Thursday, July 31, 2008

Welcome The Minnesota Timberwolves To The WNBA

I noticed a few things about this picture:


1) The new Timberwolves jerseys look like they are WNBA jerseys
2) Kevin Love is a big awkward goofy looking white guy
3) How did they take the picture so the ball on his finger stopped spinning on the logo part of the ball? *Wait, its staged? Dreams shattered!*
4) Kevin Love has oodles upon oodles of Sass


Alex Gordon Loves Candy Circus Peanuts

If you havent seen Alex Gordon's new Triple Threads card, I assure you it is worth the gander on eBay. This year, Topps wanted to make things a little more "personalized," so they asked the players to bring stuff they enjoyed outside of baseball with them to the photoshoot.


Alex Gordon didnt get the memo, but he still came prepared...



I dont know why I have spent so much time on this set, maybe because it is one of the worst in recent memory, or maybe because there is too much blogger gold (and emerald and ruby and sapphire) here.

Your Guide To eBay 1/1s

Most of the time, I love looking at auctions on TWGM because its obvious to me that people are generally dumb about everything. There is only a privileged portion of people who know their ass from a hole in the ground in this hobby, and it shows on a cosmic level with most of these auctions. Regardless of stupidity and scams, the funniest thing to me is 1/1s on eBay. I get some good testicle shaking laughs looking at some of the crap people come up with. So, I thought I would put together a guide and let you guys in on a little secret…

Things That Are Not 1/1s But Are Listed As Such

Jersey Numbered Cards - I fucking hate this ultimate level of idiotic brain farting. Why the idiot conglomerate pays EXTRA for this absolute scam is beyond me. I don’t understand why a Jordan auto 3 color patch 22/25 is worth less than the same Jordan auto 1 color patch 23/25. That is fucking absurd. I would take the first any day of the week. ANY FUCKING DAY. Yet, stupid people do stupid things and the second "1/1" carries up to a 100$ premium.

College Jersey Numbered Cards - See above, but add a whole separate level of brainlessness.

First In A Print Run - Just because the card was the first card serial numbered, does not mean shit. It is not necessarily the first off the press and it always makes me wonder how this shit got started. One day some guy pulls a card that is worth nothing, but needs money. He sees that it is numbered 1/1599, so he lists it as a 1/1, because it is obviously the first one printed! Well fuck me.

Last In A Print Run - Same thing, same stupid concept. Serial numbers should not drive a price.

Cards With Great Patches Or Other Defining Features - These are ALWAYS listed as 1/1s because "there is no way any other card could have this patch!" However, that would also make every card a 1/1 for the same stupid reason. These cards carry a high premium, despite the number of fakes out there, and that is understandable. It is not understandable why they are considered 1/1s. Error cards or printing mistake cards are the same thing. Just because they printed a card with Jeter's picture but Angel Berroa's stats does not mean that it is the holy grail of cards. No reason to put a $1500 BIN on it.

Graded Cards With A Low Population Report - Who fucking cares if your card is graded in the first place. Grading sucks. On that note, why the fuck should people care if a card is the "only 9.5 out there!!"? In all reality, it’s the only 9.5 that has been submitted. There probably are others out there, but those people are too smart to use this ridiculous service, or they cant afford it. The premium for the 9.5 on a condition sensitive card is the reason you are selling - it is most definitely not a 1/1.

Things That Have a 1/1 Serial Number, But Are Not Really 1/1s

Anything from Topps Moments and Milestones - The 1/1s in this set are actually like 1/250 because of the crap set this is. These are not 1/1s. It is just a handjob in a box for the idiots who wait the majority of their lives to pull one of the chase cards of the industry. Instead of pulling a significant card, you get a 1/1 that is one per two boxes. Wow, really rare! ANNNNNND it’s the only one in existence!!!!! MOJO!!!! Ugh.

Anything from Topps Triple Threads - There is no reason for this set to have eleventy billion 1/1s other than to market to the zombies who think they are actually 1/1s instead of 1/1500. What crap.

Printing Plates - I have no idea why people pay for these pieces of crap, especially if they arent auto'ed. Again, not 1/1s, but really 1/4 at the lowest considering that you need that many plates to print a card. Plus, Im not convinced one single bit that these pieces of scrap metal from the manufacturers are actually used in printing. Its almost like they actually create these for the sets. Right Mr Triple Threads Brand Manager guy?

Parallel Base Cards With No Distinguishing Features - Again, more like 1/10000, but they slap a serial number on it and people piss themselves when they pull it.

Lets hope that in the future, eBay actually enforces their keyword spamming policies and saves me the time of sorting through these ridiculous displays of human waste. Of course, if they do that, it wont stop them from still showing up every other fucking place in this hobby. Im beginning to think that of all the hobbies in existence, collectibles is filled with the highest percentage of idiots.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alert The Idiot Conglomerate



Ok, people, seriously. Take a deep breath. These cards are not 24 little pieces of some player's relics. If someone was ever smart enough to take one of these cards apart, it would be easy to see that there are just long strips of "relics" and 24 sets of die cut windows.

A) These are some fugly ass cards
B) The player pictures are fucking small
C) They are fold out making them impossible to display
D) Who can fucking read this shit without sitting and thinking through it? It just looks like an awful jumble of scrabble tiles thrown onto a card.

Lastly, for half of these cards, Im pretty sure they arent even game used. ESPECIALLY if they are old timey players - look at all the white ass fabric on some of these. That is impossible. Who would actually want this crap?

Oh...yeah...thats right...

Add It To The Ever Growing List


Exquisite Golden Ticket Box Auction

Im not going to say anything about this other than from what people are saying, one of the five people who were involved in this event let Beckett build their exquisite box, and now it is being sold for a "REDECUELOS" price. Discuss.

Topps, I Am Bored With Triple Threads

Yes, you have signed a bunch of new HOFers to your stable, and yes, you have added some content to the set, but in reality, I am way too fucking bored with this set to even think about wanting to buy singles. It seems like every year, this set has the same guys with the same cards and just different die cut windows. Last year, I was kind of interested to see what was added to make it better than 2006 and I was thoroughly disappointed. This year, although a lot of players have been added, the set really hasnt changed.


Personally, it just seems like Topps blew their load and tried to include as many of the CMG people as possible, rather than actually taking a new way to this set. They could have taken it a new direction with a new design, but instead we were forced to weather another year of the same triple autos, the same no-name rookie autos, etc. They finally had the tools to do a really nice set, but that didnt happen.

I first mentioned my disdain for Triple Threads when I created the aura of the now famous Joe Collector. Chris Harris may have completely butchered what I actually meant for a JC, but the concept remains the same when it comes to a JC's man-love for his Triple Threads. Hey, ill admit, it was actually a cool set in 2006 because it hadnt been done before, but in 2008, the only people who would actually spend the money on this crap would have to be a JC. Let me break down why:

Of an 18 box case you are guaranteed 18 auto cards. 1 will be a triple auto and there is also a guaranteed 1/1 auto too. Of course, these 1/1s are actually like 1/18, but thats a different post entirely. If you look at the rest of the 16 auto cards at least 8 of them will be no-name rising star auto/relics. These sell for an average of $1.99 on TWGM, and they are the reason I wont touch this shit with someone else's 10 foot pole. So, that leaves you a 8 autos besides the two 1/1s that will be worth your time. I would say 4 of these autos are base versions of some non-important player, leaving you with a mere 6 boxes out of 18 that will have something worth your time. Of those 6 boxes, I would say 1-2 will contain an auto card worth more than 100 bucks, and most of the time it those arent the awfully designed triple auto cards. As for relics, most of them will be 5 dollar cards unless you pull a rare president, foldout (still awfully designed), or Mantle(non-game used relics), Ruth, Maris, or Gherig Relic. So, for a $2000 case or even a $170 box, there is no reason to even think about busting this.

The new stuff isnt really that big of a deal to me, mainly because there is such a small chance that you would actually pull one. They have foldout double relic autos, but they are mostly just two crappy auto/relic cards put together, however. They added the 1/1 foldout jumbo patches, but these dont even contain an auto like the ones in Sterling, which were amazing, and there is no way to think you will pull one. Lastly they have added other 1/1s like the Presidential Sunglasses Cut, but again, you wont pull it.

Overall, im pretty much staying away from Topps this year, minus buying some singles out of chrome football and finest football. They have dropped the ball pretty often lately, and I am not one to move past that with ease. Plus, CAN WE PLEASE DITCH THE FUCKING FOIL STICKERS?!?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Teixeira is an Angel

ESPN is reporting that the Braves have traded Mark Teixeira to the Angels for Casey Kotchman and a minor leaguer (reportedly Stephen Marek).

