This Week in Milford

November 24, 2021

What the Hell, Milford?

What fresh hell is this? A one-score game and we get an exposition? What the hell, Rubin?

And Mudlarks? Your QB hurts his arm and you fall to pieces worse than Patsy Cline? He couldn’t run the ball or hand it off to your star tailback? You know, that star tailback who turns away fan mail from recruiters, who had the State U running backs coach show up in person only to blow him off? He couldn’t suck it up and put the offense on his shoulders? And what’s with your o-lineman who can’t throw a block unless he can believe in pseudoscience? What the hell, Thorp?

Same question goes to little gymnast volleyball girl: You can’t take responsibility for your own health, listen to your body when it tells you to dial it back a notch? You want to rely on the same pseudoscience lineman boy did and blame the QB when it predictably fails? What the hell, Kianna?

Gil Thorp has to be the worst motivator in the history of coaching. He’s no Kirby Smart, that’s for sure. Mimi’s not much better. Then again, what can you expect from a bunch of superstitious, undisciplined-ass tank town kids?

meta: Thanks, tdrew, for covering for me on Saturday.

June 7, 2021

KRAK! Attack At Madison

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Madison Time, Marty Moon — nedryerson @ 10:25 am

Hey, look! It’s Marty Moon, who has been keeping a pretty low profile of late. He dragged his crate over to Madison and he’s giving us an update on what’s been happening on the diamond. A whole host of also rans have been doing baseball things. Gonzo has been pitching a “dandy” and, looking to start an offensive charge, we have Dallas George and Curtis Charles getting on base, setting the table for DUN DUN DUNNNN, Zane Clark! As you recall, Zane started in right for this game. His work on the mound has been shaky of late, but now it’s time to see how he’s doing at the plate.

The Madison pitcher throws Zane a high fastball and KRAK! Zane stings it! A stinger. Oh boy, oh boy. Did he sting it hard enough to get in at least the tying run? We’ll leave it right there for now. Hey, isn’t this better than Library Board shenanigans and Mimi forcing college down Corina’s throat? Um, maybe?

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Madison Time video. I thought maybe I had mined all the interesting (a relative term) clips from YouTube, but here’s one that showed up in the last year. It’s the standard Ray Bryant Combo recording but it features film of boring white people, Joan Darby and Joe Cash, demonstrating all the intricate Madison Time moves with plenty of close ups for those of you that haven’t been able to pick up the steps so far. Wow, look at their “Rifleman”! That oughta clear the dance floor! Their “Wilt Chamberlain” could use a little work though. Enjoy!

June 5, 2021

Zane Isn’t Focused on Some WAP

It’s official: The Gil Thorp colorists are phoning it in. We’ve had players throwing the ball to players on the opposite team and opposing players in the outfield when their own team is batting, unless the Mudlarks have been changing unifroms on the fly. Now we appear to have someone else besides Gil coaching for Milford. Even Kaz is dumbfounded by the presence of this imposter in a Mudlark uniform. Doubtless this interloper is supposed to be the Madison coach and he and Kaz are going to hand their lineup cards to an unseen home plate ump…

… who is later seen wearing a wristwatch?!? I do not recall umpires ever being allowed to wear watches, but I do recall them using stopwatches to mark the time between pitches and between innings. Maybe some of you TWIMers who have been closer to a diamond in the past decade than I could weigh in. Talk amongst yourselves.

Said umpire is ringing up an unseen batter as a catcher in Madison’s traditional sage and plum frames a called strike three while name checking Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. Could that batter be Zane Clark? Gil shared Zane’s line with Mimi while they were piddling around in the garden, but the only person called out as unfocused was Katy Brito, by Mimi. Gil’s comment to Zane that Zane wasn’t focused in his last outing wasn’t his observation, then, but Mimi’s. Between Kaz handling the messy details and Mimi providing the strategy, maybe Gil could get a head start on teaching golf to preteens and getting hammered on Long Island Iced Teas at the MCC.

March 17, 2021

Time to Tidy

We’ve come to that time in the arc where there’s a week, maybe two left and Rubin has to hastily come up with a way to tie all his little subplots neatly together. Multiple games are condensed into a single strip and the outcomes are told, not shown. Everybody’s little personality traits get lip service whether or not they actually advance the plot. A pun, a smirk, and a freeze frame exit down a corridor, then it’s on to the next season.

