Buzzer Beaten

Link to today’s strip

Some of you yesterday were wondering about the lack of a punchline. Today we learn the joke. In his desire to prepare some kind of boiling black tar substance Funky has missed a last second Hail Mary shot. And Holly shrieked in almost climactic ecstasy. Was this a playoff game? It’s so Batiukian to either be incredibly specific, (We are at the Ohio Music Educators Conference!) or frustratingly vague. (Our sportsball team is playing a non-specified game against a non-specified opponent.)

By the look on Funky’s face in the last panel, this will be more than just a petty annoyance to him. He looks like a man who has just shit his own pants upon noticing his grandchild playing in traffic while delivering a eulogy at his wife’s funeral.

39 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

39 responses to “Buzzer Beaten

  1. He looks like a man who has just shit his own pants upon noticing his grandchild playing in traffic while delivering a eulogy at his wife’s funeral.

    I had no idea you were a poet.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Sad-sack Funky couldn’t wait three seconds and he missed the miraculous game-winning shot. There’s a premise that kind of became obsolete when the DVR became commonplace, but obsolescence has never stopped ol’ Batom before. Poor, poor sad-sack Funky, always denied life’s simple pleasures, all because he was a relatively happy and well-adjusted kid back in high school. He may have been well-liked, he may have been popular, he may have married the hottest girl from high school, but by God he’s paying for it now, oh my how he’s paying. See the hilarious irony there? That’s called “writing”.

    • hitorque

      Hell, that premise was obsolete in the *1990s* when networks started showing 50 replays from every different angle, *AND* you’d be able to see it on SportsCenter every half-hour for the next 12 hours…

  3. bayoustu

    3 panels, 3 different noses for Funky. Seems rather extravagant!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      It’s this type of quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail that keeps readers coming back for more. And you probably thought they came back for the cancer and the misery.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    Three seconds left, your team had the ball, and you abandoned it to make goddam hot chocolate? That’s your own fault, Funky.

    • comicbookharriet

      Blaming the addict for his addictive behavior is counterproductive to his recovery.

      • William Thompson

        Now I want to watch Funky go through hot-chocolate withdrawal.

        • Perfect Tommy

          Now I have a mental image of Funky, crouched in a dingy back alley, cramming Hershey bars into a carton of luke-warm milk.
          “C’mon man! c’mon!!”

    • hitorque

      You know, I’ve seen plenty of folks who get too nervous or superstitious or don’t want to watch the outcome of a final play so they find a reason to “step out for a second” (I’ve even done it myself), but Batiuk doesn’t put that much thought into his shit…

      It *IS* amusing that Funkmeister didn’t even wait for a commercial break to top off his hot cocoa with a liberal splash of Irish whiskey, which is totally a thing: https://www.howlatthemoon.com/boozy-hot-chocolate-recipes-for-winter/

      • Gerard Plourde

        You’re right. That scenario would be very plausible. But as you point out, it doesn’t seem to cross TomBa’s radar.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    Once again the result is at odds with the premise. If Funky was that invested in the outcome of the game, it’s certain that he’d wait the short time left in regulation before heading into the kitchen to make cocoa. (Unless the cocoa actually has coca leaves as an extra ingredient.)

    • hitorque

      Or instead of standing there looking like he’s been zapped with a cattle prod, he could put the goddamn cup down and go out to the den and see the replay (which given the state of modern sports, is almost certainly under official video review)…

      I mean FFS — This isn’t the Heidi Bowl, Batiuk

  6. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    Funky drinks his cocoa black like a real man.

  7. Lord Flatulence

    Just rewind it.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    Further to Harriet’s point: why isn’t the basketball team Kent State? It would make perfect sense to name-drop KSU here, because it would explain why Funky and Holly are so invested in this game.

    But nothing good can happen to Kent State. It’s just another one of Batiuk’s punching bag characters. When a basketball team pulls out an exciting win, it’s Generic Doc Martins Bright Red Team. When an idiot like Mindy needs a college to go to, it’s Kent State.