While I'm AMAZED that the Halos actually made a deal during the season, and I'm very happy to get Teixeira in Angels red, I'm really going to miss Casey Kotchman.

Here's hoping that a contract extension will be announced shortly. I cannot imagine Arte Moreno "renting" a player of Teixeira's quality without the intention of signing him to a long-term deal. If that's the case though, the price of the rental was too high. Kotchman may not ever be a super-star, but he's a solid first-baseman with a ton of potential.

SO I wonder which set will have the first cards of Mark in his new Angel uniform, plus when's his first game? I know it won't be tonight, and Kotchman has already been pulled from the stadium in Boston.

Will Someone Please Buy This For Me?

Because this auction for the complete set of Minnesota Twins bobbleheads is fucking amazing. Most of them are personally autographed by the players, and Ill tell you they look great. That Mauer one is awesome by itself, but check out the Puckett, Hunter, Carew, Molitor and Killebrew too. I want to tell this guy who is selling it that he is the iron man of the bobblehead collecting world, as this must have been tough, considering how long I had to wait to get the Mauer and Morneau that I have.

The $750+ in paypal can be sent to SportsCardsUncensored@gmail.com, thanks in advance!*

*Please do not send the actual money. I am joking. Not that anyone would, so I dont know why I am typing this.

Earthquake Here, Really Not That Bad

Whatever the news is saying, its pretty sensationalized. I work about 30 minutes from the epicenter and we felt it for around 5 seconds. Judging from what I thought my first one would be, this was pretty tame. Will, how about you?

The Cup Has It Right

Yesterday I started watching some breaks of 07-08 The Cup Hockey, and yes, I enjoyed seeing those cards. It was interesting to watch, because I knew I didn’t know many players outside of the HOFers, Marian Gaborik, Patrick Kane, Carey Price, and handful of others, but also because I saw something nifty that Upper Deck had done.

Instead of the normal cards in the box inside a tin, it was a tin that contained an ultimate pack sized box inside. Inside of the smaller box was foam insulators that protected the cards. At 350 per pack, I expect the best packaging money can buy, and with the Cup, I finally saw something that was good at following through on that promise.

See, packaging is pretty underrated in my opinion, especially considering it has become the focus of a lot of products. Take, for instance, National Treasures football, which is known for its cigar box display. I love the outside of that box, as it is something cool to display once the fun is done. The problem with it, is that inside that box, the cards are not necessarily protected like they should be. Another cardboard box is not sufficient enough packaging, if not only because during shipping, they are not in there very tightly. This can cause nicks or worse in the card stock, and that really pisses people off.

Worse than anything was Topps Paradigm (or Para-dig-em for people who don’t know what a Pair-a-dime is), as its candy dish style packaging was more of a focus than the cards themselves. It came with a lucite like bubble containing the cards, and other than that, there was nothing protecting the cards. It was a condition sensitive set enclosed in awful packaging. Stupid.

Exquisite Baseball from Upper Deck did something that I never thought would or should happen to a high end product. They put the cards in the box in a fucking mylar "wax" pack! Yes, this is exactly what should happen with all 120 pt cardstock cards. Fucking unbelieveable.

Personally, as I have mentioned before, I think Sport Kings A had the right idea by encasing all their cards in sealed top loaders. Its not the best idea, but it’s a start. When you buy cards at THAT price, they should come in hard plastic holders. This would prevent damage and possibly counterfeiting by not allowing the collectors to take the cards out of the holders without drawing attention to that fact. I don’t know if it would be possible, but I think its worth some consideration at $500+ per pack.

As for lower end products, packs seem to do their job, MOST of the time. Yet, everything else in the industry has moved ahead of the current packaging due to thicker cards, innovative box shapes, etc, but the mylar packs have stayed the same. I think its time that companies re-thought the way cards are distributed and maybe came up with an idea to protect their condition sensitive products.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Collating The Collecting Industry

Since everyone has spent the last week blighting (blog fighting) it out, I think its time that we get back to some old fashioned card shit. Im done with the whole BWWF (blog world wrestling federation) now, so consider me retired to taking shots at people who actually deserve them. WOOOOOOO!

When it comes down to it, a set is based on two very, very important things. First is the cards, obviously, as they need to be top notch for me to waste my hard earned money. The second thing is how the cards are distributed to the buyers, because without a good way of distributing, the first doesn’t matter. Number 2b under this second part is a thing that refers to the way things are distributed among the boxes, or collation. Collation for cards in a set is like a playlist for your iPod at a party, it needs to be smooth or you can kiss the girls and the party goodbye.

Of course its pretty obvious that collation in a set's worth of boxes is never perfect, but it better be pretty fucking close to prevent an uprising. Yeah, we get the whole "on average" thing, which is bullshit, but that doesn’t mean that we should get MULTIPLE boxes without the advertised hits. This could be made worse or better when your box after the zero box contains two of the same hit, something that makes me either really pissed, or really happy.

Just to reinterate how important good collation is, lets go over some recent mishaps:

1. 2007 Allen & Ginter Baseball - Some cases that were documented had box after box filled with relic cards instead of getting some relic and some auto cards through the case. On the flip side, a few cases in the run were filled with the missing autos from these boxes. Box after box had two autos in them instead of having some of each. People were pretty pissed.

2. 2007 SPA Football - This was pretty bad in terms of collation, as some cases were loaded with low end letter autos and no patch autos despite having advertised them both as one every other box. This was, of course, minimal damage as there were some cases and boxes that had nothing - no letters or patches. It was so bad that a lot of people stayed away from buying a lot of this product.

3. 2007 Exquisite Football - Upper Deck swears that the Beckett boxes were collation errors, but that’s pretty tough in a hand packed product, especially when the two best boxes in the run end up at the hobby's biggest mag for free.

4. 2008 Allen and Ginter Baseball - It has been alleged that there were at least two cases filled with hundreds of rip cards from the product. I say alleged because these cases were not found in the US. Pictures were displayed, but in all reality, it could be a hoax. Either way, some of the boxes from the product ended up with 4-5 hits, making me curious as to who will eventually be shafted.

Those are just the ones that come to mind as of late, Im sure there are many more. The funny thing is that I don’t know why collation always has to be on the bad side of things. Its not like there are ever any pleasant widespread collation suprises. That would be the day. The closest thing I can think of when it comes to a pleasant surprise is 2007 Black Basketball where there were a handful of people who got more than one A level auto per case. This meant an extra Jordan or an extra Lebron or Kobe too. In return, the product flew off the shelves and the value skyrocketed for unopened boxes and cases.

That’s a good idea actually, understate the odds and surprise people. 2 hits per box? Fuck that, give em 4! Let them have and eat their cake too! I guarantee you would gain loyal customers, have a happy collector base, and your product would be worth more in the form you are selling. I cant tell you how awesome that would be.

I know, I know, that wont happen. But, with hand packing become more of a trend, we may get better collation eventually. Plus, collation rules are being changed for the better as well, thanks to Upper Deck of all people. In sets like Black Basketball and the upcoming Premier Football, you will get at least a certain number of top autos. For Premier, you will get 4 autos from the top rookies and at least one other A lister per case. That is fucking amazingly awesome, considering that there was 32 players at the rookie premiere this year (most of them 3rd string bench players).

Hopefully, once I become too disenfranchised to write anymore someone will be still looking for collation improvements. At that time there will be no more "on average," as all boxes have guaranteed stuff. No more will you open a box and pull two of the same base cards in one pack, or be shorted a card, or pull the same relic or auto in multiple boxes. That would be a collatopia.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Will’s Pet Peeves – Five Bad Blogging Clichés

Will Here:

I read an awful lot of blogs; I think that’s no secret. Since I discovered the wonderful world of RSS feeds and Google Reader a few months ago, every time I click the little green button on my toolbar I get anywhere between 10 and 100 new entries to read from the over 100 different blogs I subscribe to.

In the sports card world I have well over a dozen different blog subscriptions, and as for my own blogs, I contribute to this one, and have two other of my own (one is just my generic online journal, the other is The Budget Sports Card Collector in which I try to focus on the cheap-end of the collecting spectrum. If you add up all the entries on all three blogs, I’ve written well over 400 articles in blog format over the last seven years. I don’t know if that makes me an expert blogger, but it does make me a bit savvier than the guy just starting out there. I'm posting this entry here instead of my own blogs because frankly Gellman gets more traffic than I do, and I want this to be read, digested and spat back out at me in disgust.

That said, I’ve noticed that there are quite a few blogging clichés out there in the blogosphere that need to be retired. No, this won’t be a retread of every other snarky “don’t do this” blog entry, because I’m just as guilty as others of spreading the bad syntax.


