We all know that the fakes have spread to as far back as 2001 and as far forward to 2008. Im sure its only a matter of time before the 2009 fakes hit ebay, which is really too bad.
Monday, August 31, 2009
I cant believe its this time of year already, but we are getting Ultimate previews, and I love it. The cards have their ups and downs, but there are a few that look VERY cool. Still no word on what the rookie signatures are going to look like, but these mock ups will have to tide us over.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I saw this on eBay yesterday and something just doesnt look right. Im sure that the slab was real at one point, as the registry on it says that the number refers to a Peterson red that was graded a 10. The problem is, the autograph just looks off, and it could just be Peterson's oft messy sig. However, when you look at the real RPAs, I begin to question the authenticity of this card.
After reading the many posts about Topps and their failure to pay for the autos in their sets, I was more interested in the cost of their autographs than anything. For those of you who wonder why its so expensive to put together a set, this is the reason.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Back in early 2008 I had my first conversation with Upper Deck football managers about the loaded Exquisite boxes that were sent to Beckett. Those boxes had birthed this site from the chaos, and I was going to show people what was behind the curtain of the hobby. The problem with my rage was that the top level people I spoke to at UD were incredibly understanding of the situation. They apologized for the frustration they had caused and told me that they would no longer be sending football boxes to Beckett any more. They had learned their lesson.
Starts tomorrow afternoon, be sure to check your team prior to the draft. If you cant make it, be sure to pre-rank your players so that the computer wont draft you a team that you hate.
Taking a page from Fire Joe Morgan, I have put a few designs in the SCU store. There were minimal options, so I did my best.
Im not expecting to sell much, if any, it was mostly just for me and a few people who have asked for the shirts to wear around the shows and at shops (yes, I couldnt believe it either).
All this stuff will come from cafe press, and a percentage of the money will go to the site.
If you have image designing skills, and want to design a cool shirt, Ill put it in there. I may even be able to send you some stuff for your trouble.
When you see this picture what do you think?
I think Joey Harrington and the Oregon Ducks, but thats just me. Color me very disappointed that an NFL team would choose to wear this crap. Then again, if it were an Upper Deck produced affair, I totally would have loved it, right?
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Derek over at Miller Cards wanted to ask me a few questions about SCU, and I was happy to help him out. He has a great site over there, be sure to check it out and buy a few things. In addition to being a nice guy, he should be featuring a lot of blog related content on his site, which is always good for us.
Next week, one of my favorite sets of the year will hit shelves. For 2007 and 2008, Topps chrome was possibly the best set of the year for the entire brand with maybe the exception of Bowman Chrome. This year's success will hinge on a few things, mainly stemming from practices that Topps seems to have given up on for their chrome products all together.
If you notice for this year, the autograph space for the rookies is curved, something that wont lend itself very well to a square sticker. I sincerely hope that the new standard set by Chrome baseball will hold true for football, and deliver on card autographs for the first time in a VERY long time.
The preview sheet, released a few months ago, seemed to hint at on card autos, as Topps usually incorporates the awful rainbow foil stickers into the sell sheets. This time, they did not. If this does end up being the case, I may end up maxing out some credit cards to buy a few cases, as I cant tell you how excited I would be to open a few boxes.
Last year also brought the first Topps Chrome Patch Auto cards as well, numbered to a miniscule 25 per subject, something that could compete with SPA in terms of value if it were numbered a little higher. Now that Bowman chrome has also incorporated swatches into a product that doesnt need them, I hope the sophomore edition of the TC Patch cards dont screw up more of this potential set of the year.
As we saw with base Topps, the cards look great, and should be even better in chrome tech. The photos look ten times better than last year's distanced player shots, some even using very dynamic action shots from the trampoline station at the premiere. However, we also saw that there were some variation SPs with VERY low print runs in base Topps, thus begging the question as to value in chrome. These cards could be huge if they are as short printed, and available in the normal refractor pyramid.
