This Week in Milford

December 21, 2022

A Hot Spit Take

As promised, my jet-lagged and sleep-deprived self is here with today’s post and it’s gonna be blunt.

While Valley Tech players dance around like Matisse’s Icarus, Gil offers Luke a congratulatory handshake and gets a neck full of spittle in return. Not only does Martinez still carry a misdirected 35-year grudge, he also suffers from Napoleon syndrome and delusions of grandeur. Squeaking out a one-point win because you stopped your opponent’s two-point conversion attempt hardly qualifies as an embarrassment. There were no stakes attached to the golf game and no one listens to Marty’s podcast. People can only be embarrassed if they choose to be, and Gil clearly has not chosen to be.

Enough of this chode. He should get what’s coming to him eventually. Enough of the Tuesday morning quarterbacking, too. Gil gambled and the gamble didn’t pay off. It happens. I still think there should be some explanation for why Milford decided to go for two and not try to force overtime with an established kicker (maybe two, if we count Hooper and if the scores that are neat multiples of seven are any indication), but I’m not holding my breath. A few days on the domestic front and a Saturday Christmas Eve strip (surprised no Hanukkah strip with Kaz and his new squeeze) and we should pivot to basketball.

Now if you’ll excuse me I need to take a look at the inside of my eyelids. Happy Solstice. teenchy out.

December 19, 2022

Goodnight, Milford

The big gamble didn’t pay off for Coach Thorp. Tobias Gordon’s leap of faith failed and their hopes were dashed in the finals.

Look at the contrast of Coach Luke and Coach Kim basking in glory while the pissy faces of Gil and Kaz tell the story of defeat, humiliation and probably an utter lack of football intelligence. I mean, maybe they should have tried something even trickier like a rainbow flick lob or, ya know, kicking an extra point for the tie. Oh heck, Milford probably would have lost on penalty kicks anyway. Also, there may have been more stoppage time than we had been led to believe, so they could have tried pulling their goalie for a man advantage. Next time, Gil should try the 9-iron and a triangle defense. And that’s why they call it cribbage.

Kudos for the colorist for staying consistent for a whole game.

Hey guys, yhs is really not feeling great today. Please have at it in the comments and I’ll see you next week as we throw out the first shuttlecock.

December 16, 2022

3 panels, 3 piles of hoo-ha

Filed under: actual action, dopes, football, shadow figures, Valley Tech — robmize2013 @ 8:35 pm

Like a full plate of food at a buffet, of which I was at 2 on Sunday, (Breakfast with Santa and the dog and a holiday party) we have a lot to digest.

P1– What kind of hat is that for a football coach not named Bum Phillips? Duh, Gil is behind and wants to pass it. Thats a brilliant thought. I dont know Gil from Adam (Sandler) but I know you pass when behind and run when ahead. Of course Coach Kim suggests the opposite- we cant stop the run so Gil will continue to run it. Goddamn it, this is high school. Just play your normal defense. I watched high school football for 35 years, and 99 percent of the defensive coverages look the same.

And why is the VT head coach referring to his assistant like that? Just say his first name. Your his boss, dope.

P2– The radio analyst announces what Milford needs to avoid OT— hey dope, the team that wants to avoid OT is the team thats ahead. Not Milford. Theyre behind. And whats THIS TD?? How about A TD?.. dope?

Apparently thats the Milford QB extending his arm into P3 where we have….

P3– Hey Marty– say the guys name that passed the ball, not MILFORD PASSES. Its not the whole team throwing the ball is it? Dope.

Rodney Barnes MAKES THE CATCH. Completes the catch is for the replay officials in the NFL to determine. This is high school. Dope. And nice defense by VT- not a defender in sight of Barnes; they obviously played the assistants strategy. Dopes.

And I pass the baton to Teenchy for the dramatic finish tomorrow. Will the Larks go for 2 or play for OT and extend the game into Christmas?

I’m ready for some dessert now.

NEW CATEGORY: DOPES.

Enjoy a clip of the real number 89 – Mike Ditka’s number retirement ceremony at Soldier Field.

October 22, 2022

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” or “Bowling for Milford”

Filed under: Gil Thorp, shadow figures — teenchy @ 8:44 am

Our Saturday send-off starts off with Simpsonesque yuks as Gil, filling in for someone with a name out of a Westchester County beauty pageant, introduces himself in Groundskeeper Willie fashion and the students (including the clock) respond with their best Nelson Muntz laughs. Ever the straight man, Gil introduces his own vulnerability as he claims not to be vulnerable. The stage is set for some classic substitute teacher comedy when reality rears its head again for the umpteenth time in the last three months.

The introduction of the mass shooter drill into the halls of Milford High, while no doubt as reality-based as anything else we’ve seen here of late, really just feels like piling on at this point. Real life is complicated and messy and, by George, this strip is gonna do its best to be the same. It’s almost become a multiverse, daring the older-skewing readership to let itself be drawn in and face up to the challenge of keeping track while attempting to draw in younger readership by daring to cover all these modern problems all at once.

Ponder that if you will, while I leave you with a fun poll as a break from the grim realities of the Thorpiverse.

September 14, 2022

More Pronoun Trouble

Football season! Volleyball season!

Here we go again, but it’s not a dispute as to whether sportsball should take precedence over non-sportsball extracurriculars but the modern problem of remembering what pronouns people choose to identify themselves. Today, Toby née Tabatha identifies as he/him, Keri identifies as they/them, and Gil identifies as coach/Coach.

