Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Final Look: 2008 Football Product Awards and Failures

For football cards, 2008 was a very interesting year. There were some high points and some very, very low points, to say the least. I want to take the time to talk about my favorites and also the worst things I have ever seen, not because I havent mentioned them before, but just to get one last pat on the back or kick in the ass in for those winners. It also seems as though with the end of the 2008 card season, we will be very aware as to where things may be headed in terms of the economy's affect on the hobby, and really, it can be quite scary if you truly consider what could happen.

Best Product of the Year - Low End

Topps is the master of low end products. Although base topps and crap like that have become useless as the hobby shifted more towards high end, Topps Chrome still remains as the hobby's top low end product. I bought a number of boxes at around 35 dollars a piece, and for that price, you cant beat it. The autos are actually well done on those ridiculous foil stickers that Topps does, and even though the photos left something to be desired, Topps Chrome was the best of the low end this year.

Best Product of the Year - Middle End

Although there are a number of people who disagree with me, I think SPA is the best of the year, with Limited a close second. To me, the cards are the best looking, the best put together, and the lack of ridiculous parallels makes me happy beyond belief. With the focus of 99% of the products produced in the last 3 years being RCs, SPA is the top of the mountain. To add the fact that the entire set's autos are on card makes this product that much better. I liked a lot of the additions to the product from last year to this year, and if the set weren't so packed with redemptions, it may have been even better.

Best Set of the Year - High End

I cant quite give this award to National Treasures because Exquisite has yet to be released. Im guessing that NT will have a good competitor in a revamped Exquisite, even though last year, NT was a runaway favorite of mine. I really like the NT design this year, but I think Exquisite is more aptly designed in both the RC patches and the basic sets. I also think that the new Exquisite gold cards and the overall quality of the break will be that much better this year due to some new collation rules, but who knows. Also, it looked like some of the autos may be hard to see this year, so that may hurt things. Plus, of course, hopefully Beckett doesn’t get any boxes.

National Tresures was very good, dont get me wrong. The different additions to the set, the addition of some more color and subsets, and the better design of the on card RC patch autos have made it an amazing win for DLP. I love the Masterpieces like look to it, and I think it is one of the better NT sets of the last three years. The presence of stickers on the vets and stars is really disheartening, even though it was done tastefully, and that is why NT may not eclipse the granddaddy of High End.

Worst Set Of The Year - Low End

As good as Topps and Bowman Chrome was this year, Topps and Bowman were that bad. Why even have these pointless additions to the calendar when its obvious that they are a bad way to spend your money? I am selecting Bowman over Topps because Topps is and always will be around as long as Topps is making football cards. Bowman is just a cheap version of chrome, and the fact that they include some of the bowman chrome rookies but not all is fucking ridiculous. The set is crap and should be axed along with some of the others I am about to talk about - almost all Topps Products. Wonderful.

Worst Set Of The Year - Middle End

Leaf Certified Materials was great last year, one of the better sets of the entire release calendar. This year, it was crap. Floating windows, sticker autos, and a poor design made this product suck. Plus, the whole stamp auto thing I never understood. I think this wasn’t necessarily the fact the product was a horrible offering, but just the sheer disappointment in the finished product. It looked rushed and poorly designed, plus half of the set had event used footballs in them. Fucking disgusting.

Worst Set Of The Year - High End

This is a dead heat between three of the most awful products ever to be produced in the history of football cards. One of them is Topps Lettermen, one is Topps Stadium Club, the other is Topps Triple Threads. Those three products were so awful that I cannot comprehend why anyone would even think of purchasing any of it, let alone as much as some people did.

Topps Lettermen was a disgusting abortion of a product that I would rather force my head up a pregnant elephant's vagina than buy even a pack of. It is that bad. Sticker autos on manufactured letters and patches? What the fuck were they thinking? Its like they were seeing how fucking low they could go before they couldn’t sell any. Sadly lettermen wasn’t low enough.

Topps Stadium Club had major potential as a low end or barely mid end product. Instead they decided to charge 20 bucks a pack for poorly designed base cards and RC autos, combined with ridiculously ugly jersey cards and parallels. I was so surprised that this product was given the green light considering how much of a pile of diarrhea it was.

Topps Triple Threads continued the foldout legacy with some of the SICKEST MOJO one person had ever seen in his life. It is the favorite of idiot collectors everywhere who don’t mind paying 170 dollars for two shitty hits.

Best Event Of The Year

The best thing I saw all year was the continued success of the blog bat around. 30 people responded via blog with 30 awesome posts and showed that Beckett may not be the number one authority on anything but doucheyness - the blogs are quickly becoming the new king of hobby info. I may have birthed the first bat around idea, but your continued participation made it a man. It was so much fun to read every response, no matter the affiliation with this blog, and I hope it continues again with Dinged Corners this month.

