This Week in Milford

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.

December 5, 2020

Gil’s Intrigued: The Rest of Us Are Bored

Geez, Marty, why so surprised? Have you killed so many brain cells with Johnnie Walker that you can’t remember Gil trotting out the Wing-T in 2007, also late in the season? (Hint: It was right after you called out Cully Vale as a convicted killer.) From the sound of it Milford may have practiced the Delaware offense but not so much with Leonard Fleming under center. Good thing New Thayer sucks this year.

Today’s strip has the feel of an arc-ender, what with Gil’s “wait ’til next year” spiel to Marjie and his fourth-wall-breaking, shit-eating grin in the final panel.* Gil’s counting on two things here: (a) No one reads the Milford Star (b) Chance Macy doesn’t get blowtop mad for a second straight season. He didn’t lose his cool this season; must have gotten some decent anger management training. Anna Corinna Karenina could stand similar to knock that chip off her shoulder.

Still the Mudlarks have to wrap up their season against traditional rival Valley Tech. Think Rubin will remember that?

*If this does end up being the last strip in the fall arc, I may come back for a metapost.

October 28, 2020

Dueling Bad Jokes

Hard to believe there could be a worse team than Milford in the Valley, innit? Yet here we are. Wonder why we never see anyone else in the conference use some archaic formations, defensive schemes or kung fu treachery to make up for their shortcomings against Milford. Most likely because Gil hasn’t updated his playbook for this century and would be equally ready for those plays.

How will this play into our blossoming quarterback controversy? Easily. The Thayer-led Mudlarks will open up a big lead on Central, then Gil will relent and put Rapson in to mop up. Still trying to convince Gil he’s the better talent, Rapp will again defy Gil, call an audible and run a big-yardage play for a score. Gil benches Rapp permanently, Central’s coach accuses Gil of running up the score after the final whistle, and things get ugly.

At least that will offer up more excitement than Friday night at Casa Karenna, where mom and daughter are caught up in a high-stakes game of gin rummy or Uno or something. Probably Uno, since Corina might want to keep mom away from the gin and rum and steer her toward the Yoo-Hoo. Hiyo! (Calling it “a duel of their own” implies that the Milford-Central game is some kind of duel which seems kind of off given Marty’s description of the game turning into a blowout.) Corina cares more about her mom’s mental health than Milford football, which is certainly understandable given this past summer’s backstory. Now if only she could allude to that without being a jerkface to everyone she meets…

October 21, 2020

How Is the Milford Offense Like a Diesel Engine?

Neither of them have spark plugs!

This Milford-Madison game reminds me in a way of this past Saturday night’s supposed college football game of the year of the week. The team with a ground-and-pound offense takes an early lead then falls behind, its defense unable to slow down its opponent’s big-play offense. Tasked with orchestrating a rally, the game manager QB commits errors, throwing picks and getting his passes stuffed back in his face at the line of scrimmage. Despite all this, the coach sticks with his game manager, keeping the QB with more raw talent and game-breaking potential on the bench. Run the color version of today’s strip and the Mudlarks even start to look the part. Forgive me if I start referring to Will Thayer as “The Mailman.”

News flash: amateur football has turned into a track meet and defense no longer wins championships. Does Gil stick to his principles and watch his team slip down the standings in the Valley? Or does he decide he has doled out enough punishment and go with the guy that can make things happen? Pity that Gil dismisses everything Marty says out of hand; even a stopped clock sitting in his parents’ basement is right twice a day.

October 14, 2020

Just Your Typical Three Panels of Obnoxiousness. Nothing to See Here.

Filed under: football, hideous scar faces, lame jokes, Milford Idiots, Milford Weirdos — teenchy @ 10:18 am

No, really, you don’t want to see this. Today’s visuals are not for the squeamish. P1 looks like it came straight out of a Punch and Judy show. In P2 it appears that Corina is wearing her underwear on the outside, which in itself would be enough to elicit a head bobble and exploding elbow. Only P3 offers us some respite from the visual discomfort, with Rapp assuming the electric football “backer” pose.

The dialogue accompanying these visuals does little to advance the plot. Rapson is a smarmy, flirty close talker; Corina is her usual smirking smart-assed self; Thayer rubs Rapp’s flameout and benchwarmer status in his face; and Rapp puts on a gung-ho show in an attempt to get lookout blocks from his linemen put himself back in Gil’s good graces. There’s enough people being jerks to one another here to turn this into a Dustin strip.

October 10, 2020

Oh.

Time for everybody’s favorite game, Monday Morning Saturday Night Quarterback.

