Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cracking The Case!

I wake up this morning and I find a resolution to my paypal claim against the douche who tried to pawn off a graded BGS 8 card on me. As I opened the email, the blood in my veins started to boil as I saw that I had lost. Big time.

Well, all is not lost as I remembered that Dayf, who definitely deserves a link here, told me that someone had posted a pretty good system for cracking these beasts out of their case. I searched the internet for "TribeCards" as that is where he said it was. I followed the step by step instructions of cracking the hell out of the case and "pulling out the prize," and to my suprise, it actually worked! Thank the LAHWD!

So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the newly freed and wonderful Adrian Peterson Sweet Spot Autograph #8/25 (thanks again to dave from TribeCards):

Its so fucking nice, Im going to keep it.

See people? The lesson here is two fold - dont buy a card unless you are fucking sure that all is what it seems, and that not every card gains value when it is graded, so dont be a fuckhead. In fact, I created this checklist for you before you try it:

Is the card in immaculate condition?
(if yes, proceed down the checklist)
Is the card serial numbered to less than 2?
(if no, proceed below)
Will the card gain significant value if graded?
(if yes, proceed below)
Is the set known for being graded (ie Bowman Chrome)?
(if yes, proceed below)
Is the player worth spending the money to grade?
(if yes, proceed below)
Will this card sell for more than $200 without the grade?
(if no, proceed below)

If, and only if, all questions have been answered correctly, you may consider grading your card. However, I would always reccommend not doing so out of principal.

That is all.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Comment On The Exquisite Golden Ticket Boxes

When Exquisite Basketball first came out, there was quite a buzz over the few people that got to go to UD HQ and package their own box. Per the rules, they were to pack a box that contained the same collation as a normal box, so obviously, no 5 logomen boxes were possible.

As far as I can tell, due to posts on message boards, this experience was a complete bust. There have been 2 boxes revealed, one box kept under lock and key for eternity, one sold with no report of what was in it, and a few others that were never posted about. Of those boxes, the one kept under lock and key was built by a collector who was not looking to make any money, but rather keep it for his massive exquisite collection. He paid around $8000 to get the coupon to go on the trip. Fine, whatever, ill get to this in a second.

The problem that I see with all of this was the deliberate and secretive plotting and scheming to help those people who wanted sell their boxes. From what has been revealed by the people on the trip, UD asked them to keep quiet until Exquisite hit the streets (understandable - no objection here), but the people took that to the Nth degree and I dont see why. Its like these people swore themselves to secrecy so some money grubbing "collectors" could make more money. That is bullshit, and the contents of the boxes are something that people should be able to find out, especially if they are purchasing the sealed boxes on eBay. Plus, if you were never going to sell the box, why dont you tell people what was in it? Inquiring minds would like to know, including myself, considering the junk that was in the two revealed boxes.

So far, the best cards out of these boxes were a Jordan/Bron dual auto /15 and an MJ Scripted Swatches /10. No logomen, no 1/1s. In fact, one person paid 6500 for the sealed box and pulled about 1000 in cards. That sucks. The fact that these boxes were allowed to sell, with the sellers knowing EXACTLY what was inside, is fucking crap. If the people who were there knew that the boxes were a duds, they had an ethical responsibility to say something. They didnt, and someone got screwed. Again, more proof that integrity in this hobby has no place. In my opinion, this secretive pact is just some bullshit way for greedy people to be more greedy, and for the collecting base to get screwed once more. I dont really know why this whole situation bugs me so much, but it just twinges those ethical bones in my body to the point of breaking.

To this day, only two of the boxes have been revealed, and the others are not surfacing despite all but one belonging to message board users and frequent posters. Its time to see what this experience brought, and I am looking at Upper Deck to tell us if the "collectors" wont. Hell, Beckett was there and they saw everything, possibly even building a box for one of the winners. Have they said anything? Fuck no, why would we expect any pertinent info from them? They never give it on anything else.

Product Review: 2008 Bowman Sterling Football

So, Bowman Sterling is out today. Normally, I would be pretty excited about a new product, but this set never pleases. I have rarely seen this set produce. Ever. Either way, Topps needed to put one step above chrome, and BEHOLD! We have sterling now. Anyways, lets get to the underwhelming thoughtful review.

The Good

Umm. Yeah. There isnt much good stuff to say about this set. However, the basic layout of the cards is pretty nice. If there was no player, just a template, the template is pretty cool. Its like looking at the insides of a clock or something - that’s the way I feel. However, as with ALL topps high end products, this is about all we got for good stuff. Im serious.

The Bad

Besides the awful stickers which I mention every time, I have no idea what Topps was thinking with the Jersey placement on these. I would have put the Jerseys where the name is, so that it doesn’t look like the whole card is a topple tower.

Im also going to file the entire non-jersey auto set under bad, because the cards are just "ruduckolosly" stupid looking. The poses and the placement, and pretty much everything is bad. Plus, a high end set should not need parallels. That is for crap and non-crap low end products who have to fill out their set.

Also, enough with the recessed auto windows. They look stupid as stupid could ever be. It only calls more attention to the sticker, and we all know how bad that is. I think its funny that of all the companies out there, Topps is the only company not to try on card signatures for anything anymore. The only ones they do are the RP Sigs from base Topps at 1 per jumbo case, and Bowman Chrome baseball. Get on it you dumb bastards.

Lastly, why are the basic non-auto jersey cards considered the rookies of this crapfest? The RC auto jerseys should be the focus, especially as a high end set, and therefore this is an EPIC FAIL. I couldn’t stand the cards with just an event worn piece of shit on it, because they hold no collector value in that respect. Jesus, just make a base card and call it a day.

The Ugly

Again, why are the players pictured without their helmet? Or better yet, why are they posed like they are playing their position? God fucking dammit Topps, don’t you get it? No one wants a card like this, they are fucking stupid. Give me some field shots and I will be happy, but if I get another one of these goofy ass, primped, posed, and pretentious sets again, I will stop even considering you a card company. Maybe you should switch to football glamour shots.

Also, the price of a box of these cards fucking blows. Why is it 200+ for a bunch of no-namers that wont see the field and one or two of these awful looking pieces of shit? Topps, how about you think about creating a set that has good pictures, good autos, a good price, and a nice design, and then we can talk. It seems like every company has managed this so far but you.

Lastly, lets put some first fucking names on the cards. I want a Joe Flacco card, not a Madonna like "FLACCO" card. Its like Mugatu.


Overall, it seems like this year sucks so far for cards. Hopefully once the good sets come out, we can revel in the dark ages that was the first few months of the card year. Fuck me!

Just a reminder: Absolute is less than a week away!!

I Am Not A Fan Of Stupid EBAY Sellers

I used to believe that feedback provided a great picture of who a seller was. However, I found out that was a sham quite early. Then I figured that if I do my own research, I could counteract a lot of the shitbag sellers that are out there. That worked for a good seven years until this month. Now I cant trust myself or the fucking system.

Here is the situation:

I buy an Adrian Peterson autographed card with birthday money on eBay. The picture is a little blurry, but it is clear enough to see that everything was as it should be. Nice auto, nice card etc. I pay for the card via paypal and the seller ships it out.

4 days later I receive the package and it is ridiculously heavy. Concerned, I open the package to find that he has graded the card and the card is a fucking BGS 8. Enraged as to why someone would fucking grade a card like this, let alone sell it, I contact the seller and let him know that this was completely fucking ludicrious. I show him that the grade, nor the fact that it is graded is not in the auction pictures, description or category listed. He immidiately responds with the excuse that he checked the graded card box on the auction (which he had), and that he is not responsible.

Thinking I had been beat, I tell him to go fuck himself and his shady dealings, and I resign to trying to trade it under less shady circumstances, mainly with a full picture. Now, because this card is one that SHOULD NEVER BE GRADED, EVER, no one wants it. I cant get half the value of what I paid - even as a BGS fucking 8. Meanwhile, this whole time I am cursing the Idiot Conglomerites who grade these fucking stupid cards that are not known for their condition.

After being unsuccessful in my unloading, I decided that it was time to make a claim with paypal to see if something will work itself out. Low and behold, there is a box to check that says "I have received my item but it is less valuable than described." Of course, I check that box, write up a long description of the transaction, and submit my claim. I called paypal to see how to submit the deliberately cropped pictures, and they said they have them from the auction. Hopefully this guy gets fucked in his ignorant fucking donkey raping ass.