Well, its only a matter of days now, I hope its not delayed any further. I am ready with money in hand.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Usually, each year, when Threads hits stores, you can set your watch for the start of the real football products to start. Usually as well, Threads is one of those products that tends to hold more value as the year drags on. This year, things may be different, unfortunately for the fans of this product.
1(t). UD Philadelphia Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). Topps Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). UD Icons (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). UD Heroes (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
6(t). Donruss Classics (2/5 GELLMANS)
6(t). Donruss Elite (2/5 GELLMANS)
6(t). Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
6(t). Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)
11. Score Inscriptions (1/5 GELLMANS)
A while back, I wrote about how Tiger is THE athlete to buy, and now that he is back in force, its even more apparent. I adapted the article for UD to post on their blog, be sure to check out some of the ridiculous pieces they have available. If I had the money, I think a Tiger auto would be the first thing on my list, as I know it is an amazing centerpiece for my autograph collection. If I had lots of money to burn, I wouldnt think twice about buying one of the framed Masters pin flags that UD has for sale. Simply awesome looking.
Tiger has always been my favorite golfer, bringing flash to a game that has been lacking it since Nicklaus retired. My dad and I have actually seen Tiger and Jack play at a tournament in Minnesota a few years ago, and since then, I have always been in awe of their skill at one of the hardest games around. In his career Tiger has brought the sport to a different level, and it shows in the value of his autograph. Be sure to check out my thoughts on it.
UD Blog: The Value Of A Tiger Woods Autograph
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Today our favorite grilled sandwich card company has announced that Brett Favre's first uniformed Vikings card will be in the retail version of Threads. It will be hitting stores like Target and Wal Mart, which makes the Threads blasters that much more likely to sell, but leaves hobby collectors to wait until Absolute or later.
There is one problem though. It looks like this:
Yes, he is wearing his Vikings gear from last week's preseason game, but the card looks like Panini took a Storm Trooper costume, a referee's shirt and a zebra hide, put it in a blender, and then used the extract to paint by number. What a busy fucking design.
Sometimes when searching eBay, I come across an item that just makes my mouth water. One of those crazy pieces that will only be available once or twice in its form, a true spectacle. One of my favorite ones to stumble upon are complete sets of high end products that I could never fathom putting together. This item is one of those things that really take a stretch of the mind to think of the money and time it would take to put together. When you factor in the popularity of the product, and the cost of the cards, and the rarity of some of the subjects it is truly epic to see this in action.
Back in 2002, Legendary cuts was a relatively new idea for a set, as the cut autograph was not where it is now. When you think that a company released a set with autographs of Wagner, Mantle, Cobb, Ruth, Maris, and others, its very simple to see why collectors went nuts for this product. This seller obviously got caught up in the craziness, and managed to put together close to 90% of the set, including some of the extremely rare ones like the Babe, Wagner, and Cobb.
The price itself is ridiculous, as it would mean that each card would have to average more than $1,000 per. Pretty crazy. However, to know that there are sets like this out there is just as crazy, mainly because of the rarity of some of these cards. Kind of makes you wonder just how much went into it. Im guessing at least the price of a mid range car.
Check it out.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Over the last year and a half, there has been a lot of stuff that I have written about in terms of the dark underbelly of the hobby. Much to the chagrin of a few people, Beckett has been the center of about 90% of it. I really dont think that people understand just how bad it can get, as its still unclear as to how far down the rabbit hole goes. Most people just think about it from a standpoint that its just a hobby and they dont care as long as they get whatever they usually do via ebay or the local shop. The issue is, that this hobby is one based on chance and random, so any dillution of those factors has an impact on anyone who participates in the purchase of cards. Therefore everyone should feel the effect with each card that is taken out of circulation.
