Sunday, July 12, 2009

Uncovering Bias - My "Undying Love" For Upper Deck?

Ive noticed that my "bias" for UD seems to be the focus of every criticism of this blog, so Im happy to address it while its an issue for people.

First off, before I start the discussion, I want to say that there will always be bias on this blog. Always. The reason for this is because everything I write is opinion, nothing more. It just so happens that those opinions seem to have many hobby-wide ripples among people who frequent the blog, but they remain my feelings and my feelings only. This blog never has and never will be objective. You should all know that by now.

Now, people seem to be a little disturbed by the fact that most of the negative remarks here on the blog are in reference to Topps and Donini rather than Upper Deck. My detractors seem to think this is because im in bed with UD or because they are more responsive than other companies. They are partially correct, UD is very much more communicative, yet my gain is nothing from the stuff I say. I get nothing for SCU from any company, despite the number of offers.

In regards to the responsiveness that UD has to many collectors, including myself, I dont see why I shouldnt let that change the field a little. How is transparency a bad thing? I mean, if I have a problem, I have the ability to talk to someone who makes the decisions! That is great no matter how you slice it. How much would you love to talk to Apple about their decision to re-release the iPhone 3G less than a year after you paid 300 for the original? What if you could talk to Microsoft directly about the XBOX's red ring of death? Wouldnt that make it easier to form an opinion about things? Ill tell you, it makes forming opinions a lot easier when you know someone cares and is listening. That will never be a negative.

Its not that I havent given Topps and Donini the chance, either. When I first started SCU, Scott Prusha of Donini was the first of the manufacturers to contact me about something I said. I was excited for the prospects of speaking with the man, but I was quickly disappointed. During my interview, instead of answering the tough questions, he pushed me away with "no comments" and the like. In fact, Topps didnt even respond to my initial interview request!

On the other side of things, UD came at me with a completely different approach. Gregg proceeded to answer every single question I had with reckless abandon, no matter how poorly his answers reflected on the company. He wanted me to be content with the info I wanted, and has never had a problem giving insight into the business. What about Topps and Donini? I havent heard boo from them since.

Does this mean that I wont bash UD for their stupidity? Never. I will not ever be shy to tell you guys what I actually think. The problem is, UD doesnt make a fourth of the mistakes that the other companies do. This may equivocate a bias in many people's mind, but Im okay with that. Those sentiments come with the territory.

Despite what people actually think, the idea of the blog continues to stand true. Basically, if you fuck up, im going to be there to call you on it. Unfortunately for everyone, Donini and Topps happen to fuck up a lot, that means a lot of negative opinions here on SCU. It has nothing to do with anything else other than my feelings on certain goings on.

People also fail to realize that baseball and football are vastly different industries. The idea that Topps may not be the top company in a sport is very foreign to people who dont venture outside of baseball that often. Expectations which hold true in baseball do not necessarily hold true in football and vice versa. Therefore, when a detractor considers that notion, they may be able to see where the UD bias stems from: UD JUST MAKES BETTER FOOTBALL STUFF. Bottom line.

When you look a little deeper into the slinging that goes down, most people just need something sticky to throw at me. Why they chose the "bias," im not sure, because its an inevitable part of a non-objective site. I guess they got bored with the fat jokes.


  1. It is commendable when someone has the stones to actually stand behind their opinion and articulate it in such a professional way. My only critique is that you could not have displayed the same professionalism with your Topps review. This post I would say comes from an adult. The topps review was written by an 11-year-old with a chip on his shoulder.

    I understand the blog is "uncensored" but a gimmick like that seems so 2003.

    Just my $.02

  2. My major complaint is the use of "Donini".

    What are you, 5?

    That and the "trying to be too cool for the room" attitude with the unfunny hack jokes.

  3. It's your blog, I say it's your responsibilty to state YOUR opinion. No one has to agree period. When I got back into the hobby your blog was one of the 1st I read and I continue to read not because I agree with everything you say but becuase I like the brutal honesty. No one is forced to read it? I think it's just the fact that your blog is succesful. I could post the most ridiculous crap and no one would really pay to much attention. Keep up the good work, if the thruth hurts they can pull there panties back up and go to another blog or watch Beckett breaks all day. Grant

  4. People's criticisms of your site based on bias seem to boil down to:

    "You only like UD because they have better customer service and make more cards that you like."


  5. What is this, the Festivus Airing of Grievances?

    This is not his profession. This is a blog. So there isn't a requirement for any more professionalism than what the blogger wants.

    If he was being paid, or if he was receiving my tax money in the form of stimulus dollars to prop up this site, then yeah, I would demand more professionalism.

    But its not. So I choose to enjoy the banter.

    The Donini this is getting kinda old though. Just saying.

    Now, on to the Feats of Strength!

  6. I could care what he likes and dislikes. His antics and comments at time are unwarranted and seemed to be used for the schtik factor.. He has to live up to the uncensored part so sometimes has to be "that guy"..However Gellman has done a 180 since he vowed never to buy UD products again on beckett after the whole loaded box scandal. The venom he spewed toward UD and Beckett was laughable..With his new found love it is hypocrtical. Hey he can do that it is the USA afterall...The only thing I could come up with is UD gives him the time of day which he uses on the blog. That has swayed his decision making. I tend to disgree with most of his product analysis anway.


  7. Wow Wheeler, tell me how you really feel! Haha.

  8. And Wheeler, the reason I did the 180 originally was because UD football stopped sending out boxes for them to break on camera. That was my goal and they obliged. They were the only ones to oblige, in fact.

  9. I will go on record saying I dount you were the reason they stopped sending loaded boxes to break on camera. The fact that you vowed not to buy/support UD remains the same. At no point did you say your goal was to have them stop. Sounds good now but was not on the table then.
    I am a big fan of your blog you know that. I have been there since the beginning. Even blasted HdOGG and FLoydtown at Beckett on your behalf before Beckett blew that site up lol. Just because I disagree with produck likes and dislikes most of the time ;) that is just a small portion of the blog IMO.
    Keep up the good fight brother!

  10. Wheels, you make my my collection look like 1987 donruss and I love seeing your stuff, but when it comes to likes/dislikes, you know we aint gonna agree, haha. Ive known that for a long time.

  11. Nothing wrong with disagreements.. Even if it comes to UD :). I am pretty much on board with triple Turds though. Howver the ones with with the logos in them I like.


  12. I don't sense any bias, just a statment of frank opinions. Hey I got back into the hobby a year ago and learned very quickly from busting a lot of boxes that some product left a larger hole in my stomach than others. It just so happened that Topps seemed the worst and UD the best. I'm speaking strictly on football and basketball here. I'd like to hear anyone make a great case for Topps producing a better product than UD. It just doesn't happen in these sports. From quality to customer service to value UD owns Topps in the football and basketball departments.

    And if you read this site just to unload your pent up hatred and criticism then save yourself the time and energy and never come back.