Well guys, if you ever want to know who buys the fake patches that give the donkey rapers their name, please check this out.
This card, is 100% fake. Its not even an issue. The Vikings do not have logos this big on their jerseys. All Day did not wear throwbacks at the photo shoot - at least they havent been seen anywhere if he did. This patch is obviously from a replica jersey as well, because the authentic throwbacks have more of a goldish hue to the patch on the sleeves. If this fuckface who sold it is trying to pass this off as a new style jersey, there is mesh around the Viking head, not solid fabric. Burning question - why in fuck's name would you even think of buying this card, let alone for 100 bucks? Even if it was real, its still event used. You could have bought a Montana auto, a Barry Sanders Auto, plus others rather than chancing it on this OBVIOUSLY fake card.
Whats more hilarious, is that this Coe Jollector still wants to get it authenticated rather than filing a claim. Typical. I love that in his original post, like a true JC, he had to tell us he had no problem "throwing down a Benjamin" for this. Two things, why post this in the first place, just wallow in your glory, and secondly, who fucking cares how much you spent? I laugh at you.
EDIT: Look at his photobucket! He has BVs listed next to every single goddamned card! Are you fucking kidding me? "Gee, look at all my Adrian Peterson cards! Combined $2000 BV!!! SICK MOJO CARDZ!!!"
Again, there are 100 posts per day exactly like this on the Idiot Bomb Message Boards. Why are there so many stupid people in the world?
Monday, June 30, 2008
Youtube, the blogosphere where everyone is a critic and everyone's a star. Trust me, youtube is not a fun place to make enemies/be unattractive. You cant be a made for radio personality over there, because there are millions of thirteen year old assholes who wont hesitate to put "Go home faggot" on your video because they have nothing better to do.
Yet, that hasn’t stopped the card collecting community from making YouTube the home of the box break. I would say that right now, there are at least 1,000 different collectors posting daily videos of their breaks. Every product that is available (and not available for that matter) to the public has video breaks devoted to it, and that wont stop. Personally, I watch them every day. I have no money, so to live vicariously through other people's breaks is a great thing.
Of course and as expected, Beckett and the manufacturers have gotten in on the fun. Beckett breaks boxes of every product that UD, DLP and Topps send to them, but you know my feelings on that. Topps' "rip parties" could be the most annoying thing ever, but ill get to that later. UD sponsors Diamond Vision where collectors can post their breaks, ill get to that later too.
So, without further adieu, I thought I would highlight the different kind of YouTubers that the hobby has created. Ill try my best to provide examples, but mainly this is just for fun.
Everyone on YouTube knows, or should know the Doc. Interestingly enough, he predates youtube with his breaks. He was the first one to think that it would be interesting for people to videotape people opening boxes, and most of the time, he doesn’t disappoint. His customers have become the stars of the break, mainly because of their weird tendencies and offbeat personalities. Doc has also documented some huge pulls, mainly the Oden Superfractor from Chrome basketball, the Adrian Peterson mirror black from LCM, and the 1/1 Ruth/Dimaggio cut from portraits that has been viewed over 10,000 times on the tube.
When it comes to his breaks, though, you have to be prepared for some stuff I want to mention. Now, I love the Doc, he is an incredibly nice guy and has emailed me numerous times on my stuff, but he gets the same treatment as the rest of the gang. The bad part about watching the Doc though, is that he tends to make a show out of the break. The breaks tend to be very, very long and he has become famous for making a huge deal out of minimal pulls. Personally, this isnt a bad thing for the guy doing the break as he does make them feel important for their time on camera, but it gets kind of annoying for the viewer.
Either way, he is the alpha, lets move on through to the omega.
The Straightfoward Breaker
This is the YouTuber that does exactly the opposite of what the Doc does. Its basically the pulls and nothing else. You see them open the box, you see what they get, but there is very little commentary and or excitement. I see this a lot from people who open a lot of stuff, especially high end stuff, because it is all very familiar to them. Its kind of like the hardened detective coming across a murder. Yeah, its sad and gruesome, but he has seen it millions of times before.
Chri5784 is the poster boy for the straightforward breakers on YouTube and I love watching his breaks more than any other person. He owns a shop just like the Doc and documents his customers opening their boxes. Just to show how straightforward he is, he doesn’t even show the faces of the people involved. We only know them from their voices and their style. Chris has been on a few times, mostly because he had no other choice, but for the most part its just the cards. His breaks are short and to the point and I cant stop watching.
The problem with the straighforward style is that it really isnt anything more than just the break itself. They pulled an Adrian Peterson 1/1 out of leaf limited and the guy didn’t say anything other than "That’s pretty cool." Again, it’s the style, but that can get pretty annoying. Cards, for most people, carry a lot of emotion and flare, while these guys sort of lose that. I know I would be pumped as hell to have the money to break a case of Exquisite, yet, they don’t really have any of the feelings I would expect from a collector.
The Kid Breaker
There are a lot of kids on YouTube, A LOT. They usually break low end stuff, and they try to act as old as possible, which usually means they try to be thugs. For the most part, I see them only get excited about the cards that are worth money, even discarding ones that I would expect them to like based on the teams they cheer for. That’s pretty bad when kids are doing this only to make money, as I thought that was more of an adult concern until I saw a few of the kid breakers on YouTube.
The Joke Breaker
I hate, hate, hate these videos. I mean, the guys poke fun at a lot of the right people, but its usually through some annoying gimmick. Whether it’s the guys who broke that pack of 88 topps, or the idiot who breaks high end boxes in the burger king mask, I cant stand them. Especially the Burger King guy.
Ill put this in italics because I don’t think its been discussed, and really should have its own post on here. Yet, because I am talking about him here, ill post it. Basically, this guy IS one of those thirteen year olds I talked about in the opening paragraphs. People have latched on to his breaks because of his gimmick, and his bad luck/commentary when he opens high end stuff. Its all basically "woe is me, I cant pull anything." Yeah, great, join the club fuckface. Sadly, a side of him that people don’t see, is all the horrible comments he leaves on other people's videos, including mine. In fact, I think he has even come on this blog and posted the same type of comments just to make sure I get the point. From what I have seen, he has left some of the most awful things I have ever seen on some people's videos that really didn’t deserve it, and when he decided to fuck with me, well, he gets a highlight on here. So, yeah, he is a douchebag.
The Mailday Guy
Hundreds upon hundreds, upon hundreds of videos are posted each day with people opening their mail. Why? I have no fucking clue. Its one thing if you are opening a package with some element of surprise, but its completely different when you use youtube to show off the cards you get off eBay. Funny enough, most of the cards arent worth the packaging they are put in. "Oh my god! My Craphonso Thorpe auto came! MOJO! YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!" (Video Posted). Give me a freaking break, people. Go post on Beckett and stop wasting my fucking time.
The Balanced Breaker
These are the guys that combine a little Doc and a little Chris. Most of the time, it works, some of the time it doesn’t. A lot of these people don’t show their faces because of people like the burger king assface, so the emotion doesn’t really fit when they try to spice it up. Its usually hands on a table with the box, and they open the box pretty fast, talking about the cards and a little about the hobby. I can tolerate these people, but again, it doesn’t always work.
The Recap Breaker
What? You have time to post the recap on camera but not the actual break? What the fuck. Another way for people just to showcase what they got like YouTube is their personal fucking photobucket. How about making a contribution to the society at large? Nope, just passing through.
The Overzealous Breaker
These guys are the worst of the breaker bunch, only because they feel the need to detail every single card they get, even the fucking base. SP Authentic breaks by these people are fucking brutal as there are 24 packs to sit through. Yup, 13 minute plus breaks. Its not uncommon for these people to look up the cards in the price guide as they break, which can be the most annoying, and joe collector like thing I have ever seen. You can be assured they have at least 75 videos per month, most of them being maildays.
The Far Away Breaker
These guys break boxes from 50 yards away. Seriously, the quality of the video is such crap that I can barely watch. There is one guy that owns a store and does it to showcase his huge fucking wall of overpriced boxes. Like I fucking care, I want to see the box you are opening. He rarely zooms in on the hit, so we are left with his barely there description.
The Foreign Breaker
"OOOO Matt Reinart!" Nuff Said.