Oh, and one last thing. As a local card shop, he offered a return policy for any dissatisfied customers. Funny enough it was only three days - not long enough for any one to receive their card and dispute it for a refund. Im wondering if his customers are just as fucked up as he is.

What a douche. Ill keep you updated on this.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Matter What Beckett Does, They Just Dont Seem To Get It

So I got an email from a few readers that Beckett was introducing "real time pricing" for the new, awful, and confusing site. They describe it as updated pricing every day and that you will finally be able to get NRP the day the cards are priced by their Sr. Market Analysts (The Pricing Hat).

You would think this would make them more relevant, but really it continues to show how incredibly irrelevant they really are. They are so stuck on keeping this ideal of a "price guide" around, they dont understand that the way they price cards is made completely fucking useless by new(er) innovations over the last 20 years. Yes, Beckett prices their cards the same way they did 20 years ago (the Pricing Hat). They dont get that People get their info from the computer now. I guess no one at Beckett got that memo.

So, for the first time ever, here is what I would do if I were them:

First I would send my people over to go on eBay over the next six months and find out as much about as many cards as they can and then give it to your "Sr. Market Analysts." Then start a beta program where selected card sales are monitored and averaged every day. If there is no market data, they would leave it blank and not assign a random price from the hat. After about another three months, I would start promoting the real centralized pricing trends and show people how it works, mainly because 100% of the people who go by book value are complete idiots.

Now you wont be able to show a steady price, because like the stock market, things change hourly. So, you can give a range, which is more than anyone ever needs. This would help buyers who use eBay find out if what they are getting is actually a good price. No fucking multipliers and no fucking hat drawn prices.

People with a "My Collection" will be able to see "real time" graphs of the eBay market trends of the real value of their cards, and it will finally make Beckett relevant again. I would even use it. It would be a great tool!

For those of you who deal at shows, you could submit the prices you paid for your cards. Granted these prices would be off, because dealers jack up prices to make a profit. Yet, my fledgling economic mind believes there could be a formula established to generate a real value for these. In fact, I believe it would be PRETTY FUCKING EASY.

Then, instead of releasing a hobby magazine based on one fucking huge conflict of interest, you could promote a magazine that gave commentary, showed real market trends, and gave people a good expectation of what the hobby was really like. Hell, I would buy that too. You could even have readers submit their own store bought box breaks to show other readers a fair expectation as well! Wow!

Instead of doing all of the things above, thingsI just came up with off the top of my head, they are using their centralized website to give daily updates on THEIR prices, not REAL prices. I also think its pretty fucking hilarious that they have Sr Market Analysts. Besides, if they make as much money as their Sr. Graders (The Sr. Grader is pictured below with his Jaguar) maybe people will see what I am talking about with these douche nozzles.

See people, its a business for them, not an objective guide for you. I have said it countless fucking times that Beckett is the number one authority on douchebaggery. However, every time I fucking trade online, or every time I hear someone quote book value, I just want to scream that the price expectation they have is not real. It is a hat drawn number influenced by the manufacturers to create a false ideal of how to price a card. Manufacturers know that higher book value means more sales, so they find ways to inflate those prices - hmm, how does that happen? Ad revenue given to Beckett, boxes and swag given to Beckett, favorable press given to Beckett, who knows what else. If you think integrity has a place in this business you are fucking stupid.

I have exhausted myself trying to combat this, and others have taken up the mantle to try and stand with me (Thank you also to Rob from VOTC). Also, I know there are bloggers who privately feel the same way and do their part off the record. Granted, I know I make very little difference from this blog, but for every person that stops paying attention to Beckett's stupidity and false idols, I am a success.

My Uninformed NFL Preview

Now that we are exactly one week away from happy time and the NFL regular season, I think its about time I throw Joe Morgan to the wind and give my predictions. Of course the level of my expertise comes from my hobby involvement, and watching about 20 seasons of Vikings football, so you know what this is going to be like.

Big Stories From Last Year:

The Patriots - I think that last year was an exceptional year, one for the history books (suck it Mercury). This year, there is no way they will continue that. In fact, with the prospect of Brady missing the first few games, they may start out pretty awful. We all know that wont hold, but I don’t see a perfect season. Do they make the playoffs? Depends on Brady and the injury. Every game he doesn’t start is a game they lose in my book.

Tom Brady NFL Touchdown Record - No way this happens again, both him and Manning arent going to start the first game according to my crystal ball. If anyone breaks this it will be Tarvaris Jackson no wait, nevermind.

The Giants and the Super Bowl - Without Osi and Strahan, and without the luck they had last year, they may not even make the playoffs. I hated to see Eli win the game because Eli is an ass, and I hated to see the Giants win because the Giants are a team of asses. I hope they end up worse than Brett Favre (wow, I cant believe I just wished Brett above someone!)

Brett Favre - The Jets are awful. They just are. Putting an aging Favre on that team makes them slightly less awful. They wasted a top pick on Gholston and they didn’t really add any offensive power to put behind Favre. However, that never stopped him before. My guess is that they still wont make the playoffs.

Adrian Peterson - My man. Last year he made the league look foolish in the first 10 games. Then, after a big day in Detroit, it was all downhill from there including a knee injury. During the preseason, he didn’t look all that great, but neither did the offense, so hopefully they will gel and everything will be fine. Of course, this year, he will face 8 or 9 in the box every single play he is on the field, which will greatly limit him. He worked on it all offseason, so that may help. If Jackson stays healthy and Berrian does well, All Day will have a great year. If they suck, so will he. Will he break any records? Fuck no. Will he have a great season? 50/50. Will he have a good season? Yes. I say 1100 yards with 9 TDs and 3.9 YPC.

NFL Division Winners: Vikings, Cowboys, Saints, and Cardinals
Wild Cards: Panthers and Seahawks
AFC Division Winners: Patriots, Colts, Bengals, and Chargers
Wild Cards: Steelers and Jaguars
Super Bowl Teams: Cowboys and Chargers

NFL MVP: LaDanian Tomlinson - AGAIN.
NFL ROY OFF: Jonathan Stewart (950yds 7TDs)
NFL ROY DEF: Sedrick Ellis

Top Valued RC Card After Week 16: Still Darren McFadden
Biggest Drop in Value: Rashard Mendenhall (Willie gon' have a biggun of a year), Felix Jones (He will go back up next year)

First Look: 2008 Leaf Rookies And Stars

Again DLP comes through with a design win. The cards from the sell sheet look great and they look to be continuing everything about this set that most people liked last year. Man, those statistical standout autos will be nice. Either way, DLP is one of the only companies to use helmet pieces, and this is the set to get them. I would say at 60-70 bucks a box, this is a pretty fun rip. I might keep an eye out for things with the way the prelims are looking.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not Seen In This Video: Upper Deck Waiting To Collect The Jersey

Odds that this jersey will be used in an event worn jersey card?

Id say at least 3:2.

(h/t you been blinded)

Why is Change In This Hobby Always For The Worse?

In lue of a review for Icons FB and after seeing the abortion that is the product, I want to revisit a few things I have talked about before. It seems that these things are getting to the point where I can no longer look at a product like Icons or most of the other new additions to the wax lineup and not laugh at its stupidity. Now, creating card sets is NOT rocket science and I would think that its something one could become a professional at. So, with all of these professional designers, why is EPIC FAIL attached to just about every release that these people have come up with in the last two years?

