This Week in Milford

January 13, 2023

What I dont find attractive is that seaweed you’re eating

The girls are having a post practice lunch. Nonsense. Nobody in teaching golf does that. They just met. The writer knows nothing about golf its obvious. Or football or basketball. Why fly to Arizona for 1 lesson and complain to someone about that. Talk about your golf game. This is a teaching pro not A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR.

This girl isnt David Leadbetter. Even so, Mimi cant afford his prices – $3,500 for 3 hours. Heh.

And Ericka, its Mimi. You were just calling her Mrs. Thorp 2 days ago. You dont just call her Emily.

I wrote much more but it got erased and I dont have the heart to do it all again.

January 7, 2023

Not Sure Which Part of This Is Tradition

Is it the bonfire? Wrong time of year for that in Milford. Unless they started it with Gil’s playbook. Then that might be a good new tradition.

Is it the s’mores? I thought sloppy joes were the thing.

Is it ditching your date for your gal pal? In the words of the late Judy Tenuta, “It could happen.”

Is it the man bun? Not sure we’ve seen one of those on a Mudlark before.

I know what it is: it’s the underage drinking! We’ve been down this road multiple times before. All it takes is one snitch and Gil’s zero-tolerance policy and, before you know it, there won’t be enough kids to field a basketball team. Milford forfeits the rest of the season and starts getting ready for baseball. That’s one way to deal with those pesky budget cuts!

December 17, 2022

A Leap of Faith Is What We Need to Read Gil Thorp These Days

Well, at least someone’s been kicking extra points since my last Saturday post. But not now.

Barajas Thorp must’ve gotten the note from the syndicate that football season has to END. THIS. WEEK. and concluded that going to OT was verboten. That, or he watched the Chargers beat the Cardinals with this balls move a couple of weeks ago, channeled his inner Brandon Staley and grown a pair of his own. I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not hitching that train of thought to a caboose.

In fact, the only way to read this strip is to suspend all disbelief, lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void… the void in which the teams are playing. Pay no mind that the clock isn’t supposed to run during extra point attempts, that the center snapped the ball with enough force to change the quarterback’s skin tone and knock his helmet sideways, that the quarterback took six seconds to hand the ball off to the running back (probably because he had to look through his ear hole), or that the running back took nine seconds to leap over the VT D-line (a D-line that is just laying down for the running back because the Milford O-line is nowhere to be seen). Don’t even think about VT getting the ball back with enough time to move down the field and score, ’cause we don’t even know if Tobias will land on the ground in 15 seconds. “Math class is tough. Want to go shopping?”

Let’s hope that the game ends with Monday’s strip and the rest of this coming week wraps up the football season. Let’s also hope Barajas has spent more time learning the rules of basketball than he has learning the rules of football. Finally, let’s hope Whigham remembers how to make the artwork match the narration. All of this hope is going to require a leap of… well, you know.

December 14, 2022

Vive la Résistance!

Gentle readers, I must admit that there are days when I need a little motivation to try and understand a given day’s strip and to make a coherent post about it. Most Some days I have to broaden my horizons and try to find a pop culture reference to tie in the action or the dialogue. Most Some days the pure absurdity of what’s being presented lets the post write itself. Some days – and today is one of those days – that I just have to break the strip down into its individual parts and comment on each part. On those days it helps to have a mantra, and today’s mantra is Ohm. So let’s get to it.

P1: All together now: In American football, the team in possession of the football, or the offense, tries to advance the football down the field to score points while the team without possession of the football, or the defense, tries to stop the offense’s advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. In terms of the goals of each unit, the offense is thus the force and the defense is the resistance.

P2: Marty has been at this gig long enough that he should know the basic rules of the game. He should also know that the end of the second quarter in American football is usually referred to as “halftime” or “the half.” Or it could be that Lachlan doesn’t know that. Lachlan is a name of Gaelic origin, so he could be a noob at calling an American football game.

P3: Now we know how Marty’s been supplementing his income since he lost the TV2 job: by calling illegal dog fights over the dark web. Applying the dog fighting analogy to Valley Tech football might explain why there’s a chain-link fence right along the sideline of their field. Cage match rules at Valley Tech might explain why Maivia’s having such a good night, or day, hard to tell.