One of the major pain points for people like me, is that the stuff that is given to people who have no business receiving it. Whether its product, swag, or just ad money in general, free stuff complicates everything, especially when you have done nothing to receive it. Since I first started up March 2007, Beckett has been the prime focus of my anger, mainly because of all of the stuff they do that compromises the integrity of their perceived place as THE hobby news source. Most of the time, with every product release, Beckett gets a box full of stuff to pass around to their lackeys, with wax being a main focus. I have gotten emails from former Beckett employees talking about all the stuff that comes through the door, and just how little of it actually makes it to the people its supposed to go to - you. So far this year alone, Beckett has received close to 50 boxes of product from companies that have actually made it onto video. There are many more that dont, according to my sources. This is completely frustrating to collectors once they find out how much money they are actually getting, in addition to the ad money for products in the magazine. Why is this acceptable for a "news source" to receive? It creates a huge problem.
Then we have the recent video, where Beckett has received a full case of Exquisite Basketball from Upper Deck. This is the first public box of Exquisite they have received from Upper Deck since the 2007 fiasco, despite the fact that we have been told a number of times that it wouldnt be happening again. When you think of the fact that a case of Exquisite can cost in upwards of $1,800, its a little bit more apparent how much money Beckett receives from the companies each year. I think this is a direct reflection of the companies themselves, as they should know better than to flaunt their subtle kickbacks to the magazine that can easily make or break a product. As for Exquisite, a product that features one of the lowest print runs of any product ever produced, it is also unfair to expect collectors to sit back and watch Beckett receive all they do, when so few of the cards actually exist. Its funny too, because they tell us how all these cards are going to be available for the public to win in contests, but I have yet to see how that is even remotely true. Sure, some the fifteen pulls of a lifetime and 1 of 1s they have pulled since 2007 have been given out to contest winners, but why are those enormous pulls even going to Beckett in the first place? What does that accomplish for the collectors in general? More and more are seeing through the practice of doing the video box breaks, so why even risk it?
Its become a disgusting display each time Hackler and the Giant appear on their vid player, as we can see the grease in the wheels being replentished with each turn. Its pretty much become a display of the constant arrogance and douchebaggery that Beckett displays every time. This is the same arrogance that makes them spit on the blogs saying they dont deserve the news, when in reality, many blogs are ten times the news source they are. On top of all of this, there is zero reason why Beckett cannot tap into the thousands of collector videos on youtube, or why the manufacturers cannot do the same. Video box breaks have reached a point of parody, as we have seen with "Packs to the People," a feature created to break the monotony of the breaks. Based on that premise, Beckett's breaks should go the way of the dodo as well.
As for the rest of the shipments that Beckett gets almost daily, its time for the general collector base realizes the giant conflict of interest at work. If Upper Deck decides that providing thousands of dollars worth of product in one shipment is worth the exposure when the boxes are broken for the world, its our job to continually voice our disapproval. Beckett has become an organization whose sole purpose is promote an agenda of certain interests that pad their bottom line. When you see that the only reason for their existence is to make money for the parent company, it becomes very clear that they have zero responsibility to maintain content that has informative purposes rather than advertisement purposes. Look down the product lines, and really see what is being sold to people. Is it information, or is it instead ways for the companies to garner more revenue on product sales resulting from what is laid out in the pages?
The one indisputable fact is this:
This whole situation is a double edged sword, bloodied by the wounds of the dishonesty displayed by both Beckett and the card companies. When the companies, like Upper Deck and the recent Exquisite break, send the boxes for Beckett to break, the collectors lose. Not just because the cards in those boxes are no longer available for collectors to pull, but because it creates an environment where people who dont know any better are preyed upon. Its obvious that Upper Deck didnt care how much backlash they would get from the people in the know, because they knew there would be thousands who would see it. Also, it may have begun to repair a damaged relationship with the magazine over relationships created with blogs like Wax Heaven and this one. Clearly Beckett didnt care about any voiced disapproval because they got those thousands to watch it and come to their site. Because of this, it is now our responsibility to call them out as publically as possible, just to show them the thousands who will now spread the word against their practices. I may only get 600 visitors here per day, but if 200 of those people tell one friend, and they tell another, you can see what I mean. Its time for you guys to really show what you are about.
