This Week in Milford

December 1, 2021

“Sure I have expectations. I expect you to keep my name out of your mouth, starting now.”

Boy, Chance Macy is presumptuous, isn’t he? Since when has the Milford student body outside of Chance’s teammates said anything about what he does after high school? They have wondered aloud about why he and Tevin have decided to use cafeteria tables as their personal soapbox, though. Shows you who rules the roost in the Milford High coop.

As if that wasn’t enough, he feels the need to share his conversations with Gil with the school at large. Yeah, I get it that he can fall back on the “Tevin made me do it” excuse which, if he’s as much a “take my own advice” and “keep my opinions to myself” guy as he’s been painted to be, makes him a huge hypocrite. Chance should have shut up as soon as he said “McGill” and sat right back down.

But wait, there’s more! Macy has the nerve to bring Kianna Bello into the picture. (Is it coincidence that she always happens to be sitting in front of the table the football player stands up on?) Guessing he doesn’t Kianna to talk to him, either. Wouldn’t the casual listener hear Chance and think he’s been talking to Gil about Kianna?

If tomorrow’s strip doesn’t have Kianna interrupting Chance’s mansplaining with a verbal – if not physical – beatdown, I will be sorely disappointed. Of course, disappointment is a way of life in the Thorpiverse. Pity she doesn’t still have those crutches; she could put them to good use in short order.

November 27, 2021

That’s Okay; None of Us Are Curious, Either

Earlier this afternoon, the Michigan Wolverines beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 42-27 in Ann Arbor, snapping an eight-game losing streak against their arch rivals.* The Wolverines were led by running back Hassan Haskins**, who had 28 carries for 169 yards and five touchdowns. With the win, Michigan wins the Big Ten East Division and will play for the conference championship against either Iowa or Wisconsin.

Rushing for five touchdowns to beat your most hated rival in The Big House in front of a hundred thousand plus with a light snow coming down. You’d have to think that would be football nirvana for a Michigan high school running back. You would, but then you wouldn’t be Chance Macy.

After cramming two uninspired Milford losses in five strips (one of which only showed one non-action panel from the game), Chance Macy’s Big Football Decision is gonna get dragged out over at least three strips. Chance doesn’t care what Gil thinks and doesn’t care that he’s created expectations in people based on his talent. Not a major issue, really; the kid should make his decision on what he thinks will be best for him in the long run. What does matter is that he seems intent not only on not seeking advice but also on actively ignoring any advice offered him, consigning it to that big trash can that doubles as Gil’s mail bin.

Chance isn’t interested in finding out if he could play at a big football factory, and has no interest in football as a career. So what does he want to do with his life? Does he even want to go to college? If he does, why shouldn’t he take a free ride somewhere and take a load off his grandparents’ (and possibly his absent parents’) backs? What heretofore unknown motivation will guide Chance’s decision?

Odds are it’ll be something as random as this season’s plot Tevin Claxton’s admission that he’d been using a sports psychologist. What isn’t random at this point is getting the readers to care.

Apologies for taking so long to get today’s post up. I spent far more time than usual watching actual football games than trying to come up with something clever to say about fictional ones.

*Disclaimer: teenchy neither attended these schools nor is a fan of either of their football teams.

** His real name, not one made up for this comic strip – and, I’m guessing, no relation to Conrad Luckey Haskins.

November 19, 2021

No, you’re rusty.

Filed under: Barney's Pub, Coach Kaz, football, Gil Thorp, lessons learned, Milford Idiots, talking hand — robmize2013 @ 10:04 pm

It shows how slowly the season has progressed that I had no idea the Mudlarks were a perfect 6-0. Here’s a rundown:

Sep 17-22 – Oakwood

Sep 30-Oct 3 – Kettering

Oct 11-16 – Goshen

Oct 26 – Central

Oct 28 – New Thayer

Well Gil that adds up to 5. Are you counting the Jefferson game that Claxton referred to on Oct 23, then I said myself that they played Central next, not the Jeffs? Or have you played since November started and didnt tell us?? That hypnosis bullshit ate up 3 weeks pal. If your men havent seen live action in 21 days I wouldnt be lauding that record too much. Your opponent whoever it is knows youre ripe for an upset. Im now watching a high school playoff game as we’re in the state semifinals this weekend. Finals are always Thanksgiving weekend, then we pack it in for the winter. You’re still dicking around in the regular season with December looming. If you did play Jefferson, thats 4 games in 12 days. Then none in 21. What a pace.

