It’s been a long baseball season, and a fairly poopy one on many fronts. The Mets were 15-9 in April and are 10-4 this month, but they stunk in May and absolutely cratered in June. The Orioles… well, the only month where the O’s had a non-awful record was March when they went 1-1. Even on the minor league level, the weather kept me from going to anywhere near as many games as I usually attend, and the teams I did see were not particularly good nor promising.
So maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me when I watched a football game last weekend and actually got into it. I normally pay little attention to football until at least October (and hopefully November if I have a strong rooting interest in the MLB Postseason), but here I was on September 9th enjoying a Steelers/Browns matchup.
Well, maybe “enjoying” isn’t entirely the right word. It was entertaining, but due to rain and other factors, it wasn’t the best-played game you’ll see all year… and it ended in a tie (which, as far as I’m concerned, was a victory for the Browns).
But it inspired me to make some football customs, which may or may not end up being a series. This year has been filled with custom sets I started and never took as far as I’d originally intended.
I wanted to pay homage to a vintage football set, and after much deliberating I decided to be “Heritage-y” and observe the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Topps set.
With Le’Veon Bell holding out, Steelers’ running back James Conner got nearly as many carries (32) and yards (144) as he did all of last season, plus he scored two touchdowns and caught five passes.
Conner is a local guy who’s from Erie, PA and went to the University of Pittsburgh. Le’Veon is still sitting at home, so I would guess that Conner’s the guy again against the Chiefs this afternoon.
As for the Browns… Much to my surprise they didn’t suck. I have to admit, I liked seeing excited fans in the stands in Cleveland. I wasn’t sure who to feature on a Browns custom, so I let the availability of images dictate my choice to a large degree and I went with new QB Tyrod Taylor.
The Browns acquired Taylor from the Buffalo Bills for a 3rd round draft pick this past Spring.
OK, that’s it for football this week. I guess we’ll see how inspired I am to make more customs after today’s games… There are probably at least some more coming, if only to justify the time I spent on the 1968 template.
Moving on to baseball… Even though they went on a tear a bit too late for playoff contention (barring an epic collapse by the Yankees or Athletics), I’ve been rooting for the Tampa Bay Rays. They’re 27-13 since the beginning of August, and staff ace Blake Snell has broken out in a big way and deserves some serious Cy Young consideration.
Snell has a 19-5 record and a 2.03 ERA and leads the league in wins and ERA. He’s also third with a 0.982 WHIP.
A note to the Atlanta Braves: It doesn’t matter how many former Orioles and Mets you acquire, I will never root for the Braves.
…OK, well perhaps grudgingly if they’re facing the Yankees, but in that case I will not watch.
MLB announced recently that there wiil be an all-star team touring Japan this fall, and Marlins manager Don Mattingly will be in charge of that touring team.
I’m sure he’s looking for a distraction for what’s going on in Miami these days.
The Orioles recently called up their 2015 1st round draft pick, outfielder DJ Stewart.
After 10 plate appearances, he’s still looking for his first MLB hit.
Just for funsies, I’ll “reprint” the custom I made for him in 2015.
I have to admit, I was uninspired as to who to feature for the Mets, given that all of their best players have already appeared on one of my customs, so I just went with an action shot I like.
Gavin Cecchini is on the Mets 40-man roster but has played sparingly and has not appeared with the Mets this season.
Just to wrap things up with another sport… Congratulations to the Seattle Storm who recently swept the Washington Mystics to win the WNBA championship. Breanna Stewart was named the MVP of the finals.
I only saw a few minute of the final game, but I heard that the WNBA playoffs were very exciting this year. Did anybody watch any of it?