This Week in Milford

September 25, 2021

Where Were You the Day The Bucket Got Its Liquor License?

teenchy here. Dunno where robmize is. I’ve got a busy afternoon and evening ahead of me so I’m not gonna wait any longer and put up a double post. I’ll be traveling next weekend so hopefully rob, or Ned, or tdrew can cover for me then. Heck, maybe even timbuys could pop back in for a cameo. (Tim, you out there bud? Miss you here in the rotation.) Anyhoo, on with the show.

September 24, 2021

No clue who Chance’s blocker Gordon Achebe is IRL (any relation to the famed author of Things Fall Apart?) but Kimberly Gordon-Achebe is Program Director of the University of Maryland Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and consultant of the Programs for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT)-child division.  There was a Gordon Achebe on the team last year, but he looked a little different back then. This year’s Gordon isn’t about picking sides in a QB controversy but more about covering for his triple-threat backfield teammate, Chance Macy.

Chance has been around since 2019 so we really shouldn’t be learning much of anything new about him. He lives with his grandparents; his parents haven’t been in the picture and he doesn’t hold them in high regard. He has (or at least had) anger management issues. He got plenty of exposition during that season while Chet Ballard tried to smear him to win his stepson some playing time and his love.

Heather was in Iowa while all this was happening, so it’s news to her. Maybe she should take that superfluous finger off her temple and use it to Google some of Marjie’s old articles from the past two seasons before she decides it’s news for Star readers. Off to The Bucket for postgame festivities…

September 25, 2021

… and a surprise appearance from Kianna Bello, who apparently had back-to-back sports practices but got to catch the Mudlark football game. Guessing volleyball practice came first; there’s no way Mimi would schedule an event that conflicted with Gil’s! No, Mudlark sports reign supreme, and Mudlark football reigns the supremest. It doesn’t take an Alexa Watson to figure out that Kianna will be dropping gymnastics quicker than you can say “I’ll take my Bucket Daiquiri in a go-cup, please and thank you.”

Passed out face-down in a booth isn’t a good look on a star athlete. Either learn to hold your liquor or stop burning the candle at both ends. All that’s missing from this amusing scene is a puddle of drool coming from Kianna’s mouth.

September 22, 2021


So much for that breather! The Mudlarks slow things down so much that night turned into day. Milford scores 13 more points after switching from the vaunted Delaware Wing-T and hangs half a hundred on Oakwood. It’s a wonder Tod Andrews (that is Tod, innit?) isn’t giving Gil a piece of his mind for running up the score on his hapless Owls.

Up in his crate, Evil Spock Marty gleefully calls the game. No doubt he believes Marjie Ducey’s departure to warmer pastures has cemented Milford’s status as his town. Marty had better keep his head on a swivel, though, since Heather Burns is on the scene quicker than you can tweet #radioisadyingmedium.

Heather’s thumbs are quicker than Marty’s lungs, and her approach to sports reporting is fresher than Shane Beamer’s postgame presser after the Georgia-South Carolina game. She’s got no time for Gil’s old man football coachspeak; she’s off to track down the man of the hour, Chance “Don’t Call Me Blowtop” Macy, and give him a squeeze.

Careful where you grab Chance, Heather: five years’ age difference might not mean much to the cruisers at Barney’s Pub (speaking of Evil Spock Marty) but when it’s a recent high school graduate and a high school senior, well, let’s just say it’s not always looked upon kindly.

September 6, 2021

The City Youth Program Is Getting Larger!

Filed under: Gil Thorp, google nonsense, Heather Burns — nedryerson @ 3:09 pm

After Gil and Heather exchange some awkward football tosses, Gil reveals his gambit for giving Heather Burns an opportunity to keep her hand in coaching without crossing any ethical boundaries. HA HA HA! Ethical boundaries! Oh, that’s rich. Gil is drafting Heather to help Wick Harmon grow the city youth program. Apparently, they don’t hit much there but they spend lots of time teaching city youth about archaic offensive schemes that were in vogue back when Ike was carrying his own golf bag.

