First, people from Wisconsin are super nice people -- nicer even than Southerners. Thing is, they are also incredibly blunt and have a little less tact than most folks do, so they'll tell you to your face what a moron you are for doing something stupid, but then they'll laugh about it with you and buy you a beer, a shot of Jager, and a brandy old-fashioned sweet.
Similarly, Minnesota people are incredibly nice people. They are so preternaturally nice that they even mock themselves for it -- calling it "Minnesota Nice." Minnesota Nice means something close to this: let's say it's 10 below zero outside in Minnesota -- you know, October. If they see your freezing butt walking around without gloves, they'll hand you their gloves, tell you it's no big deal, and continue to tell you that they are good even as you watch their hands turn purple and fall off from frostbite. It's Minnesota Nice -- niceness to the point of craziness.
The other thing, though, is that there is truly a major divide at the Mississippi River, the St. Croix River, and that straight line north to Lake Superior when it comes to sports. Sure, there are a fair number of Packers/Brewers fans that live west of that line and there are a few Vikings/Twins fans that live east of that line, but it is a lot fewer than you would expect. Within that divide is a major, hateful rivalry that makes the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry appear tame. It is certainly more on the NFL side and many folks will tell you that the Vikings fans hate the Packers fans much, much more than the other way around (like this ESPN article that claims that Packers fans pay more attention and save more bile for the Bears than for the Vikings).
That's partially because Chicago is closer to the major metropolitan areas in Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and partially because the Vikings haven't won a Super Bowl. Ever. Despite 4 tries.
I will add that the Twin Cities have plenty of gorgeous, tall blond women like these two. It's all that Nordic ancestry. In fact, Travel + Leisure magazine ranked the Twin Cities in the Top 10 for attractive, athletic, likable people -- at number 6, ahead of #7 Nashville, #8 Atlanta, #9 Honolulu, and #10 Tampa. By the way, Detroit had the least attractive people in the country. So, the two women above should not be seen as outliers.
It's to the point that there are plenty of Minnesota Twins fans -- many from the upper Midwest outside of Minnesota in particular -- who eschew cheering for the Vikings and choose, instead, to cheer for other NFL teams. My Twitter pal @Brud4merica -- a/k/a Depressed Twins Fan -- is one of those. Even though he got sucked into being a Twins fan by Kirby Puckett, Brad Radke, and Jacque Jones, among others, he declares himself to be a Patriots fan. Of course, he's an Iowan (there's no other reason on God's green earth to be an Iowa Hawkeyes fan other than being from Iowa, so that's my logical deduction there).
He's also served our country as a soldier and now finds himself stuck outside of Augusta, Georgia. As good looking as Atlanta people are, that's how ugly Augusta is. I dislike Augusta with a fire of a 1000 suns. The best week of the year in Augusta is Masters week, and that's because all the people who normally populate Augusta leave town and allow outsiders to take over.
That's a long introduction to get to the fact that Brud sent me a nice little PWE of some great cards for my Brewers collection.
With the focus in Milwaukee on the future, I've been spending a lot of time getting my Bowman cards organized. I'm starting to put all the parallels and inserts into binders -- anything serial numbered to 100 or more goes into the binders, with anything else that I have being a bonus. I'm into 2007, so it's been slow going, but I'm getting there. Hopefully soon I'll have caught up entirely so I'll know how many of these Monte Harrison cards I have. I think it's more than one, but I don't know for sure.
A little unlogoed love here. I needed the Lucroy for my Donruss-Lite collection from this year. I'm not sure about the Yount yet -- getting the Panini parallels and inserts into binders is low on the priority list; finishing off the oddballs is after Bowman, followed by all the Topps parallels and inserts. So, when I finish that sometime in the middle of 2018, I'll get around to the Panini parallels.
These Panini cards helped protect the card that was the focus of the PWE:
I miss Upper Deck. Sure, they did all the crazy parallels that Topps now feels obligated to try to recreate. But Upper Deck cards just were (shhhhh....don't say it too loudly) BETTER than Topps's efforts for the same years. Seriously. Upper Deck Masterpieces did the whole "artsy card" that Topps started with Gallery a lot better, frankly, than Gallery did it. This 2008 UD Masterpieces "Captured on Canvas" is excellent -- the texture of the card, in particular, feels like it is actual canvas that artists use for oil painting. I know it's probably not, but it feels like it.
My thanks go out to Brud both for the service to our country and for the cards. I'm putting together a responsive envelope for you soon.