Very Necessary Roughness

be ware of eve hill
October 10, 2022 at 2:48 pm
I’m not sure what’s going on with the Les face in the SOSF banner, but I hope it means seeing Les gang tackled by a stampede of teenagers.

Rusty Shackleford
October 10, 2022 at 3:29 pm
The banner promises some good strips…who wouldn’t want to see Les get obliterated in the most painful way possible?

I do have fun updating the banner on this page each week. But that image of Les’ fearful mug from today’s strip is so hilarious, I was almost tempted to feature it permanently. Funky, who just weeks ago struggled on the tennis court wearing orthotics on his wrist, elbow, and both knees, positively drills a pass, the trajectory of which somehow becomes an arc, which spirals right into the birch-branch arms of terrified Les. At the instant the ball arrives, so do two defenders, to deliver a punishing tackle.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

47 responses to “Very Necessary Roughness

  1. Epicus Doomus


  2. William Thompson

    The tackling must have been inevitable, because what’s the alternative? Touch football? As in, touch Les? Ugh!

    • That’s the punchline: This IS a touch football game. They’re just murderlizing him because they instantly realized that he’s a miserable douchebag. I approve.

    • be ware of eve hill

      The neighborhood kids, my brothers, and I used to play touch football in our backyard. We played “two below”, slapping both hands on the opponent’s body anywhere below the waistline. Doing so constituted a “Tackle”.

      Les would be a veritable touchdown machine in our game.
      Player #1: Les ran right by you again! You didn’t even touch him!
      Player #2: I almost touched him… down there. I think I’m going to be sick.

  3. Green Luthor

    #75 and Backwards Baseball Cap Kid may be my new favorite characters in this comic. (Edging out Guy In Comic Shop Who Hates Atomik Komix.)

    Until I hear otherwise, I’m going to assume this wasn’t supposed to be a game of full-contact tackle football, but the urge to cause immense physical pain for Les was too great to resist, even for some kids who literally just met him.

    • billytheskink

      The unsung hero here is the kid in the green hoodie.

      He’s on Les and Funky’s team and in yesterday’s strip was apparently told to run a curl route in the middle of the field… so why is he following Les on a split end go route? It’s not a smart football play, it limits the quarterback’s targets by making two receivers effectively one and… it draws a de facto double team on both of the receivers.

      Yep, it looks like green hoodie kid intentionally lead Les into a gang tackle. One of the smartest characters this strip has seen in years.

  4. ComicBookHarriet


  5. sorialpromise

    1. Congratulations to Eve and Rusty for making the front page!
    2. If there was only some way to animate today’s strip?
    3. CBH, I think we have a nominee for strip of the year.

  6. RudimentaryLathe?

    Oh Batiuk wants us to feel bad for him?

  7. Y. Knott

    From a writing perspective, this week seems like a could have been done — and actually done fairly well, depending on the punchline — as a single Sunday strip.

    Not done fairly well by Batiuk, I hasten to add. Done fairly well by someone who can write. It’d go more or less like this: Opening panels — set up the two oldsters are going to play with the teenagers. Middle panels: yesterday and today. Punchline panel: something that highlights the least worst of Friday and Saturday’s attempts at storytelling. Voila: a Sunday strip!

    Somewhere in that decaying brain of Batiuk’s, it’s almost like he faintly hears the echoes of a talent he once kind of understood: how to put together certain elements in a deliberately-paced sequence of events to tell a mildly interesting story. Not that Batiuk can do it — or even grasp how it’s done — anymore. But somehow, a very dim memory of the edges of how to do it persists.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Batiuk can make passable individual strips, but has no concept of building a story from them. His stories constantly contradict themselves, forget their own plot, and change focus as they go on.

      This week started with “no one ever throws me the ball – let’s fix that.” Yesterday Les whines because Funky wasn’t going to throw him the ball. Today, Funky throws Les the ball. Les went deep, but the story ran a double reverse. Which it won’t acknowledge.

  8. Jimmy

    I appreciate that Les at least has a compound fracture and likely a punctured lung from the broken ribs, but there is no way he hangs on to that football.

  9. be ware of eve hill


    Rusty Shackleford on October 12, 2022 at 6:12 am
    Who is that older guy on the opposing team? New Bull?

    #75 is the new Bull? I like it! How apropos that Les gets laid to waste by the “New Bull” (and backwards hat kid)?

    bwoeh jinx part 2.
    Despite Les’s internal organs getting pulped, I bet he’s is going to hold on to the ball.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I would’t mind seeing New Bull lay Les out with a clothesline.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I wonder if the backwards-hat kid is any relation to the backwards-hat guy who attends Funky’s AA meetings.

      On a subsequent play, the backwards-hat kid lays out Funky.
      Backwards-Hat Kid: That’s for my dad, he can’t stand the way you dominate his AA meetings.

  10. Gerard Plourde

    I suppose it’s possible that a man in his late sixties wearing no padding could take a hit like that without sustaining an injury but I think the most likely outcome is a break, sprain, or dislocation that would require medical attention.

    Of course since we’re now in the fantasy wish-fulfillment stage of this strip, Les will have been tackled in the end zone and have scored a touchdown while not even suffering so much as a bruise.

  11. Paul Jones

    Oh, goody. Now he can finally start whining about how cruel the world is and how he suffers like no one else has ever suffered because he actually caught a football.

  12. Green Wave of Kanagawa

    So, we’ve moved past football-causes-CTE? (First-time commenter here. My gratitude to our esteemed team of co-hosts and to all commenters for your insights and humor! Thank you!)

  13. Angusmac

    I’ve been looking forward to this all week! Les is know in concussion induced coma unable to move or speak. Still waiting on Friday when Funky drops dead from a heart attack.

