This Week in Milford

October 11, 2021

Goshen Time. Sorry, No Song For That.

Filed under: actual action, football, shadow figures — nedryerson @ 5:57 am

Look, The Great Chance Macy doesn’t want to talk about college and which programs might or might not be recruiting him. If he wants to you to know what he envisions as his future in athletics, he’ll tell you. At this moment, he’s concentrating on the next game against Goshen, so back off, Tevin. Also, check out that shadow person! It could be one of those creepy horror movie nuns! Halloween is approaching. Is Rubin gonna go John Carpenter on us? Of course not. Nothing exciting will happen. It’s just more dithering high school students.

Let’s get to the action, shall we? Goshen is in Carolina Blue unis, just like the last opponent. Can you imagine how nerdy the colorists would have to be to maintain a coloring bible for the different Valley Conference teams? Of course they wouldn’t do that. It’s enough for them to interpret the narration correctly and keep not male everybody red.

Goshen’s ball carrier is levitating over the goal line for a score. Why he was diving for the pylon, we can’t know. Goshen jumped on top. Will the Great Chance Macy go beast mode and power the Mudlarks. Nobody cares.

Happy Columbus Day.

September 29, 2021

Sympathy for the Waning Moon

Time for the annual f-t-f pissing match between Gil and Marty. Marty asks a legit question of Gil and gets a pissy backhanded insult in return. Sure, Gil wins this one on paper, but come game time he might be singing a different tune.

Marty is absolutely not wrong in putting this question to Gil. Thorp started running his Delaware Wing-T again last season, and is still running it this season. He’s surprising exactly nobody with it. There are a plethora of YouTube videos on how to defend against the Wing-T, many of them quite lengthy. Here’s one of the briefest for your perusal.

A team that is regularly exposed to a Wing-T offense (as Kettering supposedly has been) will be better prepared to defend against it, even if it is “a little different,” as Gil claims. In this case “a little different” looks like it’ll translate into “a passing game where our receivers don’t look the ball into their hands.”

Kettering was a Detroit high school in a very tough neighborhood. It was closed about ten years ago due to declining attendance, a crumbling physical plant, low academic performance, and gang activity. The former Kettering site, first re-imagined as an urban farm, is now going to become a manufacturing plant for an auto parts supplier. As a shout-out to a Detroit long past, how will Rubin reimagine the Kettering team? Urban tough guys or something else?

In the grander scheme of things, we can see Marty becoming ever more irrelevant on the Mudlark sports reporting scene. Heather’s quick thumbs can spew out tweets as fast as he can call play-by-play, providing the analysis in real time that he might otherwise have to do between snaps. Having also been Gil’s protégé, Heather has the inside line to locker room scoops that Marty never will. Since he’s lost the journalistic high ground, Marty should have free reign to wallow deeper in the Milford mud. He can begin on Friday night into Saturday morning once Kettering has shut down Gil’s predictable old-school offense.

September 15, 2021

This Is Not a Fire Drill

Let’s suspend disbelief about Chance Macy’s office mail call for a moment and turn our suspension of disbelief elsewhere. The traditional season-opening Mudlark Bonfire® is ready to blaze, but not without some very strange details, most of which come via Whigham’s pen.

That flat-nosed dump truck – possibly a ’70s-era International Harvester Loadstar – looks like it was overloaded with logs, kinda like those Benz trucks in the Middle East that get overloaded with people and cargo. Must’ve been pretty pricey what with the recent spike in lumber prices. How is the school gonna pay for it? By cutting back on lawn services after the bonfire destroys the grass?

Smash cut to the hallways of Milford High and Tevin talking to, um, Kianna? She’s the only girl he’s talked to all season thus far, unless you count the Greek chorus who watched Kianna blow him off a few days ago. How tall is she supposed to be anyway? She was tall enough to stare into the window of Tevin’s mom’s SUV at the gymnastics car wash a couple of weeks ago. She must have a magic shrink ray to shrink down for gymnastics and get tall for volleyball. Or something.

Finally the bonfire’s raging and someone’s calling for that old International to be replaced with a Ford! Meanwhile Tevin’s calling for Chance Macy to give the crowd a pep talk. Chance is trying to make a polite refusal since the heat from the bonfire has his hair dye running down his face Rudy Giuliani style. Let’s see if this or his firewalking exercise are enough to get him blowtop mad.

August 11, 2021

Oh, Calcutta?

I get the sense that Rubin tosses these summer plots out like a bone to his golfing buddies and the golfers among his readership. He lavishes much more detail about the game and its arcana than he does during the other three seasonal arcs. For football he’s content to trot out offensive formations not commonly used since the leatherhead era except in rural areas and/or where the game is played with less than 11 players a side. He latched onto the launch angle thing for Heather’s prodigy Pelwecki but otherwise hasn’t been on the cutting edge of baseball lingo. Basketball arcs tend to be more about the announcers and the players’ home lives than the details of the game. It’s always a shot at the buzzer that misses for Milford and falls for Milford’s opponents.