I googled Wick Harmon and got lost looking at many varieties of Denis Wick Harmon style trumpet mutes. I don’t know much about brass instrument mutes, or the Harmon style mutes in particular, but apparently the first name in that particular style of brass instrument mute is Denis Wick.

Metapost nonsense: I guess now that Heather Burns is a fixture, she should have her own tag (category in WordPress speak). I added the tag and went back and tagged all the posts from the summer “plot”. Retrospective tagging may never happen. We can kick it around at the next editorial board meeting.

Maybe Heather won’t be a fixture if her editor takes a pass on her after her review period when she doesn’t get around to doing whatever else it is she’s supposed to do besides transcribing lineups. Wait! Heather has a nose for a story! What’s all the buzz about Tevin Claxton and his potential to create some more chances for Chance Macy!?

September 4, 2021

Heather Burns Throws Worse Than a Girl!

I mean, come on! Look at that form! Gil tosses Heather a foil-wrapped chocolate football, she grips it like a loofah and throws it back to him all misshapen? If she can do that to a football, maybe she could have been the S&C coach.

Finally Rubin gets around to addressing the 125-pound tight end in the room – conflict of interest – but he can’t come out and say it literally. Instead he has to use the same euphemism he did during last year’s QB controversy. What possible role could he have for Heather that doesn’t involve her actually coaching the Mudlarks? Lemme guess: he’ll coerce her into writing some kind of “insider football tips” column in the Star along with her regular reporting. I’m sure he called her boss Dale and cleared it all ahead of time; this is his town after all. Be prepared to see Gil require his players to read Heather’s column daily, maybe even going so far as to require them to buy the Star off the rack or even subscribe. Can you imagine Gil helps build Heather’s resume and single-handedly boosts the flagging circulation of a dying medium? The mind boggles!

Hang on for this thrill ride: it surely will be more surprising than Gil trotting out the Delaware Wing-T yet again.

September 3, 2021

Macy back, Ducey.. gone.

Filed under: football, Gil Thorp, Heather Burns, Milford Alumni — robmize2013 @ 5:05 pm

Wow, Gils gonna do something 2 years in a row? When did he roll this offense out last year, December? Actually it was December 4. Remember then?

So Marjie couldnt ask these questions this year? At least Gil lives up to his promise of Chance Macy coming back. 9 months later, our wait until they get good at it is over. Well, they arent good at it yet, and Chance Macy cant do it all by himself. I’m sure some other offensive characters graduated, and you still need a defense Gil. So dont be all haughty like you are in P3 last year. And we have our tease for the day as Gil hints at a role for Heather. What the hell could that be? She sure aint eligible to play thats for sure. And how many years did Marjie ask Gil questions like this and Gil never gave her a role besides writing lineups on a notebook?! The Marjie angst continues…

So whatever Heather does, the Marjie crowd will ask ” Why coudnt Marjie do it?” All we can do is remember the old days.

September 2, 2021

More Car Washes Than QB Controversies.

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Heather Burns — tdrewhardin @ 1:34 pm

“OUT OF IT AND PROUD OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!”

Seen at the entrance to Milford High School.

ARE YA READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, it’s here, ready or not. And we will not have the back-biting for the QB spot or Corinna’s hand that we saw from those two clowns who were a burgeoning distraction as the season progressed. Will Thayer and Terry Rapson have taken their Wrestlemania threats somewhere else and Tevin Claxton evidently is the quarterback, hands down. We will not have Tevin throwing at Rapp’s crotch so he can incapacitate his rival and easily win the job. No stuffing the test answers in Thayer’s notebook such as what happened about a couple of years ago between Teddy DeMarco and Chris Schuring. Darn, I was hoping Tevin would find an AP Chem test booklet out of one of the car wash buckets and bust Kiana with it. Okay, she plays volleyball but since WHEN did that stop Thorpiverse from dragging out the plot and exhibiting that Tevin is paranoic to the point where a female who is tall is gunning for the QB job? Hey, Tevin reasons, if she can spike, she can throw. Might as well plant that butter knife in Coach Thorp’s staton wagon in the Hitachi Hi-Fi sound system and say that Kiana “Norman Bates” Bello wedged it there. Oops, better be careful. Best not to give T-verse future plot designs.