  14. Miskatonic Sophomore

    This is my favorite Funky Winkerbean installment in a long time.

    I’m not going to dwell on the possibility that it might lead to weeks of Les wallowing in self-pity or an out-of-body experience (Crazy Harry glue-outgassing style) that takes us on a pointless voyage into the past of the Funkyverse, complete with wholesale historical revisions and several cloying visitations by St. Lisa. No, I’m just going to enjoy it.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    What a prototypical Act III Les story. After whining that nobody throws him the ball, Les is immediately thrown the ball. He succeeds without any effort; somehow proves his superiority over high school kids who’ve been nothing but accommodating to him; avoids any negative repercussions; and suffers a mild inconvenience he can whine about for a week. In January, Tom Brady will hand-deliver the NFL Most Valuable Player award to his house.

    • Paul Jones

      I like to dream too but….

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I’d like to see the same happen to Lillian in Crankshaft.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Not dark enough. I want to see Lillian get a Twilight Zone-style ironic comeuppance. She should be tormented by the ghosts of Lucy and Eugene for that bullshit she pulled. And for thinking that delivering the now-meaningless letter to the destroyed dance hall made up for it. Fuck her, and fuck Tom Batiuk for throwing even more awards at her. She’s basically another Les.

    • Eldon of Galt

      I laughed as soon as I saw the funeral in B Jr 6000’s doctored strip, but it wasn’t until I enlarged the image that I noticed the two teenaged football players added on the right. Great stuff.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Cayla is there too with her new boyfriend.

        • William Thompson

          Is that a foreshortened view of a coffin on a pallet or is it a gas grille? The latter, please. I’d like to think that Les’s eulogy is a roast.

  16. hitorque

    1. I only wish someone went full “Night Train Lane” and clotheslined his miserable ass…

    2. Hey Les, maybe you’d want to invest in some contact lenses or wraparounds or some goggles if you’re going to play tackle football…?

    3. Can we take a moment to appreciate Dr. Funk’s pinpoint passing accuracy while on the run, no less?? Who knew he could sling around the egg like that?? How is it that in one panel, 68-year-old Österreichischer Rundfunk pulls off a more impressive football play than literally anything Jerome Bushka accomplished in his entire career?

    4. I stand by my earlier statement — This week would be infinitely better if it were starring Bushka instead…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And a good catch by Les between two defenders, too. Of course, if Les had failed in any way, Batiuk would have thrown a penalty flag faster than they did against Grady Jarrett.

      • be ware of eve hill

        The same officiating crew had a controversial roughing the passer penalty the week before at the tail end of the Bills – Ravens game.

        What disturbs me the most about the Jarrett roughing call is that Brady was all but part of the officials’ huddle while they were debating the call. Much like Les, Tom Brady whines until he gets his way.
        Tom Brady: He touched me! Right there on my shoulder stripe!
        Referee: Yes sir, Mr. Brady! Right away, sir!
        Referee: Personal foul. Roughing the passer. Defense #97.

        Twice after getting sacked, Brady kicked at the defensive player. No call. No flag.

        Like Les, Tom Brady strikes me as a person who is used to getting his way. Unlike Les, Tom Brady has worked hard to get where he is.


        I never realized this before TB – Tom Brady and TB – Tom Batiuk.

    • sorialpromise

      1. My Dad and my oldest brother often compared Night Train Lane to the 1967 KCChiefs cornerbacks: Fred Williamson and Willie Mitchell. Lane intercepted 14 passes in his rookie year. The record stands as of today. What’s even more amazing, he did it in an era where teams hated to pass. (3 yards and a cloud of dust.”
      2. As for Funky’s passing, which was spot on, I am sure in such a pick up game, the linemen count to 4 by using the prefix: 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004. Just to give the quarterbacks time to throw.

      • Hitorque

        To be fair, the old AFL really aired the ball out compared to the staid and conservative NFL offenses of the time… Especially teams like the AFL Raiders and AFL Chargers…

        • sorialpromise

          True. The AFL was a total different animal than the complacent NFL. Their only advantage was the greatness of the Green Bay Packers. The rest of the league were not comparable to the best of the AFL. Well, maybe the Colts and Rams.
          You bring up fond memories: the hated LaMonica, Biletnikoff, Upshaw, Otto, Kearong, and the worst of all Ben Davidson.
          But San Diego were masters: Hadl, Mix, and best of all Lance Alworth (Bambi)

          • be ware of eve hill

            The old pre-merger NFL. Vince Lombardi. I’ve seen this clip so many times, it’s burned into my permanent memory. Run the damn ball!

            As far as I’m concerned, Ben Davidson’s only contributions to mankind were his role in Conan the Barbarian (Ben got killed) and that Lite beer commercial with Rodney Danger field.

          • sorialpromise

            Vince Lombardi was the most hated man in Kansas City after the 1st Super Bowl. Granted the Chiefs lost bad after a Dawson interception. Lombardi said the Chiefs did not match up against the better teams in the NFL. Then from January to August 1967, the Chiefs stewed until they played the Chicago Bears in Kansas City. We whooped the Bears 66-24. It is one of my favorite Chiefs games of all time!

  17. Madcougar92

    Here’s my prediction. Les hangs on to the ball but lands awkwardly on his sack and howls in pain. Funky asks him what’s wrong and Les says it feels like his balls fell on a pebble. Turns out he has testicular cancer. Get ready for two years of anguish and agonizing.

  18. Definitely the best arc of the year.

    Extra points if we see Less get loaded into the back of an ambulance.

    More extra points if they pull the sheet over his head.

  19. We should have realized that the appearance of author avatar Batton Thomas implies that Les is now as expendable as everyone else in Westview.

    Also, apparently #75 is so tall that he was able to kick leaves off a tree whilst tackling Les. Kudos.