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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gil Thorp: The Internet’s newest star

Through years of putting together Page C2 in the Sports section, I became a loyal follower of “Gil Thorp.”

With his square jaw and closely cropped crew cut, the strip’s namesake is a throwback – a three-sport coach who also serves as athletic director at Milford High School. Most of “Gil” is fictional, but occasional references to real people and schools get thrown in from time to time. Heck, good old Willoughby even got a shout-out two years ago!

Thanks to its timeless nature, most stories told in “Gil” could fit in today or an episode of “Happy Days” and never look out of place.

But “Gil” has taken a decidedly modern turn in recent weeks. For those not familiar, Coach Thorp got bonked on the head by an errant foul ball at baseball practice, and the blooper was caught on film by a local news crew. Footage was posted on YouTube, and Gil became an Internet sensation, even if he didn’t quite understand what that meant.

Turns out somebody in the real world decided to have some fun with Gil, recreating the mishap in the Mudlarks’ practice. The hit count on the real YouTube video has a lot less hits than the fictional one – for now.

- Tom Valentino /


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