Lets run down the list:

Premier: Same stuff over and over and over, no new innovations, value DID NOT HOLD
SP Chirography FB: Price point was the worst in history, autos worth less than the cardboard
SP RC Threads FB and BKB: Could be the ugliest set ever, value did not hold, no one cares about letters when they look like that.
Icons FB: Don’t get me started
SP RC Edition FB and BB: Retro themed sets suck, especially when you can only go back 15 years.
Exquisite Baseball RCs BB: Every second world collector is screaming for exquisite baseball, and this is what we get? Crap.
Topps Triple Threads FB, BB, BKB: could not be more boring, price point is terrible for an auto and a jersey, cards havent changed in 3 years. Easiest way to blow $170 and not even break 5 bucks on the box.
Topps Paradigm FB: The only cool thing about this awful ugly set is the box can be used as a candy dish.
UD Draft Edition FB: Why do we need another set that is just like fucking press poop? Find a better way to get a prospect set out.
Topps Sterling BB: So now I have to pay 350 dollars for one hit and it could be a jersey card?
Topps Letterman BKB and FB: Sticker autos on manufactured letters, nuff said.
Topps Stadium Club BKB, FB, and BB: You take a fan favorite set from back in the day and you uglify it, make it 15 times more expensive, and fill it with worthless autos and jerseys. Good job.
Fleer Ultra FB BKB and BB: So you take once cool product from 10 years ago and add worthless jerseys and autos to hike the price.
Topps Performance FB: Made Adrian Peterson autos that no one cared about, awful looking cards, worthless subsets, and horrible price point. More like paradigm jr. than a new set.
Topps TX fooball: Sticker autos on super bowl ticket stubs? Was it really that hard to get hard signed tickets? Wait, this product costs 200+ per box? Oh my god, the humanity!
UD Elements BB: So, you have three mini boxes per box and we know where the jersey auto is? Stupid. The cards are ugly? Stupid. The checklist is the worst of the worst? Stupid.
UD Spectrum BB: Spectrum of the stars? No. Spectrum of the 80s hair metal back up singers. This added to an awful checklist on ALL rainbow foil cards makes for headaches.
Topps CoSigners BB FB and BKB: Ugly cards, the most worthless dual autos ever, parallels that are unnecessary and hard to understand, this would be the fail of fails except for below.
Topps Moments and Milestones: The dumbest idea since non-autoed manufactured patch and letter cards. 10,000 cards that killed millions of trees for no reason, ugly everything, horrible price point, and single handedly made the 1/1 worthless.

Wow, that is a long fucking list, and I didn’t even think that hard about it!

So, what are we going to do about it? That part is pretty simple to break down, as it is pretty obvious what needs to happen (in no particular order):

1. All second world products need to be tinned. Drop the price and the packs full of base, we don’t care about the crap so forget it. Give us the hits and one other card so we can get our fix and be done with it.

2. No more stupid reasons for parallels unless you are a chrome set made by Topps. "So the only reason for this parallel I just pulled is to put a different serial number on it?" No, not any more. If you are going to give us parallels, see LCM from baseball and FB. Each parallel had a different reason for being a parallel. One was base, one was jersey, one was bat/shoe, one was logo, one was auto jersey, etc. Enough with serial numbered parallels for no reason other than to fill out a set, they piss the fuck out of me.

3. Put the cards in cases for high end products when you pack it out. No more dinged edges and bad corners. Because you paid 500 bucks, they should provide the supplies. It would solve a ton of problems.

4. No more sticker autos when the card is irregular. If you have a sticker auto, it needs to be on cardboard and not a ticket, jersey, or something else. Signa cuts put stickers on blank note cards - that is lazy bullshit. If you cant get the cards made, its your own fault. Plan ahead, it works for more than college homework.

5. NO MORE PRINT PLATES! I hate these things more than anything. They dont matter. They arent 1/1s, im tired of idiots thinking they are rare, every product has them, they are ugly.
6. No more event used pieces of shit. If you cant the jerseys from the league fast enough, then don’t put them in the cards. They are worthless and presents the wrong expectations for new collectors. Its time to put autos on every event used card at the very least, or at least have the player wear the jersey for more than 8 seconds. This isnt bull riding.

7. No more ball cards. I don’t care about game used balls. I care even less about event used balls. I hate balls in general.

8. No more non-autoed manufactured letters. Just don’t. Its beyond stupid and makes you look lazy.

9. If you are going to make a celebrity set, make a celebrity set. Don’t put that crap in my sports stuff. I don’t care about an auto of the understudy from Rent.

10 (AND MOST IMPORTANTLY). Give us a reason to bust your product. Guarantee good hits. Guarantee more A List autos per case. Show us why wax is better than buying a lottery ticket. If you hand pack a product there is no excuse for 20 dollars worth of cards in a 500 per pack product, or even a 100 per box product.

Like I mentioned before, all of this stuff has been said in previous posts, but it needed to be done. With more than half of the football card season to go, I am praying that someone suprises me with greatness. So far, its not looking good.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

UD Icons Football Introduces A Whole New Level Of Crap

On the Blowout cards forum, a user has busted a case of Icons for some god-forsaken reason. In his listing of the stuff he pulled, he mentioned that he had pulled a a "presidential campaign letter."

I just about puked on the screen, I mean, full on family guy on ipicac puke. What the fuck was Upper Deck thinking? Not only do the continue the asinine trend of Presidential Subsets in sports products, but now they are copying one of the worst ideas in the history of cards. Topps brought crap to an undiscovered limit with their inserts in the Topps baseball set, but this is crap to the nth power.

Check it out!

ITS A FUCKING REDEMPTION!!! Jokes on you, member of the idiot conglomerate! You cant even get your non-sports related presidential non-autographed manufactured letter right away! You have to wait! BWAHAHAHAHA!

Another funny thing that I found is that in the only auction for one on TWGM, it lists it as a "must have for any team or player collector!" Ha, yes, you have hit the nail on the head my stupid friend. It is a must have.


Playoff Absolute Football Preview

There is no doubt in my mind that this set will be awesome. Its tough to fuck up. Its like a card version of toast. Anyways, DAcardworld got some exclusive previews to the RPM RC Autos, and just like last year, they look spank as fuck.

Just an FYI, I have 375 stashed away in my bank account to pick up some of the Petersons that will be in this set, mainly the TOTT autos, and I am so fucking pumped that I am counting down the days by crossing them off my calendar.

With Limited becoming LCM jr this year, I am labeling this a possible front runner for mid end set of the year.

Two weeks and counting!

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Wax Breaker

Yesterday, I sat down at my computer and started to watch a series of youtube videos that made me cheer and want to scream all at once. These videos consisted of 3 guys from the Philippines, sitting around a table, busting around 50 cases of Exquisite Basketball. The funny thing is that this is not the first time this has been done! They had busted more cases before the video and will bust more cases after. In fact, the guy said that once they are all done, they probably will have busted close to 150 cases.

Lets take a look at this, as I don’t believe this happens ALL that often. Lets say they get this stuff at a deal, around 1000 bucks a case just to make things easy. That’s over 3 hundred dollars off the retail price, and still, its more money than some people spend on a house. Obviously, these guys have a ton of money, and it harkens back to my post on what I would do if I was a rich ass bitch with boats of money.

Here is the problem, after they are done with each installment of their hugemungous case break, they plug their eBay name. Yes, they sell a TON of cards on eBay, and from what they pulled, it makes them a lot of money. The question I asked myself was, "they have enough money to bust all this high end of high end, yet they still sell everything?" For me, I kind of thought that this was a microcosm of the hobby these days, mainly because there are very few people - especially people like these guys - who bust for the collecting aspect of it. They keep a few cards im sure, but the main goal of the break was to make more money to break more stuff.

Now, don’t go leaving comments that say that you bust to keep the cards, as I know what kind of collectors roam the blogosphere. However, once you see what they pull, selling some of the stuff is probably necessary for space's sake. On the other hand, I saw two or three of the dual and triple logomen they had on eBay, so I guess pulling something like that doesn’t mean much to them.

Here are some of the highlights of their cases:

- At least two auto boxes (Durant, Horford)
- At least 4 Durant Limited Logo Autos (beautiful patches)
- At least 4 Durant RC Patches
- Durant Gold RC Patch 35/35
- Michael Jordan 1/1 plate auto (I hate plates, but this was autoed at least)
- Dual Logoman Auto of Durant and Garnett
- Dual Logoman Auto of Melo and Garnett
- Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant dual scripted swatches /5
- Triple Logoman of Dwight Howard and two guys that made no difference
- One other Triple logoman
- At least one complete set of RC Auto Patches
- At least one complete set of Limited Logos
- Likely close to 20-30 MJ and LBJ autos.

Is this kind of thing the most fun thing you could ever do as a collector? Oh fuck yes.

Is this kind of thing a testament to the state of the hobby? You bet your ass.

Is it better to spend $150,000 on a Ferrari? In a second.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous Set Collectors

Holy shit. This is fucking awesome/"redockulis" at the same time. Here is an auction for completed Contenders auto sets from the entire run of the product. Wow.

Yet, for every cool thing you may think, there is a stupid fucking idiot thing too. First off, the sets are all going to encased in beckett holders. WHY WOULD YOU RUIN SUCH BEAUTY!?! Give me a fucking break! I would demand this not happen if I was buying. Secondly, you have to go make an appearance at the hobby's number one authority on douchebaggery to claim your prize? That is beyond fucking dumb. Why does Beckett have to insert their grubby fucking fingers into everything? They are like the paparazzi of this industry. I hope someone throws a drink at their moving car!