Previously on TWIM, the consensus was that Gil was completely in the right for punishing Rapson for ignoring his play calls not once, but twice. In fact, many TWIMers thought that this punishment is too light – that Rapson should see the bench permanently if not be kicked off the team altogether. Instead, Gil’s just giving him a bit more in the way of conditioning.

Gil’s laid out his reasons and they’re sound ones, but let’s play Marty Moon for a minute, though, and poke some holes in that Thorpian logic.

Going back to Tuesday, there was 2:49 left (very precise of Rubin, no?) in the fourth quarter after Rapp’s TD pass put the Mudlarks up 28-13. Thursday before last they were up 21-6 when Thayer muffed the exchange. The Ballard Bruins marched right down the field to make it an eight-point game, 21-13, sometime in the fourth. How much time was left in the game when Ballard scored? There must have been enough for them to believe they’d get the ball back at least once, hence not going for two.

The Milford offense goes back on the field with Rapson under center and directions to get “a couple of first downs, and then… head to The Bucket.” Why did Gil yank his starting QB with his team only up by one score? Nice vote of confidence there, Gildeaux; one miscue and you’re on the bench. As for the “ball security” angle, if you’ve been doing nothing but running the ball all night, doesn’t that make your offense extremely predictable? The Bruins could load up the box, stuff the run, get the ball back and march down the field on the Mudlark defense once again. We didn’t hear anything about that sieve.

First play, Rapson calls his audible and Dallas George’s number on an end-around (which is NOT the same thing as a reverse, Gil!). If Gil’s so quick on the trigger with his signal callers, why didn’t he bench Rapp right then and there? I get that you want to keep things vanilla in the non-conference part of your schedule, but does Gil really have only one trick play? The excuse that you’re saving your trick play for a conference game makes about as much sense as not putting miles on your car so you’ll get more money when it comes time to trade it in, or as not having sex with your wife so that there aren’t as many miles on her for her next husband. Did it ever dawn on him that he could still use that play as a decoy later in the season, for example faking the end-around and running a draw or play-action pass?

Let’s move on to the next play. The Mudlarks picked up a first down and ran some time off the clock. We only know in hindsight that there were probably more than three minutes left in the game. We have no idea where the line of scrimmage was when Rapson threw the pass, nor do we know how many timeouts each team had. Giving Gil a little credit for restating the obvious, Curtis Charles scores the touchdown because the Bruin defender slipped (and Curtis danced a little jig over his body). Why does Gil assume that the pass would’ve been incomplete or picked off if the defender hadn’t slipped? Look at P1 in that last linked strip. Charles is bigger and taller than the Ballard player and has gotten inside of him. Who’s to say Charles doesn’t make the catch and bull over the Bruin into the end zone? Even if he makes the catch and gets tackled immediately, it’s still another first down and time to start taking knees. Who’s to say if Charlie Roh had run it up the gut again, he wouldn’t have gotten stuffed or stripped of the ball? The play worked, but it might not have, and if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

So have at it in the comments, TWIMers. Let’s enjoy the pissiest of pissy Gil faces we’ve seen in some time and hope that smug look on his face doesn’t cause him to trip over that coffee mug he set down behind himself. Gil has made it clear he calls the shots, but what he doesn’t do is instill confidence in his players.

September 25, 2020

I Thought Only Steve Luhm Handled the Mops in Milford

Hey everybody! Joan Rivers here for robmize. Can we talk?

Seriously, I don’t know what Rapson’s beef is here. The game plan with him under center is no different than the game plan with Thayer under center. What did he expect Gil to do, let him air it out and run up the score? The Mudlarks aren’t Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators, fuhcripessake. It’s already been established that Milford’s gonna be The Chance and Charlie Show this fall.

Rapp’s probably upset that Gil wasn’t making eye contact with him when he was giving him his marching orders. Wearing mime makeup under your helmet is bound to be a bit disquieting to even the most stoic of coaches, Terry. Then again, he might’ve been taking Gil at his word a bit too literally and is miffed that Gil didn’t let him drive the Milford activity bus back from Oakwood. (Who drives that bus, anyway?)

Terry just needs to relax on the ride home and get ready to see his quarterbacking rival get shot down by Corina at The Bucket. What, you weren’t missing another strip of Corina being a jerk to everyone? Yeah, me neither.

metapost: Like robmize, I will actually be away this weekend too. Hoping Ned, tdrew or maybe even the sorely missed timbuys will step up and take my Saturday post. Okay? Okay!

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