I guess Gil lets Kaz talk to the players instead of doing it himself. He’s too busy playing darts. Who cares what Kianna is doing if youre the damn football coach?

6 or 8 guys believed that shit? Or is it – Kaz believes that Spiller helped them? Either way its lunacy. Thats what happens when you have 3 weeks between games. Idle hands are the devils workshop. Quit playing darts and go snap these guys out of their fantasy world, Gildo.

Kaz is standing a bit too close to the dartboard imo.

The name of the pub theyre at is obscured by the dialogue balloon. Somethings Pub. Any guesses? I see Barneys Pub in the tag categories, maybe thats it.

November 17, 2021

Shrinky Dinks

That Boyd. He needles because he cares, bless his heart.

Doesn’t the fact that Tevin played along with Boyd’s con make him at least somewhat culpable for Kianna’s injury, if not the duping of the Mudlarks and that algebra test kid? I mean, just look at those vacant stares of hope from the student body, not to mention the epidemic of diastema. The responsible thing for him to do now is to bench himself (if not quit the team outright) and sink Milford’s shot at the playdowns.

The only believable panel today is the last one. It isn’t anyone’s business if Tevin was seeing a shrink but when you’re writing a story, don’t you think there should be some hint of exposition before you drop your plot twist? I suppose the next thing we’ll learn is that Chance Macy has already committed to joining the Marines after graduation? He’ll be seeing South Carolina dirt alright, but on Parris Island rather than in Death Valley.

meta: I’ll be on the road on Saturday, so asking publicly if one of my fellow bloggers can cover for me. I’ll gladly return the favor, just say when. Okay? Okay!

November 3, 2021

Will Chance Have a Chance at Halfback U? Not a Chance!

When you hear the phrase “Halfback U,” which school comes to mind? Odds are it’s Southern Cal, though that perception has diminished in recent years. Possibly it’s Alabama, or Georgia, or LSU, or maybe Oklahoma, or even Wisconsin. All of those schools have a history of turning out running backs who went on to have distinguished professional careers. In the Thorpiverse, it’s State U. Knowing Rubin’s Michi-centric worldview and the bilious green polo shirt Ahmad Simpkins is wearing, might he mean Sparty? Probably assuming too much. After all, the colorists have made Milford’s every opponent this season a powder blue-and-black outfit.

For a kid who has been as anti-self-promotion and anti-caring-about-his-future (or at least as anti- all of that as he’s let on) as Chance Macy, this sudden turn to asking the State U running backs coach about his NFL prospects strains credibility. Then again, much if not most of Gil Thorp strains credibility. Chance’s convo with Gil affirms that: he has no interest in a pro football career. So why the h-e-double-toothpicks bring it up? To throw State U off his scent?

If Chance has no interest in playing in the NFL, but has an interest in furthering his education, why didn’t he ask Coach Simpkins about that? What’s State U’s GSR? Whatever happened to Big John Pascoe? Did he ever start speaking again? Why not take advantage of a free ride if State’s offering one? Play on the scout team, let the starters knock you around, and get your degree paid for. What’s not to like?

meta: Congrats are in order for any Braves fans among the readership. Twenty-six years is quite a while to wait between titles (even if it’s not ninety-five) and hopefully this team will help put the trope of choking teams from Georgia to rest. I’ll admit I should be a bit more excited about it than I am, given that I followed the Braves closely from the early 1980s until 2004, knew John Schuerholz and Levi Walker, and went to school with Chip Caray. (Enough name-dropping from teenchy for today.) I grew up in a part of the country that, until expansion and relocation put teams in Atlanta and Charlotte, pledged its professional sports allegiances mostly to teams from Washington. (Last year’s Mudlark QB controversy reminded me of the Team Sonny v. Team Billy arguments of my youth.) The relocation of the Expos from Montreal gave me the opportunity to rekindle a baseball relationship that had been dormant since late 1971, though I gotta admit I sometimes miss listening to Canadian French game broadcasts picked up on my car’s AM radio. Still, I’m happy for my friends and family who’ve been devoted Braves fans for years, some as far back as to when the team moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee.