Either way, its still pretty cool that the guy has taken the coolness to put these together.

Will it sell? Fuck no - not at that price.

A Comment On Shipping Prices

Ok, im pissed. I want to buy a card on TWGM, but the shipping costs are astronomical. He wants 8 dollars for shipping, despite this only being one normal sized card. He mentions nothing in terms of insurance and when I emailed him, he said it was for packaging, handling etc. That is fucking bullshit. Basically this guy wants to recoup his fees, plus some, and per eBay, this is illegal.

Let me break this down:

Card cost: $65
Normal shipping cost per USPS: 2.20 (w/delivery confirmation)
Normal shipping cost plus insurance:$3.59
Bubble mailer: 89 cents at any walgreens or target
Total imaginable cost: 4 something?
Actual cost: probably less than 3 bucks

I charge 3 bucks for shipping when I sell something, please explain where he gets 8? That is almost double the price of shipping plus insurance! I guess my card will have to wait as this is fucking high way ass fucking robbery.

More Topps Chrome Love

At three or less dollars per pack, I couldn’t resist opening some more Chrome while my fiancee isnt around to see it. A local store had a deal where you could get 7 packs of chrome, supplies, and a few other things for 20 bucks, so I went ahead. I desperately needed more supplies, so that was an added bonus to what I pulled. I was lucky that I got there when I did, because once I had finished, another guy came in and busted the rest of the 7 boxes worth of packs.

I got very lucky again(?) with the packs and pulled a group B Limas Sweed, which is one of the nicer looking cards in the set. It has odds of something like one or two per case, so that made me quite pleased. Someone there, a Steelers fan, offered me 25 and some of his base Petersons for it, so that one is gone. I then took the money from that and the money that I got from the McFadden and Brennan refractors and bought a Felix Jones, Ray Rice, and a Peterson white refractor from 2007. That was very nice.

As for the guy who went after me, he pulled Brohm, Flacco, Forte, and a few no-names, along with a Matt Ryan gold refractor from the box toppers and five or six base and refractor McFaddens. Overall, it was a pretty cool day, I even managed to get two very nicely conditioned Puckett RCs for 5 bucks together, and a Josh Morgan classics for less than 3 bucks.

Lastly, the JDRF donation box stands at 248 thanks to a big donation from the people at my dad's office, so that is amazing, but keep the donations coming as the more money I raise, the more people it can help.

Ive also got a rant brewing for later today, so that will be posted around lunch.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"Free" Sample of Fathead

If you click here you can get a free sample of a Fathead Tradeable Vinyl Wall Sticker. I saw these at Target actually, and they don't look half bad to be honest. If you like this kind of thing.

It's a "free" sample because you have to pay $1.99 shipping. Considering the packs are like six or seven bucks anyway, it's not a bad way to sample them.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Copying Other Bloggers

Will here, was just thinking to myself "God, I suck." Sometimes seems like all I do is copy other bloggers and I have no originality whatsoever. At least I can be witty about it. At the very least.

In any case, I just read a fine article over at Sports Card Info which is an entry into a Beckett contest. I read his piece and thought, "Hey, I can write 600 words on the Olympics, let's pound it out."

Really, that's what I thought. So I did. Took a couple of hours, and I was interrupted twice, but here's the final version, it would have been a three page paper had I formatted it for college. If you'd like to vote for me, click the title and hit "thumbs up". If I win the grand prize, I'll be happy to trade the printing plate to someone who would really enjoy having it.

Return to the Days of Glory

Besides Presidential Elections, every four years sports fans across the globe have another major event to look forward to: the Summer Olympics. The games of the 29th Olympiad are rapidly drawing to a close, and with them we pause to reflect that past, present and future of the games.

When Baron de Coubertin founded the modern Olympic movement in 1894 he couldn’t have possibly imagined the scale and technical grandeur of Beijing’s Opening Ceremonies, which were quite possibly the most spectacular live event in history. Hyperbole aside, when the eyes of more than a billion people around the world are watching the same thing, it’s definitely special.

While technology allows the athletes to personify the Olympic motto of
“Faster, Higher, Stronger” we often forget that the individuals competing are people too, and they come from all walks of life. From the fantastic story of Lopez Lomong, the U.S. flag-bearer during the opening ceremonies, to the despicable behavior of Ara Abrahamian the Swedish wrestler who casually tossed away his Bronze medal because he felt he had been treated unfairly by the judges, we need to remember that we’re not watching robots or computer simulations, that these extraordinary (and sometimes ordinary) feats of skill are being performed by people like you and me.

Fortunately these games have been relatively safe, secure and scandal-free. World politics haven’t really entered any of the sporting arenas, and while protests regarding China’s lack of humanitarian treatment of their own people rage world-wide, the people of Beijing appear to have really welcomed the rest of the world with open arms. Time will tell if these games are successful financially, but they certainly appear to have set the bar fairly high for success in staging the games themselves and the space-age venues, especially the “birds-nest” and the water-cube are among the most stunning arenas to be built for sporting events.

Of course there are the individual highlights to look back upon, these games will be forever remembered as the coming out party for Michael Phelps, though he wasn’t exactly an unknown commodity before the games, he’s certainly the biggest star now. The United States team had strong showings in so many events that it’s difficult to single out one or two for further review. The host-country set out to have their best showing ever, and succeeded medaling in more events than they had in past Olympics, and dominating the diving platform, sweeping the gold medals and taking almost half of all the available medals in the first seven events. In fact, China’s overall Gold haul, which at this writing is over half of their total medals, is the highest of any country, by a large margin.

These games have been called China’s reintroduction to the world stage, but I would say that the Chinese aren’t strangers to the world. We may have just needed reminding that they matter. Well, of course they matter.

Looking ahead to the London games of 2012 one has to wonder how the Brits can pull off anything close to what the Chinese have accomplished this year. Fortunately the English have already held TWO Olympic games and become the first city to hold three modern Olympics. High-speed rail lines and a continuation of the modern building projects that begun with the Millennium Dome should give London the infrastructure needed for what is guaranteed to be the biggest games ever.

It’s just too bad that we’ve seen the end of Baseball and Softball for the time being. At least it’s my hope that they’ll both be reintroduced in 2016.

Need These 2008 Chrome Football

If you have any of these Vikings, please let me know so we can work something out.

Adrian Peterson Base, Ref, /425, /199, /25
Jared Allen /425, /199, /25
JD Booty-call /425, /25, Auto /50, Auto Patch /25

I dont need any leaders or pro bowl cards, and I am willing to trade/pay.


Box Break: Topps Chrome Football

Taking a break from the JDRF blog-a-thon, I got an early wedding present from my best friend, who gave me a box of Chrome football out of his case. I must say it was really fun to open, and I had a pretty good box. Here are the stars of the break:

First, I pulled just about all the big RCs except for Ryan and Stewart. That was great. I also pulled two JD Bootys and a Tyrell Johnson, so that was also a nice thing to add to my collection. When it comes to the base RCs, the best ones you pull are always the ones in perfect condition. Luckily, Felix Jones was one of those. I was very careful in putting into the sleeve, and hopefully he will be good enough someday that this will be a good one to sell.

Second, Chrome is all about the refractors, and mine were both awesome and fucking awful at the same time. My box hit copper refractor was Jeff "TO Thinks Im Gay" Garcia, and I just about puked. My box loader gold refractor was LenDale White /199, but it wasn’t a total loss as I bought the JD Booty for 5 bucks. So im okay with big LW for my topper. The base refractors were some of the best you can get, and that was huge. In the second pack I pulled a Darren McFadden, and it is pristine! Love it. In the fourth pack I pulled Colt Brennan, who I hate, but people love, so that was good too. As for the others, aside from Roethlisberger and Romo, who will go for 2 bucks each, I got Phil Merling and Tracy Porter as my other RC Refractors.

Lastly, I got two autos in the box, which was awesome. What made it awesome-er was that neither were redemptions! I pulled Dan Morgan first, which was kind of a let down, and then Earl Bennett for the Bears who is a division rival. Could have been better, could have been worse. At least Bennett was an RC premiere guy.

Thanks to Jeff for the box, and let me know if you need any of this.

JDRF Donation Goal Has Been Attained!!!

I want to thank all of you for the fourth time for helping me attain this goal. I really cant believe that we hit it so fast, its a testament to how awesome the readers of this blog really are!

I will leave the link up until late October, so if you have any other people who would like to donate, every dollar counts. It goes to a great cause, and Diabetes is something that has affected a lot of people.