1. “Without further ado”, sometimes misspelled “adieu”. – This has to go, big time. It should not be used by bloggers at all, especially those who can’t spell “ado” properly. The phrase is actually one of the oldest clichés in the English language originating in the 1300’s! Time for a rest don’t you think? It’s tired and bad copy, and basically lazy. When you use this phrase it’s a signal that you’re done with the preliminaries and ready to get on with the meat of the post. Just get to it already.

2. For that matter, all phrases that are used to connote that the introduction is over and the heart of the post is coming should be excised immediately. Including my own use of “that said” which is sheer laziness. Thinking about it critically, I’m just saying “I know I said all that above that is the complete antithesis to my point, which I’m going to make anyway, so you can automatically discount my opinion because it means nothing to me as it is.”

3. Blog entries that consist of nothing but a “preview” of upcoming blog entries - Way to make your idea for one blog stretch into two or three. Are you that starved for content that you’ve decided to cannibalize your own ideas? Of course you are, because blogging on a regular basis is HARD. The problem is that blogging isn’t magazine writing, and most bloggers don’t stick to a specific schedule of blogging, they just throw up whatever entry they feel like posting that day. Advance notice of your upcoming features is not necessary.

4. Copying other blogs ideas – It’s a blog-eat-blog world out there, and I’m sure that all of us at one point or another are guilty of inadvertent theft of ideas. No, what I’m talking about here is when a meme that one blog creates gets disseminated down to other blogs and diluted, such as Gellman’s own Joe Collector idea. I know Gellman feels that it’s a form of flattery, and perhaps it is, but now he’s taking flack for creating a meme that has grown into something he didn’t intend it to mean in the first place. Then there’s the inevitable meme backlash, and the originator has to backtrack in the first place. While ideas are meant to be shared, they aren’t meant to be copied verbatim. If you like the idea, come up with your own offshoot.

5. Numbered Lists – Just like this one. One thing I learned in three years of high school journalism classes over 20 years ago is that readers have a short attention span, and anything in depth tends to go over their heads. There is no better way to keep your audience than by breaking down your ideas into short, bite-sized paragraphs and numbering them so that your audience doesn’t miss something. Of course, if we got rid of lists, then half of the blogosphere would immediately implode into a mass of starry matter that rivals a small black hole. Topless Robot would go out of business immediately.

Bonus - Any time you are self-referential, you’re being lazy (I’m lazy an awful lot, that’s why I know so much about being lazy). Speaking of lazy, run your blog entry through a spell checker before you post it please. I’m not asking for a professional edit job where you submit your writing to your editor first, but come on, if you are still confusing “your” and “you’re” or worse, “there”, “their” and “they’re” you need to stop blogging. NOW.

Did I miss something here? Yes, I probably did. But it’s Sunday morning, I’m watching kiddy TV shows to keep my toddler occupied while I write this entry. Back to Bunnytown and Zoob toys.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Will's For Allen & Ginter

Will here, NOT GELLMAN. This week I've been obsessed with several new pop-culture phenomena, Baseball Boss, Duels, virtually attending Comic Con and yearning to buy some Allen & Ginter, which I finally got to do today. I won't bore you with a pack pull, because let's face it, I bought three packs, that's not really much to go on. I did get a Carl Crawford framed jersey, which is very cool, but I was really more interested in some of the other inserts this year.

I really love Allen & Ginter for a variety of reasons, but chiefly because the cards are just so beautifully cool. I honestly may have to decide at some point that I'm not going to buy anything else, but try to collect a full set of A&G and the only way I'm going to be allowed to do so is to focus my collecting.

There's so many reasons to like A&G, so I've decided to do a pros and cons list for the set, call it lazy blogger syndrome:

Pros:



  • The Card Stock - Not only is it pristine, it's thick and unglossed, making it perfect for signatures. Well, at least I think it would be, I haven't tried to get any signed, but I can imagine. Glossy cards are just too damned hard to have autographed.

  • The Card Fronts - No other set looks quite like A&G. Other sets do the computer enhanced art work, but A&G consistently sets the bar on quality. At least to my unprofessional eye that is. I mean my degree is in English, not Design, but I know what my eye prefers: clean and simple design with repetitive motifs that both reach back to an earlier time and also remind us that we're in modernity, which leads us to:

  • The Card Backs - The typography is consistent with the fronts, as is the overall design.

  • The Descriptive Backs of Non-Ballplayers - Seriously, the backs of non Baseball players are way better than the statistics. Card-backs aren't known for their verbosity or even relevance really (face it, who really remembers the BACKS of cards) and years of reading goofy Topps copy make it seem like these are mere kitsch, but they are pretty informative as well. For example, the back of the State of Kansas/Nate Robertson let me know that Nate had been drafted three times by two different teams. Oh and Joey Chestnut has other competitive eating categories in his resume besides hot-dogs.

  • The Minis - Who doesn't like minis? I don't like it when there's an entire set made up of only minis (I won't be buying Goudey ever again), but one per pack doesn't stink.

  • Variety of Subjects - The conceit of the A&G set itself is that it's an update of the vintage Tobacco cards, of which baseball cards were only a small portion. There were hundreds of other subjects, and Topps is doing a great job of taking an "anything goes" attitude towards what's appearing on the cards. So far they've had subsets based on Roman Emperors, Flags of the World, Snakes, Sharks, States of the Union, Historic Figures, World Leaders and Ancient Icons. That's just the insert sets, the BASE set has some really different folks on the fronts, from Danica Patrick and Freddy Adu to Albert Einstein and Herman Mellville, you never really know WHO is going to appear in A&G, and that's half of the fun. Makes opening up packs pretty fun. For example, today I pulled the champion eater guy and a speed-skater along with my ballplayers. IN A&G I love that. Other sets, not so much, though for some reason the political cards this year aren't bothering me at all.

  • Retail Packs are only THREE BUCKS - At least they were last year. I'm hoping they'll be the same price this year. Haven't seen them at retail quite yet. This year's hobby packs were only five bucks, so that's not bad either. Last year I couldn't find them for less than six, and then the few packs I was able to purchase kind of sucked. I never felt like I bought a bad pack at three bucks each.



Cons



  • Too Many Parallels - It just proves that NO set that Topps puts out is immune to the peril of parallels. I don't even care about Parallels anymore. Not even 1/1's because really, are they TRULY one of one? Theres thousands of other cards that look exactly like that one only with a different color border. I guess those super-fractors are technologically different, but I haven't seen one, so I can't really make an assessment. The Wood cards are mildy interesting, but not that much. Silk cards don't really do much for me either.

  • Short Prints - I hate short prints in a base set. Really I do. It kills set collectors and makes it that much harder for those who even consider putting together the set. The last time I put together a set of sports cards it was in the 20th century, and I've been very hesitant to try it again due to the huge number of short-prints these days.

  • Rip Cards - I don't like the concept of rip cards one iota. I feel like the card companies are really into the whole Willie Wonka Golden Ticket idea as being the one reason that people still collect cards. I guess there's SOME validity to that, but rip-cards take it to the extreme. TO have to destroy the card to get to the inside is just strange. In an upcoming Basketball set there's going to be real cash in the rip cards. Isn't that a lottery?

  • Funky Collation - I haven't experienced this first hand, but the reports coming out of the far east of multiple rip cards coming from one box or case is alarming. The playing field needs to be leveled. Collectors in other countries shouldn't get special treatment because of their location. Just like the boxes of product provided to Beckett for their box bust videos, or for the Topps Rip Parties should be regular run of the mill boxes from anywhere in the production line, and therefore not loaded with impossible "hits", collectors in other countries shouldn't be able to get their mitts on an AMERICAN product first, and then sell ONLY to American collectors on eBay. I'm sure this isn't just a Topps-only issue.

  • The Crack the Code Contest - I think it's just a bad idea all together. These contests are really only designed for a FEW devoted individuals that have the wherewithal (and funds) to actually try to break the code. It just seems to me to be too gimmicky. I don't particularly care for contests where the amount of money that you spend on an item is the deciding factor.


These are some pretty minor complaints to be honest. The Crack the Code is most probably a one time only deal, since once the code is cracked, it makes it easier to work a similarly conceived contest the next time. I will most likely never pull a rip card, though I did almost bid on a Vladdy Rip card last year. I'll also probably not even buy enough of this product for the collation to affect me. In fact, I've already been pretty lucky pulling a relic out of my first three packs. I also pulled an ad-back parallel and two short prints, so that won't kill me either.