    What’s especially baffling is THE STRIP HAS TWO CHARACTERS WHO PLAY BASKETBALL FOR KENT STATE. We just saw them at Bull Bushka’s funeral. I know it’s that icky girls basketball, but wouldn’t it make sense for Les’ friends to follow and root for the team? Shouldn’t women’s basketball get its due in the gender equality paradise that is the Funkyverse?

    • hitorque

      1. It’s hard enough for the Kent State men’s team to get some TV love, even regional…

      2. Batiuk in the past has had characters (especially Krankenschaaften) watching “unidentified red team” playing football/basketball and I’ve always assumed them to be Ohio State… For reasons God knows, Batiuk loves name-dropping all the mid-majors in Ahia but IIRC he’s never named his home state’s biggest and highest profile institution of higher learning…

      3. Regardless of if it’s a suburb of Cleveland or situated a bit further out, I’m pretty sure with 95% certainty that Westview is somewhere in the northeast quadrant of Ahia… I’d like to think that Dr. Funkensteiner and Hollyberry would get off their asses for once and actually drive to Kent State to see a couple of local kids play… But then again, this is Batiuk we’re talking about here — He gave Westview High’s most famous athlete and coach a debilitating illness and LITERALLY INVENTED A NEW CHARACTER OUT OF THIN AIR (who may or may not have been 100% imaginary or a ghost) JUST TO VISIT BULL(!) The fact that damn near everyone at his funeral never went to visit him was peak Westview.

      • hitorque

        And as I’ve mentioned on other occasions, the Ohio State blackout is especially weird given that one of Batiuk’s title characters (Krankenschaaften) is a 100% avatar of legendary hothead Woody Hayes…

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I always thought Enormous Midwest University (EMU) was the stand-in for Ohio State in Funkyland.

          I also like to think Ohio State’s legal department told Tom Batiuk in no uncertain terms to never mention their school’s name in his crappy universe.

  9. William Thompson

    What game? Bull Bushka came back from the dead and had his way with Holly.

  10. Epicus Doomus

    Batiuk should do a whole series of Sunday strips…”Funky Missing Huge Sports Moments In History”. Funky in the restroom as Thompson wins the pennant, Funky buying a hot dog as Liston hits the canvas, Funky heading for his car as Secretariat heads for home in the Belmont, Funky bending over to pick up a dime as Wilson’s little roller gets through Buckner, Funky looking for a diet cola vendor as Norwood’s kick sails right and so forth. All he’d have to draw (or have the other guy draw) would be dimly-lit colorless stadium concourses and such, it’d be right up their alleys.

    • hitorque

      Walter Matthau missing that Mets game-ending triple play in “The Odd Couple” is still the gold standard, and Batiuk could never…

  11. billytheskink

    3 seconds left in the game plus, maybe, a 2-3 minute ad break prior to those final three seconds and Funky had time to walk to the kitchen AND prepare AND make AND pour two cups of hot cocoa? That’s pushing it for microwaved Swiss Miss, even, much less this apparent kettle-percolated stuff.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I really think “Funky Misses Big Sporting Events” could be a successful FW spinoff that would really fill the void Batom left when he took his John Darling ball and went home.

      “No way Larsen finishes this thing out. I’m heading for the train now, before it gets too crowded.”

      “Meh, the Falcons have this thing wrapped, I’m gonna take a quick two hour snooze.”

      “Buster who? I have better things to do than waste another ninety seconds on a Tyson fight.”

      And as an added bonus he’d frequently get free tickets to really awful sports events, like an XFL game in the rain or a Marlins game in September or going to see Kent State play Michigan on Homecoming Weekend. The sad-sack sports fan, always making the wrong decisions, sitting in a steady drizzle watching Michigan’s 5th string QB make it 70-3 over KSU.

      • hitorque

        I know a *LOT* of classmates and friends who were saying that about Tyson-Douglas… Folks will remember that the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was also on that night (back when it was still a really big thing) so a whole lot more TVs were tuned to that.