Also, to Steve and Mike, you guys rock. To the anonymous donator, thank you as well for your contribution. It all makes a difference.

Thanks again everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thanks to Shawn From DA Cardworld

I received a donation from Shawn at DA Cardworld, who turned me on to their own crusade to cure Diabetes as a large contributor to the walk in their area. They put out a website post and a commercial which I encourage you to check out, if not solely for the comedy value.

Right now we are only 12 dollars short, so keep it up!!

Thanks again to shawn and the rest of the awesome people who have donated!

JDRF Donation Goal Well Underway!

Thanks to all who have helped me raise money for the JDRF walk, things are going beyond awesome.

Right now, after one day, I have reached 68 dollars out of 100, my goal, so that is beyond awesome. I am expecting more donations from some people who said they are waiting for payday on friday, so hopefully we can hit the goal!

Also, if you guys want me to plug something for you after your donation, I will be more than happy to post links or info in exchange for any contribution, no matter how small. To those who have already donated, the offer still stands.

Big thanks to Russell who donated $50.00 to the cause! That is above and beyond! Also, Dave and Will, your donations were also very much appreciated.

Click the button on the right for more info on how to donate...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Autograph Fail

So far we know that Chris Johnson and Rashard Mendenhall have awfully bad sigs that failed the Autolic test (see here and here). Well, we have a new fail. Its not an Epic Fail like Morency, Lawrence Timmons, and the two lazy asses mentioned above, but it is pretty fucking close. How about a little more effort Kenny Phillips??? Someone smack this guy.

Shoeless Joe is BACK

Thanks to DLP, Shoeless Joe will again have baseball cards in a mainstream product. As it turns out, DLP has obtained a "game used" bat and will also be including the first relics of Shoeless Joe in some years.

Of course, this cant be THE Black Betsy as Im sure people would riot if it was cut up. I know I would be among those people.

Either way, Donruss Threads Baseball is shaping up to be pretty cool as Hank Aaron and Willie Mays seem to also be included in the product. I may buy a box or two.

Here is the official release:

"Shoeless Joe Jackson, banned from baseball for his alleged role in fixing the 1919 World Series, returns to baseball in 2008 Donruss Threads which will include game-used bat cards of the legendary Black Sox figure.

Donruss Threads, scheduled for a mid-October release, is the company's first full-scale baseball product in three years and combines baseball's rich past with its bright future through the inclusion of all-time greats with top-tier rookies and prospects. The release will be loaded with autographs and memorabilia cards.

Donruss recently purchased an outstanding circa 1916-1920-era game-used Jackson bat and will include pieces in 2008 Threads Baseball. The bat - with provenance - displays significant game use and carries the dark flame-treated finish Jackson preferred on his bats.

"True game-used Joe Jackson items almost never surface on the secondary market - they're kept in private collections or on display in museums," says Donruss spokesman Mike Payne. "But sometimes great pieces do find their way into auction, passed down from generation to generation, as this bat was."

Jackson joins other legendary names such as Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Nolan Ryan, Al Kaline, Tom Seaver, Cal Ripken Jr., Bob Feller, Reggie Jackson and Whitey Ford among others, in the product.

Rick Porcello, the first-round pick of the Detroit Tigers I 2007, headlines a deep checklist of prospects, many of whom have never appeared on a certified autograph card before. Porcello's first certified autographs and game-used memorabilia will only be found in Threads.

Some of the other top prospects include Ike Davis, the New York Mets' 2008 first-round pick, Josh Vitters, Xavier Avery, Mat Gamel, Christian Marrero, Elvis Andrus, Jesus Montero, Brandon Waring and more than 110 others.

Five-card packs of Threads will carry a $4 SRP. "

Getting to the bottom of the Chrome Fukudome

I just got off the phone with Topps Customer Service regarding the Bowman Chrome Fukudome Error cards that Cardboard Mania blogged about first, and I Commented on yesterday.

It's a total error card. According to the rep I spoke to there are NO Fukudome Autographs in the Bowman set, now whether or not there were supposed to be is anyone's guess and the rep couldn't tell me that for sure. However, he did say that going forward there will be no more authentication stickers on the backs of cards, so that's a bit of interesting information.

I asked him point blank if this was a deliberate short-print or simply an error, and he said without hesitation that it was an error.

So we've now boiled it down to either an error or a counterfeit card. Since they are all coming out of the Far East (except for the one that's in Florida), I'm venturing to guess that something is happening at the overseas plant where Topps cards are printed (if they are indeed printed overseas, I'm not sure where they are printed to be honest, and another attempt to get to a Topps rep failed).

So despite all the bad mojo that we've been attributing to Topps lately, this particular card doesn't seem to be a part of that. An error, yes, short printed? Almost certainly, but deliberate? No.

Some people will continue to disbelieve though, for whatever reason. Having worked in large corporations in the past, I'm not quite as skeptical because I understand the process that these things have to go through to get to market. I'm much more willing to believe that these particular cards were either a) conterfeited or b) the work of a couple of individuals who have the access to create and distribute such an item. I find it very difficult to believe that the company itself deliberately created such an item in order to foist it off on unsuspecting collectors and make a FEW dollars here and there.

It just doesn't make sense to me. Now, in 1978 a SINGLE Topps employee may have managed to magically graft a penis onto C-3PO in the fourth series of original Star Wars Cards (though Snopes is claiming that the single artist theory is indeterminate). Of course, we all know about Billy Ripken and the "fuck face" bat card, and then there's the Alex Gordon cards from a few years ago, so the fact is that occasionally mistakes get made and cards that weren't supposed to make it to market do.

However, to imply that Topps as a publically traded corporation would deliberately make a handful of "error" cards to capitalize on a given player's popularity in the secondary market is just silly. Topps wouldn't bother to do that, because let's face it, even if by some chance each card sold for $500 a piece, and there' let's say, six of them, that's only a $3,000 profit. Topps is a 370 MILLION dollar market cap company according to their financial records (and this site). Three grand is a drop in their proverbial buckets.

I do love how some bloggers will deliberately mis-state numbers though, for example, one blog post questioning another quickly becomes "many people began talking about it maybe being an honest manufacturing error." Really? Many people? Who? If there were more blogs about this issue, I didn't see them.

JDRF: A Cause WORTH Spending Money On

Guys, I have yet to venture off topic on this blog, but there is a first time for everything.

Anyways, for those of you who dont know, I have had Diabetes since I was about 11. Yes, its a chronic disease, but thanks to my wonderful insulin pump, I live a pretty normal life. A lot of you who read this blog have people you know with Diabetes, and if not, you arent looking hard enough.

Last year I took a job with the company that makes my insulin pump and it made me see how much Diabetes affects so many people. I have worked with patients from age 1-89, and all of them are just looking for a way to never have to worry about their disease ever again. Well, this November, as we do every year, people with Diabetes, family, and friends, will be walking at Dodger Stadium to raise money for Diabetes research so that this dream can become a reality. The company I work for has a team, and they are one of the biggest contributors nationally to this event. All the proceeds goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and you know is a good cause.

I am looking to raise the 100 dollars I have set as a goal, and I thought it would be a great place to start here. So, if you have a dollar, 10 dollars, 50 dollars - all is appreciated. Basically by donating the price of one pack of cards, you can make a difference in someone's life.

Please visit or my walker page HERE to donate online. You can also search for me via their registry under Adam Gellman. My team is Medtronic. Thanks a bunch guys.

First Look: 2008 Bowman Chrome Football

There really isnt much difference in the advertising for this and Bowman base, but we do have more event used crap being forced down our throats in the hobby's cheapest worthwhile box break. Like Topps Chrome, Bowman is going to be inserting jersey pieces into the normally simple yet awesome RC auto cards. Either way, the cards look nice, even though they always do on the sell sheet, so maybe we can still get some nice stuff. Ill be buying this when I get the itch and have no money.

Product Review: 2008 Topps Chrome Football

I loved topps chrome last year, the design was awesome, the cards were chic, the set was very simple. This year, well, not so much. A lot of stuff has been added, some good, some bad, some nebulous, but all will come out here. I think its interesting that topps has basically fallen on their face this year, and its obvious that things may not be what they once were. However, Topps Chrome has always been a favorite of mine, so lets get this show on the road.

The Good

Unlike the base Topps set, this product actually looks good with the pictures they chose in most cases. I think that the chrome foilboard has the ability to turn a crappy card into a medicore card, and in this case it worked. They went with the black border, which is always a good idea, so that was a plus.