The Manufacturer and Hobby Sponsored Breaker
Just refer to my other Beckett posts for my feelings on Beckett's breaks.
For the others, there are people that are sponsored by certain card companies, and those guy's only goals are to promote the company that sponsors them. What really sucks is that the one guy that is sponsored by DLP is a former pack searcher. Not to mention the fact that his breaks are so mind numbingly stupid that I want to punch him in the nuts so he cant make copies of himself.
As for Topps, we have had numerous posts about the rip party. The guy, Alan Nars is a loud and obnoxious host, and they cut angles so much that I get nautious. Its rarely about the cards and its more about the spectacle. Ill pass.
When it comes to UD diamond vision, they have the ability to use this medium as a promotional tool rather than sending boxes to Beckett. Because most collectors are all about being featured on or in beckett and love seeing themselves as many places as possible, this has been pretty successful. If only they would stop with Beckett.
Well, that’s all I can think of for now, Ill continue to add videos to this list as proof. Its kind of tough from work, so it will probably be later. Regardless, YouTube is probably more of a good thing than I make it out to be. Lets just hope there are more smart people that start up than dumb ones. I know, I know, it’s a pipe dream.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I just watched the Angels blow a huge game to the Dodgers one-nothing. What was great though, is that Jared Weaver, in a losing effort, pitched six innings of no hit ball - followed by two more no-hit innings by Jose Arredondo. They still lost.
God Forbid that Topps commemorate this moment with one of those crappy Moments and Milestones.
They've done sillier.
See that Vlad Jersey card? Yeah, it commemorates his third straight Intentional Walks title. That's just stupid. Yes, it's an achievement, but it doesn't deserve a frakking card, let alone a jersey card.
Even though I could pick it up for a buck on eBay, I just can't bring myself to go after that card, as big of a man-crush as I have on Vlad...
Was that TMI? I never know.
Secondly, thanks to reader abnsnyper for this. Holy fucking shit this is the funniest video I have ever seen. Six minutes and thirty-eight seconds of pure Joe Collector gold. I am SO GLAD his parents left so he could make a video. Too bad he only loves jersey cards, I would like to see more from this guy....
...just to laugh, and laugh.
The Topps Draft Day cards are pretty much sold out - you can still get OJ2 ($150) and Brook Lopez ($75). Beasely ($150), Love ($75), Bayless ($75), Rose ($200) and Gordon ($75) are all gone. Love, like the other 3 lower picks hard had 50 copies, the top three picks all had 100 copies. Bayless at 11 looked like the worst buy of the group.
Sigh, after being informed in comments that last year's gimmick cards were $100 apiece, I didn't put much effort into checking yesterday if I could afford the Love card, I knew I wouldn't be able to afford it (budget, remember - instead of cards, we bought a new Air Conditioner yesterday, because comfort is more important than cardboard.)
Besides, two or three years from now when Love is a comfortable role player, autos from this year's sets might be at a reasonable price.
So far getting my hands on copies of Topps Finest Draft Redemption #4 and 5 have been proving to be more difficult than I had hoped. Oh sure, there's TONS of copies on the WGM, but they've all been closing for more than I can spend at the moment. Plus I have this whole thing about not spending too much money on singles. I did notice that one individual had posted both the front AND the back of their redemption card, which would make it pretty much useless.
THERE IS A CODE ON THE BACK OF TOPPS REDEMPTIONS THAT ALLOW YOU TO GET THE REDEMPTION WITHOUT SENDING IT IN. Yes, there's a code on UD cards too, UNDER A SCRATCH OFF section. The code on the Topps cards are not disguised in any way, so that the first person without scruples can go ahead and enter that code on the Topps site and get the redemption. Of course, I'd assume that the codes are trackable, but come on, is Topps going to step up to the plate for the poor schlub who buys that card on eBay only to find that the card they spend so much for is worthless? Well, read this from our friends over at Wax Heaven.
In fact, I'm actually wondering how many Topps Redempton Cards available on eBay will already be redeemed by the time you get them shipped to you. In this instance Topps should take a page from UD's book and put a lottery ticket like scratch off area on the redemption card.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Funny thing happened today, I checked my email and found a letter from Gregg Kohn, football product manager for UD. Here is what he had to say:
My name is Gregg Kohn and I am the Football Product Manager at Upper Deck. I enjoyed your interview with Scott from DLP but I do have to dispute one item. Scott mentioned that DLP has more on card autographs then any other company and the facts dispute this. In 2008 we will have 5 of our 12 releases on card and in 2007 we had 3. I do not recall any in 2007 that DLP had with the exception of parts of Treasures. While I think DLP makes nice products I would like to mention that Upper Deck and not DLP is the king of hard signed signatures.
Upper Deck Football Product Manager
First, Greg, duly noted, thank you. Either way, of all the things you could have wanted changed, thats what's up? That one was pretty easy.
Well, I have asked for a similar interview to the one I did with Scott Prusha of DLP, maybe ill get lucky. I will say here, all kidding aside, I promise to be corgial and subjective if he agrees. Its the least I could do.
Told you they were watching...
EDIT: Thanks to Gregg for commenting on the SCU first looks for for Icons and SP Rookie Threads. If you are interested in these products, take a look at what he has to say, pretty interesting. More from Gregg to come...
First off, for those of you who dont know what I am talking about, here is the issue. Someone goes into Wal-Mart (or as I call it - Hell) or Targhaye and basically searches all the retail packs for the ones with the hits. They take them all home and either open them and sell the cards, or sell the packs on TWGM as a "Hot Pack." Joe Collectors hate these guys and basically blow their load when they get to brag about vanquishing them, regardless of whether they actually did.
Here is my take on it, and this is solely my opinion - so lay off.
When looking at this section of the scam providing part of the hobby, you have to consider it in two different categories. The first is the guys in Target and other retail outlets, and most of the time they are Joe Collectors themselves. I mean, who else would spend THIS MUCH time searching out two dollar jersey cards? Back in 1998, when Jersey cards were actually rare, I can understand why this may have been profitable. As for now, the packs cost more than the market value of these piddly pieces of shit. Also, why are you buying loose retail packs anyways? Are you a fucking idiot? Dont waste your money on this shit! The only time I would even support thinking of buying this crap (even in blaster form) is if your internet will be down for more than four weeks, the library is closed/far away/their internet is down, and someone has pipe bombed all the hobby stores in your area. Then, it is okay to THINK about buying retail. Otherwise, have some fucking patience, go to a hobby shop, or order from online. As said before, even if you have gift ceritificates, buy a DVD or something useful that may actually have value, because you wont get anything out of retail but a bad feeling that you should have spent your money wisely. Because of this, who fucking cares that they search the packs? Yeah, it sucks that they are that dumb, and really care about the money making part of the hobby that much, but really - focus your anger somewhere productive.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Dont give me that "they are robbing the kids" bullshit! Kids should buy hobby too, and if for some reason a parent lets them buy cards at target, they should buy the blasters. Plus, I have been to target at least twice a week for a year, and kids are never in that aisle looking at Sports Cards. They go after the pokemon ones.
Now, there is a part of this practice that I do say you should focus your anger at, and its those donkey rapers that sell resealed packs on eBay. They basically open the packs and take out any meaningful hit and replace it with crap and then sell it. Again, why are you even wasting your fucking time, but yes, these people should not be allowed to function.
Either way, stop being a Joe Collector and buy cards the normal way.
CBS recently released their Top 50 NFL players in the game today. Here is the article for those of you who want to check it out (I would). I wanted to respond, in terms of sports cards and sports in general, so my response is in italics.
1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: Can he do any more than he did last season? The scary thing for the rest of the league is, yes he can.
As of 6 months ago, his cards were the most expensive there was. Period. TWGM values soared higher than anyone expected, and a lot of people made a ton of money. These days, prices are still pretty high, but they are deservedly so. Three time SB winner, record holder for most TDs in a season, led team to 16-0 year. The guy is one of the best ever.
2. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts: Even Manning's down seasons are sensational. If Marvin Harrison is back this year, watch out.
Manning was a hobby giant from the beginning and he still is one of the hobby's favorite sons. His contenders RC auto was where Brady's was before the boom, and when all is said and done, they will end up about the same price. I think he is poised for a SB run this year, so maybe jump in while you can.
3. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego Chargers: His failure to play in the AFC Championship Game hurts his rep some, but he's still the best runner in the game.
If Favre was still playing, he'd be here. In terms of current stars, he was number two below Brady, which is very unusual considering Green Bay is...well Green Bay. Favre, although I hate to admit it, is one of the games greatest QBs and his hobby value will stick around for good.
On to Tomlinson, he is the 2nd RB in the Hobby, though he is first on the field. The guy has put up number after number and done it while pretty much healthy. As I have said before, that is a better judge of talent these days than anything. He also turned the Chargers from a perennial last place team to a first place one. His value is well founded and I see him as around where Emmitt and Sanders are when he is done.
4. Randy Moss, WR, New England Patriots: Talk about resurrecting a reputation. He wasn't on many top 50 lists a year ago. Now he's a top 10 player.
Randy Moss is great, but he wont be here at this spot after next season. Last year was one in a million and I dont see the Pats repeating anything even close. Moss has value in the hobby, but as a WR, he is not a hobby hero. I think one of the main reasons that Rice overcame that to obtain to WR value is because of attitude, which Moss lacks. He is a jerk and really wont be worth as much as he could have been if he was much nicer.
5. Champ Bailey, CB, Denver Broncos: It's chic to pick his game apart. That's foolish. Bailey is still the best cover corner in the game.
I agree that Bailey is the best CB in the game. Hands down. Hobby wise, he is the most valuable too, but that isnt saying much.
6. Mario Williams, DE, Houston Texans: Williams is making the Texans proud for passing on Reggie Bush and Vince Young to take this pass rusher. He might have been the league's best defensive player in the final eight weeks of 2007.
What a suprise he has been, huh? Bush puts up typical RC development numbers and takes the heat while Williams is cool as a cucumber. It showed last season too, as he moved into the upper eschelon of D-guys. Hobby wise, he will never be big because of his position.
7. Bob Sanders, S, Indianapolis Colts: The only thing holding him back is the injury issues. When he's on the field, the Colts have a different defense.
His name doesnt fit, but the guy is an anchor on defense. I disagree with his position on this list, because he isnt the reason the colts have a good defense. He is a contributor to that, but the D is good either way. When it comes to the cards, forget it.
8. Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: After Brady and Manning he's the third-best quarterback. The Bengals need to run it a little better to take the heat off him.
Why the fuck is he so high on here? God, this is crazy. He is good, but not even close in the top 10 here. I think Eli is better than him at this point and even Rivers and Roethlisberger have a shot at beating him out too. No chance. Top QBs in the league according to actual stats: Favre, Brady, Manning, Manning, Roethlisberger, Rivers, Garrard. No mention of Palmer. When you talk about his cards, other than RC year he is a ghost.
9. DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Dallas Cowboys: He was given more freedom in Wade Phillips' version of the 3-4 and played better in 2007. Ware is a speed rusher who has his best football still in front of him.
Another suprise to me, considering that there are other LBs I would put ahead of him. Urlacher has more talent but a shittier team, Merriman is about the same but not on as visible of a team. The 'Boys D is great, but for a lot of reasons. Screw the guy who wrote this article.
10. Kevin Williams, DT, Minnesota Vikings: He is a powerful inside player who teams with Pat Williams to form the best tackle tandem in the league. He is good against the run, yet quick enough to get pass-rush penetration.
All homer-ism aside, he is the best Tackle in the game. The Vikes now have the best D-line, and possibly the best D, so I say this is a pretty good spot for him. When it comes to Defense in the cards, he falls in line, and hasnt had an auto since RC year.
11. Shawne Merriman, LB, San Diego Chargers: Merriman is a pass-rush force off the edge. His quickness and power are the perfect combination for the Chargers' 3-4 system. You have to account for him on every pass play.
This guy is a fucking douchebag, but he is a great LB. Steroids and other violations make him hated around the league, but certain people love him - I bet you can guess who. Either way, hobby value is middle of the road because of position. Where is Urlacher?
12. Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings: He led the league in sacks last season with the Chiefs. The Vikings added him to give them the best defensive line in the league. Allen plays hard all the time.
This guy was amazing last year and made his division pay for playing. In cards, he has nothing like Williams, which is sad, but expected. He deserves to be here, for now.
13. Terrell Owens, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Forget all the theatrics. He's a star player. He bounced back from his off 2006 season to be one of the best last season. I'd take him on my team any day.
You want him on your team? You can have him. His theatrics are the worst thing to happen to football since Randy Moss said he doesnt play every down. The cancer he brings into the locker room isnt worth the production on the field, for me at least. Football is more intangible centric because of the nature of the sport - something I hate to admit - but it is. The same people that love Merriman, love Owens. If you can guess who these people are, you are a smart guy. They arent the Joe Collectors, in case you are wondering.
14. Albert Haynesworth, DT, Tennessee Titans: Before he got hurt midway through last season, he was on his way to a potential Defensive Player of the Year award. When motivated, he is as good as anybody inside.
Personally, this is bullshit. Only one RB before this guy on the list? Fuck that. You cant have a good team without a good QB and RB. You can have a good defense without a good DT. This is crap, especially because he hasnt put up what Williams has, and he is on a crappy team with a middle of the road D.
15. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Peterson was special as a rookie and should be even better this time around. He is a big, strong and fast and can rip off the big runs with an Eric Dickerson-like ease.
1st in the hobby, 1st in my heart, 2nd in the league. He wont be next year though, especially since MN didnt draft a good QB like Brohm to bench and develop this year while Jackson flounders for the last time. Stupid if you ask me. Plus, he still hasnt proven he is not injury prone, and he hasnt proven he can produce with 8-9 in the box. His values in the hobby will dip this year, but based on last year, he should be higher. 3 players in the top 15 for the Vikes though, nice.
This list is a D- for whoever wrote it, but it shows where the people in the industry put their values. If you aint a QB or RB, forget it, you wont be worth much. Kinda sad that defensive guys dont get their due. Here is my list for top 2007 hobby current stars, plus favre.
9. Manning 2
10. V. Young
I am so pissed right now. SO FUCKING PISSED. The Wolves get a great pick at #3 in Mayo, and then deal him, in true McHaley fashion. With him they unload Jaric's hugemoungus contract and Antoine Walker, but they lose a potential All Star that you can build a team around. Lets face it, Big Al and K-love are not people that are a Marketing exec's dream.
Just for fuck's sake, lets take a walk down memory lane:
1996: Draft Ray Allen (All Star, Great Player, Three Bomb Specialist, HOF?), Trade for Marbury (Conceded, Doesnt mesh with Garnett, gone after a few years)
2006: Draft Brandon Roy (2007 ROY, 2007 All star, Great Player), Trade for Randy Foye (Still undecided - probably wont ever be as good as Roy).
Basically, we are not good at draft day trades. Nor trades in general for that matter. Look at the Jaric deal that still looms over this franchise even though he is now gone.
I would document the years in between, but they are filled with awful picks that never pan out. When it comes down to it, Kevin Mchale is as bad as Matt Millen, and he needs to go to a hell where he is forced to watch the team he built over and over and over again for all eternity, while Danny Ainge laughs as he waives his ring covered hand in his face. What a fuck face.
EDIT: Just a quick name note. As I was going back through the draft day lists, I came across this wonderful name that I could never imagine anyone living their life with. Dijon Thompson. Fucking DIJON fucking Thompson. Holy shitballs, who names their kid after mustard? Can you imagine what his young life must have been like as a Basketball player? "Yo Dijon cant pass the ball, he cant even pass the grey poupon!"
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Get off my TV. Why, oh why, do they poor kids have to go talk to Stephen A, when they should be talking to the nice blonde lady who's stuck interviewing the decrepit dude who owns the Knicks.
Stuart Scott is fine, and Van Gundy brings actual information to the table. But Steven A, please go away.
Bucks pick Joe Alexander from WVU at #8.
Gotta love the old school lights in the banquet room, THAT'S how you know it's a draft.
Heh, 2nd time that two UCLA players have gone in the top 5 - according to Stephen A. Lucius Allen and Kareem were the first. If K-Love and Westy have half the career that Kareem and Allen had, I'll be happy.
Time to scour eBay for #4 and #5 Redemptions.