Stepping back and looking at the strip as a whole, you can see a flow of action, kind of like Eadweard Muybridge’s photos of horses. It’s the description of the flow that requires detachment and meditation. So please join me. Ohm…

meta: A moment of silence and a bag of candy corn on the curb for Mike Leach. Love him, hate him, or somewhere in between, you have to admit he made college football more interesting and less corporate. Rest in peace, oh pirate.

December 10, 2022

Where Have All the Kickers Gone?

(oder Sag mir wo die Kicker sind?)

At first glance this looks like a logical extension of the Milford-New Thayer game we’ve been watching all week – or is it? A quick recap is in order.

On Wednesday it looked like it was gonna turn into a track meet, tied at 21 after the first quarter. On Thursday the teams trade touchdowns – New Thayer’s on a pick-six – and the score is tied at 28. Yesterday the Mudlarks retained – er, fielded – an onside kick, and were ready for “showtime.” Making the leap from yesterday’s strip to today’s requires gymnastics the likes of which we haven’t seen since Tipp Nunn vaulted over the Valley Tech line for a touchdown.

If the score was tied until today’s strip, the only way Milford was kicking off was if it was a kickoff to start the second half. How much time has elapsed, then, between the onside kick and today’s action? Is there a minute on the clock in the third quarter or the fourth quarter? Are the Mudlarks on the New Thayer 6 (based on the number of hash marks between the line of scrimmage and the goal line) or the New Thayer 11 (based on the digit “0” to the right of Marty’s word balloon)? If the New Thayer end zone’s diagonal stripes run from the goal line to the back of the end zone, how the hell did Elias end up facing the way he is in the end zone? Is he at the back of the end zone, the sideline, or what?

The bigger questions: Why isn’t Milford attempting a field goal? What happened to Hooper? What happened to Toby? Who kicked all those extra points to give the Mudlarks 28 points? Did they score four touchdowns, no extra points, and two safeties? One touchdown, no extra points, and eleven safeties? Why did they leave so much time on the clock? Is that our cliffhanger?

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate Elias’ stiff-arm to the head, pushing the NT player into the BLOCK! That guy should end up leaving the field on a board. I just can’t make this make any more logical sense. Maybe y’all can. Talk amongst yourselves while I drop the musical inspiration for the post title. teenchy out.

November 25, 2022

Hey its football

We wanted football, I wanted football, and gosh darn it, we HAVE football. Or had, as this is an old game from 1987. Seems like we’ve waited 35 years for this anyway..

We first got a VCR in 1986; it was for my moms birthday, and I still remember how cool it was to put in a tape and record stuff, then watch it again. The first movie we watched? Terms of Endearment with Jack Nicholson. Not a bad start, and I started recording many things, sports, movies, TV shows, overnight stuff I never could stay up for, (one movie was The Paper Chase which was on at 2 am on Channel 9 and had a scene that was unviewable due to temporary loss of the cable signal and I didnt see it until years later) and over the years compiled about 170 tapes which I still have mostly in a box in the basement and others in a nice 2-doored pullout furniture piece designed for VHS tapes that is in my bedroom. I labeled them as I went and thank goodness I was so fastidious because 170 tapes would be a lot of work to detail all the programming on them at this point. I quit recording stuff when I finally decided I had so many tapes I would never have the time to watch them all, plus the space they took up was getting to the point that enough was enough, and of course I had also acquired a number of prerecorded tapes which took up more room, and at that time DVDs were more common, so I collected a few of those, which were quite slimmer as you know. Now I rarely add to my collection except in rare cases, as most stuff is either on Youtube or now that I have a DVR which came with my conversion to satellite a few years back, I can merely record anything I want and its stored within the confines of the TV, not adding to the finite space of the house.

So every so often I pull out a tape and watch it, (yes I still have a VCR, its a DVD?VCR combo that serves my needs well) and yes I have a few games from 1987 too. Most of my tapes have held up pretty well and its cool to watch the old commercials and the hairstyles from the 80’s and 90’s whenever the mood strikes. ( I always thought Joan London’s hair was gorgeous back in the day with her big perm on Good Morning America)

So anyhoo, Gil is coaching a game in which Luke Martinez is on his opposition. And young Marty Moon is on the mike. But we have a cliffhanger during the broadcast. Unless this is a Batman episode, a football game doesnt take a break in the middle of a play. So we must stay tuned until tomorrow for the result of ONE PLAY. Marty wouldnt take a break mid-play in real life. Not in 1987, not now.