I don't really have any positive or negative opinion of the DNA 1/1s and the other super-rare cards. For A&G's theme, the DNA cards aren't such a stretch. The only thing I would point out is that the Lincoln Hair 1/1 that's on the box cover is NOT the same card that's on eBay at the moment. If there is only one of those cards out there, Topps is guilty of false advertising. The hair strand on the cover of the box is much longer (and curlier) than the picture that's on the eBay auction. Look for yourself, don't take my word for it.

Also, please remember these are just MY opinions, I could be misinformed.

Amazing B-Day Presents Pt 2

Yes, yes, I know I am acting like a total JC buy displaying all this stuff, but its my blog, and my birthday, and I can cry if I want to.

Because this present from my parents sure brought a tear to my eye:



Its going next to my authentic auto'ed Puckett bat on the wall. This is just the standard pic from the store that sells Mauer's stuff, but you get the picture.

Why You Should Give Me Money, I Mean, Wish Me A Happy Birthday

Just a little over two years days ago I made an impassioned speech about why you should donate to the blog WISH ME A HAPPY BIRTHDAY. This time there will be no preaching. I was young and naive, having logged just seven short months as a card blogger.

Aw, fuck it. this idea getting stupid. Anyways, thanks to my wonderful finance for getting me a box of Topps HTA Fooball for my birthday. Here is a box break post of what I got. I dont have much time because I have to go to work (half day on the B-day), so enjoy.


I managed to pull a sweet performance highlight auto, I know that is probably an oxy moron this year, but it is true for me.



I opened the second pack and pulled this:







Not necessarily a mind blowing coolness, but still pretty respectable. I also managed to pull an Adrian Peterson gold league leaders base card something like 1987/2008, so it wasnt a complete all day-less box. I didnt manage to pull a RP auto, my second hit was an Allen Patrick performance highlight, so Im not sure what to think of this box as a whole.



If you need any of these, let me know. A big thank you to the GF for some fun this morning.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

2008 A&G + Taiwan = More Bullshit

Hey kids. Just to clarify, it's Charlie, not Gellman. My box break and review will be coming as soon as I figure out how to use my video editing software.

In the meantime, I decided to take a look on TWGM to see if I could find anything interesting, and to see whether or not my "pulls" are worth anything. The A&G Taiwan rip-card debaucle has already been well chronicled here, and here.

And now, we have these...........

Tex
Ngwenya
Mitchell

If you'd like, you can check out the auctions here, here, and here. However, if you don't feel like looking, I can save you some time. THEY'RE ALL IN TAIWAN!! And they all implicitly state "NO TAIWAN BIDDER!!!". I, for one, am utterly shocked. The amazing part is, they all have bids. There must be some JC's closely monitoring all 3 auctions.

And yes, I know, we have our fair share of fake patches here as well. But what I'm really struggling to figure out is.......Why does all of the Allen & Ginter bullshit seem to happen in Taiwan. I need Gellman to begin an inquiry immediately.

Money Talks

I have done a lot of naughty things on this site, A LOT. Its pretty obvious that I use adult language (GASP), I make fun of people (NO!! GASP!!), and I have no qualms about badmouthing the biggest names in the industry (HOW COULD YOU?!?)(GASP!!).

But, as low as I am, I will never expect you guys to give me money for reading this blog. On the other hand, that is exactly what Ben Henry is doing. I wont even post the link because the post is below even me.

I saw the request on his site and I thought to myself about how awful that is. He says that he "deserves" it because he may have inspired you, or turned you on to something new, or a million other things. In response, I think the idea of blogging is not to make money, but to just have a fun place to post your thoughts. For some weird reason, Ben thinks that he deserves more payment besides the fact that he has made a difference for some people.

For me, It seems as though people (like some recent commenters) think that I write this blog to gain notariety, money, fame, and to make a difference in the hobby. If that were the case, I would be really sad *tear* right now as only about 300 people read this site per day. Yet, alas, I write because I enjoy writing, and it just so happens that this hobby provides a lot of good fodder for some funny shit.

Now, its also pretty obvious that I have not changed the collecting world at all, but its pretty cool that I have made a small difference to a select few people. Why would anyone need more than that? Personally, each time I get a cool letter from someone, that is reason enough to keep writing here. I dont think there is an email I havent answered and I dont think there will be. I love interacting with fellow collectors, regardless of whether or not they share the same viewpoints, and I hope people arent afraid of letting me know what's up. Hell, do you guys actually think I would turn down the opportunity to hang out with someone and bullshit about the hobby if they wanted to talk? Nah, im not that selective. In fact, I actually enjoy hanging out over at TradingCardCentral.com, one of the most MOJO infested message boards on the planet. You know why? Because they are genuinely nice people. I like that.

Fact of the matter is that there are too many people out for their own good in this business (and world for that matter). I hate on JCs and Beckett because it seems that fame, money and fortune are all they care about. Of course, cages are rattled and people get pissed, but its all worth it when you get comments like the one "A Fan" posted on the latest Beckett post. That's just plain fun, I even hung it on the wall next to my computer here in my parent's basement.

And yes, I do realize I have had a donate button on the side, but those days are over - so dont worry. Its all cool here in SCU land, and I hope everyone has time to go check out Mario's response to this whole thing too. H/T to him.

Oh, if you guys hang around long enough, my mom can whip us up some sick mojo food.

A Quick Comment On BIN/BO

Thanks to a generous donation from my parents to the "Buy Gellman a B-day Present Fund" I am able to get some stuff I have wanted for a while. I managed to snag a Joe Mauer JSY from A&G for less than 5, and I thought I would maybe think about getting a few autos of people I didnt have.

I started looking around for a Cal Ripken auto that I could trust and maybe a Pujols or something like that. What I didnt expect was that A) No one uses the counteroffer feature, B)Everyone responds with "sorry I cant go that low," despite my offers being ABOVE market value of completed auctions, and that C)BIN w/BO is an enigma if you are buying from a card shop with an eBay store. In reality, they will only give you 5-10 bucks off the already sky high price if you make an offer.

Also, if someone has quoted BV in the auction title, dont even bother.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Topps Dooms Us To 14 Full Minutes Of Complete and Utter Shame


Douching Instructional Video from The Hobby's #1 Authority On Douchebaggery on Vimeo.


Someone tell me what they pulled, I fell asleep at minute 6.

Other than that, is anyone else laughing that Beckett got sent a Hobby box instead of the HTA? Its like Topps either wanted us to suffer through this "break" (or wanted them to suffer through it from the looks of it). Good job you wholly intelligent marketing reps!


Oh, and can someone call these brats' parents and tell them to clean up? I bet their rooms are just as bad as the mess they made here.


Also, after watching video after video after video of this shit, Im suprised that more people arent pissed that these idiots handle the cards the way they do. Listen, we know they are free, but that doesnt mean you need to beat the fuck out of them, im sure the kids who go to day care with Hackler would probably like them.

Dont Tempt Him

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the national card show in Chicago is offering recent cave dweller, Steve Bartman, 25,000 reasons to come out of hiding. All he would have to do is sign a photo of the infamous bartman bobble play from the NLCS. Bartman has publically said he doesnt want to be a public figure, but we all know what every Cubs fan's dream is (it involves a sideways pineapple and a very uncomfortable place, like the back of a Volkswagen) .

Here are a few things he could do with the 25 grand:

-Buy a bulletproof upgrade for his car.
-Pay James Carville to "spin" the catch as the republicans' fault.
-Buy an ipod to replace his walkman, as those black headphones are "so 1989."
-Make a youtube video of him jumping over a speeding goat (special appearance by Will Ferrell as Harry Carey).
-Sponsor a national mock turtleneck layering awarness day across greater Chicago
-Purchase Season Tickets to the Cardinals for life
-Erect a statue of Moises Alou from blown up bits of baseball
-Open a Steve Bartman experience ride at Wrigley where fans try to catch a ball without falling into a net that prevents them from falling onto a replica part of Wrigley's outfield (hint: most Cubs fans wont win).
-Contacts, he really needs contacts.
-Pay for Ozzie Guillen's english lessons - more of a public service to Chicago and the world.
-Offer the money to the Florida Marlins as a down payment on a new stadium, because after all, he is their savior.
-Start "Bartmanism" which is similar to Scientology. The Bible is the program to the last game of the NLCS. Creed: Thou shalt not catch thy ball if hit near ye wall.

Glossary Added

Because I have gotten 15 emails over the last week or so asking me what such and such means, I have put together a guide for new readers. If you need something added, please email me at sportscardsuncensored@gmail.com and ill throw it up. This is not me being pretentious, this is me being a lazy son of a bitch.

