This Week in Milford

May 5, 2021

Highlanders: There Can Be Only None

Filed under: actual action, big arms, Brown Hair, Highlight reel, Neal's friends, softball — teenchy @ 7:48 am

That rarest of strips today, nothing but solid sports action, but here’s a twist: Milford’s opponent represents a school that no longer exists.

Finney High School in Detroit closed in 2009 and was merged with Crockett High School to create the East English Village Preparatory Academy. EEVPA calls its teams the Bulldogs, but at least the colorists got close here. Finney’s namesake was a prominent Detroiter who played a significant role in the Underground Railroad. So consider this a nostalgic shout-out for Rubin’s readers in the Detroit Free Press.

With bags full of Highlanders and the potential tying run at the plate, Landry Carlson gets out of the jam thanks to a diving stop by Katy Brito. Postgame, Landry will go back to, uh, Montana? and Katy will be off to The Bucket the Milford Public Library for coffee and snogs with Zane, that is if daddy dearest hasn’t immediately joined the Library Board and padlocked the place.

April 12, 2021

Pitching Therapy

Filed under: baseball, big arms, Coach Kaz, Gil Thorp — nedryerson @ 6:35 am

Zane Clark has been pitching to his little brother. That’s how he’s maintained his stuff. In today’s strip, we also find out what’s been up with Zane Clark (who we didn’t know before, but no biggie). Zane’s Dad has been having a series of strokes and has been unable to work. That’s why Zane goes to the library, I guess. This really doesn’t sound like it adds up to a scenario where Zane absolutely couldn’t play ball, but there must be more going on that we don’t need to be troubled with, so Zane’s back and let’s all go nuts. Let’s also get Zane’s little brother in for a tryout. Great catchers are just falling off trees in Milford so what are you waiting for, Gil?

First thing is first though, so Gil has to go lift with Kaz to stare at those sweet biceps fill Kaz in on Zane’s dramatic story. Careful with that barbell, Gil. If you lose balance, you’re gonna crash through that window!

March 20, 2021

Playin’ Burr, Sir!

Off to Vermont we go where we find the Lady Mudlarks playing a team that would seem better suited to be a rival of St. Fabian’s. (Burr and Burton’s most famous alumnus is Bill W.) The Chief has drawn Neal’s buddy at the Detroit News pretty accurately and has her throwing no-look passes and setting fruity picks. (Meanwhile, Louis C.K. is picking up the scraps of his career in stripes, though doing it a girls’ basketball games isn’t the best look.) “Toyota” Cressa Baxter’s efforts are quickly for naught as Milford quickly begins to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory… and oh, look at whose feet Rubin has chosen to lay the defeat: this season’s designated heel and shallow girl. Doesn’t take much to imagine a conversation like this:

Pardon me.
Are we playin’ Burr, sir?

…and Burton. Who’s asking?

Oh, well, sure, sir
Tessi “The Contessa” Milton, I’m at your service, sir
I have been looking for you

I’m getting nervous…

Sir…
I play the game at Milford.
I was seeking some attention for the Lady Mudlarks
When I got sort of out of sorts with a buddy of Doug’s.
I may have teased him. It’s a blur, sir.
He handles the announcements?

You teased Vic Doucette.

Yes!
I wanted him to call for us.
Rile up the crowd, then give us silly nicknames.
He looked at me like I was date bait; I’m no prom date!
So why’m I so bad? Why ride in his grandpa van?

You shouldn’t flirt with nerdy boys just ’cause you can.

I’m a player. Of course, I’m a player!
God, I wish that I could score
Then I could prove that I’m worth more than Corina Karenna (whore!)

Want to hear what I think?

That would be nice

While we’re talking
Let me offer you some free advice.
Shoot less.

What?

Block more.

Huh.

Don’t lead on that kid Vic Doucette; he’ll go with four.

You can’t be serious!

You wanna get ahead?

Yes

Girls who can’t play defense will get read.

March 14, 2021

Time for Some Whompin’ Action!

**THIS IS THE SATURDAY POST**

The Lady Mudlarks go all West Virginia Ninja on Oakwood…

… but not before dropping some heavy hints on now-designated Shallow Girl Tessi Milton.

I’ve admired Whigham’s shot-blocking artwork in the past and here again, he delivers. I gotta say Becca’s stuff on that Oakwood girl is pretty sweet but how high is she that she can make that block with her arm out almost horizontally? Maybe the Oak is just that low – more like an acorn, amirite? In any event Milford gets the W though I wouldn’t exactly call six points a whompin’.

Minus the Contessa (hey, that’d make a good band name!), the Lady Mudlarks corral Vic at the announcer’s table. What’s next for young Mr. Doucette may be best left to the imagination, or at least until Monday. Will he roll up to the prom in his GMC Safari with a harem posse? Stay tuned…

February 24, 2021

Oh Godleski, Not This Again!

Hey look, some hoops action that doesn’t involve injury, unless you count the bruises the ball’s getting being clanked off the rim. No Muench and a sluggish Guthrie mean the Mudlarks are struggling until Mark Godleski puts one in, then catches fire after Vic eggs him on. Oh my! George Takei‘s not gonna be too happy with Vic’s second Bermanism (Doucetteism?) as Mark hits the no-look fadeaway jumper. Will the next basket be made by Mark “look at those” Godles”(s) heathens making the horns at me behind Vic’s back” ki?