Unlike last year, the MSRP dropped on this year's product to around Bowman Chrome prices. Instead of being 90+ for box with one auto and two refractors, you now get the auto plus a number of refractors for around 50-60. That is a HUGEMUNGOUS upgrade, as Bowman Chrome was always popular due to the awesome price point. There is no reason to think that anyone would ever pay the 90 bucks hapily, if not only because the A and B list autos were one per case and usually sucked. Good job on that.

Lastly, im going to file the addition of more colored refractors under good, because Topps chrome was WAY too simple last year. I hate parallels more than most people, but the chrome products are the one exception due to lack of a jersey subset and lack of many inserts. They added the copper and red refractors to the set, and they numbered them WAY differently than I expected. Copper is /425 and Red is /25 instead of /50 and /5. The box toppers are still the same with the Superfractor autos /10. Too bad those arent inserted into the product.

The Bad

This year Topps took it upon itself to add a patch auto subset to the RC pool. The cards contain the standard fucking gross Topps sticker, but this time you get a football sized patch with it. Of course these are really of little fucking consequence as they are all event used. Still, they are numbered /25 and people are going to go shitballs over them. They look a little better than I expected, but I can think of 25,000,000 other ways to spice up this set without going event used. Either way, this wont really factor into much because of the low numbering, but its still annoying to me.

The other thing that is bad is why they couldn’t use different pictures than the base Topps set? How hard would that be? The existence of chrome only invalidates the base set more, and that is why I never buy that product until it drops to 30 bucks per jumbo box. Chrome is cooler, and despite what an uniformed Chris Harris says, it is someone that EVERYONE can appreciate.

The Ugly

I have endlessly complained as to how awful the Topps stickers are, so Ill just say this:

Topps, you are proving to us that you are no longer relevant in the industry over and over again. You may have signed a bunch of baseball guys, but that is worthless unless you make a good product. Its time to step the fuck up and get some clear stickers. If you want to advertise your ceritifcation, use the back of the card. That is what it is there for.

Overall, this set falls somewhere in between the first and second world of collecting, and you can tell that Topps is trying to appeal to both with the patch auto additions and the colored refractor additions. We also know that there will be some kind of gimmick, so ill keep you posted. In the mean time, don’t get caught up in the shitstorm, keep your head above it and wait for Absolute in two weeks. ITS GOING TO FUCKING ROCK!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another DAMN Fukudome Gimmick

Fellow Blogger Cardboard Mania discovered yet another Fukudome "gimmick" card today that's all the rage on the 'bay (that is if people have stopped paying outrageous amounts of money for Michael Phelps cards).

Here's the thing: more than likely this was a production error rather than something that Topps did deliberately.

The fact that there is no autograph sticker, and there is no corresponding sticker on the back makes it appear to be an error to me.

Of course if it were any other player than Fukudome, you wouldn't think twice, but with the blogosphere going apeshit over Topps shenanagins for the last couple of years, one might think it was deliberate.

I'm going to do a bit of research and try to contact Topps for an official response. I've already sent an email to their customer service, but I'll follow that up in a couple days with a phone call.

In all honesty, even if it's a gimmick, I don't really care, and it doesn't really bother me. Sure, Topps has done some really boneheaded moves lately, and they appear to be in a bad position with some of their other products (WizKids, the gaming company they purchased some time ago just laid off 90% of their staff), and some of their upcoming product looks just hideous, however, this particular card doesn't seem to me to be anything more than a massive screw up.

Of course, I could be really wrong, and it's all deliberate. In that case, shame on Topps.

A Comment On Legendary Cuts

As I was perusing TWGM today, I cam across this Babe Ruth cut from 2008 Legendary Cuts. It will be his last Upper Deck card for a long time, and I must say it is not everything it should be. Now, I do realize that they couldnt include pictures based on the new and shitty exclusive Topps contract, but still, this cut and the design of the card is very much lacking in my opinion. Besides, even with the new Topps thing, the players were not pictured on the cards even if they werent part of that. Its really too bad that they couldnt have done a little more with what they had - or at least find a better cut than this awful excuse.

Imagine The Possibilities...

I have always wondered how close we are to a set made up of all 1/1 cards. Nothing else, just one of one everything. I know that Razor is coming out with their extreme high end cut signature set, but I am talking about a sports based set.

I would expect that this new type of set would be around exquisite prices, if not much more than the already high price, and would contain an array of cards. It wouldn’t be all logos and other special cards. Im guessing it will be an Upper Deck product, and it will cause a huge reaction, both good and bad, from collectors everywhere. Each pack, would contain a 1/1 base card, a 1/1 jersey card, a 1/1 Jersey auto card, and one other special card. I would expect it would be at least $800-900 per pack, and it would sell out in a second.

If you think about it, its not that much of a novelty anymore. I mean, each jersey they get has at least 6-15 potential patches that could be used for 1/1 purposes, such as logos, letters, team name neck patches, laundry tags, buttons, etc. Of course there is never a shortage of autos, so im sure that this would be huge. Also, with the 5-16 patches per jersey (on average, ha!) we could expect a print run of 100-200 per player, all with 1/1 serial numbers. Face it, it could be done.

I would also like to see what they could pull out for 8-10 person autograph cards, as the octographs are usually pretty stunning, and I think it was UD portraits that had the decagraphs with 10 players on one 8x10.

Now, I would never buy this in a million years, as it would be pretty obvious that my 900 bucks could be spent elsewhere, but that wouldn’t stop everyone from purchasing. I have seen people bust cases of Exquisite at once, even with the expectation that they will not make their money back. I expect this new product would be no different. However, if Topps were to get ahold of this idea first, you can kiss it goodbye, as it would just be Triple Threads with more 1/1s (as if that was possible). Personally, UD would be the only one I would want to make it, as they are the originators of the ultra high end products, and they do it the best - most of the time.

My guess is that it would be called UD White Label or UD Extravagence, so that it would seem "better" than Exquisite. But honestly, is this type of thing "better" for the hobby? My answer is a muddled gray mess, as it seems like this is the next logical step, but also its fucking crazy-go-nuts. Im hoping that when (not if) this product is created, it will be done with the collectors in mind. It has endless possibilities for cool, never before seen cards, and I think it is a pretty obvious place to screw people over with one color jerseys and awfully paired duals, triples and quads.

Either way, here's to a card that looks like this:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Autograph Seekers: SCU Needs Your Help

Listen, I know this is a huge and unlikely request, but I need a favor from one amazingly nice person.

Adrian Peterson sometimes will sign at shows during the off season and maybe once or twice during the preseason/regular season. He will also sign sometimes if you can catch him at the team hotel before or after game day. If you know of a way to get his autograph, please email me because there is nothing more that I would want other than to get this amazing card signed.

I will pay all fees plus a nice amount for the trouble if you have a way.

Let me know via the email link at the top right. Thanks in advance.

The Best Of Both Worlds

Today, it seems like there are two worlds in the collecting hobby. The first world is people who are trying to reclaim the days they spent collecting base sets of the four products that were released every year. They buy retail, they buy the base cards themselves, they do base card trades, and they are the ones that voted the first option on the poll I am running right now. I have no problem at all with these people, I just have a hard time understanding them. The second world are the people like me that practically throw away every base card we pull. We want more tinned products that don’t have 24 packs per box, and contain more hits. We also only buy cards that are special (auto, jersey, low numbered), and we usually focus on a team or a player. If we collect a set, it is an auto set or a jersey set.

Speaking from my end, I don’t really understand why the other world still functions with as many people as it does. In fact, it seems like a lot of the online bloggers identify with that part of the hobby, living through sets like A&G and other retro themed sets like Heritage and Goudey rather than buying perennial favorites of my world like SP authentic, Sweet Spot, Leaf Limited and other higher end sets. Funny enough, I have even seen some people post breaks of retail blasters of this stuff, and that I cant understand one bit. I wouldn’t touch a retail anything with someone else's ten foot pole, mainly because if I am going to spend 20 bucks on some packs, I want a good chance at something nice. That is pretty much impossible with retail, unless you enjoy the 2 dollar jersey cards.