I think what’s interesting is this almost has to be a rough parallel of Lamar Jackson’s football career. True, there are other quarterbacks who can run and throw but LJ has arguably been at the forefront of this concept. His electrifying performances, the stuff that landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated, have certainly been the talk of a lot of sports bars. Once, in a game where his team was hopelessly behind and he was practically just a rookie quarterback and replaced the struggling quarterback, he got in the huddle and simply said “You got me now. Let’s go.” His team ran away to victory.

And as long as Tevin is LJ (or 2-way QB of your choice) , I can live with that. But puh-leeeeeaaassseeeee no Vic Doucette and his nauseating nomenclatures. No Tevin “Claxton is God” or Heather ” Major Frank” Burns or Kiana “Taller Than The Milford Interdenominational Church Tower” or “Liberty” Bello. No ditzy volleyball players trying to humor an acerbic wit who became more acerbic with every attempt to appease her. There was more venom than tobacco stains spit on the ground when Miss Cancer haunted the place. God, if we can just keep this football-related, Tevin should be poetry-in-motion. With Heather “Call Me Marjie” Burns, that poetry may soon see the wheels come off. Oh, but her dad played football. Useful when coaching Eric Claxton.

I love following volleyball and I’m glad my high school won but was in the dark when the place they played was listed “Location Unknown”. Hmmmmmmmm

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Lays Down The Law In Latest Milford Volleyball Gaffe!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I know they travel but ain’t no way I’m lettin’ my granddaughter play with her team in Mammoth Cave. Who did the scheduling????”

Tevin Claxton looks impressive in P1. Believe me, I’m not a football guy, my brothers were the ones who played on the gridiron but I can say with confidence that Tevin’s form is priceless. Gee, if only he wasn’t forced to be subjected to the tutelage of Heather “Moonlights As Marjie” Burns. I get a sick gut feeling this is where we are going. But until then, I am going to use my imagination based upon the caption. Here’s a sample that might be on the team bulletin board one day

Practice at 10:00AM-pads and helmets

12:00PM-Break for Bar-B-Q brunch. Bring your own Coke. Family welcome. Family must bring their own plastic silverware for cole slaw and baked beans. Ice provided.

2:00PM-shorts and jerseys-light workout. Spearers will be sent home early without warning and suspended first game.

Now we know that Gil utilizes more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to practices. With that in mind

Practice at 10:30AM-Moved back due to Kiss concert traffic. Pads and helmets-Not for blood but coaching staff advises players to watch their backside.

12:00PM-Horseshoe Tournament-prizes awarded including George Blanda Classic Autographed Official NFL Football and John Prine’s “Sweet Revenge” Album. Bring your own horseshoes. Handicap checked at entrance for equal opportunities at prizes. Carson Joe, don’t even bother if you’re reading this.

2:00PM-jerseys and shorts-light workout including walk-through. Nobody should be regurgitating due nature of workout. Those who cannot handle Sloppy Joes will be mandated to sweep up the mess, grass included.

Hey, I bet there’s another one on the bulletin board

Practice at 10:00AM-Pads and helmets. Full contact encouraged. All-out war. Ambulances will be in the parking lot on stand-by.

12:00PM-Kiss concert. All players and family strongly advised to bring ear plugs. Food and drink will be provided, no charge, including Bucket Tunaburgers. Gene Simmons will provide motivational speech after concert. Rumored to be about football is like sticking your tongue out, sometimes it’s ugly but both can lead you to victory, given the chance.

