Overly-drastic sports fans can annoy me, especially because every sport has its own context around championship runs; in college basketball, for example, you typically need to get hot sometime in early March (and for UConn and Kentucky this year, that didn’t even hold, as they both lost in their conference championship). In the NFL, you usually need to get hot around Week 15 of the regular season — and this year, the Seahawks were basically hot for the entire time.
A couple of years ago, I was living in Connecticut and socially connected to a couple of Phillies fans. This was during the era where the Phillies were really good, and seemingly made the playoffs every year and the World Series every year too (that’s really just a two-year period, I know). On Opening Day for one of these years, the Phils lost; one of my friends yells, then subsequently posts on Facebook, that “the season is over.” Ahem. There’s 162 games. 1/162 as a percentage is .6%. Hard to say the season is over from that, no?
In the same vein, 12/162 is now 7.4 percent (a little higher), but through 12 games, the Milwaukee Brewers are 10-2, including winning nine in a row (that’s three consecutive series sweeps). This is their best start since 1987 — when they won 91 games, but still only finished 3rd in the AL East — but it should be noted they won nine straight at a point last April, and finished 74-88 then. Right now — through that 7.4 percent of the season — the Brewers are owning baseball, with the Dodgers (9-4), the A’s (8-4) and the Braves (8-4) as the only division leaders close. They’re only 11th in team batting right now, but are 1st in team pitching, which may showcase again the value of good hurlers over sluggers. (That said, it doesn’t hurt that Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Braun are hitting the ball pretty well.)
Point is, it’s a long season. By the time this thing ends, the NFL will be at Week 9. A lot can happen: teams getting hot, injuries, trades, call-ups, etc, etc. It’s not time to mint the Brewers quite yet, but sweeping the Red Sox, Phillies and Pirates — three darling teams of the past couple of years — isn’t anything to scoff at either.