Personally, I would say that money has something to do with what world you belong to, but I have to say that is almost never the case. I spend VERY little money on cards relative to my income, but I have amassed a pretty good collection of VERY high end cards. I also know that a lot of the collectors I know who belong to the first world spend almost as much on their favorite products as I do on mine, but they come out with base sets, where I come out with autographs and jersey cards. Now, 10-15 years ago, my world was miniscule, because there was only 4-6 products per year, thus making base sets more desirable. Now, with 50-100 products per year, base sets arent worth squat unless they contain some super SP'ed cards, and that is pretty understandable. Yet, this doesn’t stop first world collectors from spending money on building a set worth half of what they paid. Its almost a quality versus quantity debate. To me, it comes down to spending $100 dollars on a 300-600 card set that will sit in a box in my closet, versus spending $100 on one single auto card that I can display on my shelf. I would take number two any day. I would even take spending $100 on a card versus spending $20 on a complete base set. Its all about quality for me, and in my opinion, there is no quality in a base set focused product.

My second world identification also prevents the tag of "person with 100,000 cards" from being applied to me. That’s okay, I don’t need to brag about my numbers in quantity. I am more than satisfied in bragging about my 100+ card collection that is on display at my apartment in my mother's basement. I think a lot of the people who are similar to me are okay with this lack of breadth in their PC boxes. As expected, when I buy wax, I will only buy products that can produce a card like the ones I have on display at a high clip. Usually I have to spend 80-120 dollars on a box, rather than 50-60, and I am perfectly fine with this. However, the people from the first world are not like me. They buy retail, as said before, where the odds of pulling something good are lottery sized. Why they don’t buy the hobby version at the same price is beyond me. That way you still get the base cards, but you don’t have to be 1 in 100,000 to pull an auto. It can still be worth while that way.

With that, I guess you could count this blog as one of the few second world blogs out there. Like I said, there is nothing wrong with the first world, its just tough for me to understand the other side (im positive the feeling is mutual). Im pretty sure that I am generalizing way too much, but I am confident the readers out there can easily understand the two types of collectors I am documenting.

NOTE: Its interesting that both worlds are seemingly progressing at a very large rate. MLB Documentary is obviously a first world set, while Ballpark Collection is definitely second. Topps and DLP all have similar dichotomies in their upcoming product releases, so it looks as though all things are going to be fine for both types of collectors.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Stupid Trend I Could Do Without

With Goudey baseball, we now have ANOTHER set with a subset containing presidents and other political personalities from US history. Why? Why God Why? Please, explain to me why every set has to have some sort of presidential connection? Its almost as bad as the celebrity trends that have polluted the sports focused sets.

First we have Allen and Ginter, although historically, this set was focused as much on important people as it was sports players. Based on that success, we then have a plethora of other sets that have presidential chases and subsets like Premier, Triple Threads, Signs of History, Razor Cut signatures, among others. Its getting fucking "Redekcolus" that we cant have a baseball set without some sort of non-sport connection anymore. Its really confusing to me as to why manufacturers continue to fill out their sets with these cards instead of just producing a better sports themed set. Looking back, we never had to have bullshit like this. The chases were sports themed, and the SPs did not play guitar. It was better that way.

Here is a suggestion, a simple one: fill out the fucking sets with better sports stuff. That way you wont have to worry about the competitors. No one can compete with a well put together sports set, its the one thing that any collector would happily buy. From now on, I will automatically assume your set came up short if you resort to non-sport subsets.

SCU Fantasy Football Update

For those of you who have signed up for our fantasy league, please remember that the draft is next Saturday afternoon. If you cant make it, thats fine, but please remember to rank your players so you dont get stuck with people you dont want. Remember, the only thing I ask of the owners is that they stay involved.

Also, Will's draft is like an hour after ours, so we may have to run two at once.

Thanks, more to come...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sounding Off On Jersey Cards

So far this year, Topps has not used the term "event used" on their cards, but instead changed it to "Player Worn" to fill the gap (see below). This is plain deception in my mind, as new collectors have no idea that the rookie premiere is a sham when it comes to "relics." In fact, when it comes to the big three companies in the big three sports, I trust topps the least with their jersey cards. They never refer to them as jerseys, but rather as "relics" because they don’t know if the swatches are actually jersey stuff in some sports. It could be pants, it could be warm ups, it could be a fucking coat they wore on the bench.

Personally, I think event used jerseys suck. The players wear them for literally two seconds, if that, and then throw them into a basket. All of this is done in a tent, where the public cant see, and then they are labeled as "event worn." Some of the time, they aren't even their own jerseys. Sidney Rice threw on at least two different Tarvaris Jackson jerseys at the 07 premiere. You can guarantee it happened again this year. Also, you know that picture on the card? Those jerseys from that picture are never cut up, according to my source at the rookie premiere. They are given to the players to do as they please, many of whom have never worn or seen the official team issues yet.

Topps has been known to use jerseys from non-official games, that’s why they are called "relics." You know those stark white jersey pieces from a guy who played in the 50's? Yeah, those aren't game used. Topps buys numerous jerseys from old timer games and public appearances to insert into their cards. As said before, older jerseys are becoming more expensive and more scarce, so rather than conserving what they have, they find other ways to do it. They have cut up Mickey Mantle's suits, ties and pants, among other stupid excuses for swatches, and for this reason I don’t buy Topps jersey cards. Right now, every single Topps Triple Threads card is labeled, "This relic was not used in any specific event, game or season." What the fuck is that? Seriously! I just paid 170 bucks for this box, and you cant even guarantee that this shit is game used? Give me a fucking break.

I have stated before that there is a possibility that the jerseys on the cards are not real. There is no promise other than the word of the manufacturers that the jersey came from the player on the card, and there is no reason to believe that they are being 100% honest with us. As recent as a few months ago, a Michael Jordan UNC warm up jersey was sold by Mastro Auctions for 11,000 dollars. The problem was that authenticators believe that the real nameplate was ripped off and Jordan's was put on. What does that say about the companies that buy from these places?

Lets face it people, this industry is more scam ridden than most of the idiots believe. The reason I first mentioned the (now retired) Joe Collector was because he was the person who refused to believe that nothing was going on behind the curtain with Beckett, UD, Topps or anybody. I can guarantee that is not the case, as any time there is money involved, douchebags migrate to that place like its a fucking pilgrimage.

The funny thing is that no one seems to care that they are being scammed. Instead, they live their existence believing that the Event Worn card they have in their hand is from an actual game, or that the auto they have hanging on the wall is actually real, or that the graded BGS card they own is actually the low 8.5 it says on the tag. Bullshit, that’s what it is. Those people make the hobby a shitty place because they help to blur the line when it comes the things you don’t do to people. Because they keep buying, the companies will keep finding ways to screw people, spend less money doing it, and will eventually ruin the things we love for good.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Two Unbelievable Auctions, I Cant Stop Laughing

Well, since every single person and their mother uses Beckett to sell their shit, Im not suprised that they got these two cards. Both cards are amazing, really huge pulls that have the possibility of breaking $15K. However, a few things about these auctions make me laugh really fucking hard.

The first card is one of the Hair Cut cards I discussed a few posts back, with this one being the best of the best. The cut is nice, the hair is creepy, but overall, its not suprising to see it reach the price it did because of the circumstances. The funny thing about this auction is that the card has a 5 cm piece of the hair. At least the Washington card had a good strand, this one, however, is crap - despite it being weirdly included in a baseball card set. Again, a piece of our country's history is destroyed for profit.

The second is a 1/1 Mantle Bat Barrell that was out of Topps Sterling. Besides it being sold by Beckett, this auction screams "I AM THE STUPIDEST PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF CARD COLLECTING!" about its seller. Let me elaborate: first mistake, this fucking idiot sent his prized pull to the hobby's number one source on douchebaggery. Good idea, idiot. Secondly he had them slab it in this fucking "ROZDUCKULOUS" case because its obvious the foldout cards are beyond Beckett's capabilities. Big suprise there. Lastly, Topps couldnt include some game used jersey in this card? Instead they used some stark white old timer game jersey? Cmon, that is fucking stupid. However, the funniest thing about this idiot and his card? He had them grade it.

Let me repeat that so you get the full gist of this.

HE HAD THEM GRADE HIS 1/1 MICKEY MANTLE BAT BARRELL CARD. Please, someone, tell me why he decided to do this? If the slab wasnt funny enough, his card is forever a 7.5 for all to see. Did he think it would be worth more as a 9.5? Who fucking cares! This could be the dumbest thing I have ever seen, no doubt. Just to remind you, if you grade a 1/1, you deserve to be shot.