I’m getting the sense here that the Tilden game, while not making or breaking the Mudlarks’ season (they’re not contending for the Valley, or else we’d have heard about it by now), may be dispositive of several characters’ futures. Vic’s gonna Vic and a future calling celebrity softball games awaits him. Muench will play at least another season of baseball as he’s the current version of Paul Beaudry. As for Guthrie, it will be time for him to fish or cut bait between hoops and wheels. He hurts the Mudlarks more than helps them, so maybe he’s best cut out for the garage. Still you’d think if all that time with his tailbone two inches from the ground was propelling his racing career forward we’d have heard about it by now. Doug should ask Corina if Valley Mod has any automotive technician programs and think about transferring there.

February 6, 2021

Shouldn’t You Be Playing the Game Instead of Talking to the PA Guy?

“Vic, my man! What happened to you? I thought we were cool. Bros before, uh, not bros.”

“Well, Tessi Milton made it pretty hard, if you know what I mean and I think you do.”

After the past couple of strips this comes as a surprise. I was sure Vic was gonna honor the age-old tradition of giving Milford girls’ teams short shrift compared to the boys’ teams. Wonder if we’ll find out just how Tessi was able to coerce Vic to call the Lady Mudlarks’ games. Somehow I don’t think root beer was involved.

Hey, but that pep talk Vic gave Doug is doing wonders for Doug’s confidence. Not only is he not moping around, he feels relaxed enough to have this little chat with Vic in what appears to be the middle of a game and while he’s in possession of the ball. This stunt should get Doug kicked off the team faster than you can say “Michael Schumacher,” but who knows given how welcoming Gil was when Doug told him he was scrubbing a race so he could play against Oakwood.

edit: Alert (or, at least, less fixated on the idea that Doug is doing something wrong than I) TWIMer Hitorque has pointed out that this convo is probably going on during pregame warmups, which makes far more logical sense than my hot take. Either way, how Tessi convinced Vic to cover the girls’ games still remains a mystery.

December 26, 2020

Doug Guthrie, Kartboy*

Happy Boxing Day! Joyous Kwanzaa! Gentlemen, start your engines! Wait, what?

We may want to rethink that Doug Guthrie/Janet Guthrie relation. Doug’s gearheadedness extends not only to his choice of daily driver but also to that which distracts him from fulfilling his Thorpian duty. There’s gotta be more to the picture than meets the eye here.

What kind of kid dailies a ’66 Goat in the Rust Belt? Not one who cares about exposing it to the winter elements, and most likely not one that had to scrape the pennies together to buy it himself. Hagerty values a ’66 Tri-Power hardtop from $24K for a car in #4 condition to $75K for one in #1 condition. The obvious answer would be that Guthrie’s little GTO must be bankrolled by his family, along with his karting. But not so fast – there are monetary prizes to be had in karting, and it’s been used as a springboard to higher levels of auto racing. The list of Formula 1 champions who started in karts is an impressive one indeed, including current and seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. So before we dive in and assume this is yet another kid whose parents are living their lives vicariously through, let’s sit back and see how this develops.

Let’s also wait and see how Rubin develops the strip Vic Doucette and how closely his character’s life parallels The Real Vic Doucette’s. If strip Vic puts as much good faith effort into his PA work as he did in his PE class, he may end up doing a decent job. Bonus points if he gets Marty Moon to curse on the air again.

*Milford may have Nutboys but here in the real world there is a Kartboy, a supplier of performance parts for Subarus, VWs and Audis.

December 23, 2020

Free Eats. Now Scram!

I have to start today’s post with an apology. To the real Vic Doucette, I apologize for writing that your surname was spelled more pretentiously than Michael Doucet’s. I’m going to venture a guess that either your family picked up the “te” or his family lost the “te” somewhere during the Acadian deportation and diaspora*. I’m also now wondering whether strip regular Marjie Ducey‘s surname is a corruption of yours.

Today’s strip is one of those that would benefit from an audio file. As it is we have to take it as canon that strip Vic is a small kid with glasses that magically change size a big voice, not unlike the previously mentioned Dave Zinkoff. Knowledge of hoops trivia would seem to be less relevant to the PA announcer’s job than, say, some knowledge of the rules of the game. Calling a free throw attempt as a one-and-one when the team is not yet in the bonus could cause confusion for the easily confused, leading to unnecessary substitutions, raining frogs and heaven knows what else.

Since we never (at least in my memory) have heard from Mr. Staley (possibly of the Decatur Staleys?) we have no real standard against which to hold Vic’s work. Suffice it to say if Rubin holds true to form, Vic will join a line of nebbishy boys with oversized egos whose antics will throw a stick in the spokes of the wheels that roll the Mudlarks to second place in the Valley. With that in mind, here’s a clip of the real Dave Zinkoff to give us an idea of what a basketball PA announcer should sound like.

*I found myself going down this rabbit hole this morning and had to pull myself back out to finish this post. Interesting reading if you don’t know the history already.

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