Friday, April 19, 2019

Stranger Things

Sports are unpredictable*. That's why we love them.

*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! 



  1. Hey, you're back from another mini disappearance! Busy as usual I suspect? Not a fan of Stranger Things, I would go into a long diatribe as to why I'm not, but I'd probably end up unintentionally insulting a few people, so I will keep quiet. Strange Sports? The Mariners were something there for a couple of weeks, but now they seem to have fallen back into their oh so familiar ways... losing... a lot!

    1. Yeah, it appears that I'll only be able to blog on weekends for the time being. The only reason why I was able to get this post up today was because my bosses either took off early or didn't come in at all.

      Seattle was killing it for a while there. I hope they're able to get back to that and give the Astros a real run.

    2. Does this mean that you aren't able to read posts during work hours as well?

  2. I enjoyed Stranger Things, the first season more than the second.

  3. I'm a fan of Stranger Things. Bought a blaster of Season 1 cards but it's the last unopened product left from my Black Friday purchase last year. I guess I'm trying to hold out until Season 3's premiere gets closer.

  4. I've always held the belief you can't judge a team until the beginning of May, but the Red Sox are testing me on that hardcore. They're too talented to be this bad, and I still think they'll be a playoff team when it's all said and done. At least I hope..

    I liked Stranger Things, and my wife and I have been patiently awaiting Season 3.

  5. Never seen an episode, and wouldn't know where to find it I wanted to watch. If it weren't for baseball and the Weather Channel, I wouldn't watch tv at all. Hope your BoSox turn it around! Guess I'd put them as my third favorite team. Unless they're playing the Astros or Tigers, I always root for them.

    1. It's on Netflix. Season 3 starts July 4. Hopefully by then, the Red Sox will be in better shape.

      The Tigers were always a team I liked, especially when my father-in-law was still with us and they won a couple pennants.