2:00PM-light workout with Kiss band members and road crew. Players trying to reveal the band members’ identity will be mandated to wear make-up like Peter Criss.

On the Donohue Show

“So Dr. Pearl, you say that you and your husband go weeks without sex? Boy, that’s pretty dull. What do you do instead?”

“When Milford doesn’t play football, we go to Mudlark Lake Resort, rent a cabin, and play Monopoly. We make it fun. Whoever buys Boardwalk first, wins. We don’t want this to get boring.”

P2 would make sense. You’ve established yourself before Ducey Burns intervenes and ruins your game to high hell. It’s Miller Time.

But how do you shine like Randall Cunningham or LJ or Michael Vick when you have no pads on? I remember when I went to a Colts-Rams (back when the Rams were in St. Louis) scrimmage at the University of Illinois Football Stadium and even though they had pads and helmets on, this was just a scrimmage. Coaches were using this to evaluate plays and players, nothing more. I don’t even think they kept score although they did use a time clock but that kept running. And it was pretty even keel and us fans are still lovin’ it, our teams still engaged in a war that doesn’t count. Contact but nobody knocked each other out.

Then suddenly, this running back from, like, Utah Valley State A & T at Provo Northwest Extension Night School Betty Crocker Pie Institute was trying evidently to impress the coaches from both teams and he’s shaking and baking through the defense and I think the defense was partly allowing him the opportunity until he reaches the end zone and the fans from both teams were applauding and cheering vigorously. Highlight of the day.

Problem was, it was Stardom in Milford, that’s all he got. He had his moment in the sun but it was highly doubtful he was Super Bowl MVP later in his career. And that’s my point about Claxton Isn’t God, Yet Anyway. Granted he undoubtedly kicked butt with helmet and pads on his body but even a non-football man as myself can figure out that in a light workout, nobody’s really going to stand out. What are you going to do, Thorpiverse, tackle Claxton when you can’t grab his flag? How are you going to explain that in the injury report?

“Groin pull due to excessive force trying to separate flag from velcro at the waist. Likely out for 2 games.”

“Hyperextended radial bone due to feckless attempt to face-mask Claxton during jersey-and-shorts session.”

“Swollen rib cage resulting from inadvertently tackling football and player to ground when flag was lodged in QB’s butt crack.”

“Pulled hamstring and stomach cramps when defensive lineman engaged in foot race with Claxton on his 89-yard QB Sweep Right keeper after eating one Beanie Weanie too many at football brunch.”

Let’s just face it, anybody with speed like Claxton can race like the wind through jersey-and-shorts sessions and make everybody look foolish. Case closed.

On the Donohue Show

“Jaquan, I understand when you’re not playing basketball that you and Hadley V. spend time trying to figure out “It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power” in Reader’s Digest. Sounds pretty dull.”

“Very true, Mr. Donohue. Hadley V. got overwhelmed in the legal jargon in the case against Mr. Ballard and she felt it necessary to hone the legal skills. We spend 5-6 hours every night quizzing each other.”

At the Kiss concert-football practice combo

“Heyyyyyyyyyyyy, Ace Frehley!!!!!!!!!!!! I’d recognize that star anywhere!!!!!!!!! I’d love to have an autograph from you.”

“Pssssttttt!!!!!!!!!!!! Kaz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s Coach Thorp!!!!!!!!!!! He was going to surprise the kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

And who is Claxton slapping hands with? Not another Kevin Pelwicki. This time he’s got the Tommy Rich Bleach Blond look right before he steps into the ring at Memphis Mid-South Coliseum. Haven’t we had our fill of players learning a new position and finding out they need to stick to what got them to the dance or football field? It’s bad enough we have to endure Heather trying to coach, report, watch game film, and chew gum at the same time but enough of the Pelwicki experiments. Let him go into real estate and get on with football.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Mudlark Volleyball Team Evacuates Proving Ground In New Mexico After A-Bomb Accident!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Coach Mimi Thorp: ‘We were told to leave the underground facility if the emergency siren turned on. Thankfully we wrapped up the 5th set before they activated the switch.”

