The two old sportos go for a walk. Buck’s comment about Bull having lost weight is a rare bit of naturalistic small talk, and also aligns with reality: persons with dementia can lose their appetite of their interest in eating. In panel 2, Buck seems surprised that their steps have brought the pair to “the scene of the crime,” the high school football field that now bears Bull’s name (and that of “A&L Automotive“). Has he brought them here on purpose, or is his own mental decline finally kicking in? The upcoming Sunday strip that accompanied the NYT article suggests that Bull’s suicide will take place outside his home. If Bull chooses to end it all on the football field, this amounts to some grim foreshadowing.
Tag Archives: football
Phony faux-profoundity with absolutely nothing at its core…a classic Batom prestige arc blow-off strip. Bull chose to play football but didn’t choose brain damage…yeah, that’s some powerful thought-provoking stuff right there. It really makes you think, namely that I really should have tried to get in on this comic strip scam back in the day.
“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.
I’m sure Batiuk was running the imaginary bases after the five seconds it took him to write out this strip. Which is ironic considering how he’s crapping all over athletes and sports itself here. I guess sports are cool when you do them in your head after writing incredibly trite dialogue.
“Sports isn’t real life, it’s just playing” does not seem like a good thing to be saying when you’re honoring a guy for his sports accomplishments. Like, I get his point, but when this is the focus of Bull’s induction speech it really makes you wonder, again, why the hell he’s even being inducted. “All that silly stuff Bull did to get into your silly Hall of Fame, that’s just playing. Sitting around his basement now, that’s real life”.
For not the first time this week I’m totally baffled as to what Bull has done that’s supposed to be damn inspiring. Also, the strip that more often than not is just a vehicle for Batiuk’s comic daydreams really shouldn’t be criticizing anything anyone else does as “just playing”.
By far the best part of the strip is the hilarious handwritten “Bushka Family” sign. Not nearly as good is how Jinx looks. I really don’t think it’s a good idea to draw Asian characters with their eyes slanted and closed, especially when they’re wearing glasses.
“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.
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.
“When I told Bull I was going to introduce him, it really showed what a crappy friend I am, just making major decisions for Bull and not even giving him any input. I mean, I am his friend, right? That’s the word for a guy who just starts showing up at your house after you get CTE and spends a lot of one-on-one time with your wife? Where’s that dweeby English teacher whose annoying wife died, maybe he can tell his what the right word for that is. Oh, right, he didn’t show up, because apparently I’m the only one in Bull’s life who gives a crap about him. Like when I lied to him to make him think he won a game he actually lost. Gosh, good thing that never came up in any awkward situation later on.”