*except the NFL
Three weeks ago we saw highly-favored Duke lose in the NCAA Tournament. Not the championship, or even the Final Four, but the Elite Eight--and they barely made it that far.
The NHL's top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning were swept in the first round, as were the always-dangerous Pittsburgh Penguins. Two of the top three seeds out West, Calgary and San Jose, are one loss away from first-round elimination.
Even the NBA playoffs have seen some surprises so far; the Golden State Warriors actually lost a game to the L.A. Clippers - the biggest playoff underdog ever while the second-seeded Denver Nuggets are down 2-1 in their series. Oh, and Tiger Woods won a golf tournament. woo.
All of this is strange, but it still has an "any given Sunday" feel to it. The greatest teams in sports can have one bad game or one bad week. It happens. One bad month, for a defending World Series champion returning a near-identical roster, is truly bizarre.
I keep waiting for the Boston Red Sox to snap out of this slumber and start winning... but it hasn't happened yet. Roughly 20 games into the 2019 the Red Sox are the second-worst team in baseball, behind only the Marlins. Kansas City has a better record, so does Baltimore. Tampa Bay has the league's best record, and they're running away with the AL East.
Yes, my Sox are suck right now. But I still love collecting Boston-based baseball cards - and Kerry included a bunch of them in his Guilt Free Basketball Card mailer:
Classic Clark, Pink(?) Porcello, and some early Pacific issues. The 2004 Red Sox were certainly an Elite team...
..the 2019 version? Not so much. These were my first 2019 baseball cards; I bought two packs of Opening Day shortly after opening Kerry's mailer.
Heritage and Ginter, including a David Price relic. Thanks again, Kerry!
Many of these have been added to my box of Sox hits, which is now overflowing! It's also the last box of baseball cards I've yet to catalog on TCDB. I'm going to try and finish all of my non-hockey this weekend.. which includes a smattering of non-sports cards.
My wife and I have been watching Stranger Things recently, and as of tonight we'll be all caught up on the first two seasons. I've seen blaster boxes of Stranger Things cards in Target (and a Jim Hopper relic on COMC) but I haven't been tempted to buy any yet. I like that Topps uses the old-school card stock - which makes sense since the show takes place in 1984 - and it shouldn't cost too much to put together a complete set.
That said, I'm weird about buying non-sports cards. As much as I loved The Hunger Games quad-rilogy, I only bought the cards because they were heavily discounted - and they were still a big disappointment.
Also I don't feel the need to have any specific Stranger Things scenes or characters represented in my collection. The only character that stands out to me is Eleven, and I'm not about to chase a piece of clothing worn by a pre-teen actor. (Wouldn't mind a Winona Ryder relic though.)
Have you watched Stranger Things? What strange sports story interests you the most?
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend, and a Happy Easter!