        I was 13 at the time at my best friend’s house, and he had this VCR setup that allowed him to record one channel while watching another (This might as well have been black magic back in 1990) and he was a huge Tyson fan so we taped the dunk contest and watched the fight…

    • hitorque

      I’d have thought there was a pot already done and he was just pouring a fresh cup… But then I’d have thought Funkmeister would have one of those home setups where he could see the TV from the kitchen, and even if his home was built in the stone age I’d have thought he would have told his wife to turn the volume up so he could at least hear the outcome…

  12. Doghouse Reilly

    Gee, it’s been quite a while since Funky heard Holly excitedly scream out “Shrieeeek! It went in!!,” hasn’t it?

    Also, Shouldn’t we be hearing from Nelson Muntz in the bottom of panel three?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      it’s been quite a while since Funky heard Holly excitedly scream out “Shrieeeek! It went in!!”

      And Funky was in another room then too.

  13. I could sort of envision Funky and Holly binge watching an obscure series like “Mozart in the Jungle”, but in the entire nearly (but not nearly close enough to) 50 year history of the strip, we have NEVER seen Funky and Holly take any interest in a sporting event, short of local High School sports. So now TB has them so invested in a game that Holly refers to the winning team as ‘we’, just to set up a really lame “Funky misses a golden sports moment” gag.

    And for you beady eyed nitpickers saying that he could just rewind his DVR and watch the shot again, let me tell you from personal experience that there is no substitute for watching a game winning shot happen in real time. Watching a replay is nothing close to seeing it happen live. The entire thrill of watching a sporting event is not knowing the outcome of a shot, a pass, or a kick until it happens.

    • Very good point. It’s like seeing a movie for the first time, too.

    • comicbookharriet

      Minor correction. And I only know this because I’ve done several archive dives through the last couple years. Holly and Funky have been shown to watch sports together on occasion. November 25 2018 they were watching football together.

  14. hitorque

    Not me… If I regularly watched sports with friends and family that might be different but I’m usually alone. Not only that, I’m a coward and I got high blood pressure (I used to take these things way too serious in my younger years which has undoubtedly shaved years off my life) so these days I’m perfectly content to DVR a big game or race, find out the final outcome and THEN go back and watch it… A toast to modern technology!!

  15. hitorque

    I remember watching this with my mom and grandmother:

    I knew Alabama was going to miss the FG and there would be a long commercial break and then a coin toss for OT but the dog (and I) both had to take a major piss so I knew if I was quick I could run out and be back before the start of overtime. But we all know how that ended.

    When I got back did I shit my pants like Funkmeister is doing now? No, because CBS was showing the 11th replay in a row so I didn’t even have to ask mom to rewind…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      In your defense, the probability of that play happening was near zero. Buzzer-beaters in tied basketball games are fairly common.

      By the way, there are reaction videos to that play on YouTube, and they’re all amazing.

      • hitorque

        The punchline of my story is when I got back my mom was all “The TV keeps on saying the game is over, but that isn’t possible because you SAID the game was guaranteed to go to overtime? I don’t even understand what happened?!” So I spent the next ten minutes breaking down the play frame by frame and explaining the rules to her…

        To this day, there isn’t one Thanksgiving or Christmas family gathering when mom doesn’t bring up this story, and it’s always the FIRST thing she cites when we’re watching a sporting event and I tell her there’s no chance of the other team coming back…

        The point is Funkmeister if nothing else should have a funny anecdote to tell his friends, but Batiuk isn’t even going to give him THAT…

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          In your mom’s defense, Nick Saban clearly didn’t know the rule either.

          That’s what shocked me about that play. Auburn was overtly setting up to return a missed field goal. The announcer even pointed it out. When it happened, Alabama reacted like they didn’t know you could do that. Chris Davis went left, all his blockers went left, and there was nobody to block. Barry Sanders never had that much empty space around him.

  16. Buckeye Feculence

    And to tomorrow’s strip will be Funky dejectedly saying “now I have this nice cup of cocoa and nothing to watch while I drink it.”
    Exciting stuff!

  17. Paul Jones

    There are missed goals and shots I regret not seeing. Do I turn them into the apocalypse? Of course not. I’m not Stupid Stupidname.