Link to today’s strip.
The expressions in today’s strip are really something. Panel one’s Les looks like he’s ready to burst into a whine. “I’ve been listening to you talk forehhhhhhhver. It’s miiiiiiiiiiii turn!”
Panel two’s Linda counters with “Gad. Why am I talking to this excrement stain. I could be watching TV, or eating toast.”
I’ve no opinion on the NFL-as-monster issue, though it’s pretty clear Batiuk is saying they have blood on their hands because they won’t fund Linda’s post-marriage lifestyle. “It’s not fair.” Well, Linda, I’d say that if Bull never played in a game, his brain damage can’t be ascribed to the NFL. Some players have a career in the NFL that lasts years, and I’m sure their brain damage would be far worse that someone who (apparently) got his CTE while in high school or college. The NFL can reasonably say “We don’t know who this guy is.”
Fair? Maybe not, but life isn’t fair. Never has been, never will be. The NFL is not, repeat not in the business of providing health care for its players. It exists to make money through entertainment. That’s an argument that ought to be applied to comic strips, but somehow never is.
September 9, 2019 at 12:13 am
Buck is still the only person who visits Bull. Les has completely abandoned his old tennis partner, and the man who personally rehabbed his daughters traumatic knee injury. Wish I was surprised.
I know that she’s a retired teacher, but not even a tweed-jacketed, pipe-clenching Ivy League professor would drop a phrase like “keep a weather eye” into normal conversation. TB finally gets around to reminding non-readers of SoSF, and himself as well, that Buck was (somehow) diagnosed with CTE shortly after Bull was. But while Buck has yet to manifest any of the symptoms we’ve seen in Bull, he is apparently crippled by survivor’s remorse.
I want to thank the commenters who’ve shared their very personal stories about cognitive dysfunction and depression. It looks like Batiuk has once again drawn a response from his readers by addressing another thought-provoking and sensitive topic…and getting just about everything wrong.
The North Carolina reference in today’s strip led me to Grandpa Google: I read about a study, being conducted by UNC, of 2,500 former NFL players, investigating “the potential long-term neurological effects from concussions.” Maybe Bull’s “cup of coffee* with the [St. Louis] Cards” qualifies him for such a study, but the majority of his “repeated concussions” had to have taken place during his high school and college playing career. One could hardly fault the NFL for refusing to pay for his care.
* “A ‘cup of coffee’ is a North American sports idiom for a short time spent by a minor league player at the major league level. The idea behind the term is that the player was only in the big leagues long enough to have a cup of coffee before being returned to the minors. The term originated in baseball and is extensively used in ice hockey, both of whose professional leagues (MLB and the NHL) utilize extensive farm systems; it is rarely used in basketball or American football since neither the NBA nor NFL have implemented a true farm system.” —Grandma Wikipedia