Even allowing the premise that Owen’s wacky touchdown catch started the Scapegoats’ winning streak, the team’s still had to play–and win–every game since. Can we give them at least a little credit? They’ve already faced their arch-rivals Big Walnut Tech during the season; they may not look forward to facing them again, but would the prospect cause them to “SHRIEEEEK!!” like girls? (And please don’t think me sexist for likening them to girls…they SHRIEEEEEK the same way, give or take an “E“.)
Whoa! Tread lightly, sporto! Today’s punchline is kinda funny, IMHO, but also problematic, given Batiuk’s well-intentioned, if incredibly hamfisted, treatment of Wally’s PTSD earlier in this strip. But it’s consistent with TB’s inconsistent, have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too ethos: bullying’s funny (until it isn’t), and PTSD is a serious topic (until it can be worked into a punchline). Can cancer jokes be far behind?
Turns out credit for the ‘Goats’ run at the conference championship does not belong to Coach Bushka (and really, could it ever?). Rather, it was Owen’s unlikely heroics (which will be go down in Scapegoat football lore as the “Hail Nanny” play) that sparked the winning streak. In any event, Batiuk actually manages a pretty good punchline today. I’m even prepared to overlook the fact that Tater Tots®, not fries, were the bully jocks’ projectile of choice (probably for their longer range). These three had better hope “our team” goes all the way to the championship, or the bullies will be throwing more than just spuds!
Yeah, so that Scapegoat football team that, back on picture day, their coach suggested would not only lose but would be reduced to unidentifiable corpses? Today they are “one game away from the conference championship.” You’d think a reality-based comic strip that depicts contemporary issues affecting young adults blah blah blah would get some mileage from the story of a historically losing football team fighting its way to the top. But this “comic” strip’s really about the way these teachers utterly despise the student body.
Jim, rotten, hateful, possibly psychotic Jim, who, like Les, couldn’t give a shit about football or any sports, only brought up the team’s success to launch another slam against the kids (does Jim have kids? Or a wife? Never been explored). Bull accepts the backhanded compliment of his coaching ability. Les, who like Bull, is himself a product of this “lousy gene pool” Jim’s talking about, smirks appreciatively.
While we’ve spent October following the Life of Les (he’s appeared in all but one strip this month), the Fighting Scapegoats have somehow made it to the championship game. Is Coach Bushka ready to take his team to the top? Of course not. Making it to the championship just means extra “game prep” for Bull. It’s the worst! See, this being the Funkiverse, every silver lining has a cloud; like when Hollywood wants to make a movie out of your book. In fact, maybe Les’ negativity has begun to spread to his fellow Westview faculty…let’s call it “Les-fluenza.”