Drafts aren't THAT exciting, unless the teams decide to do something goofy. We already knew that Chicago whey STILL took the full five minutes though, what the heck?
ould take Rose with the first pick, they announced it before the draft started.
So Riles goes with Beasley after all and the draftniks and rumormongers are wrong/right.
Big Shock - Mayo goes #3 to Minnesota. Here's hoping Love is fourth.
Seattle takes my boy Russell Westbrook #4 and I'm stoked. I think he'll have a big impact in Seattle, and this is a fantastic pick.
Sorry about the pictures guys and gals, I can't figure out the HTML and my daughter is demanding attention. After all is said and done I'll try to get a post out about all the NBA prospects and their available cards.
Done with errands, ready to look at what's happened since this morning, and sheesh there was a ton of moves already.
SO the Clips and the Sonics are had a deal to trade picks, IF OJ Mayo goes at #3, if not I guess the Sonics will grab him at #4. BUT, apparently that's now off the table.
The Bucks and the Nets made a trade that may impact the #8 and #10 picks, I guess. Richard Jefferson goes to Millwaukie and New Jersey gets Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons, giving the Bucks a plethora of forwards, which means they will be more interested in Russell Westbrook or Jerryd Bayless. I really hope Westy doesn't fall that low to be honest. Bayless has already dropped in favorability in the last couple days, not a stretch to see him fall to #8.
ESPN says that while the Grizzlies like both Love and Danilo Gallinari, they are looking to trade down. Bad move. The Grizzlies need to replace Pau Gasol and who better than K-Love?
Both the Loose Cannons and the Mason and Ireland show think that Riles will go ahead and take Mayo at #2. Bah.
More as it happens, I hope.
Listen, I already posted on how people use eBay as their own personal collection showcase, but it gets a little nuts when most people wouldnt want the cards. For me, I love to go through the high listed auctions on TWGM because 75% are fucking laugh factories. Here are my lowlights for this edition of Tales from TWGM.
Since every day at SCU is bash Beckett day, let me clue you into another hilarious function of their store on TWGM. For the miniscule price of $99.99 (or three easy payments of $33.33), Beckett is also selling the plates from printing all their wonderful publications. Why buy a card you want or a box you want when you can have all four plates that printed your favorite magazine? Plus they are all 1/1s! BUY NOW, they are the only ones in the world! RARE!
Here is a pic:
So I am perusing TWGM and I come across this glorious display of DLP prowess, only to gasp horrifically when I see who is selling it.
Now, I know that the hobby's #1 source on douchebaggery (tm) does consignment auctions all the time, and that disgusts me to no end. But, to think that someone let Beckett get their grubby fucking fingers on this messiah of dual autos is kind of gross. Of course, that is not the reason that I am writing this post. I am writing this because of what was put in the auction's description, or that Beckett took upon themselves to label the auction as a card not pulled by them. When it gets to the point where you need to assert that fact, its time to stop busting fucking boxes on video, you soulless shitheads. Personally, I would love this card, but I would never put a fucking penny on an auction from these guys.
All wild accusations aside, since when does a magazine with a vested interest in any industry run eBay auctions? Does MacWorld sell people's Macs on the side? Does Gamepro sell rare videogames? Does Wizard, the Beckett equivelant of Comic Books, sell people's Spidey comics for them? No. No. NO.
Beckett makes this hobby a shitty, shitty place, and I hope they go down in flames one of these days. They are already on their way out, but I still see new threads posted on the place where the inmates have overrun the asylum asking what the book value of their MOJO CARD is.
For Beckett, karma is a wicked bitch, and I have a feeling she will be getting that time of the month some day soon for these assmunchers. Then we shall see who is laughing.
After today we'll know at least what teams our favorite college players will be riding the pine for in the 2008-09 season. I can't say that I've ever watched an NHL or a MLB draft, but I have watched SEVERAL NFL drafts and more than a few NBA drafts. A lot of times these things are extremely anti-climatic affairs, after all, everyone and their brother have already handicapped this thing to death, and for sure Derrick Rose is the #1 pick right? Well, we'll just see right?
So what's the latest scuttlebutt? Listening to sports radio yesterday in the car I heard that Pat Riley thinks that Michael Beasley might have character issues and is high on OJ Mayo. Hmm Riles, you think Beasley has character issues and yet flaunting your one-and-done lottery pick status all season or having boosters buy you Escalades and flat screens that a Freshman college student couldn't possibly afford aren't character issues?
Now these guys at Newsday say that Mayo is all over the board, one scenario has Riles taking a pass on Beasley and trades down for the #3 pick for Mayo, but then again, who really knows at this point in time, we still have over eight hours to go.
Other rumors I heard have the top two Bruins, Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook going back to back at #4 and #5, BUT here's the interesting part, there's now a good chance that Westy might actually go higher than K-Love. I don't think that would be a slap in the fact to K-Love, after all, everyone and his mother knew that the Freshman Phenom would be one-and-done, but Westy came on so strong this season, and has really impressed in workouts, that his draft stock seems to be peaking at the right time. That said, looks like Minnesota can't decide if they like $UC or my Bruins better. If the Phenom goes before Juice Pt. 2, I believe I might have an accident in my pants.
Denver has already traded their #20 pick to the Charlotte Hornets for an unspecified future pick.
The Indiana Pacers have just traded Jermaine O'Neal to the Raptors for TJ Ford, Radislov Nesterovic, Toronto's pick at #17 and a player to be named. O'Neal had the fourth highest salary in the NBA in 07-08. Only "Tell Me How My Ass Tastes" Shaq, World Champion KG and Jason Kidd of all people have bigger paychecks. Seriously? This guy makes more money than Kobe? And he missed a shitload of games this season, no wonder the Pacers wanted out. That should free up some cap room, though Nesterovic is scheduled to make more than eight mill this upcoming season and TJ Ford is right there too, so even with a three for one deal doesn't get them a whole lot of relief. Ahh, except that Nesterovic is only signed for this year and will probably have to take a huge pay-cut. Ford was highly prized by several teams, including most recently Portland.
The Knicks, now without their albatross Isiah hanging around to drag them into the depths of the NBA cellar, are looking to seriously restock, and some scenarios have them trading up to get TWO picks in the top 6. Somehow I doubt that's going to happen, but we know that they're high on Mayo, so they may be trying to trade up to the #3 pick.
NBATV is running Classic NBA Drafts throughout most of the day, featured are the 1993 Draft with Chris Webber at #1 and the 2002 Draft with Yao Ming as the top pick. I'd give you link to the schedule, but the NBA website only has last Saturday's schedule listed. Not good corporate synergy if you ask me. But you didn't.
There are several preview shows scheduled to air at 7:00 PM EST, the one on ESPN and one on TNT look the best. The NBA Draft is scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM EST on ESPN, and the first pick should come right after that. Should be Derrick Rose from Memphis, going to Chicago, but you never know what can happen. I have a ton of errands to run today, so I likely won't be able to post another update before Draft time, but I'll give it my very best efforts.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Wow, did not expect it to fill up this fast, but it looks like all ten teams are taken. That is fucking awesome, and we should have a pretty good time.
If you didnt get in, I would be happy to do one more league for those of you who still want to play.
Either way, ill post my fantasy guide later as we get closer, because I know you guys are just dying to know...
I know very little about the NBA Draft prospects and their talents, but I do know a lot about one aspect of the draft that never ceases to amaze: Names. Horrible, horrid, awful names. I personally believe that certain people should not be allowed to name their children without permission from a certified sane person, and yet every year, a new JerMichael, Craphonso or FreDanzo makes it into my realm of consciousness.
Regardless, last year's draft was one of the worst in recent memory. I mean, it was so bad that DeCody Fagg laughed to himself. Here are my lowlights from last year(in order of draft):
1. Acie Law IV - Im sure this is just a nickname, but the fact that he spells out Acie instead of the more common AC initials, makes this kind of suspect. Also its kind of weird that three other Acie Laws came before him.
2. Javaris Crittendon - What the fuck were his parents thinking naming their kid Javaris? Its like they drew syllables out of a hat and threw them on a sticky board to come up with this name. Dont worry, it gets better!
3. Daequan Cook - Lord, this is awful. Just beyond bad. At least his name isnt Dae'Quan as that would violate every naming rule in the book. Besides, is there like a book for these names or something? Jesus fucking christ, I would never want to collect a guy named fucking Daequan.
