2003 Czech Stadion World Stars #539: Jozef Stumpel
Boston Bruins center Jozef Stumpel is about to sneeze. Or maybe he’s yawning. Or maybe…
…maybe Stumpel is singing into an imaginary karaoke microphone. There could be an imaginary karaoke microphone in his hand.
Or maybe Jo stubbed his big toe, or maybe he is about to bite a giant, imaginary turkey leg.
Or maybe he’s showing you his “Oh-Face,” which in this case would be called his “Jo-Face.” Because his name is Jozef.
Whatever the real story behind this photo may be, it is nonetheless a pretty terrible picture to use on a hockey card. Why this picture? Couldn’t they have found a slightly better picture of Stumpel? Maybe one where his mouth is closed and his eyes are open? This is as embarrassing as the photos used on the cards of Glen Hanlon and Bryan Pitton.
This particular card was found in a Czech magazine called Stadion, which included trading cards of athletes from various sports. Sort of like how Sports Illustrated for Kids includes trading cards, albeit not perforated and on flimsy stock, and with worse photographs.
The back of the card credited Reuters at the bottom, so I was able to track down the original, uncropped photo.
This pic was taken during the second period of Game 5 of the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens on April 27, 2002. The Canadiens player in the picture is defenseman Karl Dykhuis. Stumpel did assist on a goal by Sergei Samsonov, but this picture is not from that play. So, it isn’t like this is some sort of strange Slovakian scoring celebration.
I’m not sure what the bigger mystery is here: why Stumpel is making an oh-face, or why Stadion chose to use this picture. Regardless, it still goes down as one of the worst photos used on a hockey card.
What do you think is going on here? Leave a comment below on why you think Stumpel is making that face. ■
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.