Im going to give people one last chance to sign up for the Premier and Signature series break before I close it out and try again with some other products. Refunds will be processed at that time. I wanted to do a break that didnt cost as much and got you more, but it looks like people arent too interested.
1. babootsna (PAID)
2. Andrew (PAID)
3. Psad (PAID)
4. Brian (PAID)
5. arfmax (PAID)
6. Motherscratcher (PAID)
7. Darkship (PAID)
8. Sewingmachineguy (PAID)
10. Jared (PAID)
2008 Premier Football 2 Boxes (2 teams per slot):
1. Gellman (HOST)
2. Andrew (PAID)
3. Psad (PAID)
4. JB201 (PAID)
5. Brian (PAID)
6. Arfmax (PAID)
7. Erik (PAID)
8. Erik (PAID)
9. Darkship (PAID)
10. Jason (PAID)
11. Steven (PAID)
14. LSUsg (PAID)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Every year there is one lower tier rookie that tears it up during the preseason, usually destroying defenses and scoring a few TDs. This usually causes a huge bump in cards that shouldnt really be worth what they are, mostly because people dont realize the role the player will actually have during the regular season.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I remember back two or three years ago when collectors would go after the Fabric of the Game cards like they made your dick longer or something. They were some of the best cards from the non grilled sandwich version of Donruss, and even I thought they deserved a place in my collection.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I was lucky to come home to two things in my mailbox that made me very happy. I had a slip to pick up the two boxes of SPA that I was going to break, and the slip for my Adrian Peterson National Chicle Redemption.
A few favre happenings to report:
Toby over on the UD blog just reported that for 2009 SPX, along with the Michael Vick addition to UD Football, Brett Favre will be making an appearance in Vikings' purple. Also, now from Topps, he will also appear in a similar offering in next month's finest, though the card will be airbrushed instead of having a camp photo. Im sure these will be the first of many Favre Vikings cards, but I would like to complement both UD and Topps for not using press conference cards. Those are the same which Mario has rightly deemed are against the card commandments.
Here is a pic from the UD Blog article:
Here is the pic from Topps:
Over the last few weeks I have been compiling some definitions of terms that may have an overwhelming effect on collectors who are coming back to the hobby, or people who are new. For the next New Collector Corner post on the Upper Deck Blog, I posted all of the different official terms I could think of with pictures to follow along. Hopefully, we can use it for helping people get acclimated a tad faster than they would by scouring blogs and message boards for definitions.
Check out the first New Collector Corner article HERE.
Check out the second in the series HERE.
PREMIER - 6 SPOTS LEFT
SIG SERIES - 7 SPOTS LEFT
SCU Breaks is back with two different boxes I would like to bust. For the baseball fans who love the old non-grilled sandwich version of DLP, I have decided that 2005 Donruss signature series is going to be the first baseball break I have done in long time here. The second product is an old favorite of mine, 2008 Premier Football, so no introduction needed there.
Signature series may be one that people havent seen before, so ill explain what you get. Four packs with eight hits, 5 cards per pack. Almost like a pricier version of Absolute, as you will get two auto cards per pack, with at least one dual, triple or quad per box. There are also jersey autos and cuts among other things, so this product should be a pretty good box to break for a group. It will be $16.50 for 2 random teams, standard group break stuff will apply. I will random the teams and break on Youtube, you will get to keep all the cards from the teams you get. Duals will be randomed for the teams involved.
Configuration: 4 packs per box. 5 cards per pack.