Product Review: 2008 SPX Football

This is the first high end procuct to be released this year, and usually it does pretty good in terms of value. Despite what people said about last year's product, I think it did pretty good for design and overall appeal. As for this year, I actually had high expectations due to the sell sheet, but boy did that give me false hope. I saw an early case break today at a local shop during lunch, and I was shocked as to what I saw.

The Good

SPX is usually a product focused around the RC autos, as with most sets for the year, but I think that the subset autos are usually overlooked. This year's subset autos are BETTER looking than the base RC autos, and I think that if I were to buy singles from this set, I would go for these. The designs look more complete and there is no event used bullshit to get mixed up with. Its just the normal signature on holoview card stock, and I think they look great. This was pretty much the only good part about this entire product.

The Bad

Why in the world are there so many fucking "Winning Materials" jersey cards? Its every fucking card plus a billion due to parallels, die cuts, and other bullshit, which would lead me to be VERY angry if I pulled one of these pieces of crap. Each RC has 25-30 it seems, and then there are veterans, and of course, duals, triples, and quads. I would rather have a base RC card with nothing on it, than have to endure these fugly messes.

Another bad thing here is the fact that the stickers are so "rodixulus" in the way they look. Normally the stickers are clear and barely noticible, but the placement and film used for these ones make them the focus of the cards. I hated that, and it most definitely detracts from what the set is presenting to everyone.

The Ugly

First, is the price. Last year this sad excuse for a set jumped from 110 a box to close to 180, just so that they could put a hit in each pack. Please, spare me this shit-for-brains excuse to drive up prices. I would rather get three hits with an auto for 110, than 9 crappy hits with a crappy auto for 180. Its so beyond funny that people buy this crap because it was bad for the baseball set, it was bad in basketball, and yet they think it will be a good product for football? Yuck.

Whats uglier than the price is the way the box hits look. The cards look beyond awful, the stickers are out of place, and I still think its dumb to diecut SPX into the cards. Plus, who chose the green hologram cardstock? I dont think these could look any worse, oh wait, forgot about the pictures on the cards. Those are probably the worst of all. This all comes together with the fact that there were more duds at the rookie premiere than ever. So, with your 180 bucks, you could end up with a piece of crap that will never play a down.

Advice to wax breakers: Save your $180 and wait for Absolute. You WONT be disappointed.

Waiting on UD

So I have been waiting on my Peterson SPA subset auto redemption for about 6 months now, and I must say, I am getting restless. Here is why:

1) All of Peterson's recent UD autos have been re-dumb-tions
2) The gold version of the card I am waiting on was packed out on release
3) This card cost a lot in trade
4) I thought there was a 45 day policy
5) I have had problems before with UD redemptions

You may be wondering why I just didnt contact Customer Service and see what's up. Well I did, but I have the feeling that UD tells their reps to keep a draft email saved in their inbox that they churn out upon receipt of a complaint. The whole thing seems copied and pasted. Thats frustrating, and I would much rather hear that All Day is being lazy and not sending back your cards than, "Upper Deck is currently revamping its replacement program. Unfortunately, due to the changes coming up, we are unable to process a replacement request immediately. We apologize for any inconvenience and invite you to contact us again in the last week of August if you then wish to proceed with replacement."

Random Thought: Does anyone else wonder if these players have closets full of boxes from manufacturers that contain thousands of unsigned cards waiting to be done? I could imagine them using the boxes as a footrest for the TV or even a little house for the dogs.

Lets crack the whip people, the season is around the corner.

Please Legally Change My Name To "SwearBlogger"

Chad Johnson has entered a whole new unexplored level of stupidity by taking the first few steps to change his name legally to "Chad Ocho Cinco." Im guessing this is kind of like getting a tattoo of your number on your arm, but this is a little bit more, well, visible. Personally I think he deserves a name like "Chad Awfule-TD'danzer" or "Chad MeFurst-Noe'teem" because they are more fitting, and because his parents always wanted a hyphenated last name for him. In fact, here are a few other names that may fit some of the current idiots in the past and present NFL:

Orenthal James Thaglovedontfit
Emmitt Tackelosityness
Randy Bongracer
Adam "Pacman" Strep'teezegunshot
Marvin Quieterthanasilencer
Cedric Speedtwocruzcontrol
Daunte Captainstubingboatrocker (He switched to dual citizenship with Germany too)
Ron Mexico
Brett Enduplikeunitasonchargers (His great-grandfather was ethiopian)

Back to Mr. Ocho Cinco, I think it would be legendary if someone traded him to a team that has 85 as a retired number. Justice for the stupid, then.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blogging is Tough

In the spirit of Mario's recent post, I agree that Blogging can seem like a full time job. Unfortunately, my actual full time job has my day pretty busy, so it wont be likely that I will be able to post today.

Im not quitting or stopping in any way, so dont get all happy and celebretory.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Comment On DNA Relics

Dear UD and Topps,

I am really, REALLY, confused as to why hair relics are being included in sports cards. Yes, I know they are actual pieces of those people that they are advertised as, but unless I am making a clone, I dont see a purpose in this stuff. Cut autos, despite destroying historical documents, are cool, and SHOULD bring a lot of money. However, when it comes to cut hair, lets get serious - this is borderline gross. I have long said that "body used" blood samples are the next thing to include in player relics, but this is getting a little too close for comfort. Lets stick with cut sigs and suit relics from presidents, and cut sigs and jersey pieces from old timey players. That would be MORE than enough for me.

Now, I do understand that there is quite a market for hair collectors, but I think that combining that hobby with sports card collecting is going a little far. I mean, what did you guys have to go through to get this stuff? Either way, lets get some fresh blood in the card market, no pun intended, but stay away from bodily functions, excrement, and all naturally related pieces of a figure from the past.


Interesting Site

I received an email today from Michael Savage who is the proprietor of an upstart information website called He has started to list a bunch of resources including this blog and Wax heaven, so I agreed that I would help him out. Check out the site and look around, there is some interesting stuff on there. I would guess that in the future, this will be a resource for a lot of people.

Monday, August 11, 2008

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

I have seen a lot of nice things happening over the last six months, too bad they have been overshadowed by all the bad things. I just wanted to showcase a few things that I liked over the time I have been writing, and I think a lot would agree with me.

1. The resurgence of ON CARD AUTOS - YES! This is awesome to the tenth power. Finally some companies have gotten their shit together enough that even smaller sets are getting on card sigs. How is it done? Well, you produce the cards WELL before the release date so you can get them out to the players. Then you require them back before you pack out the cards. Its really a nice concept. I would especially like to highlight SPA and Exquisite of last year because both were completely on card. Exquisite is expected as such, but SPA is a mid end product. DLP, take note.

2. Measures against the patch faking douchebags - This time I have to give a hearty handshake to DLP for starting the process with getting these things going. Its not perfect yet, but it IS getting better. Hopefully, in the future, this will be a standard.

3. Painted "like" cards - I love UD Masterpieces, Allen and Ginter and the Gridiron Kings subsets. These cards are beautiful and really present a cool idea in a way that everyone can appreciate. I think that these cards are really done well in the fact that it focuses more on the piece itself rather than some gimmick. Thank you to the artists behind these cards. I also would like to suggest that maybe "sketch" cards would be a good idea as it would be cool to see how the best sports aritists in the game do their paintings/drawings. Basically, lets get more than Dick Perez involved.

4. The changing of redemption replacement procedures - I know, it hasn’t happened yet, but I assume it will be soon. UD has announced that users will be allowed to pick from a number of cards to replace the unmade or unfufilled redemption they have received. I like this ideas because I would be super pissed if I got crap for my cool card. In the future, lets hope that people wont have to go through this process at all, but that is a pipe dream, I understand.

5. Nice patches in every parallel instead of 1/1s- I know this can be good and bad, but I assume its mostly good. We saw that in SPA football and National Treasures, anything was possible. It used to be a 1/1 when a patch was amazing, but this time, its for everyone. Even the cards out of 225 had some really nice pieces, and although it provided fodder for the people mentioned in number two, it was a welcome addition. Lets hope this continues.*

6. DLP's language on the back of their jersey cards - see here.

*Yes, I do realize that a lot of cards were shafted this year in terms of 1 color patches on high end cards, but lets be honest, that was nothing new.

Im sure that a lot of stuff has caught your eye, so please feel free to post below if you want. This is the stuff that I liked and wanted to continue. I wont post what I didn’t like, because, well, that is way too long of a post and you have heard it all before. I know the card manufacturers are watching, so please take this stuff into consideration. I have questioned whether the companies actually know what we want, but in some respects, we are getting some stuff.