4. Jermareo Davidson - Im guessing this is a ghetto fabulous combination of Jermaine and Mario, but pulled off in a way that screams EPIC FAIL. At least spell Mario as such instead of leaving us with the bad taste of mareo in our mouths. Ugh, lets move on.
5. Reyshawn Terry - Do these parents like combining names or something? Is that what happens on the street? Cant figure out if its Rey or Shawn that is the baby daddy? Hell, pay tribute to both, thats the way! I know this is a gross and awful generalization, but I doubt I am far off with some.
6. JamesOn Curry - No that is not a typo, the O is really capitalized. What the fuck people? One capital letter per name please. Plus, if the capital letter is not in a normal place, you need to rethink your kid's name. Holy God. Also: this guy has a wicked 'stache.
7. Taurean Green - Im guessing the mom was drinking red bull while coming up with this abortion of a name. Main active ingredient in Red Bull besides meth? Taurine.
8. Demitris Nichols - Spelling error that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Demitrius right? Nope, just Demitris. My parents arent the fastest dribble on the court.
9. Jamario Moon - See his brother Jermareo for further explanation.
With that, lets move onto the projected awful names for 2008:
1. Jerryd Bayless - Please tell me what is wrong with Jared? Please? Fuck, these people have no idea about spelling rules, do they?
2. JaVale McGee - Multiple Caps, typical syllables, awful name. Someone should go up to his parents KaNasky and RaShownda McGee and tell them that their idea for a name sucks. At least they didnt name him Gorgeous. (See Name of the Year Website)
3. DeAndre Jordan - So, Andre wasnt enough huh? Talk about forcing your kid into one of two professions. You can guess what the other one is. Either way, I guess they just wanted something normal for their kid after their experiement with his brother DaKingShit went horribly wrong.
4. Marreese Spheights - Maurice? Nah, too easy. We from doubleletterville. Gotta go with Marreese for all the homies back hahme.
Other than those, the draft is pretty tame. Lesson to parents: think before you name.
EDIT: HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I didnt even to bother to look up what OJ stood for. Lets go to the board! Ovinton J'Anthony. Ovinton J'Anthony. Ovinton J'Anthony. Please, dont let that sink in - blood may shoot out your ears. This is so fucking bad that the kid hates his name enough to initial it! Fuck that Im calling myself OJ! I dont care if people think of the Juice when they hear it, but damn, what were my parents thinking?!?
If you didnt watch WIPEOUT! on ABC last night, you definitely missed out. Normally I dont go off topic here, but damn, this was one fucking funny show. For those of you who are Ninja Warrior fans, im sure you were right in your element. The difference? These idiots were not even close to the level of those people on G4 TV.
Special treat: John Anderson's commentary, MXC style. Check it out.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Well the Timberwolves have a new alternate logo that I assume will go on the courts and jerseys like the awful "Tinnesota Mimberwolves" one that it is pretty much replacing (SEEN ON RIGHT). Im sorry the logo is small, but I pulled it off the draft day hats. Hopefully this logo is used more often than not.
I think the new logo is ridiculously cool as the howling wolf is a logo that needs to be used more in sports. Either way, why does the Tinnesota log have fur around the letters? Somethings, we were never meant to know.
Now that Topps has seemingly taken over the baseball market for legendary players through hobby crushing exclusive contracts, Im beginning to wonder if Upper Deck will shift their focus elsewhere. First, before I move any further, let me again express the disgust I have over exclusive contracts in general. I think it would be much better if the companies had exclusive advertising contracts, meaning that you couldn’t feature their exclusives on your packaging, but you could still produce relics and autos. It would save us collectors a lot of time and money, and would still allow us to choose based on preference rather than the auto checklist. That being said, I would really hope that with the lot of players that Topps has secured, maybe we will see some new products pop up that we have been waiting for from Upper Deck. I say this because their legends and HOFer based baseball products were such a focus for them, made them so much money, and floated so many of their thin products, that maybe they will need to find a new boat to carry them to profit. For once, I will help UD out with some ideas. Not because I want to make nice, but because I think the collectors need a little pick-me-up. Here is what I suggest:
1. Legendary Cuts Football and Basketball
As it stands right now, pretty much every single football and basketball product that is released centers around the rookie class for the year. One of the reasons LC is so popular for baseball is because there was never a focus on current stars in the set. Until 2008, it was all retired stars and HOFers. With Legendary Cuts Football, I could see it being the same thing, sadly because so many football players die so young. Johnny Unitas, Walter Payton, Jim Thorpe, and Sammy Baugh are all players that could headline this set, with auto subsets for players like Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. I cant tell you how awesome this could be. Of course UD would find some way to fuck it up, but its worth a shot.
Now, for Basketball, this would be a little bit harder to pull off because the modern age of Basketball is so strong when it comes to the stars in the league right now and the living HOFers and Legends. I could still see Cuts from Mikan, Maravich, and Chamberlain being pretty big, and I think the set could do well. I would still do stuff with Jordan, as he draws no matter what. Its an idea, but I think the football one is stronger.
2. More Work on Football and Basketball Legends Than Before
Look at UD Premier Baseball vs UD Premier Football - they are completely different structures! Baseball focuses on a balance between the Vets, RCs, and HOFers to make the set buyable, where as Football focuses primarily on the RC stuff. There was so few items on the checklist that focused on the players of yesteryear that it was kind of stupid. Not to mention that the set dropped like a fucking rock after release in terms of price per box. Hopefully now, we can get some cards and products focusing on the living legend players and more cuts from the non-living ones. Old jerseys from FB are tougher to get than the baseball ones, solely because of the nature of how people viewed primitve baseball vs primitive football back then. That is still no excuse to not focus on the players.
3. Make Exquisite Better Than It Has Ever Been
First, there is one thing that FB and BKB have that BB never will have - super high end products. Most baseball collectors are like the ones you read about on most of the existing blogs out there, and they don’t like spending a lot on their products. There is nothing wrong with that, but it opens up a big hole for UD to exploit Topps' new focus on their baseball legends. Because Exquisite exists for the other sports, take the opportunity to redesign and refocus. No more crappy dual autos that make no sense, no more cards that look exactly the same as the year before. STEP IT UP. Make your best products into ones that will take the focus off your baseball loss. If Exquisite rocks, who cares that Legendary Cuts and Premier baseball have become crap, I know I wont!
4. Work On Improving Areas Of Your Baseball Division That Need Work
UD is quickly becoming as irrelevant in baseball as Topps is in Basketball. Although Jeter and Grif are still exclusives, they should work on building up the rookie based products. Topps is wiping the floor constantly thanks to Bowman, but you could easily cash in on guys like Jay Bruce, Josh Hamilton, and the latest Japanese sensation like Fuck-you-doo-mee. These guys all come in late season, so wait until things get going before starting work on these guys. I guarantee none of them have relics yet, so I would tout that as the focus of the set. As a collector, I would want that type of thing for my favorite guys.
5. Let It Go, For Fuck's Sake, LET IT GO.
I know that UD basically got caught with their pants down over the loss of ALL these guys, but they need to let it go. DO NOT TRY TO RELAUNCH THE PRODUCTS WITHOUT THE LOST HOFERS. No more Sweet Spot Classic, no more Legendary Cuts, and no more trying to fix your loss. Let it go. I cant tell you how much I would laugh if I saw UD try to put out more sets now that they cant produce stuff from the top legends in the history of baseball. Instead of Sweet Spot Classic Baseball, do football and basketball. That would be much more inviting to me.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Topps graces us with yet another inane "Rip Party", this time for Topps Finest Basketball, another super-premium product with a gazllion parallels and redemptions.
Be afraid, be very afraid:
Oh, the horror.
There were so many things wrong with that video it's hard to point out one, though I think the most obvious thing that stood out was the inclusion of Greg Oden as a 2007 rookie, and having it be a big deal.
Just an FYI, I have started a fantasy football league for readers of this blog. Free to enter, play for pride, draft is the Saturday before the season starts.
Im just going to post the info here, I will take anyone. If you are not going to keep up with your guys, please do not play.
I will post more info as the season gets closer.
