This Week in Milford

January 28, 2023

Atazhoon Goes OTR

Shoni Schimmel‘s WNBA career started out promisingly. A 2014 first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Dream, she made the WNBA All-Star team each of her first two seasons. Surprisingly, she was traded at the beginning of the 2016 season to the New York Liberty for a second-round draft pick. She saw her playing time reduced in New York and suffered a mid-season concussion that caused her to miss the rest of the season. It would mark the beginning of her professional struggles, but she had overcome struggles before.

As a high school shooting guard, Shoni had college-level talent but little opportunity to showcase it to college scouts. Living on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon had a way of keeping that from happening. Shoni’s mother – who was also her coach – took a coaching job in Portland and moved Shoni and her six siblings there. Though the family had to deal with separation, financial hardship and racial discrimination, the move paid off. Shoni became a first-team high school All-American and got a scholarship to Louisville, where she remains second on the school’s all-time scoring list.

Shoni and her family became the subject of a documentary. The film’s title, Off The Rez, derived from a derogatory term for behaving in a manner in a way deemed unacceptable by one’s peers. The term (abbreviated OTR) is also used by Native Americans to describe what many feel they have to do to escape a cycle of poverty and despair. It looks like what Leo Atazhoon has to do to play for the Mudlarks.

Seems that Barajas and Whigham have been hiding their hands this week. A quick search shows that Atazhoon is actually spelled A’ta’zhóón in Diné or, as it’s referred to in English, Navajo. Quinn A’ta’zhóón was a high school standout in New Mexico who now plays for Yakima Valley College. Kohanon A’ta’zhóón, Quinn’s brother, currently plays for Haskell Indian Nations University. I don’t think any of us ever knew Milford was close to a rez, much less a Navajo one.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Things seem sad at Leo’s apartment. Could be his mom or a sibling that he’s tucking in as he comes in from the game. Hopefully the situation isn’t as sad as that which has befallen Shoni Schimmel.

January 27, 2023

Gil, would that be your starting pitcher?

Lots to get to as usual so lets get it on….this strip is resembling water in a toilet bowl swirling down after a flush…lets count all the mistakes shall we?

P1- I know of no basketball announcer who uses full names during the action. Especially a name like that! And whats the big ass deal about 6 rebounds?? Get to 20 and then we’re talking.. and the ceiling looks to be a foot above the rim… the ball could almost be stuck on the beam just above Atazhoons hands. The defender should have his hands up and his eyes open. Error total : 5

P2 – Nice to applaud your team after a win but isnt that the fans job?? Are the coaches watching the game or coaching it? Fellas are older people, not high school kids… and the winning score should be listed on top in a strip; this isnt a TV broadcast where the home team is shown on the bottom. Gil also looks like he’s attending a wedding, not coaching a basketball game. That suit looks like it came from Just For Men. Error total: 3

P3 – Yes Gil I know its a play on words, but geez, you just had a blind person on your fucking baseball team last year and you decided he could safely pitch. Hope he wasnt in earshot of that remark. And YOU DONT GIVE OUT GAME BALLS IN BASKETBALL. I HOPE YOU’RE IN EARSHOT OF THAT, DOPE! At least Leo was humble enough to admit he wasnt the whole reason they won. Good boy. Error total: 2

That makes a grand total of 9 errors in one 3-panel strip. If that wasnt a shitfest one doesnt exist.

Our song today is by someone who fits what Gil was referring to.

January 16, 2023

In Bench We Trust

Filed under: actual action, basketball, Gil Thorp — nedryerson @ 12:32 pm

This is the second strip of a two-strip basketball game. Milford gets a win over Salem. Tobias has a cold night and gets testy when Gil sends him to the bench. It’s just all Toby all the time. Was the game even in jeopardy when Gil made the substitution? All we have is a final score that wasn’t terribly close and see that Tobias, despite being Mr. Prep all of the sudden, can get lost in thought instead of having his head in the game.

This strip is ticking me off. One panel to say goodbye to Kaz, then three strips in Scottsdale to insinuate that Mimi can still pull a young golf coach, and then this “game” to showcase the new kid with all the feels.

January 14, 2023

Not at the Bonfire, He Didn’t

Another smash cut, back to Milford and boys’ hoops action. In the course of hammering Tobias/Toby/Tobe/Toebeans, the Salem player gets a look of consternation as he player he hammered feels… somehow… different.

If Toebeans is getting mugged in P1, is Keri getting mugged in P2? Kudos to the Chief for the arms wrapped around neck poses in parallel. No clue why we’re getting the rando Milfordian showing us his choppers in the foreground, though.

Problems at the charity stripe, Gordon? You need to track down good old Kenzie Hanley to show you how it’s done. But why so distracted by Pedro on Keri like white on rice? Thought Dorothy was your babe and Keri was your bestie when you and they were kids. Have we been thrown from Mimi’s potential girl-on-girl tension to a potential bizarre love triangle?

Talk amongst yourselves. It’s late and I haven’t put a lot of deep thought into this. teenchy out.

January 6, 2023

I’d like to check that bald guys birth certificate..

