“Flag on the field. How did it get there?”
Well, you knew this was coming, right? Given the choice between a sentimental gesture and a comedic pratfall, which one would he go with? Well, there really wasn’t a choice, was there–sentiment only rears its head when Les Moore is involved, and he’s nowhere in sight (thank goodness). Too bad the pratfall lacks the “comedic” bit. In all seriousness, though, how utterly uncoordinated does Bull have to be to trip by stepping on a tiny banner? Oh, I get the symbolism–Big Walnut Tech has once again prevented Bull from scoring–but couldn’t it be done in a subtler way?
“Touch a pennant. Things happen. A coach becomes a buffoon.”
As you know, there was a similar moment in the Coen Brothers film “The Big Lebowski.” I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen the film, but there it was funny, appalling, in character, and worked. Here, it is none of those things, and it doesn’t work. It just seems like another kick from Tom Batiuk against his old high school nemesis. The one task that Bull promised Coach Stropp he would do, and he fails at it. Hardy har har.
“Bull Bushka, noted coach. Now clown. Stumble. Stumble, just to be stumbling.”
Again, the whole premise just seems stupid. The idea that Coach Stropp would want his remains treated in such a cavalier way, the idea that the school apparently knows nothing of his arrangement with Bull…I mean, surely when Stropp died, the school would have assembled to watch Bull amble toward the goal line, as a gesture of respect toward his career? No? There’s just an urn in the locker room with no identification, no one other than Bull knows how it got there (or even that it is there), and the school is perfectly okay with all of this. (The idea that anyone would want their mortal remains placed in the high school shows just how much said high school has shaped Tom Batiuk’s thinking.)
“Nothing bothers some people, not even funeral urns in the locker room.”
The strangest thing is this: Everyone, even Coach Stropp, is fine with the idea that Coach Stropp will be honored by the school when Bull retires, and not one moment before.
I keep re-reading the last sentence I just typed, hoping I’ll glean some insight, but it just keeps getting dumber and dumber.
“Bull Bushka. Caught in the wheels of cartooning.”