August 18, 2021

What Is It About Industrial Solvent Sales That Leads People to a Life of Crime?

So much for Carter’s – I mean, Carson’s – stint in the Witness Protection Program. Little Miss Investigative Reporter Wannabe has joined the MCC (why else would she be wearing the same colored polo shirt as everyone else? Maybe it’s a Bemidji State polo shirt), thrown on no fewer than six of her extra jangly bracelets and blown his cover. Time for him to hit the road, create another alias and sell stolen golf shoes from the trunk of his car.

It’s been a long day at work (meta) and it’s not over yet so yhs is firing off a late post. I could spend the rest of the evening trying to analyze this so it makes some kind of logical sense but why try? Rubin is throwing exposition left and right to make this golf cheat – clearly the lowest form of humanity in the Thorpiverse – look like even more of a criminal. The Milford Country Club is not a court of competent jurisdiction but here it carries more weight than the Supremes. Do we even have to point out that being charged with a crime isn’t the same thing as being convicted of it? By the end of the week Carson/ter will have been found to be behind the art heist from the Gardner Museum and the ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut.

How did Hendry/ricks get younger looking from P1 to P3? Is he going to de-age with each accusation until he turns into a fetus, or was he really this age to begin with? Come to think of it, couldn’t these photos of him online have been deepfaked? We know Google exists in the Valley so the “1959 with cell phones” excuse can’t last for much longer.

Really, instead of looking all deer-in-the-headlights and throwing up the jazz hands, all he had to do was stonewall, call Heather’s little screen grabs “fake news” and he’d have been in the clear. After all, if you repeat a lie often enough, doesn’t it become the truth? Tens of millions would agree.

August 7, 2021

The Facepalm Is Mutual, Gil

As robmize pointed out yesterday, after this past week’s strips the summer plot has as many holes as the swing of one of those kid golfers Gil teaches at the MCC. Shirt colors change, golf carts appear and disappear, and Gil finally remembers that Heather called him before the round with Carter and not the other way around. Gil also remembers that he’s married after glimpsing that giant wedding band on his giant paw, so it’s not just his shirt that quickly turns blue. Still doesn’t stop him from asking Heather if she wants it in P3 (you know what they say, big hands, tiny wristwatch)…

Oh, wait: it’s not Gil Heather wants, it’s a paying job with benefits – and not the kind that Gil’s offering her as a Milford High assistant football coach. Until now her only lead had been with the Milford Star and it would seem Marjie’s boss has been dragging his feet with a job offer. Now Heather’s got a shot at a hospital PR job. Which of the the three offers her more of a future? Newspaper journalism is in its death throes and we can estimate how many female high school football coaches there are in the country. Hospitals are always gonna need somebody to put a positive spin on the lack of open beds, the high cost of procedures, and the latest MRSA outbreak, so it’s not like that’s ever gonna go away.

All Heather needs is Gil’s confirmation that she has about as much of a future coaching football as she did playing soccer and she’ll be out of Milford quicker than you can say “Monmouth.” Sending Heather to Central City gets her out of Gil’s hair, lets Marjie maintain job security, and keeps Rubin from having to remember backstories and developing consistent character traits for her in the future.

August 4, 2021

“I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s going to come down for quite a while.”

It’s a day full of cliches at the MCC, but why blind pigs and acorns? Why not blind squirrels and nuts? Blind pigs and acorns make the best jamón ibérico de bellota, but with size of the bets Carter’s been making I think squirrel jerky Underwood Deviled Ham is more in line with his budget.

Meanwhile, something mysterious appears on the horizon. Funnel cloud? Vic Doucette’s grandpa van? Hendricks’ crappy shot to bluff Heather and Gil? Why not all of the above? Will this group call it quits before they get to see the true nature of the sandbag, or will they play through and tempt the wrath of higher powers?

meta: Wasn’t Local H a topic of discussion on a Rock ‘n Roll Thursday some time back? I’ve lost track of those ever since I switched from posting Thursdays to Wednesdays. In any event I just stumbled across Local H’s cover of TV On The Radio (a band I’ve really been into for the past year or so)’s “Wolf Like Me.” Sharing it here with the original to jog memories and invite comparisons.

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