Today Is National Base Set Collector's Day

Says me. 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter comes out today, and it actually looks like there are going to be a fuckload of problems with the collation for this set. Does that mean that no one will buy it? Hell no. Its really the first modern set to go full on into the entertainment/sports combo, and for this it kind of works because of the historical composition of the original A&G sets.

2006 was hugemongously popular because of the collectability of the base set, and the innovation of the minis, the framed hits, and the rip cards. It was a base set collectors wet dream. This continued in 2007, and now 2008 brings it back for a third year. For the first time, I actually might buy a box because I think this is the one set that is fun to open EVERY pack. Plus, with hits now falling as much as 24 per box, and 200 something per case, it cant hurt.

Charlie and JV are already in for a few boxes, so stay tuned to their spots for some A&G goodness. Plus if you are going for the base set and you need some help, im sure they will be more than happy to oblige. Ill post a review if Charlie decides to be lazy again, and maybe even a box break. We'll see, my birthday is Friday so there will be some extra money floating around. Oh, and Mauer and Morneau both have hits in this set, even though their base cards are pretty fugly, so if you pull either, give me a shout. Ill have my paypal ready.

Dont forget, if you are searching on TWGM, make sure you search for "___________ allen ginter" or "__________ topps allen" to get what you want. People are weird with the ampersand.

Lastly, if you are craving some breaks and there is no other possible way for you to watch, please put on a set of rifle range ear muffs and hit play below. Its completely awful, but it will give you a sense of what you want.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Alright, You Win, This IS the Best Box Ever Of 2008 Donruss Classics

Warning, the following is:





I was going through the idiot bomb message boards checking on some A & G breaks, when I couldnt help but notice that this guy did indeed break the "BEST BOX EVER!??! MOJO!!!! LOOK!"

Recap ("HITS!!!!!!"):

Tony Romo Jersey /9 - 30 bucks (only because cowboy fans are stupid)

"Classic Quad Sanders, LT, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith!!! Holy Crap!!! MOJO! 81/100!" - $46

"DeSean Jackson Jersey Auto 10/10!!!!!" - 50 bucks, I cant see it worth more than that on TWGM

So, this was a box that BARELY broke even on the box price, and even if I am off a few bucks, its still not THAT much more. Of course, its not really about the hits themselves, its about the person posting them (and his use of more than 50 exclamation points during the course of his post).
Kill me now.

Contrary to Common Belief, High Price 1st Week DOES NOT Equal High Price After That

Lets face it, the Coe Jollectors love to jump on products when they are hot. THEY LIVE FOR IT. What they dont get is that after the first weeks, you can pretty much cut the price by 20-50% for the remainder of the time. No matter what happens, TWGM jumps in volume sold and price when things are first listed.

The reason I am bringing this up is because Topps Football was just released and not only are people falling all over themselves to buy in at the 85+ dollar price for a box (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!), but they are also killing any surviving brain cells by paying "REDICOLUS" prices for the rookie premiere autos.

This has led more sellers to post enormous BIN/BOs on their auctions, while others dont even bother with the BO, and just expect people to buy their third string WR red ink auto at $250. Lets go over something:

1. All Day (ROY, all time yds leader single game, beastly runner with tons of hype) - $300 Bucks
2. Matt Ryan (Plays for a shitty team and wont be good for three years) - $199
3. Darren McFadden (shitty team, wont do half of what peterson did) - $310, sad
4. John David Booty: Red Ink /10 (5th rd pick, 3rd stringer) - $149?

Am I missing something here? I dont know many JCs that would even buy in at these prices. Hell, even I wont buy in on Peterson because I know those prices are going to drop like a rock, not to mention the fact that he has played a year. Yet, people are buying Rashard Fucking "NO SIG" Mendenhall at 230 plus? Fuck!

Someone really needs to have a mass murdering rampage across TWGM, I am super cereal about that.

TJCL: A Response? Kind of.

As I mentioned before, Chris Harris has taken to writing about Joe Collectors in a defining fashion, and to tell you the truth, Im pretty happy about it. His latest entry on Things Joe Collectors Like, is a little off though, and I want people to get the real(er) story based on my take of things.

Chris isnt completely wrong when he says that JCs love hits, that’s assumed. But, the problem is that 95% of the collecting hobby does the same thing. We look for the stuff that makes us the most happy, and an Autograph or Jersey card usually does that for me better than a base card. Ive said before that I don’t bust THAT much stuff, but when I do, I enjoy getting cool "relics" and autos of my favorite players. When I search for All Day, Mauer and Morneau on TWGM, I don’t search for the base, I don’t need to buy those. However, when I see a ridiculously cool Auto, im in it like a soldier in the shit.

The difference between the JCs and the PP, or Privileged Portion of collectors who are up on what they need to be up on (Please update your SCU glossary), is that when a JC pulls a "hit" they go fucking nutso, and they must post said hit on a message board with tons of exclamation points and some brain fart incarnation of MOJO. When someone who doesn’t have a mental imbalance pulls a hit, we put it aside and bask in the bright light of coolness for the card. If it ever makes it on to a message board, or blog in this case, we are realistic and calm, and no exclamation points or MOJO is used. We don’t say "SICK HIT!!!!!!!!!" and we don’t say "OMFGKGFLK MOJOZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SUPERMAN-JO!!!!!!!!!!!" for any reason whatsoever.

Ladies and gents, welcome to the PP. Wear your badge proudly.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tales From TWGM 5: Tommy Gunn?

From time to time, I like to peruse the high price listings of the card section of TWGM just so I can find comedic hobby gold. I warn you, stupidity is to follow. I dont even think the guys who sell this stuff are Coe Jollectors because they seem to be even dumberererer than that. Either way, I bring you...


*cue ominous music*

TALES FROM TWGM!!!

First, we have a delightful AND informative auction where you can have 40,000 baseball cards for $1,000,000. THATS ONLY 25 bucks a card!!! Wow!! You know what's great? You can have 120,000 cards for 3,000,000 bucks, as this auction is up 3 times!! If you use eBay's 10% off coupon, it could bring it down to 900,000 per lot, but yeah, who wants to give up the bragging rights of dropping a mil on some cards? Nice.


Second up we have the oft auctioned Braun Superfractor out of 05 chrome. For 13 grand, you would think that this card should be a little bit more of an investment than a "fun purchase." Man, too bad it isnt graded, that would make it worth at least eleventy billion dollars if it was a 10. I would say that this card is pretty special, but it takes a certain kind of guy to buy something at this price., maybe Olbermann? Nah, not a Yankees player.

Lastly, I am moving SCU and winning this auction. The new site will be at Brian's Baseball Cards or http://www.briansbaseballcards.com. Since this domain costs 10K, I will need some help in purchasing - Will and Charlie will each chip in $3,333.33 and everything will go great. Best part about winning this? Multiple email addresses come with it! Be sure to email me at briansbaseballcards@gmail.com from now on.


Its A Beckett World, We Just Live In It.

After an awesome comment by "Gary in AZ" on Charlie's Allen and Ginter first look post, I think its about time for me to go over a few things here. First off, I am pretty sure that all the people I savage on a daily basis read this blog, and that makes me happy. They need to know that there are more people with voices besides Ben Henry and Mario Alejandro. Mario has a great blog, probably the best there is when it comes to card blogging, but I don’t think he necessarily has the avenue to express any true issues he has with the people in the industry itself (Zack Hample aside). When it came to starting my own blog, I wanted to make sure that there was nothing held back about the people who are making this place a shithole for the collectors. I have no connections, my posts arent published anywhere, and there is a minimal amount of exposure for what I write. That doesn’t mean that what I say means anything less than blogs with thousands of hits per day.

Secondly, I have also encouraged the people I hate on to come on and answer for the accusations and commentary I make. That has happened... somewhat. Upper Deck has agreed in principle to an interview detailing what we can expect in the future from them, Donruss has been interviewed, and Beckett seems to like leaving weirdly placed comments on random posts rather than writing anything that could even be considered a mental fart.

Thirdly, I wanted to go over a highlight reel of sorts for people who don’t necessarily want to read through the 300 or so posts there are to read, and all the comments that go along with them. Since Beckett just thinks of me as "So young and so angry" lets put the pedophilic and homoerotic comments aside and begin this by saying what there is to say.