Filed under: basketball, dopes, Gil Thorp, Marty Moon, Milford Idiots — robmize2013 @ 6:27 pm

Holy moly if that wasnt the worst drawing of a high school athlete yesterday in P1 then one doesnt exist. He looked more like the janitor (not Steve Luhm) then a triple double machine that could be in the NBA in 4 years if not sooner. The way these high schoolers are built these days, you can almost lengthen the court for them.

Big postgame interview after a podunk high school game. Really, a camera is needed? Who are these guys, the Associated Press? Normally you see the coach interviewed by 1 guy as he’s cleaning up the bench area. And all dressed up too! Marty needs to remember the tie doesnt have to match the jacket. Green on green looks.. notsogood.

And Marty is looking away from Gil as he asks the (dumb) question. Why the hell is he referring to a football game?? This is the basketball team. Yes I know Gil coaches everything except pickleball, but these are different guys playing a different sport. Or theyre Supposed to be.

And you dont have a Playbook for basketball Gildo. Hey, if your playbook burns up because of that fire that’d be a GOOD thing.

January 4, 2023

Marty can’t tell front from behind. Should we worry?

The Mudlark boys’ basketball opener is under way and, as it’s a non-conference game, it falls upon us to try to figure out where it’s happening. Judging from their bird mascot and that Forest View is two words, not one, I’m venturing a guess that this is the no longer extant Forest View in the Chicagoland region. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a shout-out* to a defunct high school, though I’m not gonna comb the archives to find the example (it was a Detroit-area school IIRC).

Marty’s looking a little thicker around the middle and in the hand, which must be a side effect of his continued sobriety. Milford was shown yesterday in its road black-and-reds, so why is Forest View wearing what looks like the old “Block M” jerseys Michigan trots out from time to time (and which Milford also wore BITD)? Bigger question: where is this behind-the-back pass Marty’s calling happening, in his mind? Why is Marty continuing to call out uni numbers for the Mudlarks? Is the game being simulcast on TV2 and WBIG radio?

All that aside, how ’bout this NBA-style halftime score! Have both of these teams broken out the run-and-gun or forgotten how to play defense? At the risk of repeating myself, I appreciate Barajas incorporating the trans kid into the strip fairly seamlessly, with virtually no reaction from anyone in Milford, but making the kid magically become a star athlete on every sports team he goes out for strains credulity just a little bit. Can’t wait until baseball season when he breaks Joe Sharkey’s and Kevin Pelwecki’s long-ball records.

*I’m not sure if Mudlark big man Darius Simmons is also a shout-out to a friend, Rubin-style, but sadly the first hit I get when searching for him is a 13-year-old kid who was murdered in front of his mother in Milwaukee about a decade ago. There’s also a Darius Simmons playing football at McGill, where he could be a teammate of Chance Macy’s.

January 2, 2023

New Year, More Balls

Filed under: basketball, Coach Ochoa, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 7:41 pm

Can someone remind me if we’ve learned who this assistant coach is who is doing the actual coaching. Can MHS afford her, what with the budget cuts and all? Also, are there enough basketballs for everyone to be handling two at a time?

Let’s ring in the new year as we find out that Toby and other guy are going out for basketball as a way to get back at Valley Tech. That’s a big commitment even before you factor in all the car washes and bake sales they’ll need to do just to keep the coaching staff in jorts.

March 26, 2022

Somebody Could’ve Used a Magic Peacock

Admit it, gentle readers: Unless you’re a fan of one of the other remaining teams in the Big Dance, you’re all St. Peter’s fans now. March Madness has its own magic peacocks this year, and they have nothing to do with an imagined reincarnation of a player’s recently deceased sibling. Not the Catholic university in North Jersey anyone would have expected to shine in the tournament, is it? Always great to see a Cinderella in March, and yet another reminder that it’s easier for schools to be competitive in college basketball that they can be in college football.

It’s also something to talk about besides this arc-ender that feels like a mistake. This story feels like it should have ended yesterday, with these two mooks hanging Pranit Smoothie upside down by his ankles in front of a stunned home crowd an emptied-out gym. (A shame Pranit Rock couldn’t have them doing the same to his welchers. It would’ve made more sense than that cockamamie bunch of lies he cooked up.) Betcha Gil wasn’t expecting his hired muscle to flex on his own teammates.

Reading today’s strip give me the feeling that Rubin & Whigham intended yesterday’s strip to be the last in the arc, then realized that they had not only counted the days incorrectly but also forgot to end it with their signature touches:

Lame joke? Check!

Main character exiting through doorway? Check!

Awkward high-five/fist bump? Check!

Jazz hands? Check!

Hey, did anybody notice they’re playing baseball again? With more wacky rules to make the game more attractive to the attention-span challenged? Wonder how Rubin will approach the season. Another spunky, talented out-of-towner moves to Milford and joins the Mudlarks? The team rallies around a stuffed animal or some other superstitious good luck charm? A slight infraction leads to the benching of a star player until the last game of the season, when nothing’s on the line? What’s the over/under on any of these happening?

See you Monday to find out where it all starts. Until then, go Peacocks!

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