Worst Event Of the Year

The worst events of the year were every box break done by the dirty vag patrol over at Beckett, hands down. Every time they broke a box, it was as if they took out their little baby dicks, and took a baby sized pee in the face of every collector who buys a box the right way. I know that my bitching doesn’t do much to stop the crooked people at the manufacturers from sending boxes over there, but that doesn’t mean we have to stand for it in principle. Beckett and the people who support them make this hobby an even shittier place than it already is, and hopefully my rants can convince even a small portion from being that guy. If one person is swayed, that’s all I care about. Fuck them.

Hobby Rookie of the Year

Matty Ice took on all comers and surprisingly knocked em all down. I have said he was the rookie of the year before on here, and he was voted the offensive ROY in the NFL. He is, without a doubt, the hobby ROY too, with most of his autos breaking the 100 dollar mark now. Some of the guy's cards are going at Peterson level clips of money, and I think if he backs his shit up next year with a good season, things may go higher. I can only imagine what his logo cards will bring from SPA and Exquisite.

Hobby Failure of the Year

I am going to give this to Larry Johnson and Plaxico Burress in a combined win for them both. Larry Johnson was suspended indefinitely for off the field accusations of abuse and other problems, and immediately his cards hit the floor. Plaxico perpetrated the worst off the field event in the history of the NFL for a player who makes a difference on contending team. His cards also bottomed out. What total pieces of shit.

Worst New Signature of the Year

Chris Johnson could have taken a dump and wiped his ass with every card he signed and it would be better than his signature is right now. It didn’t stop people from paying out their ass for his sig though.

Best New Signature of the Year

It’s a close race between Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco in my opinion, with each taking the time to write out a good portion of their name. I really like Ryan's overall presentation, as it looks cool as well as written well. Flacco has a signature that reminds me of Batman's logo for some reason, and his sig has definitely looked good in dark black and blue marker. Lets call it a tie.

Best New Gimmick of the Year

Man it was really tough to think of a new gimmick that was acutally good. I liked the idea of the Rookie Leatherheads signatures in SPA, but the execution wasn’t there for me due to the pictures. I also thought the retro rookie autos in SPA would be good too, but the design element was lacking in my opinion. Im going to give this to the Classic Cuts set out of Donruss Classics, because there isnt usually room for a cut subset in an early year set, not to mention one with an 80 dollar MSRP. I really liked the designs, and to get Stram, Payton, Grange, Baugh, and Thorpe(!) into a set like that is nuts. And yes, I know that Limited also has cuts, but that checklist was awful, and the design was awful.

Worst New Gimmick of the Year

The worst new gimmick of the year was definitely non autoed manufactured letter cards, fold out cards, or better yet, fold out cards with manufactured or an overabundance of patches. The two prime culprits to this ridiculous idea was Topps lettermen (non-autoed manufactured patch booklets with sticker autos - yes that is not a typo, this actually happened), and Topps Triple Threads ( Foldout cards with 24 different jersey windows, that spelled out something that most people couldn’t understand, plus a tiny, tiny pic). In fact, Topps sucks at high end so badly that many people just don’t acknowledge the sets all together. I just don’t understand why people buy them, other than immediate flipping to the retards who buy the singles. Funny enough, multiple people on Beckett commented how both of the ideas I just gave examples of were the coolest things they had ever seen. Joe Collectors, ASSEMBLE!

Well, that’s all I have for now, if I think of more categories, I will post them here for sure. Feel free to post anything that I missed. I was trying to rack my brain for the last two days, and this is what I could come up with. Im sure there was stuff I missed, yet I do think I hit those "worsts of the year" with the biggest mallet I could think of. Really, it’s the bests of the year I need more work on. I think that says something when its tough to find a best.


  1. I suspect this post was too long for most people to read, let alone comment on, and that is why there is a glaring lack of comments.

    So.... why I'm not an SPA fan, including a fan of this year's SPA. As I've said before, I collect Brett Favre cards - predominantly jersey and autograph cards. The problem with SPA as far as I'm concerned is it's too rookie focused, and lacking in Favre jersey and autograph cards (yes, I know there are some, but I don't think they are anything special).

    Now Topps Letterman, there is a product with serious Mojo in it ..... just joking.

  2. I think Limited this year was a downgrade while LCM was an upgrade compared to last year. I think LCM was one of the better products in it's segment this year and I hate the stamp cards as well.

    I think NT08 while nice in some areas was ruined by the manufactured patches.

    All together I think 08 was horrible on the card side while awesome on the rookie side. Maybe Exquisite will save the hobby season, perhaps Ultimate Collection can bring some good as well.