But this is a comic strip. And Barajas is writing it. So we wait.

November 7, 2022

Double Madison Time!

Have you been missing football action? If so, here you go. We get three final scores (must have been a double header at Madison) along with stats and a roster move. The narration seems to be quoting the Milford Star, so let’s assume this is from Marjie’s column. Happy Trails to Heather Burns. (If she really wanted to launch a career in journalism, media or whatever she was doing, Milford was never a good fit anyway.)

Let’s break down this huge info dump.

Elias Bermudez is starting at QB. I don’t remember if we heard his name before, but he has a 57.4 percent completion average. Marjie doesn’t round off percentages. She’s more than a reporter, she’s a data scientist. Did he complete the pass in panel one? Perhaps, but Milford beat Jefferson either way.

Moving on to the second panel, we have the phenomenal wide receiver Rodney Barnes “leading the charts” with 184 passing yards. What? I assume that should be receiving yards. (Is everything okay, Marjie? How many nips have you had from your “tape recorder”?) 184 would be an impressive number of receiving yards for a game, but who knows, it could be for the season. Elias has to be completing 54.7 percent of his passes to someone. It might as well be the levitating WR Rodney Barnes. Madison Capitols (did we know they were the Capitols? Do they share unis with Jefferson?) are vanquished.

This leads to the last panel with the most confounding information. Milford plays Madison again. Okay, fine. Somebody didn’t proofread again, and it was supposed to be a third team (with the same unis). What’s this about Tobias Gordon moving to running back? The player that came in at the last minute to kick now surpasses all the other available players at a key skill position. This is absurd. What was Burt Hooper doing all this time? Given what we’re seeing here in terms of personnel moves, they probably stuck him on the O-line. Yeah, that would make sense.

What is up with the “Coach Gil” and “Coach Kaz” stuff? Has Marjie always written this way? What’s that? She does now? Okay.

I’m not a big comic book guy. I bought and read some comics as a kid, but they were all disposable entertainment for me. I dig “underground” comics for subversive art and plain old-fashioned irreverence and have read a few graphic novels, but I’m not a current consumer of comic books. I don’t know what the landscape is in comics, but I’m having a hard time seeing how the first couple of months of the Barajas era of Gil Thorp is supposed to work as a story, even if the readership largely doesn’t care about the minutiae of “sportsball”. There, I said it. I don’t get it.

After some deliberation, I disconnected from the Gil Thorp Discord and I’m largely staying away from the GoComics site and the commentary going on there. I want to stay as neutral as possible in regarding Gil Thorp for our silly little enterprise here at TWIM. I know Henry’s around and has commented here a few times. If he has anything to say about this space, I’m all ears.

One final thing that I can’t not mention: It’s Madison Time! I think I’ve run out of quirky dance move videos to share, but you guys know all the moves by now. You’ve boned up on “the rifleman” and “the Wilt Chamberlain”, so sit back and enjoy an instrumental version of The Madison Time by Smith & Elms (presented by Johnnie Walker! Yeah, I could use a drink too!)

November 5, 2022

What’s Next, Exhuming Boo Radley?

Seriously, Barajas? Now what am I supposed to do with this?

Rubin wrote Marjie out of the strip in August 2021, sending her off to an early retirement with “a nice buyout” and making way for former girl Mudlark football player Heather Burns to take over the sports reporting job at the Milford Star. So why is she back in her old job now? Was the buyout in cryptocurrency? Did Heather just use the job as resume padding and move on to bigger pastures?

Could be that Marjie came back to take over Marty Moon’s job. Why would I speculate on that? Because Gil’s holding Marty’s old sippy cup of hooch, which Marjie is discreetly topping off from her flask disguised as a tape recorder. Marty won’t be needing it anymore after Gil and Marjie made him redundant. What they did with the body will be the season’s biggest mystery – bigger than why the Mudlarks’ pants and uni trim went from Texas Orange to red from one panel to the next and why Toby is making doe eyes at someone.

Now we’re left wondering who else from the strip’s past will be brought back after having been written out. “Exhuming Boo Radley” has a nice ring to it; would make for a good song parody if I felt up to it. Talk amongst yourselves and don’t forget to turn the clocks back an hour tonight.

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