Yesterday’s seemingly random three panels are a prime example. So little ink has been spent on actual sports action this winter that only then did we get a hint that the Lady Mudlarks have a coach are in contention to win the Valley. Given how often Milford teams have lost the Valley through crazy flukes, it’s about time that a conference rival has defeat snatched from the jaws of victory – even if it’s completely via exposition. Marjie Ducey apparently had enough free time on her hands to call Mimi and inform her of Madison’s choke job at Oakwood; did she do the same today for their meltdown against weaksauce Valley Tech? Oh wait: it wasn’t Madison that melted down, it was Mimi’s face! Didn’t need Marjie to make that obvious.

The Lady Mudlarks’ on-court success has come in spite of being less than harmonious off-court. (Well, I guess if you can say the entire team vs. one player isn’t harmonious.) Milford’s version of the Bronx Zoo has won despite that one player’s lack of defense, so it may be safe to say that while Tessi Milton may not be the straw that stirs the Mudlark drink, she’s not the turd in the punch bowl either. That role falls on Co-co-rina who, as the self-styled Greek chorus and observer of Tessi’s every flaw, would probably be cast as the Sparky Lyle of the group. Now if only she’d sit bare-assed on her teammates’ birthday cakes, that’d seal the analogy.

meta: Apologies for the late post: early and long day on the job.

October 24, 2020

Shush Me on the Bus

While there have been a few comics that have addressed the current global pandemic (including, ironically, that other sports-themed daily Tank McNamara), most have not. To date, the Valley has been virus-free, but looking at today’s strip I’m beginning to think Whigham has been influenced in some way by the pandemic’s impact on sports.

I mean, look at those kids on the Milford activity bus. With so little space between the rows of seats they’ve gotta be cardboard cutouts, don’t they? Their conversation is pretty two-dimensional too. The whole lot of them are adding fuel to the fire of the quarterback controversy that isn’t, except for Danny Bonaduce down in front there who’s slowly realizing that it’s not Shirley Jones behind the wheel. Who drives the Mudlark School Bus, anyway? Gil? Kaz? Cheech? Whichever coach isn’t driving needs to back there and nip this crap in the bud.

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 17, 2020

Excuse Me, But Where Can I Get an Air Jimmy Hat?

Filed under: actual action, football, Madison Time, Neal's friends — teenchy @ 9:04 pm

Well I’ll be. Faithful TWIMer hitorque was right. It is a James Madison reference. Madison QB Alex Sanborn is a shoutout to a capital management exec and former Northwestern U tennis player.

Should be fun to see if the Mudlarks can hang with a team that runs a modern offense, no? To be fair, the spread has its antecedents in a formation developed by Rusty Russell, the coach at an orphanage high school in Fort Worth, Texas, and built on by Dutch Meyer at TCU (another Fort Worth school) in the late 1930s with Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien at quarterback. Later variants were developed by Howard Fletcher at Northern Illinois and Jack Neumeier at Granada Hills High School in Los Angeles.

Will Gil whip out that Delaware Wing-T in retaliation? Hell, Delaware doesn’t even run the Delaware Wing-T anymore. (It’s worth noting that the last time Delaware made the FCS postseason, they lost in the first round to… wait for it… James Madison.) How about the flying wedge?

As long as were talking about Air Somebody-or-other, how’s about a tribute to the original “Air” offense – one that never failed to entertain but somehow always came up frustratingly short. Seems appropriate to cap off a week in which we lost Fred Dean.

June 17, 2020

This Plot Finally Gets Its Much-Needed Crutch

gt06172020

P1: Don’t look so surprised, Mimi. You knew her ankle looked sketchy. Where was Trainer Rick Scott when you needed him? Does he only train for the football team?

P2: Having once again failed to develop any pitching depth (see Radley, Boo and Hobson, Carrie), Mimi resorts to strategically planting land mines along the basepaths. Unfortunately the mines aren’t very powerful and the Madison runner still scores. An eye for an eye and an ankle for an ankle won’t cut it in the Valley, Mimi. As if you care.

P3: Ah yes, back to the perspective we’re used to in this strip: Girls watching boys. At least I think that’s a girl. Maybe it’s Phoebe and she’ll help Mike and the Misfits hone their skills to beat the Mudlarks. After it’s all done she’ll say it was her way of protesting the draconian zero-tolerance policy that went unchallenged and sent Mike down this path of pathos.

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