From the comments over the past couple of weeks, I gather a lot of faithful TWIMers are golfers. For the rest of us not in the know, here’s what I’ve learned about Calcuttas in the world of golf:

Golfers bid, auction style, on the golfer or team they think will win the tournament; typically they’re allowed to bid on themselves or their own team as well. They enter a bid on the golfer or team they think will win, and if their bid is the highest, they “bought” them in the tournament. All the money raised through the “auction” goes into the pot. At the end of the tournament, those who “won” the team that won the tournament get a predetermined payout from the auction pool.

We can drop the notion, then, that gambling is frowned upon at the MCC, but just exactly when and how it’s allowed and who is allowed to do it is up in the air. Jawor’s accusation of a 10-stroke sandbag by designated golf villain Carter Hendricks is a serious one – serious enough that he wants to keep Hendricks out of the Calcutta (and causes his ear to climb up his scalp). He doesn’t have the Titleists to to do it on his lonesome so he’s trying to enlist Gil to help him come up with an excuse. That neither the two of them nor Heather Burns have done a quick Googling of “Carter Hendricks BSU” to find out that the Cartman was a college golfer yet would end this plot in a day is irrelevant. Oh well, I’m sure Gil and Jawor will find a way to bar Hendricks, probably because of his ethnicity or religion or something. Country clubs still do that sort of thing, don’t they?

July 31, 2021

Summers in Milford Are Like Deodorant

sandbagger (n.) – one who conceals abilities or assets at first in order to gain tactical advantage later.

John Jawor is back, looking like he’s dropped a few pounds since we last saw him. That’s not all he’s dropped: there’s also the heavy hint that Carter Hendricks is a sandbagger on the links at the MCC. I freely admit I’m no golfer, so I don’t know the veracity of this explanation of the origins of the term “sandbagging.” However, if one of Hendricks’ patsies gets wind of what’s been going on and breaks his thumbs, I won’t be disappointed.

The only violence we’re likely to see is the awkward crashing together of this summer’s disparate plot lines. Will Gil and Marjie hatch a secret plot to have Heather Burns go undercover as an easy mark for Hendricks in a coed scramble? I’m about as eager to find out as I am to watch the rest of baseball season.

July 24, 2021

Heather Rennt (oder “Run Heather Run”)

I wished I could play soccer

I couldn’t, though I tried

I wished I could play football

I didn’t have the size

I am my daddy’s princess

He thinks I’m really grand

And when I was in high school

Played everything but band

I wish I was a writer

Who rakes in lots of green

I haven’t got a prayer

You know just what I mean

I wish I wasn’t desperate

To pay off student loans

I wish I could leave Milford

Who knows just where I’d roam?

Today’s strip is another clear example of Rubin’s horrifically poor pacing ability. Heather’s interview at the Star was featured in the first strip of this arc. If he drags out the hiring decision as long as he dragged out the Milford Library Board decision it’ll be mid-to-late August before she gets the offer – just in time for football season and wacky conflicts of interest. Watch the unpaid offensive line coaching assistant get paid to report on the team she assistant coaches! Watch her stonewall Marty Moon to keep WDIG from getting the inside scoop from the Milford locker room! Watch the Mudlark players give Heather the silent treatment for fear she’ll put anything they say in print!

If only this strip had the same time loop premise as the movie. Heather might’ve kept on running and knocked Marjie to the pavement. The subsequent skull fracture would’ve sidelined Marjie indefinitely and made the job all Heather’s.

meta: I added the “Make and Model Mystery Mobile” tag because I couldn’t figure out if the cinder block on wheels behind Marjie was a Scion xB or a Mercedes-Benz G-wagen. Thinking the latter sent me down a German rabbit hole that led me to the inspiration for today’s post.

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.

May 15, 2021

How ‘Bout Them… Well, You Know

Do y’all get the sense that Rubin is finally acknowledging that his catcher with no filter has a character flaw? Can Corina just not go through a season picking out a person or people to publicly take down a peg, whether they need taking down a peg or not? Or is this her way of projecting the pressure she feels now that Mimi has tabbed her as a college prospect? It amazes me that Rubin thinks the students at Milford High would take this treatment from someone who’s still the new kid in school lying down.

Funny how the kids cut her such slack; it’s as though Maureen at the diner told them all about her problems at home before she ever set foot on campus. With that kind of leeway you’d think Corina might, you know, take the time to learn a little more about someone else’s backstory before ripping them a new one. If she had she might have known that making it back to the diamond is an accomplishment in itself for Zane. Was the object to win when she and the Valley Mod kids were snarfing down free eats compliments of the Coaches Thorp?

Thank goodness for Katy Brito. A decent player in her own right, Katy can recognize not only when an adult is being a redass but also when a kid just needs to let his hair down. The obvious joke is that Zane’s channeling Elvis Presley but he comes off more like Futurama‘s Richard Nixon.

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