Tag Archives: CTE

Afford-a-Bull Care

“You usually think of CTE just happening to professional football players, not washed up, never was-es like your husband.” “I know, right?” Batiuk’s already wringing plenty of pathos from the CTE uh, “epidemic.” Today he ups the ante with a shot at health care costs. He even has Linda assume the broke Mr. Monopoly “Pay Poor Tax of $15” stance for effect. Bull was around the NFL long enough to have a cup of coffee, but he went on to be a teacher, coach, and AD for about three decades. He may not be flush, but is better prepared than many to deal with a health crisis.

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I Guess You’re Just What I Needled

It’s been posited here and elsewhere that the supposed 10-year time gap between events in Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft means that CS is set in the present, and FW takes place a decade from now…a decade in which medical science has found a way to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy before death. It’s the only way to explain how Bull and Buck are aware of their condition, as well as the existence of such a weirdly specific online support group such as “Former Football Players with CTE” (“Oh, you played hockey? That’s another group.”) Meanwhile, Westview High School is courting controversy by replacing the Stars and Stripes with a “Blue Lives Matter” flag.

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Wind Beneath Buck’s Wings

“To sum it up, Bull, you inspired me when I had my pants off. I’m so happy we can’t quit each other. I’m less happy about this creepy stranger glaring at me from underneath that bush, but you can’t win them all, I guess. Boy, you sure would know a thing or two about that, eh, buddy?”
Also apparently spending all your time in your basement watching TV and reading the sports section while having no human contact apart from your wife and a random stranger who showed up one day is “not quitting” by this strip’s standards. Which, I mean, Bull hasn’t just ended it all, which really actually is inspirational for Batiuk.
And you can totally take this as “Bull was a moron who didn’t know what the word meant, and he still is because of the CTE ruining his brain”, which is a fun spin on it.

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I Wish This Strip Was OK

I don’t think I’ve seen too many more blatant examples of “sporto talk” as written by someone who never played sports and isn’t that familiar with them. “Shared our competition”? It really seems like he’s leading into “. . . but we also shared a forbidden love that we had to hide, from both the world, and ourselves. What’s that, Bull? You don’t remember that? Oh, that’s probably because of the CTE, right, pal?”.
And of course the only worthwhile thing about Bull is his Very Serious Condition. I’ve got to assume his induction has nothing do with his athletic accomplishments, but rather the terrible thing that happened to him. Because that’s the only reason Batiuk cares about him.

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No Cause for Alarm

(Thinks to herself, “Goddammit, there he goes again, trying to dial Montoni’s on the alarm keypad…“) “Uhhh, what are you doing, hon?”

Yeah, definitely a Bull move, thinking that his old record being broken would require him having to duly update the alarm passcode. But since we know that Bull’s mental facilities are in decline, our first thought is “Wouldn’t that make the passcode a little harder for him to remember?” Another example of how TB, in his quest for relevancy, undermines his attempts at lighthearted humor.

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Sweet and Splice-y

We’re still in Crazy’s AV lair in today’s strip. When did Crazy become some sort of AV guru, a guy who owns shelves of different media players? I don’t even remember if he ran the projector back in Act I but now he’s going on about Bull’s sweet splice repairs. I’m a noted Betamax enthusiast who can talk at length about the late 80s rise in use of VHS cases and labels for Beta cassettes but I don’t say things like that.

One might wonder why Bull, who has both a fairly high opinion of his AV skills and lots (lots!) of free time, doesn’t simply buy or borrow the equipment and convert these tapes to DVD himself. One might also wonder why Bull, if he has such skills that he can splice videotape in a “sweet” manner, was never tasked with putting up any of Westview High’s legendary badly taped signs.

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VHS… Quantity!

Well, whaddaya know? Linda finally gets Bull out of the house in today’s strip… and they promptly go in search of a way for Bull to continue to stay inside for days watching videos of himself losing high school football games.

They want DVDs? Crazy can convert things to digital files for storage on a computer and upload to Youtube, you know. He may even throw in some background music and artsy wipes!

Crazy seems a tick disturbed that the Bushkas have barged into his AV lair, demanding that he provide hundreds of dollars worth of services (presumably) gratis. However, when you are known as the guy bakes tapes and buys head cleaner, you are pretty much asking for weirdos to walk in on you with crates full of videocassettes. Not to mention that the outside of his place looks like this:

VHS

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