Yahoo League ID: 77385
League URL: http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/f1/77385
League Title: Sports Cards Uncensored
Ever wonder what you would do in this hobby if you had a ton of expendable cash and the same wants you have now? I wonder all the time. Funny enough, if you are Keith Olbermann, you have a pretty big New York collection and a lot of money, yet your habits are pretty tame. I just stumbled upon his eBay feedback, and I must say that aside from some really huge overpays, he really doesnt do that many enormous purchases.
Personally, mine would be as follows (you know, just because I have a ton of extra money):
Case of 2003-04 NBA Exquisite
Michael Jordan RC Fleer - BGS 9.5 and above
Adrian Peterson 3 color SPA
Adrian Peterson 3 color Exquisite
Joe Mauer Logo Patch Card (any and all)
Tom Brady Contenders Auto
Peyton Manning Contenders Auto
Ladanian Tomlinson Contenders Auto
LeBron James Exquisite RC Patch Auto
Michael Jordan Auto - from some nice set
Case of 2007 Gridiron Gear
Case of 2007 Leaf Limited
Case of 2007 SP Authentic
Case of 2007 Exquisite
Alex Rodriguez SP RC BGS 9.5 and above
Joe Mauer Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Auto
Season tickets to the Twins
Season tickets to the Vikings
Has anyone seen this card? Holy fucking christ! I would have shit my pants if this ended up in my hands. Now, if there is one thing that has a large market, its civil war collectibles - and this is a doozie. I still stand by my mantra that our country's historical documents should not be destroyed for these purposes, but this is pretty cool none-the-less! Too bad they had to cut this card as it is because those signatures should be seen in all their glory.
While I certainly agree with Gellman's last post about the Top 5 best reasons and worst reasons to get into the hobby, I have a couple of my own nits to pick with our hobby, and while I think it's terribly uncouth to ride his coat-tails - so I won't - I have to get this off my chest.
When I started collecting sports cards there was ONE company producing product, Topps. If you were lucky you got a nice big base set each year and maybe a traded set (though that didn't really take off until there Fleer and Donruss started producing sets). Even by 1989 when Topps, Donruss and Fleer were joined by Upper Deck each company only produced one big set, with maybe an odd-ball set here and there. For some reason I always thought that Stadium Club was the first major "second" set from a company, but then I did a little research and remembered that Donruss' Leaf was the first time a manufacturer brought out a second major set in a single year. Why I had forgotten I don't know, especially since the 1990 Leaf set was (and still is) highly desirable. I know there's a 1990 Bowman set from Topps too, but that doesn't count since the cards were not standard size.
The 90's were known for the incredible amount of product unleashed on the populace, with a record number of card manufacturers making a record number of sets, there's still unopened CASES of product that flooded the market. One would think that the attrition rate for card companies in the new Millenium would point the way for the survivors to create a new paradigm with the amount, size and scheduling of the sets that they produce, but nope, you'd be terribly wrong.
For the 2008 Baseball Season Upper Deck has already released SIX major sets, and the year isn't even half way finished. Let's look at each set released so far:
Upper Deck 2008 Baseball (Series 1 and 2) - Technically two releases, but since they're named "Series 1" and "Series 2" I'll treat them as the same set. Now this is what you call a "base" brand, a label that UD treats with continuity from season to season. Unless they decide to add a series 3, it will round out at 800 base cards plus so many inserts I can't count. The set itself doesn't have a whole lot of thrills, a very basic checklist with a lot of veterans and stars, a smattering of prospects, and a nice series of "season highlights" spotlighting memorable moments from the 2007 season. These are the kind of sets we collected 20 years ago. The inserted relic cards aren't really anything to write home about, though they did try to do something special by printing new jersey cards in the 1997, 1998 and 1999 style of inserts. Sure there are autographs and other serial numbered inserts as well, but they are nothing to write home about.
Upper Deck 2008 First Edition - These cards as your "entry level" packs, they retail for a buck or two and are very, very light on the inserts. While the above series 1 boxes have 33 different inserts (including 5 different "StarQuest" set colors) First has only ONE insert. If you want an easy set to put together, this is it. The cards are also fairly uninspired, being unglossed and unfoiled versions of the standard UD set. The only difference is the lower number of cards (300 versus 800) and the card numbers themselves. I like this design better though, because you can actually read the player's name and team on the card.
UD Premier - This is one of those ultra-expensive sets, where packs cost $200+ and you get pretty much 7 "hits" in each pack. For that price, you'd better. If I'm not mistaken every single card in this set is serial numbered, and being an early release, this set had the first major rookie autographs and relics. This is one of those sets that makes me glad that eBay exists, because while I'll never be able to afford a single pack of this product, I've purchased two singles on the auction site. Of course this is also the set with the now infamous "Stitching Patches" which while they are very, very nice, don't even come close to qualifying as a "game used" relic.
Spectrum - I have no idea why this set was produced, other than to empty the wallets of collectors. A 100 card base set provides only three or four cards per team, and while all the "biggies" are in the set (Ichiro, Arod, Vlad, etc) the base checklist leaves much to be desired. In fact I don't see any RCs in the base set at all, though I'm sure I'm just missing someone. The biggest insert set looks like the Derek Jeter Retrospectrum set of 100 moments in Jeter's career. Nice, but I'm not a Yankees fan, and the UD focus on the Yankees this year is starting to border on overload. Oh, did I mention the FIVE parallel versions of the regular cards? Sure it's a very pretty product with it's shiney foil covered front, and there's oodles of relics and autos to pull (you're supposed to pull four hits per box), but please, was this product necessary?
Upper Deck SPX - When it was first introduced SPX wasn't a "super-premium" brand, just a premium brand, and thus still occasionally affordable. Now it's a 3 card pack that costs $20. Sure, one of those three is a guaranteed auto or relic, but a lot of those hits are really, really bland. Even though most of the hits are numbered to 25 or less, there's so many of them out there that it really doesn't matter that there's only 25 versions of any specific card, because in reality that same card has about six or seven different variations. This set is great for cherry pickers on eBay, because who wants to spend the money for a pack or box, when all the singles end up on eBay anyway?
Legendary Cuts - The brand of the moment because of the Topps lawsuit is yet another super-premium pack of three cards. Again, I just don't see the purpose of this set other than to flood the market with more relics that aren't worth the cardboard they're printed upon. I'm sure that the HOFer collectors will be salivating over the disputed legends cut sigs, but I can't say that I'm excited. I thought it would have been more interesting if Topps had succeeded with their lawsuit and gotten a court order that barred UD from releasing the product at all. Then what would UD have done with all those cases of cards they couldn't sell.
MLB A Piece of History - I guess the draw here is the inclusion of embedded pieces of paper along with your relics and autos. Though I'm not sure what the attraction could possible be - for example the Box Score Memories set seems to have a game box score (from who knows where) embedded on a card with a small swatch, and perhaps an auto. While that's kind of nifty, the dubious nature of the actual box score makes it not much more than a novelty. There are more insert sets here than you can shake a stick at as well, which is good since the sell-sheet guarantees one insert per pack. Of course if that's just a lame parallel, well, you'd be mad wouldn't you? At least here you get 8 card packs and 16 card boxes for about $70 per box.
So that's SEVEN sets and we're not even at the All-Star break. We still have Goudey and Heroes to come, and I'm sure UD will throw another couple of sets together just for fun.
Now I don't want you think that I'm piling on Upper Deck, Topps is just as bad - already this year they've released:
- Topps Series 1 and 2 (Base Brand)
- Topps Opening Day (Entry Level Brand)
- Topps Heritage (Mid Level Retro)
- Moments and Milestones (Hobby Exclusive)
- Bowman Baseball (2nd Base Brand)
- Topps Finest (Premium)
- Topps Co-Signers (Premium)
- Topps Chrome (Premium)
And we're going to see shortly:
- Allen & Ginter (Premium Retro)
- Triple Threads (Super-Premium)
- Bowman Chrome (Premium)
For two manufacturers to produce TWENTY different baseball sets is just going overboard. Several of these sets could be combined to make one product without losing market share, because all of this bloat has fragmented the marketplace. It would be a different story if each set had a compelling reason to collect, but the honest truth is there is absolutely no reason for any collector to purchase all these different sets. Each product, with the exception of the entry level brands, has a wealth of relics and autos to pull at various ratios. In fact, I'd say that the multiple different types of hits within each set further fragment the industry. If each set had only one or two different types of hits, there might be a better reason to keep buying different products. For example, if say UD SPX only offered autos and relics from rookies, while Spectrum had only autos and relics from super-stars, there would be a reason to buy both sets. As it stands now though, what reason does anyone have to buy these products, other than OCD?