PACK A): TWO AUTOGRAPH CARDS
PACK B): ONE AUTOGRAPH CARD & AUTOGRAPH MATERIAL CARD
PACK C): ONE AUTOGRAPH CARD & ONE COMBO, TRIPLE, QUAD OR SIX AUTOGRAPH CARD
PACK D): ONE AUTOGRAPH CARD & EITHER A MATERIAL OR AN AUTOGRAPH CARD FROM A, B, OR C ABOVE
As for the Premier, it isnt as pricey so we will break 2 boxes, $22 bucks a spot for the hits we get out of the boxes. Same rules as above, should be a good break now that it has dropped in price a little. In this product, there was one A list auto per case, so we pretty much have a 1 in 5 chance that we will pull something good. Last time I busted this, I pulled a Matt Ryan rookie jersey auto and a 1/1 Early Doucet auto out of 1 box.
Payments through paypal must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot, buy as many as you like. I will be sending your cards to the account listed on the transaction, so make sure its correct before you submit payment. We have had that problem before with disasterous results.
Team random will be done before the break, I will order the boxes as soon as I get all the spots paid and filled.
Slots are as follows:
2005 Donruss Signatures (2 teams per slot):
1. babootsna (PAID)
2. Andrew (PAID)
3. Psad (PAID)
4. Brian (PAID)
5. arfmax (PAID)
6. Motherscratcher (PAID)
7. Darkship (PAID)
8. Sewingmachineguy (PAID)
10. Jared (PAID)
2008 Premier Football 2 Boxes (2 teams per slot):
1. Gellman (HOST)
2. Andrew (PAID)
3. Psad (PAID)
4. JB201 (PAID)
5. Brian (PAID)
6. Arfmax (PAID)
7. Erik (PAID)
8. Erik (PAID)
9. Darkship (PAID)
10. Jason (PAID)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I was looking around on eBay when I saw a situation that just screamed EPIC FAIL.
(CLICK TO ENLARGE)
I have been keeping tabs on these fake autographs, and I am actually convinced that the scam ones actually outnumber the real ones now. Either way, when you see one that is actually real posted in between the horrible fakes, with the fakes having more than 15 bids each, I laugh. There are actually that many people who think these cards are real. Considering that the autos on these cards look ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like any other auto any of the players have ever signed, I am curious as to how stupid you actually have to be to spend hundreds of dollars on one.
Maybe its the same people that buy these:
After seeing the previews for Topps Triple Threads baseball, Topps Triple Threads football, and now Topps Unique Baseball, I must say that my faith in your design team is completely gone. It saddens me to think that the priorties for the products focus more on filling the card fronts with needless numbers of swatches than getting the design to a point where it looks favorable. On top of all of this, not one of your products other than Bowman has hard signed signatures, including the ones that cost more than $150 a box.
I understand that you want the cards to look like they are worthy of the price tag you put on the box, but when each card has a large foil sticker with borders built into the design, I automatically wonder why you couldn’t just use a clear sticker on a white or clear background with no border. Why do you always have to remind us that you use stickers, especially considering that every other company has found out how to use the labels effectively without compromising the design. Also, I know that Topps is one of the two companies that has the means to obtain hard signed cards, but a lazy temperment has taken over where innovation used to reside.
When I first saw the new product, weirdly named "Unique," the first thought that popped into my head was how un-unique the preview cards looked. It was almost as if someone had taken a stock powerpoint slide background, spliced in some tiny player pictures and called it a day. Yes, the swatches were cut from the most sought after parts of the jersey, but it wont make a difference when the cards look the way they do. One shining beacon of the boredom contained in this product is the Chipper Jones. True, the preview mockup shows a nice patch, but who could even care when you fall asleep mid gaze? Were you trying to avoid all essence of a well planned card? Are you even trying any more?
Triple Threads is not that much of an improvement over Unique's shortfalls, as the product still focuses more on the amount of included swatches than the design. As long as the list of priorities promotes spelled out words over content and design, I will continue to duck this and future products whenever I can. The fact of the matter is that just because you can stuff all those windows onto a card, doesn’t mean you actually need to try. The "less is more" concept has been abandoned with all of your High End products, as it has become more about showcasing the excess rather than working wonders with simplicity. Then, when you also factor that the Triple Threads brand has not changed in over four years, the stale stench coming from the design begins to stink even more.