To start, we cant forget what happened with the year worth of video box breaks we have had to painfully endure. Despite being a complete conflict of interest, Beckett accepts free boxes from any and all companies for their editors and employees to open on camera. Since about 2006, they have pulled 5-6 cards from less than 40 boxes of product that would be considered "pulls of a lifetime" with 2-3 being $1000+ in value or more. Lets recap:

1. Joe Dimaggio Cut Signature 1/1 from Topps Sterling
2. Vince Young Exquisite 3 Color Patch Auto RC
3. Adrian Peterson 1/1(!!!) Exquisite Auto Patch RC
4. Brady Quinn 1/1 National Treasures Logo Patch Auto
5. Walter Payton/Brian Piccolo Exquisite dual cut auto 1/1
6. Ladanian Tomlinson Exquisite 1/1 Base card
7. Matt Ryan/Brian Brohm/Andre Woodson Topps RP Triple Auto /10?
Plus other cards from the multiple boxes they are sent.

That is a bat-shit crazy list of cards to think that something isnt up. Upper Deck swears to me that it was all a big misunderstanding regarding the Exquisite fiasco, but that shit-eating grin on Hackler's face when he pulls those cards says otherwise. Granted, most of these cards were probably given away, but the fact remains that this type of stuff should NOT have been sent to the hobby's biggest magazine instead of collectors. We know for a fact that they are sent cases at a time, so who knows what else is out there that we havent seen.

Beckett also produces a magazine full of advertisement to boot, and to think that this magazine is responsible for setting the price on cards for a sickening 75-80% of the industry, it seems a little out of place to buy millions worth of advertising space, send them cases of product, and also shirts, hats, and anything else they desire short of a BJ. Well, not entirely sure they havent gotten the latter at some point. Let me break this down in an equation for you.

High Beckett Prices = Product more valuable in collector's eyes = more product sold

Or

High Prices = Freebies+ Ad revenue

See what I am saying now? As a private publication with no reason to provide accurate numbers other than ethics and morals, they can do whatever they fucking want to. Plus the fact that it shows with their prices in general, but Ill get to that in a minute.

Basically, its not fair for the collector because they really have no one to answer to. The are considered the foremost authority on the hobby by millions of stupid people who don’t question what they say. If they say its just luck in their box breaks, that becomes gospel. If they say your card is worth thousands, that’s what its worth. No one has had the balls to publically stand up and say, "THIS IS BEYOND FUCKING CRAZY!!!"

As for Book Value, it is the standard by which all cards are living. For every collector like me, there are 50-100 that swear by this false bible of card values. Before the internet, there was no global marketplace for peope to sell their cards, so shops and card shows were the norm. Since shop owners and dealers at shows did not have the collectors at heart, Dr. Beckett did some "market research" and released the first guide of prices for the cards on the market. There were articles and reviews, but everyone bought it for the guide. Within a few years, the guide was the status quo at any shop and any show table. After the internet was created, things started to change because people had a more viable way to get what they needed. Plus with cards becoming exceedingly rarer, this became the way to go. When eBay was created, collectors had a huge marketplace to buy within months. These days, eBay conducts millions (if not billions) in sales of cards each year. What is great, is now collectors have a free way of seeing exactly what their cards are worth. By putting a card up for auction in the eBay marketplace, the seller is forced to provide the item at the price it is sold. People do not have to pay to join, and sellers pay relatively nothing for selling their item. It is a true free marketplace, and no longer does book value even have a smidgeon of relevance.

Does this put a hamper in Becketts plan? No. They try to make the guide more important because they say eBay is too volatile to price cards. They are 100% correct, pricing is volatile on eBay because value changes on an daily if not hourly basis. Putting out a guide for cards on monthly basis is like releasing a magazine guide for stocks and bonds - CRAZY FUCKING TALK. Plus, it would be one thing if the guide was even CLOSE to what the price actually was. Despite changing daily, it usually stays within a certain range that could be updated on an online guide. Yet, for some reason, Beckett doesn’t even consider that an option. Instead they do their own market research to determine prices, or instead they just pull out the almighty "pricing hat."

What's even more disturbing, is this: Beckett has the time and resources to make their online price guide a way to disseminate CORRECT prices for cards to collectors. But, like their actual magazines, it is not updated daily, or even weekly, it is updated monthly. Even funnier is that the guide now comes out Bi-monthly, making it even more disconnected with reality. This begs the question as to why these guides still exist? I would say mainly because the industry is a recession proof billion dollar venture. Companies know that by advertising in the magazine and having high prices for their cards in that magazine, they will generate more product buzz than eBay or any blog could give them. This is because 99% of the collectors don’t think about what could actually be happening. They have no clue that they are the Joe Collectors I talk about almost daily. Now, with the creation of the idiot bomb message boards on Beckett's website, this idea has grown to epic proportions. Who cares what evidence is thrown in front of them, they stand by the hobby's number one authority on douchebaggery.

The funniest thing of all: Beckett utilizes eBay to sell their own cards and cards for collectors.

Lets move on to the Beckett Grading Service Business, or the other part of the industry Beckett was a needless pioneer in. Grading was created so that people buying on the internet knew exactly what condition a card was in before buying. It has since morphed into the only way to increase a card's value beyond what it is normally worth. Again, collectors pay Beckett as a third party to evaluate their card on a 10 point scale. Why Beckett? Well, of course, because they are the ones that make the price guide. They would know! Seriously though, this is a huge industry for the magazine, and it is pretty obvious that people who submit enormous amounts of cards on a frequent basis get favorable treatment. After publishing my post on the matter, I got 10 different emails from people who had experiences with this. I could break it down in another equation, but instead, just read the post.

This grading business has also led to Beckett selling graded cards on eBay. What the hell? That is a giant conflict of interest in every way. Yet, for some god forsaken reason, no one seems to mind other than a select few.

Still think Beckett is the greatest thing? No?

Lastly, they have also started a blog where they detail hobby news and post incidentals about the hobby. On the blog they have taken a medium that collectors have used to post their own viewpoints and made it a place where they can interject what they think. I hate to launch accusations at the blogosphere, but I think that a lot of people stay off the Beckett topic so they can be a part of this blog for traffic reasons. I wont call out people specifically, but I think you can tell yourself. The problem here is that now people wont spend the time talking about the miscues that happen on a bi-daily basis over there in dallas, because they could be made to be a black sheep on their blog. Links removed, posts taken down, no more guest authorships. That’s a log of traffic to miss out on. Personally I don’t care about traffic, so fuck em.

(Note: this is not a shot at Mario, who I respect very much. Please go check out his site here)

Hopefully people begin to see the anger is a little bit deeper than just a random dart thrown at a random target.

More later.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

First Look - 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter

Hello again everybody. I haven't had time to post for Gellman in a while. I was going to do a review of 2008 UD A Piece of (shit) History, but I went to my local hobby, bought a few packs, and threw up in my mouth. In summation, another shitty $5 / pack product from Upper Deck with a bazillion parallels.

Anyway, here is our first look at a couple of boxes of 2008 A & G. The first product in a while that I'm actually excited about. Yes, I can hear it already. I have railed against baseball products with non-baseball cards in them. However, that's kind of the point of this set, and we know that going in. The greatest thing about this set is that the cards of MLB players are fantastic, and the artwork that goes into these is phenomenal. This and Masterpieces are probably the only sets all year where I actually care about the base cards. The autos are all on-card, and this is one of the best checklists of any Topps product so far this year. It doesn't break the bank either. There are a ton of boxes on the Bay right now for about $85. Product of the year 2 years running, this has got to be one of the best mid-level products you can buy. I'm actually excited to open a hobby box again. But, judge for yourself.


2008 Topps Allen and Ginter from Beckett Media LP on Vimeo.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I Am Not A Fan Of Chris Johnson



Is that all you got? Seriously? I swear to god you better be the best fucking player in the world at some point in your career because if you think thats gonna cut it, you got another thing comin. Congrats for failing the "autolic" test. You, Vernand Morency, and Lawrence timmons can all shack up together and trade auto stories.

For fuck's sake you could at least make it SEEM like you care about your fans. Judging from your auto, it seems like you have more important things to do, like sitting third string on the Titans bench behind other autograph all stars like Chris Henry and Paul Williams.

Topps Goofy Premiere Autos

Topps Rookie Premiere Autos are the first cards from the hobby year that are worth a lot of money - a lot of money. In addition, there are a lot of reasons why these cards are goofy… really really goofy. Here are 5 ways to make them better.

1. No more indoor pics. Do the cards outdoors with the field as a background. These cards with the American flag background look awful. Its time to step it up and get the people on the field where we want them.

2. No more shirt jerseys. Lets get these guys in pads with their jerseys, and forget these stupid shirtzees. It looks stupid with huge muscles because the jerseys don’t fit. Get some community pads and fire up the camera.

3. No more smiles. It looks beyond stupid to have the players with the goofy smiles, Shirtzees, and an american flag background. We want them mean looking. Who would think that Glenn Dorsey actually smiles in real life? We know he eats babies, stop trying to fool us.