Of course, you're sitting there saying, "that's all well and good, but do you have a better idea?" Yes, yes I do, and my next post will delineate the sets that I'd produce if I ran a Baseball card company.
After reading this blog for the few months its been in existence, you may think that I hate the way the hobby is heading. You are pretty much 100% correct, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think that it is a bad time to get involved in collecting cards. I think collecting SOMETHING, whether it is cards, comics, stamps, or whatever is a great way to spend time away from your work or school, and I think that collecting cards is one of the better ways to do it of those mentioned. The reason is pretty simple, as most employers gravitate towards sports and the world of sports, one can gain a great knowledge of that world by starting up a card collection. I cant count the number of times my card expertise has helped me make connections at work. Because my job deals with each and every state in the union, talking to the clients about their favorite team/player is a great tactic. I can thank my love of football and baseball cards for that.
With that, here are two top five lists on why I think it is the best time to get into the hobby, and also the worst time.
Top 5 Reasons Why It Is a Great Time to Start Collecting Cards
Ebay has allowed every collector access to almost every card out there at any possible time. It has also provided us with a way to determine price without looking at some douchebag's idea of what a card is worth in a monthly publication. It has become the stock market for sports collecting and has shrunk the hobby expanse into one singular website where you can find exactly what you want at market price at any time. It also gives people access to those 1/1s that normally wouldn’t see the light of day, and makes show dealers who price gouge collectors almost obsolete. There is a dark side to everything, but ill get to that later.
2. Wide Range of Products
Today, unlinke the golden age and silver age of collecting, you have a ton of products to choose from when deciding what box/pack to buy. If you want to spend $500 bucks, there are products out there for you, just like those of us who want to spend $1.00. Each product has different sell points and features, and you no longer have to buy a product just to collect the base set. With so many options out there, it has also benefitted the collector in mid range products because the companies will fight to give you the most bang for your buck. Products that once had one hit for the hundred bucks, now will have three to make sure they can compete with the other products at the same price point. Believe it or not, we benefit.
Thanks to the interweb, collectors now have other sources for hobby news that don’t stem from people that accept money from the manufacturers themselves. People like Chris Harris have been braving the blogosphere for 10 plus years now, and he has yet to sell out to Topps and UD - as far as I know. Other blogs like this one, Wax Heaven and others have taken it upon themselves to make sure that the wool is not pulled over our eyes without a fight - making it harder for the donkey rapers and scam artists that litter this hobby to get one over on people. Thanks to the blogs, card companies realize that the collector is not silent any more, and have actually made strides to please us by instituting ways to contact them other than through customer service. Also, it seems that some companies actually send their reps to read the blogs, even if they may publish disparaging remarks. I know for a fact that this blog is read by the three biggies, without a doubt. Thanks sitemeter!
Ever want to see what it is like to bust three cases of Exquisite? Done. Ever want to see what a product is like before you bust it? Done. Thanks to YouTube, collectors now have a haven where they can show the ups and downs of the box break and show other people what they have been wondering for years prior to its creation. Dr. Wax Battle has been filming breaks since at least 2005, and his videos are watched by thousands. His customers have become the stars, while the products are shown in a raw state with no interference from the producers themselves. Chri5784 has also created a way to see the products opened through his store, Cards Infinity, and even offers ways for people to have their boxes opened on camera by purchasing the boxes online. This would be higher, but the Joe Collectors have taken it upon themselves to make YouTube more of a burden than a blessing.
5. The Companies Actually Listen
Since I have gotten back into the hobby a few years ago, a lot of bad things have changed for the better. Redemptions are no longer taking 2-3 years to fufill, UD is going to let collectors choose replacements online rather than having it randomized, DLP is authenticating patches from their products with a special technology, and more and more auto cards are becoming on card rather than stickers. You know how all of this happened? Collectors from blogs, message boards and other venues have all said how much the above makes us fucking pissed off. For all the bad things that are STILL going on, its good to see that some of them listen to us.
Top 5 Reasons Why It Is a Horrible Time to Start Collecting Cards
1. eBay Scams
Due to the faceless transaction created by eBay, it has become commonplace for people to scam others by a number of ways. Whether it is trimming cards to make them seem like they are in better condition than they are, resealing crap autos and jerseys into packs and calling them "hot packs," or inserting fake patches into cards to make them more valuable, it is no longer 100% safe to buy anything anymore. Personally, due to this fact, I wont buy from overseas, I wont buy ridiculous looking patches unless it is obvious that they are real, and even PSA/BGS cards make me think twice now. It sucks how many people there are that take advantage of others. What sucks even more, is that the more money the scam artists make off the Joe Collectors, the more likely they are to continue, and the more likely eBay is to do nothing due to their own interests in the deal. For shame…
2. Card Companies and Hobby Authorities Using Our Mediums Against Us
If you think that blogs and YouTube are a blessing, you are only partially correct. Thanks to these mediums, people like the manufacturers have the ability to peddle their products and make it seem like they are giving us what we would normally get from a regular non-affiliated collector. Beckett and UD consipired to shit out the worst thing to happen to the hobby in years with their awful staged Exquisite break on YouTube, that made it seem like what they got was actually possible for all us regular people out there. Most of the Joe Collectors thought it was all 100% luck, and therefore Beckett and UD accomplished their goal. Beckett also has a blog and a message board where "collectors" can go and speak their mind. What most people don’t understand is how much the manufacturers are actually involved. It is no longer a collectors voice like it used to be.
3. Graded Cards
Ebay created a necessity for collectors to know what they were getting in terms of condition without actually looking the card over themselves. Who were the first people to jump on that idea? Why, Beckett of course! They turned condition into a business by starting to grade cards that were submitted to them by collectors. The problem? Well, despite selling their own graded cards for profit, Beckett created a way for more and more people to make this hobby into a business venture. High graded cards have started to carry an enormous premium, and there are thousands of collectors out there who believe there is no marketing element involved in letting a third party grade cards. Not many people question the grades from BGS and PSA, but they should. The cards are not looked over as thoroughly as you would expect, and the bigger the order, the less time is spent on each card. Another way Beckett screws you over.
4. The Dumbing Down of the Joe Collector
Most of the bad things about the hobby are easier to spot than a black guy at a Knicks game, yet the Joe Collectors out there are getting dumber by the day. Every single day I see posts on the message boards or I get emails from people who just don’t get it, or refuse to get it. My favorite are the latter. They refuse to believe that they are being scammed or had, and even when presented with overwhelming evidence, they couldnt care less. I documented their life in my post earlier, so please check that out before going any further here. Plus, they have more money to spend than ever because they think that card collecting is the best possible way to make money. Forget stocks or gold, they want jerseys and autos and they wont stop until their PC is filled with "Sick MOJO cardz!"
5. The Card Collecting Kids We Grew Up As Are Pretty Much Dead
Cards are a multi billion dollar industry for the people involved, and they are no longer focused on bringing in the kids we once were. The average box price has jumped almost 80 dollars over the last 10 years, and the average pack price is no difference. Since the way cards are produced is changing, the people who collect are changing too. Of course, the old school guys are still around, but many of them are as old as your father, or are fathers themselves. You used to be able to buy the best pack on the market for your week's allowance and still have a shot at the big boys. Forget it now, those days are over
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Well, I just saw the preview for the new movie "Dimished Capacity" which is about a man and his crazy uncle finding a ridiculously expensive card in their attic. The card is very representative of the T206 Wagner, and I would expect that the aura of that holy grail is what they were shooting for. Of course, the whole operation is cursed from the beginning, as selling the card seems to be a big fucking problem for both the main characters in the movie.
One of the characters in the preview, Dr Connors from Spider-man, answers "How much are your memories worth?" when asked about the value of cardboard, and to tell you the truth, I think a lot of us feel that way about our cards. Some of us have them for sentimental reasons, others as investments, but all of us have the collections to contain the memories we attach to them. From what I have read, this movie explores the outsider's view of a hobby based around a kid's dream, and also what the insiders have turned into in the process. Personally, I think this movie looks great as Mattew Broderick and Alan Alda seem to work well together in the preview as the outsiders looking in. Virginia Madsen was great in Sideways, and I have a feeling that this movie will take a similar soul searching approach as that movie did.