Topps, the competition you will face in coming years will be even greater now that Major League Baseball has devoted its logos solely to your products. To continue to produce cards that do not look as if they were actually cared about will damage any rapport you have with the people who drive your business. The sooner you adapt to work on better design rather than how many panels you can attach to a card, things will improve. Until then, I feel as though your lack of planning has ripped any confidence I have in your products' prospects of being worthwhile to any collector. Thank you for destroying any hope I have for the future of the baseball card industry.
(Thanks To Mario For The Exclusive Image)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Ok, before I start, let me say that I know all of you know how much I despise Topps' high end offerings. After seeing the preview from Triple Threads that was PMed to me over on FCB, I am just in shock over what is actually being marketed for this product. Considering how great base topps and chrome looks, these just look ridiculously bad. Ill go card by card, because I cant express my disgust in one paragraph.
A few months ago we got our first look at Topps Triple Threads baseball. After I cleaned up the projectile vomit that had managed to climb my walls, I hoped that they would give up on the brand for football. Every day since then, I have prayed to the card gods that Triple Threads football would be axed along with Topps Sterling, and replaced with a good looking and well thought out product. Sadly, the day of reckoning has arrived and it carries the fruit of visual diarrhea with it.
Earlier today, Chris from FCB got some preview images from Topps, and posted them on the site. Topps probably thought that their attempt at putting a half jersey into a card would make collectors forgive the abortions of years past. Obviously, I wouldnt use this tone if the card was amazing, so please escort your children out of the room before you continue on.
Yes, Topps has brought the turdtastic tri-fold card to football, took the design, and flushed it right down the toilet with any prospect of producing a respectable product. They have decided that STUFFING three swatches of jersey into three separate cards is more important than producing one card that actually looks good. I am not kidding, the burning feeling in your eyes needed two extra card panels to manifest, one panel of crap was not enough. You will also notice that the fucking logo of the goddamn product is the same size as the player picture, and that for some reason, brown is the color of choice.
Dont get me wrong, all the JCs will love this card to death because it has a logo and a letter on it, but I respect their opinion about as much as Beckett's. The reason stems from the fact that in an industry where design has fallen by the wayside, cards like this replace good ideas. The manufacturer thinks that by blinding us with huge swatches, they can direct our attention away from the fact that the card looks like a piece of goat shit.
As good as the designs usually are for low end Topps, they are as bad for high end. I just dont get it. Just because your cards are jammed with stickers and relics, doesnt mean you can give up on the other aspects of the card. It actually makes me sad that this set is popular, because it stands for every single thing that is wrong with products today.
In fact, while I was writing this, one of my coworkers stopped by to ask me a question. He collected cards when he was younger, but now is mostly just a sports fan. He asked me what I was looking at, and I said "the newest card." He saw it and shook his head in disgust. He then said, "Is that from Topps? They always try stupid shit like that." Laughing, I said that it was. Its stuff like this that makes me wonder if some people are so concerned with the relics that they forget the cards themselves look like poop. No wonder this is brown in color.
Mario posted recently about the Jordan rookie BGS 10 that has popped up on ebay with a feeding frenzy in tow. Wow, already over $50,000, right?
The question I have is whether or not we should actually trust that these cards are not just publicity stunts that have benefitted one fortunate collector. Since one cannot challenge the subjectivity of the grading process without destroying an obviously valuable piece, it falls on the shoulders of the buyers to avoid those cards .