4.No more far away pics. Get right up in there and get us a card of the player where we can see the player's face. I don’t need pics taken from the next zip code.

5. If Topps wants a dual auto, get the players in a pic together. Multiplier on points if you can get them to fight it out in front of the camera.

NOTE: I know that the players are wearing authentic jerseys, but they look awful, like the shirtzees people wear.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Product Review: 2008 Topps Football

Well, Topps is here. Yay. I saw a case of jumbos busted at a shop here and I must say this has to be the biggest money burn-fest I have seen in a long time. You seriously will have better luck playing the lottery than hitting something big with this stuff.

Either way, lets get on with it.

THE GOOD

The design of the cards is pretty nice. Its sleek and clean and it works well with a lot of the colors in the pictures. They have included a lot of nice looking insert sets again, including some new ones like the dynasty tributes, and all of them look pretty good. Personally, I think this product would be a lot better with some chrome cards included, but I guess we will have to wait for those.

It was also nice to see every rookie from the premiere decked out in their digs, and the Rookie Premiere Autographs will definitely be the only reason to buy this product once again. Seriously, there is not a single reason to buy a hobby box of this over the jumbos unless you are collecting the sets. The RPAs are jumbo exclusive, and I think Topps is stupid for not making more of them and not putting them in the hobby too.

THE BAD

I dont know who took all the pictures for the rookies at the premiere but someone needs to tell him a few things:

1. You dont need to shoot the ENTIRE body of the player - closer shots are good.
2. QBs can be shown in more than one pose.
3. There is no reason to show anyone in the heisman pose


Also, I can tell that these cards are pretty much going to have the exact same effect on the hobby this year as last (nothing at all), so I think its about time for Topps to think about adding a little more value to this set.

THE UGLY

As the guy was busting his case, he came across a card that contained a medal of a player that was in the war during that time frame. No one really cared who the player was, but we were all a little preturbed that the medal was just some cheap knock off from Topps. Why the fuck would you include these in the product? These could be the stupidest idea for a card since Topps put out presidential letters to cash in on that craze. Seriously, why would anyone want to purchase the equivilent of a manufactured letter card in the form of an army medal - no auto included? For god's fucking sake, slap a sticker on there.

They also have cards of the chest logos and patches from the uniforms, and all I have to say is that Topps should not cash in on this stuff. Its just dumb for a football card.

Secondly, the performance highlight autos, which no one cares about anyways, are back and they are uglier than ever. Plus, all the rookies are in their college jerseys? Ba-wha? Why? God, this seems like a fucking rush job if I ever saw one.

To this day I have no idea why any company releases rookie based products before the regular season. That way they have more than enough time to get game photos and use those rather than the cop out college jersey shot.

To the would be buyers out there: DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY.

Packer Fans DESPERATELY want Brett Favre back in Green Bay

Other than the stupid tampering charges that the packers have now filed against the Vikings for somehow being involved in this, I found this story absolutely hilarious. As it turns out, some drunken wisconi organized a rally for Brett Favre in green bay. Originally, this was supposed to be a pretty big thing, but in the end, only around 30 people showed up.

Thats right Brett, you have 30 fans who want you over Aaron Rodgers. Have fun with your comeback you stupid idiot. Or even better, ask Montana about his final year with the Chiefs. See how he felt.

Stay tuned for the next episode of ALL MY FAVRES and AS THE FAVRE TURNS.

New Train Wreck Posted On Beckett

ALERT. THE FOLLOWING IS:





This time we get to see roman helmet lover Tracy Hackler open two boxes of Donruss Americana II. Commence with Bash Beckett Day II (BBD II).

Again, no one cares that they do this except for a select number of rightous people, and the hobby's number one authority on douchebaggery lives to see another day.

Funny enough, it seems like they werent sent any UD Football Heroes to open. Im crossing my fingers on this. Maybe UD has finally wised up. If this is the case, I might consider lifting the ban until I see that Beckett is getting boxes again. Then the ban is back in full force.

DLP, you suck for continuing this horrible practice.

Anyone want to call what they will get in their 08 Topps Football boxes? I say AT LEAST one Rookie Premiere autograph. AT LEAST.

Thanks To This, Beckett Is One Step Closer To The Edge

Beckett Sports Video Gamer? Give me a fucking break, are they really that fucking desperate? This HAS to be a joke.

Seriously, if you are too much of a JC for your own good, the thought of buying this shitbrained excuse for a magazine might actually cross your mind. Otherwise, I hope your sitting back getting a good belly laugh like me.

If I wanted to read articles on Madden that actually made a difference, I would go and read the three million (not an exaggeration) video game sites out there, or maybe even pick up one of the twenty magazines already published.

One thing though, if there is a price guide for video games in there, I swear to god I will steal this magazine from the one bookstore that may actually take a risk on this jizz rag of a magazine and burn it in effigy while doing a traditional native american effigy burning dance.

Beckett, you either have a retarded chimp running things (not that unbelievable - they did hire Tracy Hackler), or you have the biggest case of penis envy the world has ever seen. I hope you die a horrible, horrible death.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This Shouldnt Need to Happen

NFL players are basically the thugs of the sports world. Now, the NFL is getting on top of that, in almost comic fashion.

Personally, I wont collect a player if he is a douchebag off the field. I think Adam "Im a life stealer" Jones should be permanantly barred from playing again after his bullshit at a strip club. I surely wont collect Travis Henry, Cedric Benson or Brandon Marshall. I find it pretty disgusting that people continually get behind these guys considering they are some of the worst people on the planet. They have all the money in the world, yet they spend their time doing drugs and being premadonnas and gangbangers instead of focusing on the game. Seriously, im actually pretty glad that the NFL is the "no fun league" mainly because of what the players are capable of.

Its pretty sad that the Vikings are famous for the love boat scandal, and luckily, I never had a single Culpepper card that I had to throw away or sell after that. Fred Smoot was an asshole to start, so it didnt matter for him.

People like Cris Carter and other guys who are true role models are few and far between. All Day may be a top competitor on the field, but that doesnt mean he isnt a class act off the gridiron. He spends a lot of time in the community and is known for being a true all around good guy. Thank god.

Hopefully you guys dont waste your time on awful people, that would truly be a JC moment not worth forgiving.

Run DMC and the All Day Funky Bunch

Right now in football products, Darren McFadden is the shit. He is the guy you want to pull and really, its kind of expected with the numbers he put up in college. The problem with this is that the Joe Collectors are jumping all over his stuff because of what All Day did last year, not because he actually deserves to be at 175 for his Classics autos (just wait until SPX and the Topps RPM autos come out). Last year at this time, Peterson autos were at 100 bucks a pop out of classics and the like, and his cards were MORE short printed at 100 instead of DMC's 125. Yet, due to an explosion mid year, All Day's stuff doubled in price. That wont happen to Mcfadden, I can almost guarantee it.

The other funny thing is that for the first time in as long as I can remember, ALL the running backs are the big pulls instead of just the top guys from the skilled positions. Felix Jones is at 80 bucks, Stewart is at 50, Matt Fucking Forte is at 30, and Mendenhall is up there at 75 too. What the fuck are people thinking? Now, thanks to the JCs, affordability just went out the window with most of their intelligence. I would say that eventually, years down the road, one or two may be worth that, but definitely not now.

Back to McFadden, there are some huge reasons why he wont do what Peterson did. First and foremost being that the Raiders are fucking awful. They have a rookie QB, a shitty O-line, and NO 2nd RB like Chester Taylor to carry some of the load. Fargas is good, but not THAT good. Once people see that teams are not going to take any chances with McFadden, his prices will come down, but still not far enough. He will be a good player, but not until the Raiders get better. Peterson had an AMAZING line to run behind, and even he had problems late season. Who is to say that McFadden even makes it that far with the team he is on at the moment.

Besides, the JCs who drive up the price are a fickle bunch, and once Felix Jones or Johnathan Stewart has a big game, it will be those prices that jump - hell most of these guys arent starters yet. Personally, I wont be buying a McFadden card all year. If I pull one, its going straight to TWGM. Its not worth keeping right now, but most people don’t get that.

Just wait, week 8, you will be able to buy both McFadden and Peterson at rock bottom prices because its tough to live up to hype, even with the talent that those two have. Peterson is #2 on the fantasy board and number #1 in your heart, but that wont help when he goes against 8 and 9 in the box every play. Just keep this in mind before you fall in with the JCs.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stupid Ideas Vol 1,203,945,857

The only thing tonight's all star game was a testament to was how bad of an idea it was to make this EXHIBITION game count for something. Someone smack the guy who was the deciding vote on this, he is on my shit list.