Oh brother. Here we go with Heather’s assessment which is not a bad one per se but after watching her flip off the soccer coach and then try to impress Gil with her semi-football jargon is just too much for this coach to take. Again, I have been a longtime supporter of women’s athletics but I just can’t stand to watch anybody trying to be something she’s not. Buddy Ryan she isn’t. Yeah, Buddy antagonized a lot of people but he has a Super Bowl ring and more often than not backed up what he said. So far, she has busted a cad and his dubious golf game from evidence she evidently garnered from the Bemidji Public Library which is commendable but all anyone got out of that was this cad will merely transfer his faux handicap to another town and set up shop at the first hole as if nothing ever happened. The jury is still out on whether that undergrad coach-on-the-fly experience was just a flash in the pan. We might have a hung jury. Coaching when you’re getting paid, even if it’s for peanuts, is an entirely different ball game.

And then, as mentioned before, we still have the conflict-of-interest angle. I mean, is Coach Thorp serious? He’s going to studiously take in everything Heather says today then take it and like it when Ducey Burns writes a scathing headline such as “Coach Thorp Refuses To Sit Claxton Despite The Latter Flunking Geometry!!!!!!!!!!!”???? Yeah, this is one T-verse never seriously explored but T-verse is noted to step into cow manure where even the demons fear to tread. Well, but Claxton should have a breakout year. I’m sure he’ll prove he can overcome “Claxton Was Once Carson Joe’s Caddy!!!!!!!!!”. Make the big play and all is forgotten.

Then are those zombies in the background???? I think #17 is a baboon trying to make the varsity. I once heard a comedian say they ought to put Pampers on those bad boys. I hope #17 followed through on that advice. And the player next to him is a Rock-em, Sock-em Robot who got half his face blown off by Dirty Harry. Yup, Harry Callahan got tired of getting his ass knocked to the ground and resorted to desperate measures, hence the result. And who painted #8’s number? I’ve seen better numbers drawn on a cave or bathroom wall. Did somebody drink too much caffeine out of Mudlar-K-Cola when designing the shirts???? And speaking of caves, I think the last player lives in one. You couldn’t draw a better Cro-Magnon man who just happened to slap on pads and a helmet without even trying. And I think that’s exactly what happened.

“And that wraps up the interview. We’ll be back after these messages. They should have Gil and Heather separated by then. That remark about Tevin moving better on the field than Gil moving in bed struck a raw nerve. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Learfield Sports.”




“Hello, my name is Delbert Q. Nerdwood. I was a victim of a distracted driver who looked at one bikini-clad girlie with a “Car Wash” sign too many. I know Milford Voleyball is trying to raise funds for its team but I lost an arm and contracted Turtle Wax lesions on my chest. This subsequently penetrated my lungs and I am on an oxygen tank. I didn’t know who to turn to. A Valley Conference official recommended The Shark.”

“Whoa Boy as Barth Gimbel used to say, my client was at wit’s end. He was lying in a hospital bed trying to manage even simple tasks. Did you ever see a man try to spoon Cheerios with Turtle Wax all over his chest hair? And with a prosthetic for his lost arm not available for days due to the UPS strike, it pained me to see him describe how he was wiping his butt when he was on the crapper. Thank goodness he called me, Joe Sharkey, so we could end this tomfoolery. Insurance companies are hard at work to see that you don’t even get a roll of Charmin for your troubles. I made sure he not only receive just compensation but that his pantry was stuffed with enough toilet paper to wipe a truckload of hogs’ butts.”

“Wow!!!!!!!! I got a certified check of $546, 720, 335 from Milford High School Athletic Department!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They must have run a lot of bake sales or went back to a 2-man referee system to save money. And my arm was delivered on UPS Overnight Freight. Right at my doorstep with a bow tie on it. And all I had to do was call 1-FON-THE-JAWS. Thanks, Shark.”

