Monday, July 11, 2016

A PWE from Nachos Grande -- Is It Just a Fad?

In case you missed it, it's the All-Star Break. Wednesday is the one night of the calendar year when none of our major sports have any games scheduled. Heck, not even our minor sports have anything scheduled, unless you count walking around with your phone in your face and chasing imaginary Pokémon GO characters. 

In that case, your minor sport has something scheduled, and it's big. I mean, after all, you could use this as your big opportunity to meet your mate -- like this (humorous) post on Huffington Post where Aaron promises women playing the game that his bedroom is the home to a number of rare Pokémon GO pocket monsters. And, hey, how about that double entendre? 

Before you stop me and go all "Um, actually..." on me, I understand that "Pokémon" actually is a portmanteau for "Pocket Monster." To be honest, though, I missed the Pokémon window back in the mid-1990s. I was busy with my first two years of law school, and, by that point, I had no real interest in the Nintendo Game Boy. My interests at that point laid strictly in trying to meet women in the bars in Athens, Georgia.

I mean, which would you pick?


If you have a problem answering that question, that's cool. It's not a problem. Each to their own and all that.

But my answer was never and was never going to be a cartoon character.

The Pokémon thing got me thinking, though, about some past fads that were popular for a while and then went away -- either for the most part or entirely.  And, what better a way to introduce the cards Chris of Nachos Grande sent me than with some of my favorite fads.

1. Rollerblades

Rollerblading was huge in the mid-1990s. Heck, I even had rollerblades and used them regularly while I lived in the flatlands of southeastern Wisconsin during my year off from school after college and before law school. I brought them along with me to law school in Athens, but it was way too hilly to consider trying to use them to get anywhere.

Apparently, rollerblading is still a thing around the paths of Newport Beach, California. And, it is also acceptable, apparently, to follow a hot woman in a bikini around with a drone while she rollerblades. I'd guess she was in on it, because otherwise this video is pretty skeevy. 

Then again, if you watch to the end, the dude with the drone is pretty skeevy no matter how you cut it.

If we are going for skeevy cards, let's talk about the weird wall that Topps imposed on team cards in the late aughts to avoid having to get image rights' waivers from every clubhouse attendant and bat boy in the league. Those cards looked terrible, and Topps knew it. Rather than getting approvals, however, Topps simply jettisoned the cards. 

Maybe Topps should have gone with the 1977 Cubs look instead (note: not my card).

2. Honey Boo Boo

I never, ever understood Honey Boo Boo.  Some folks were simply completely enamored with the exploits of an exploited toddler who was between 6 and 8 years old named Alana. The entire family scared the living daylights out of me -- for reasons not least of which include the fact that they live in Georgia.

I never watched an episode, but this was truly a fad. It lasted for four seasons and ended only when Alana's mother was outed as being "romantically involved" with a registered sex offender.

I suppose, I imagine, I should be happy that they didn't go to the usual "pick on Southerners" stand by of having that woman date a cousin.

Another rather inexplicable phenomenon from around 2007 was identifying Dennis Sarfate as some sort of potential rookie star from somewhere. He always walked far too many people to profile in the majors as anything other than a reliever. To be fair, he's now made quite a good life for himself in Japan as a closer with Hiroshima (2011-2012, 44 saves), Seibu (2013, 10 saves), and Softbank (2014 to the present, 105 saves and counting, including his current season of 40 innings with 47 strikeouts, 19 hits allowed, and 6 walks allowed). Pretty much a Quad-A guy.

3.  Daisy Dukes

This song, released in 1993, gave a comeback to the really short jean shorts made famous in the 1970s by Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard. Personally, I find that Daisy Dukes can be a double-edged sword. While Catherine Bach -- or Jessica Simpson in the revival movie, or Katy Perry in the 3OH3! video for "Nice Legs, Daisy Dukes" -- make these look really good, that's not a universally good look.

See what I mean?

Similarly, I view the 1960 set -- and its Heritage throwback cousin/redo -- in a similar vein. While a lot of the cards look good, not all of them do. This one bleaches out Ray Durham's face and makes his eyes look really weird.

At least, though, it doesn't make him look like a Person of Walmart.

4. Mexican Jumping Beans

When I was a little kid of 5 or 6, the local "variety" store had a bunch of "Mexican Jumping Beans" in containers for sale at the cash register -- pretty much right next to the packs of baseball cards. The reality of these things is that they are actually seed pods inhabited by the larva of a small moth -- as the video above shows.

At least they are authentically Mexican, coming from the mountains of Sonora, Sinaloa, and Chihuahua.

Unlike the Mexican jumping beans, Felipe Lopez is actually a well-traveled native of Puerto Rico who attended high school in Florida. Lopez played parts of two seasons -- 2009 and 2011 -- with the Brewers, totaling 82 games and hitting .300/.384/.409 with the team. That production was entirely out of line with his overall career numbers of .264/.333/.391.

5.  Miniskirts

What can I say -- I'm a sucker for any excuse to put videos and photos of beautiful women dancing (or, for that matter, standing still) on my blog. I know most of you probably don't mind my doing this either. 

Perhaps there are photos out there somewhere of Manny Parra in a miniskirt. I couldn't find any. But, I did find one of new Red Sox closer Brad Ziegler dressed as Raggedy Ann.

Topps -- or maybe Upper Deck -- needs to make a "Rookie Initiation" set with photos like this one. They really do.

I can even help -- here's the Brewers' initiation from 2014 from a Sports Illustrated gallery that included the Ziegler.

I'm not sure how I start with Pokemon and end up with a photo of a bearded Hooters girl, but PWEs sometimes do weird things.

Thanks, Chris, for the great cards!


  1. Would it have killed you to put a picture of Bach or Simpson in place of . . . oh, THE HORROR!

  2. "Hot girls rollerblading" you win

  3. I have a friend that lives near a Pokemon hot spot. She told me that she counted close to a 100 people.

  4. I'm with P-Town Tom. That image is a complete contradiction to the one above. By the way... Regarding the UGA lady... My wife was all like "What are you looking at?" So you got me in trouble. I refuse to be accountable.