The Sklar Brothers On Topps?

Thanks to reader Brian for this article published by the Riverfront Times. Looks like the Sklar brothers have taken on Topps to produce some webisodes a la "the Office," that showcase two brothers who take over a baseball card company.

The interview is posted at the link above and I think that the only thing that could come from this is some funny lines from the brothers. Topps seems to think it will give them presence on the web, but when your redemptions are still done through the mail, you got problems.

Lets face it, Topps, you are an old gentleman in a young man's industry. I think it would be better if you focused on making better products than spending time focusing on this. Just an idea to throw around the real office.

Mad Money With Topps Basketball

We all know those collectors whose sole purpose is to make money in the hobby. I hate those guys, go buy some fucking stocks and bonds...




Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you can now pull a rip card from this product that contains actual money. I guess this was the next best idea other than actually securing good exclusive contracts. They are also going to continue the inclusion of gold plated cards and other gold relics in the products too, which makes sense because there is no way anyone should bust Topps basketball without some sort of monetary chase card.


Seriously though, this is getting fucking ridiculous. Gold, Money, and other monetary shit being inserted in products? What is the point (other than trying to offset a lack of LBJ, MJ, and Kobe in their products)? We throw down our money because we want cool cards with even cooler chase cards. Not chase cards that have more money in them. What is next? "Now you can pull a stock certificate for Disney when you buy Topps!" They will call it "Private Stock!"


Please kill me now.

All-Star game

Used to be that the All-Star game marked the halfway point of the Baseball season, however, now with the lopsided schedules and overseas games, it falls well into the second half of the season statistically. Take my favorite team, the California (err...sorry, Los Angeles) Angels [of Anaheim]: entering the break they have already played 95 games, which appears to be the average for MLB teams this season. Sorry, I know I wasn't a math major, but half of 162 is 81, not 97.

While that's not a big deal, instead of being a nifty exhibition games that's usually at least fun to watch, for the past several years the MLB All-Star game "means something", because the winning league gets home field advantage for the World Series. Yeah, that's a bunch of bull-shit. Instead of going by a meaningless game played sometime during the second half of the season, perhaps MLB should give home-field advantage to the team that actually, I dunno, had a better record going into the World Series?

As a kid, you love the All-Star game, it's the annual fun event where your "dream teams" duke it out for bragging rights. Well, that's how it appears to you when you're a child anyway. Unfortunately as you grow older the veil of childhood is lifted slowly but surely. You discover that your heroes are actually human beings with foibles and faults (just read Wax Heaven to see how one man's boyhood hero has repeatedly failed him as an adult). You also discover that professional sports are no longer "games" and sometimes they aren't much fun.

To-wit: Does the All-Star game even FEATURE the best players in the league at the time? And has it ever? Sure, some years the voters will get it right, but most of the time the fan-voting is nothing more than a thinly veiled popularity contest to see who's fans can stuff the ballots the most. A fan can now vote 25 times online, not to mention you can still vote with the silly punch out chads at stadiums. At least the fan-voting is supplemented with a media-vote, and the teams themselves select the pitchers, but still, it's a pretty silly method for choosing "All-Stars." I won't bother getting into the sheer number of travesties revolving selections, and I also won't comment on the stupidity of each and every team being represented on the field, I'll leave that for others to blog about, and I'm sure they will.

I'd also like to know whatever happened to "All-Star Cards"? In older card sets, in addition to their regular card, usually each All-Star got a special second card commemorating their All-Star selection. Most of the time these cards were not worth as much as their regular issue, which can work in your favor if you're fan of HOFers from the 50's and 60's who's regular issues you cannot afford. I kind of miss the All-Star cards, in the way that you miss your first girlfriend or your first car. These aren't the latest and greatest foil refractor autographed serial numbered issue, but they were often rather nice. In fact, Topps on a regular basis used to print up glossy inserts of the All-Star team for use in their rack-packs (and you could also order a complete set through the mail). I can't remember the last time I saw a real "All-Star" card.

Oh well, I'll still tune into the game, after all, there are no other sporting events tonight worth watching.

EDIT: I apologize for the title of this post - something's wacky with my browser.

1 Feeling of Regret Per Box - ON AVERAGE!

If there has been a problem worth fixing over the last few years, its missing hits in a sealed box. It has happened with every single goddamned product, over every single goddamned brand. Its understandable that no one can be perfect, but for the companies to cite their "on average" tag line when called on a mistake, is beyond crazy.

I have received numerous emails from people who have said that they had purchased a product and had not gotten the advertised hits. When they call into customer service to report the mistake, the agents on the other end of the phone are always not surprised to hear about the mishap, and almost without fail mention the "on average" language on the box. Most of the time, there is some sort of compensation given, but it is never a new box of product. That is what needs to happen when a company does not give the customer the advertised product. No replacement packs, no replacement hits, no random cards. GIVE THEM A NEW FUCKING BOX.

In the day and age where video breaks are practically assumed, there is now insurmountable proof that these people are not getting what they deserve. Can you imagine if there was an "on average" disclaimer on a car? How about an ipod? "3 GB 'on average!' Come get your new music machine!!" Its ridiculous to think that crap like this exists.

I would think that if the manufacturers were held responsible for their mistakes, debacles like 2007 SPA football cases and 2007 allen and ginter cases wouldn’t happen. Both of these products had major collation problems that led to a bunch of unhappy people not getting what they were supposed to get. I think those people deserve what they were advertised, regardless of the "on average" bullshit.

Its time to call for accountability in our products. Mistakes are assumed, solutions should be demanded. Manufacturers, you know who you are.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Donruss Turns Sweetness into Splenda

Dear Donruss,


What the hell were you thinking when you decided to use the Walter Payton phone cards as the source material for your cuts from both NT and Classics? If Payton autos were rare or ungodly expensive, I could understand why you would use these awful things. But, since Payton spent most of his retired career signing autographs and because there is no shortage of his stuff available, I must deplore the idea of using these over regular cut index cards or photos.

The problem with the phone cards is pretty simple. They are overly colorful and Payton signed them with a blue marker. So, if you had the card as a piece by itself, it would be a somewhat acceptable payton auto for someone who cant afford the more expensive stuff. But, to include that card inside of another card is sensory overload. It looks awful.

As a loyal DLP supporter, I was continually disappointed with these cards and I may have even dropped some cheese on one if they were nice. In the future, I hope you guys can actually get some nice stuff to cut up, because these phone cards dont "cut" it (horrible pun intended).

Besides, who wants a fucking signed phone card anyways? If I did I could buy one for 50 bucks rather than pay 250+ for one that has been cut up and put in a card.

Signed,

Gellman

The Entertainment Invasion

Can someone please explain to me the fascination with including movie and TV relics in sports products? I think its an interesting idea for a set all by itself, but when included in sports products, I think its usually pretty dumb.

The reason I decided to write about this is because I have seen the upswing in the industry, and you know it will be blown out of proportion. Case and point: 2008 Spectrum Baseball. In a typical box break, you will get a few jerseys, a baseball auto, and an auto of a has been 80's hair metal star. Now, these are not Jon Bon Jovi auto cards, they are Kip Winger auto cards. Is this really something we need? I would rather have more sports bang for my buck than more autos of guitar players and other entertainment stars. Of course, if the whole point of the set is entertainment based, that’s a little different. I do like the concept of Americana, and I think the Heroes products and Indiana Jones products put out by Topps are pretty cool. However, I don’t like getting a Dokken auto when I should be getting more baseball stuff.

So far this year, Upper Deck has released a number of sets that have entertainment based insert subsets for NO APPARENT reason other than filling space. Topps, not to be out done, decided that they needed to put manufactured letters of the presidential candidates in their sets. Seriously, is this their idea of a cruel joke? Has creativity slumped that much? At least with the Fans of the Game set from DLP a while back, they had a way to relate the people on the cards to the subject matter of the set. Is the lead singer from Warrant a baseball fan? I have no fucking clue, but he has an auto in Spectrum.

It has already reached a level that Upper Deck has released entertainment relic cards that have no picture, no full name of the actor listed on the card, and NO LICENSING. Why in fucks sake would I want a relic worn by "Jim" in the movie "Bruce Almighty" if there is no picture and no reasonable explanation as to why the card was produced. What crap. At least with Americana, we got pictures and cool stuff to boot.

Lets hope that certain companies will get the idea and devote entire sets to these type of things, and not burden the collector with crap cards from people that have no connection to sports in a set that should be devoted to showcasing your favorite player instead of your favorite actor/musician.