This Week in Milford

October 12, 2022

One Strip, Three Playbooks

No sooner than Barajas leaves us scratching our collective heads over the lunacy of a kicker using a soccer move to recover their own kick and run it in for a touchdown* than we smash cut to Valley Tech and something possibly equally lunatic.

Honestly I don’t know where to begin. The old heads that may make a big deal about Valley Tech’s game being called by a Black woman should remember that grown-ass woman Pam Oliver has been in the biz for a long time. What she’s saying, however, might be cause for concern, as it doesn’t match up with what we’re seeing on the field. What’s up with that “flesh and blood” crack, anyway? Is Luke Martinez willing to sacrifice one of his sons for a VT win?

Pedro is the Martinez kid going out there, but in what capacity? Luke is talking to another guy in coaching gear in P2; is he Pedro? Or is he Mr. Kim and Pedro is a player who went in with the play call (again using a term from another sport)? In any event, all together now: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A TWO-MINUTE WARNING IN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. Nice of Barajas to add that the fourth quarter is the final quarter, maybe as a reminder to himself.

VT’s unis have morphed from Coastal Carolina to candy corn. Maybe they’ll be like Oregon and change unis from game to game, if not from half to half. Guess it beats having every not-Milford team wear Carolina Blue and white like last season.

Seriously, though, I don’t know what the hell is going on here anymore. In his quest to bring Gil Thorp into current times, Barajas has introduced family tension and made the strip more racially, culturally and gender-diverse. Fine. However, he has either never watched American football or has not watched it enough to understand the basic rules of the game. Sports are the canvas on which the soap of Gil Thorp has been painted; if the canvas isn’t primed properly the paint won’t stick.

I don’t know what kind of relationship Whigham had with Rubin, but whatever it was it must’ve been better than it is with Barajas. Rubin’s text and Whigham’s illustration didn’t match up on occasion, but now it seems to happen so frequently and so blatantly – along with the typos and omitted words – that I have to wonder if it’s not intentional. The color changes, yeah, they happened in the past too, but how hard is it to provide coloring instructions to whoever has been subbed to do the job?

Our fellow Gil Thorp snark blog, Mopped Up Thorp, usually takes a slightly different tack to the strip than we here at TWIM. Instead of trying to parse it, Mop rewrites the dialog to humorous (and often more accurate) effect. If the past week is any indication, Mop’s way may be the way to go, as the strip has become so illogical and incoherent as to be practically unreadable.

*Without commenting on the legality or lack thereof of such a move, I’ll share a clip someone posted in yesterday’s comments on the ‘mudgeon to show that an American football can, in fact, be rainbow kicked.



  1. I agree. Perhaps HB should just do a soccer story instead of trying to bullshit his way through an American football story. GT has never really done a good soccer story anyway, so why not do one now? It would be better than the football rule twisting and Keri & Mel stuff that’s been shown lately for sure.

    Comment by franku2016 — October 12, 2022 @ 9:14 am

  2. …and “4-and-15” said no football announcer ever….just fyi HB….it would be “…it’s 4th and 15” or “4th down and 15” or something similar, but not “4 and 15”

    Comment by franku2016 — October 12, 2022 @ 9:22 am

  3. I really do want to give Barajas the school year before offering a full-throated opinion on how he is doing. I really do. I really really really do.

    But sometimes I don’t. You all can probably guess when that has been.

    Comment by billytheskink — October 12, 2022 @ 9:46 am

  4. 1. Time-out, just a goddamned minute here because I need to get some closure on this shit right fucking now:

    SO – OFFICIALLY FOR THE RECORD AM I TO UNDERSTAND THAT Tobias what’s-his-name was lining up for a FG attempt in the second half and for reasons only God knows, (without telling his holder, his blockers or his coach that he was planning to go 100% freestyle renegade) he runs up, rainbow flicks it straight up in the air (somehow without breaking the holder’s finger), catches the ball himself while behind the line of scrimmage, and in the ensuing confusion and chaos from the other 21 players on the field (maybe they all stood still for a moment because they thought the ball was dead?) Tobias is able to run it to the house?? I swear this scenario would have been too outrageous to believe even if it was the last play from the football scene in the 1970 classic M*A*S*H*!! Do I have a proper summary of the events here, or am I missing something?

    1a. Look, I’m not trying to be mean, I’m not trying to be funny but I have to ask – Is Rod Barajas on drugs? Or does he merely not know how sports work?

    2. As for today, the Announcer/Explainer/Plot Advancer at Valley Tech is even worse than the one used for Milford’s games, which is really saying something…


    4. It’s funny because Lucha Libre’s assistant is even more clueless than Kazuo Luzinski… Uh, how the hell does he not know his team’s playbook?! Of course knowing Lucha Libre he’s probably got some sort of secret playbook known only to him and his son…

    5. So Milford has the “Thorp Special”, Valley Tech has the “Fastball Special” but none of them hold a candle to the Little Giants’ “Annexation of Puerto Rico”…

    6. Were we ever told or given any kind of indication that Lucha Libre’s son was a football player, much less a QB?

    7. Lucha’s curvy wife is probably home taking a shower about now, after a long shift at the hospital… Maybe she’s even giving herself gentle caresses while standing nude in front of the bathroom mirror… Can’t Whigham show us something like that instead??

    Comment by hitorque — October 12, 2022 @ 10:10 am

  5. Following what’s going on here is impossible for me. Plot seems to me to be surreal. As for “woke” approach I can live without it. When I read these strips, I look to get to get away from all of toddy’s bizarre happenings not to have it smacking me in the face on a daily basis.

    Comment by Bobby Joe — October 12, 2022 @ 12:37 pm

  6. I was going to say something about Pedro’s commercials for Jordan’s Furniture. Couldn’t find a decent video, so now for something completely irrelevant…

    Comment by Downpuppy — October 12, 2022 @ 1:14 pm

  7. Like Hitorque, since when did the 2-minute warning come to high school football? That and Bob Barker on the scene is making a topsy-turvy season that really shouldn’t be that way. Unforced errors is what they call it in tennis.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — October 12, 2022 @ 5:21 pm

  8. […] with no criminal intent and a coach does nothing to stop it, what will that coach do when his own flesh and blood straight up cold-cocks another student? Looking forward to following Keri’s arduous path […]

    Pingback by Friends of Dorothy? Not so much. | This Week in Milford — November 16, 2022 @ 9:27 am

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