“You heard the man. Don’t let Valley Confernce car washes put a damper on the way you live your life. Get the money you deserve and Turtle Wax off your chest. One call, that’s all.”

“This advertisement paid for in part by Milford Attorney’s Guild. Services may not be provided by Mr. Sharkey himself, including toilet paper. Contact Sharkey Law Office for details.”

Gang, how many times do I have to say it to convince you???? I saw ” Claxton is God” spray-painted on an underpass somewhere in my hometown. But God bless you anyway, Gang.

Somewhere in Maine

“They were having that volleyball tournament somewhere around here. I can see Mount Katahdin straight ahead.”

“Gil, are you SURE this is the Appalachian Trail?”

On the bulletin board in the MHS hallway one fine afternoon


10:000AM-Pads and helmets. Full contact encouraged. Losers get their head shaved after scrimmage. Texas Death Match later in the week.

12:00PM-Black Oak Arkansas Concert-Coach Thorp and lead singer in a duet on “Hot ‘n’ Nasty”. Guitar-busting at concert finale. Coach Thorp and Coach Kaz engage in clipboard-busting. Parents urged to bring their own lawn chairs and sunscreen. BOA souvenirs available for purchase after concert with a free Sloppy Joe given to any $100 purchases of merchandise and paraphernalia.

2:00PM-Light workout. Remaining time spent picking up guitar remnants and shrapnel on football field.

August 28, 2021

He Made Her an Offer She Could Refuse

The transformation is well under way. Heather has swapped her slightly orange-tinged hair color for Marjie’s light blonde. Now she just needs to get her ponytail lopped off and shaped into a bob and then, after a visit to Milford Opticians, no one will know the difference.

Of course Gil sees Heather’s new role as a blessing in disguise; he’ll neither have to provide her a concessions stipend nor defend to the Mudlark Booster Club his decision to put a woman on his football coaching staff. Still that doesn’t stop him from trying to hit her up for volunteer work. “Are you kidding?” Heather must be thinking. “Your pay is so bad, you not only have to teach little kids golf in the summertime, you have to go stock shelves at Target afterwards!” (Seriously, never wear a red polo shirt when shopping at Target.)

Thankfully we can put this dud of a summer plot behind us – a plot that, except for the writing out of Marjie Ducey, was as boring and predictable as the high-five from Gil that Heather can return with her eyes closed.

What a poor sendoff for Marjie, huh? I’m gonna rectify that in a separate post.

August 27, 2021

Who cares what you call me if I’m retiring?

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Heather Burns — robmize2013 @ 5:08 pm

You guys all know I spent all night praying Marjie would decide to stay at the Star; I have no idea why the only thing that would sway her is who replaces her– why wouldnt a strong woman be around in a few years when she really Would retire?

How many of you give a rats ass who replaces you when you retire?? I sure the hell dont. When I walk out the door in a few years at my post office, where Ive been since 1988, I wont even know who gets my route because they dont post the job for 30 days after someone leaves. All I will give a shit about is my pension check. Im sure most of you feel the same way.

And my newspaper (that I read) the Chicago Tribune recently offered buyouts to several columnists I enjoyed for years. Similar to the one Marjie is being offered. None of them got ‘replaced’; they merely dissappeared from the paper and other columnists less familiar are in their space in the paper, somewhat. None of them turned over the job to a younger model, but as they say, life goes on, and whoever is at the paper I will read.

Marjie was one of the few characters in the strip who improved her appearance through the years I thought, and she was drawn as well as any of the female characters. I certainly hope she comes back occasionally; maybe the last panel hints at a continuing part in the strip, because my god some of the dreck that has been resurrected around here has nothing on Marjie. So one can only hope.

Speaking of strong women, I am off to see a minor league game tonight featuring the organist Nancy Faust, who played for many years at Comiskey Park, and who is Im sure very familiar to readers of this strip. Here’s a video of her:

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