I think its pretty funny that it has taken this long for a movie about such an old hobby to surface, or maybe I am just missing the boat on some oldies but goodies. Either way, I hope a lot of people take the true value of hobby from this movie - that cardboard really isnt worth anything but what we as collectors put into it. Its not about making money, steals on eBay, or even pulling that 1/1 from a box you bought, its about having fun collecting things you love. Most of the manufacturers and other gurus of the hobby *cough* Beckett *cough* have lost sight of the kid in many of us, mainly resulting in a souless hobby full of cards that are only designed to seem valuable. If I catch the drift of what I have heard about this movie, I think I will be pleasantly suprised by my own reaction to a movie about the hobby I have invested so much time, money, and energy into.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Holy fucking cow! There is actually, finally, a nice Kosuke Fukudome Topps rookie card. Maybe Topps isn't as dumb as I thought. I'm sure I'm going to hear it from the base set collectors, but I don't give a shit. You'll just have to wait for Updates & Highlights. Topps had to come up with some way to sell what usually ends up being a hobby turd. Last year it was Jacoby, this year it'll most likely be a real Kosuke base RC. Either way, I don't care. This is a really nice card!
Friday, June 20, 2008
I just got an email from Topps announcing seven draft day auto cards that will only be available through the Topps online store. Here's the announcement. No price or print run yet, and you HAVE to be an online store registrant to buy, and you can ONLY buy one of each player. I just registered on the off chance that the cards will actually be reasonably priced. The list of players is stellar, pretty much including everyone I mentioned in my earlier post today:
- Michael Beasley
- Derrick Rose
- Jerryd Bayless
- OJ Mayo
- Brook Lopez
- Eric Gordon
- Kevin Love
Of course players are subject to change. Note though that these won't even be the first Topps cards for these guys, they ALL had McDonalds All-American cards, which have to be considered their true RCs. IN any case, hopefully these won't suck.
Being the nominal "NBA" guy here on SCU I was going to post a piece on the Lakers collapse in the finals and how badly they played in all six games, but why should I do that when So many others have done so already?
Suffice to say, the Lakers disappointed pretty much the entire universe outside of the New England regional area, but that's fine. After the off-season from Hell and Kobe's trade demands on live local Sports Radio, So-Cal natives really weren't expecting much from the Purple and Gold this season anyway. As the season began though, Kobe was still a Laker, Andrew Bynum began to play up to his potential, the Clippers spent another season in the basement, the UCLA Bruins with Freshman Phenom Kevin Love were atop the Pac-10 standings and all seemed to be better in the Los Angeles basketball world.
Until January, all was going right. Then Bynum got hurt, and the Lake-Show had to scramble to adjust. They weren't as good without an inside presence, and something had to be done to counter-act the sudden loss. Fortunately a certain angel with the initials J.W. came to the rescue, and in one fell swoop, the Lakers were pencilled into the NBA Finals. Oh sure, it's only rumors that the NBA logo was involved in the massively lopsided trade that got rid of also-ran, hands of stone Kwame Brown and no-potential Javaris Crittenden for the spectacular Spaniard Pau Gasol, but because I believe that Kevin McHale gift-wrapped K.G. for the Celts, then I can believe that the Logo got involved in the Pau deal.
Of course, the only problems with handing someone the title is that the games still have to be played, and the Lakers, after blowing through the Western Conference bracket met up with a team of destiny. Yes, I'll call this year's Celtics a team of Destiny. You see it every now and then in sports, a team pieced together specifically to win THAT year. I'm talking both champion Florida Marlins squads, the '86 Bears, the 84 Tigers, the 93-94 NY Rangers, etc. That's what these Celtics are. Now that they've gotten their rings and the rest of the NBA has seen what they're capable of doing, teams will adjust to their style of play, and while they may contend for as long as they can keep K.G., Pierce and Allen together, I doubt they'll win another ring.
So while we put this NBA season to bed and the Celtics enjoy their moment in the sun, there's still one last event that caps this season, and begins the speculation for next season, the NBA Draft.
Only the NFL Draft has the same immediate impact on the professional level as the NBA Draft, and that's only because of the sheer number of players chosen who end up playing in the NFL the next season. The NBA draft is the smallest of all four sports: the MLB Draft can be up to 50 rounds with some 1,500+ players chosen, the NFL Draft is 7 rounds with over 250 players, the NHL draft (which starts today in a couple of hours) is also 7 rounds with over 200 players. Of course, the NBA also has the smallest roster-size of any of the four major sports with only 12 players to a team, whereas we all know how bloated the NFL rosters can get. Seriously, there's usually a roster spot for the guy who holds the ball on field-goals and extra-points (OK that's also usually the back-up QB, but come on).
For me, this year's draft is somewhat of a novelty, because my alma-mater (and the only college I ever really wanted to attend) UCLA has three potential selectees, after the entire starting roster (and a couple subs) declared for the draft earlier. Fortunately our starting PG Darren Collison and Senior Josh Shipp will be returning to Westwood to welcome an all-star recruiting class with two potential All Americans who played in the McDonalds game (Jrue Holliday and Malcolm Lee).
The Bruins have had a great couple of drafts recently too, with Arron Affalo going to the Pistons last year at #27 and Jordan Farmar (my current favorite Bruin in the NBA) going #26 to the Lakers. This year should be even better, with K-Love as a lottery pick (some draftniks have him going at #5 to the Grizzlies) and our BACKUP PG Russell Westbrook going somewhere else in the first round. The Prince of Cameroon (seriously, he's a real Prince) Luc Richard M'bah-a-Mouté has a good shot at a second round pick, and even our lanky Senior post-player Lorenzo Mata-Real has a chance at making an NBA roster. Yes, the NBA Draft should be a great day for the Blue and Gold.
Of course, this blog is about SPORTS CARDS, so let's take a look at the consensus lottery picks so that the NBA collectors have an inkling of who they want to pull in a few weeks when 2008-09 Cards start popping up which should be sometime in August. Today I'll look at the top five selections, saving the others for another post.
- Derrick Rose PG Freshman - Memphis - This guy tore up the tournament and the regular season, only losing TWICE during his one and only NCAA season. He's the most common number one pick in mock drafts, and could be the one piece to put the Bulls back to the elite level in the East.
- Michael Beasley F Freshman - Kansas State - The lanky lefty (6'10 235 lbs) had an ungodly 26.2 scoring average, taking the Wildcats to the second round of the tourney. He also shoots the three with deadly accuracy.
- O.J. Mayo G Freshman - USC - To me Mayo is the most overrated player in the draft, having watched his game all season, it's either all or nothing with this kid. Sure, he has great game, BUT in money situations he doesn't bring it. Add to that the legal controversy over his one season at $UC, the lavish lifestyle that he flaunted over the other priledged kids in downtown L.A., and his lackluster play in the Pac-10 tourney and the NCAA tourney, and I have to wonder why he's so rated so freaking high by so many people. I wouldn't touch him with a 10 meter cattle-prod. Maybe some day I'll tell you all how I really feel about $UC, but then again, I think you might already know.
- Jerryd Bayless - G Freshman - Arizona - Does it strike anyone else as strange the sheer number of one and dones in this year's draft? We're only in the second year of the new NBA ruling that did away with high-school kids playing in the league, and already we have a plethora of freshmen in the big-dance. We can only hope that this year's crop of kids will have better luck than that other guy who got drafted last year ahead of Kevin Durant and didn't play at all because of an injury. What was his name again? Oh yeah, Greg Oden. Getting back to Bayless though, he's a solid performer with a set of skills that has nothing but potential.
- Brook Lopez - C Sophomore - Stanford - I saw a lot of Brook and his brother Robin over the last two years, and while they didn't play as well as another famous pair of Stanford Twins, they worked extremely well together in the paint. It's kind of sad that they'll be broken up in the NBA, barring a miracle, but Brook is the stronger of the two and should have a good, if not great career in the league.
The NBA Draft takes place June 26 in New York City.