Now why are these three having this little confab at The Bucket of all places? (And why are they having coffee? Don’t they know there’s a cantina in town for that?) Are they here to pick up them after their postgame dinner? Are they serving as their chaperones for said dinner? Is it time for a jangle-off as Mel and Mimi see who can rattle their jewelry the loudest? Winner gets Gil – if she wants him, that is.

The unspoken tension here is so thick you could cut it with a butter knife, not unlike the one Mimi’s twisting into Mel as she deadnames Toby. Clearly she hasn’t forgotten that Mel wanted to be her at one time. Meanwhile Gil, still aware of that history and that Mimi is unhappy in the marriage, tries to play the supportive husband by throwing out a patronizing “sweetie.” Will Mimi have the divorce papers served publicly to Gil right here in The Bucket, the way Jason Sudeikis had Olivia Wilde served with custody papers while she was presenting at CinemaCon?

One thing is clear: despite Mel’s claim, in Milford, nothing is the same as it was.

edit: Oops! I forgot to identify the players from the Dolphins’ No-name Defense I posted this past Saturday!

Front, reclining: Lloyd Mumphord, CB

Front row, left to right: Bob Matheson, LB; Bill Stanfill, DE; Bob Heinz, DT; Manny Fernandez, DT; Vern Den Herder, DE

Center: Nick Buoniconti, LB

Back row, left to right: Dick Anderson, SS; Curtis Johnson, CB; Mike Kolen, LB; Doug Swift, LB; Tim Foley, CB; Jake Scott, FS

August 24, 2022

“Luke, this isn’t ‘Nam, this is Milford. There are rules.”

“Are you ready to be fucked, Thorp? I see you rolled your way onto the tee boxes. Dios mio, man. Pedro and me, we’re gonna fuck you up.”

“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, Luke.”

“Let me tell *you* something, pendejo. You pull any of your crazy shit with us, you flash an illegal putter out on the green, I’ll take it away from you, and stick it up your ass and pull the fucking trigger ’til it goes ‘click.'”

“Jesus, Martinez.”

“You said it, man. Nobody fucks with the Martinez.”

Nice of Luke to bring along some additional eye candy for Mimi, too, in case she likes her men smooth. With Keri’s hair, Pedro could be mistaken for yet another lost Thorp child. Did Pedro come when Luke clapped for him? The Martinez family tackiness just keeps piling on, like a Herk the Mauler finishing move.

Bigger picture question: How was Luke able to join the MCC? I don’t mean that in an ethnic/socioeconomic way but in a geographical one. Does this lend credence to the idea that Valley Tech is also located in Milford? I don’t know that it’s ever been established; I understood that St. Fabian’s shared the town with Milford High, but that’s the extent of it. Talk amongst yourselves.

July 22, 2022

On with the (no) show!

We finally get to the end of the long presentation which culminates in Gil accepting Coach of the year honors for…. what? Conference? Region? State? Hey, they were going to state after the big win on the cold winters night, and Lord knows how cold it would be for the next game or 3. The suspension of reality meter is still off the charts even with a new writer.

I guess Emmitt Tays was an all-time Milford player, but I’d bet my house that there’s not a peep of him in the archives. Good thing he caught that ball at the end of the game or he’d be forgotten about as soon as the lights went out. Who remembers the losers? Well, the Buffalo Bills are an exception.

Legendary, Gil?? I followed my high school team for years after I graduated, and a handful of them made the NFL, but there’s not a one I would call legendary. 1 of em even intercepted a pass in the Super Bowl, and if you walked down the street and asked people who he was, you’d get blank stares. So I have a hard time saying any high school player is legendary. Legendary means EVERYONE KNOWS WHO HE IS.

Babe Ruth was legendary. Jim Brown. Johnny Unitas. Hell, Joe Namath was very average but he won 1 game that made him legendary. So be it.

And P3? Every other table I ever saw with name tags had individual names at each place setting. Not “… Family” Pretty shocking that even Mimi couldnt take the time for this, but the time reference is so vague we dont even know if he’s married or has kids yet. But anyway its very strange to see a vacant table where your own family should be.

So so far this new guy has been nothing short of weird. Old memories, winter football, more bad graphics; we still have no sniff of any writing talent yet. Maybe next week will be that golf story I’ve been waiting for.

If not, there’s always lemonade with Mimi. In the present.

July 4, 2022

That’s One Inspiring Monkey!

Filed under: baseball, Chunky Bracelets, Just Plain Awesome, shadow figures, Valley Tech — nedryerson @ 1:00 pm

I guess I was wrong last Monday. We did see other pitchers contributing something to what has turned out to be a notable baseball season. Gonzo Aceves pitched the final game and the Mudlarks have captured the Valley title. Hold the phone! There’s a state tournament? How much more time will that take?

Milford High students are asking the same question: Why are we still going to school in freakin’ July? Can’t these guys just have these expositional conversations at The Bucket so we don’t have to contemplate bagels in the cafeteria? (That’s what the girl in Panel 2 wants to know!)

Now that the media embargo has been lifted, the stories about Gregg Hamm are going to start multiplying until…oh, that story has run its course and we’re moving on to “monkeys on tricycles”. Yeah, that sounds about right.

I know we still have a week of Rubin’s strips left, but I feel he really should have saved that last panel for his last strip as a fitting exemplar of his storytelling. Just kidding, Neal. Thanks for the memories.

Have a happy Fourth. Have fun and don’t do anything stupid. Keep your monkeys in check.

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