it. All this REAL action is just killin’ my heart. Better sit down on the sofa.


Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Sues Atari Over Design Of Equipment!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I didn’t have no flat head when I was executing an off-tackle right play. What was ‘Atari O.J. 2019 RTX 2385′ thinkin’?”


  1. Yeah. It’s good action but it won’t last. Maybe Chet will get HvB to come back and threaten to sue MHS and Gil if Roh doesn’t get more touches.

    Comment by franku2016 — September 7, 2019 @ 8:29 am

  2. Getting clear to me that Chet Ballard is going to be the chief asshole and #1 irritant for Mfnrd this season. I suspected this when I saw the goatee, a certain identifier of jerks in this strip. Beards and sideburns are fine, as Gil’s assistants demonstrate, and so is baldness (Trainer Rick Scott) but I’m pretty sure The Chief saw too much of Ming the Merciless in his childhood. But Ballard will eventually crash after making some noise– this was foreshadowed by the fact Hadley v Baxendale moved him around like he was on rollers in August. I also don’t see him getting any closer to Charlie by attacking Charlie’s coach. I spent too much time coaching to think otherwise. Parents and step parents don’t reassure or help their kids, they embarrass them.

    Comment by vaganova — September 7, 2019 @ 1:26 pm

  3. Sorry– that was supposed to say “meddlesome parents and step parents.” Perhaps tdrew can cover my tracks.

    Comment by vaganova — September 7, 2019 @ 1:28 pm

  4. Vaganova, no problem. You KNOW I always look forward to your comments. And particularly in this case you’re right. When I was coaching in Babe Ruth League Baseball one year, we held a 13-Year-Old All Star Tournament that involved several teams within a 2 hour radius of Evansville, Indiana at Wesselman Park at Diamond #4(where it was FINALLY turned into a baseball diamond and NOT a softball diamond meant to handle the overflow of softball leagues-ha). One team’s manager got so bent out of shape, he not only deservedly got thrown out but then proceeded to go across the street(Boeke(BAKE-ee) Road) where there were residential areas, the street separating the park from the neighborhood. This manager is still shouting obscenities and disparaging comments at the umpire while he’s standing in somebody’s lawn. His grade-school-aged daughter is coming up to me(I was working the concession stand that night), bawling her eyes out, saying “They’re calling the police on my daddy!!!!!!!!!!”
    So you are absolutely right, it’s a shame when people have to get the police called on them at a kid’s game. Disgraceful.
    I have always said and will continue to say “Losing sucks” but when losing gets to be the death of me, I’m gettin’ out.
    Thanks again for your spot-on contribution, Vaganova. You da Man, as always.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — September 7, 2019 @ 1:43 pm

  5. Thanks, tdrew. My experience is less dramatic, and involves parents who argued with us that their kid ought to play more, or had to start on Tuesday because the Cornell coach was scouting, and so on. The kids themselves squirmed and rolled their eyes, and sometimes apologized for their parents’ actions, which is of course exactly backward.

    Comment by vaganova — September 7, 2019 @ 2:20 pm

  6. You guys all hit the nail square on the head when commenting on experiences with overbearing parents. When my kids were younger, we could usually shut them up by telling them that we always need more volunteers and when could they start? That always got the biggest pains in the ass to stfu and go away. One lady bitched me out because she didn’t know about the practice I scheduled. I said that I had called her house twice and got hung up on twice. She said it could’ve been her husband because he works nights and sleeps during the day. I said that I was making these calls on MY lunch hour too and didn’t have time to keep getting hung up on. She got the message. Felt sorry for that guy when she got Home later

    Comment by franku2016 — September 7, 2019 @ 3:58 pm

  7. We had one (1) playing time altercation with a coach.
    Girls 11-12 year old soccer. Windy, about 30F. Little Pup got left on the bench for 2 shifts before & after halftime. She’d been CF – maybe not the best choice Girl would run all day, ended up with a pretty good long distance running career. As a midfielder, she’d go & go & go, but the previous year in a weak division she’d scored at will. That year, she’d messed up her quads in preseason
    Any how, we gently suggested that on a frigid day, maybe getting her up & running would be a good idea. Careful to say we weren’t complaining about playing time.
    This coach – white, male, about 6’3″, threw a nutty at my wife “HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED TEAM SPORTS?!” Chased her around the field.
    Obvsly, the end of soccer. Skipped 8th grade, on to HS. 11 running letters, 4x all confernece in track and XC. Until SR year outdoor track, when for various solid reasons, she quit & the new coach deadzoned her for scholarships.
    She’s at a college where they won’t look at a girl unless she can do a sub-5 mile (heck, my best mile was 5’04’), so all is well.

    Comment by Downpuppy (@Downpuppy) — September 7, 2019 @ 8:30 pm

  8. Some excellent comments today, y’all, and as far as I’m concerned this is one of the best I’ve had on my watch. You all did a great job of nailing the sad reality of the downside of kid’s sports and what I liked was that your comments promote further discussion down the road. What it’s all about, Gang. I am really proud of you today.
    Franku, great story and I’ve always liked your hard hat approach. It’s always welcome here, My Friend.
    Downpuppy, excellent story that hits things at another angle. It’s amazing how some people freak when the bell rings at game time. That one touched my heart.
    Vaganova, I laughed when you mentioned the Cornell coach coming to call. Some parents need to take a chill pill if it has to come to that. Sure, it’s nice when the coach who’s recruiting is in the stands. But as I told my nephew, never look over your shoulder. You da Man.

    You people ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by tdrewhardin — September 8, 2019 @ 11:36 am

  9. Boy looking at that Atari football game just brings home how primitive it was compared to the king of video football, John Madden Football. I remember the first Madden game when it came out in 1988? and it was yards ahead of Atari even then. Now of course its almost as realistic as a real game on TV. I also remember the one game where you could run off the field on one side and come back on the other side of the screen and intercept a pass. Lol! I think that was Intellivision.

    Comment by robmize2013 — September 8, 2019 @ 1:08 pm

  10. When I was about five my brother had an “electric football” game which I inherited when he went off to college. It consisted of large cards depicting the movements of players, an offensive set and a defensive set, which you aligned on a light table. Then you pulled a slide and watched the play develop… Primitive by any account, but it was all we had.

    Comment by vaganova — September 8, 2019 @ 2:42 pm

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