As soon as Beckett created a higher-than-mint grade, we should have already questioned whether this was the point of the grading process in general. If you look at the cards that get the 9.5s and 10s over the 9s, even with a magnifying glass, show me the difference in grade between each of those levels. Each of you would have different answers. Considering the grading process was created as a service to help with internet buying, why should we believe that the graders have the means, as well as the expertise, to tell us when some piece of cardboard has exceeded the worldwide standard of mint? On the post, one of the commenters suggested this is a "we go to 11" type of standard to differentiate their process from others, and I wholeheartedly agree. As a result of this, when a card like the Jordan and the Montana receive those types of grades, things go nuts. If not only because it is publicized by the company that is responsible for the service. With that understanding, we should not have faith in the people known for having more conflicts of interest than any other hobby company in history. By giving a card that grade, especially one like this Jordan, having a system that prevents people from questioning the result, and the fact that Beckett receives almost national attention, its easy to see why its beneficial to manufacture an event like this. Obviously, the Jordan was graded a while ago, but it hasnt come up for sale since that time. Now that the Montana has sold for crazy go nuts prices, this card was sure to follow.
One of the things we have to realize is that there is not a specific standard that applies to each card without subjectivity. In the end, its always a human with emotions who makes the decision. Obviously when you price, sell and advertise these cards as well as providing the service itself, things are going to get suspicious with every public result. So, if a 10 to one person is a 9.5 to another, why do we allow these stunts to continue to grab our attention? As buyers, in an age when digital cameras and scanners are in the 10 megapixel range, this type of service isnt needed any more. Add in that most of the valuable modern cards are worth what they are regardless of condition, mainly due to contrived scarcity, the grading process then becomes even less of a necessity. As of now, the only reason to have this service is to allow people to exploit the grades they get for more money, make more money for a failing magazine, and to give another way for people to wrongly invest money in a medium that has a subjective element.
Until grading becomes more than a guy in texas examining your card, it will never be a worthy expense. Save yourself $80,000 and go buy a regular card. It will look just as nice, I promise.
Now that the golden boy is wearing purple, you can bet that things are going to change for the Vikings. The media will storm the locker room for each game, the players will actually feel the passes in their chest when they catch them, and a lot of the supporting cast will have higher valued cards. In fact, the supporting cast usually benefits completely every time a big thing happens, people seem to think that improving one piece improves the whole.
Adrian Peterson sure stands to benefit, at least initially, for teams having to choose whether to defend against Favre's ability or his. No longer should he face nine fucking players in the box, which means more room to run, and less pounding into the defensive stack with every run. If Favre stays healthy, plays well, and hits some early long passes, Peterson's season will boom faster than dog related crime in Philadelphia. People are seeing this now, as his values have spiked in the last 24 hours, with people speculating that he is on the verge of the best season of his career. If he could put up 1500+ with Jackson and Gus "Bang Your Head" Frerotte at the helm, imagine what could happen with a good QB behind him? Right?
Well, Peterson's stuff is already very expensive, and it really doesn’t need to go any higher until we see the results of Favre on the field. However, Peterson is a simple example, so lets take a look at Earl Bennett, someone who has benefitted from Cutler's replacement of Captain Neckbeard in Chicago. Now that the Bears have a pass happy QB to match their strength at RB, Bennett sure stands to benefit. Last year, Bennett caught a total of zero passes for zero yards for zero TDs. Yet, with little else to compete for catches in Chicago, his value spiked with a pro-bowler throwing him the ball. In my mind, it’s a little bit of a stretch go that far down the rope when the guy played a whole season with nothing to show for it.
Does this mean that people like Harvin will also benefit from Favre's arrival, just like Bennett? So far, there hasn’t been enough time to see the trickle down effect from Favre's signing, but I expect that its on the way. Considering that Bennett's Exquisites have eclipsed sixty bucks for a guy that didn’t catch a ball in his rookie campaign, I would say that Harvin's stuff just became more expensive out of principle.
In reality, card values fluctuate based on any little piece of news, just like many companies on the NYSE and NASDAQ. However, Favre and Cutler arent little in any way, so its easy to see why people want to jump on the cards from the players who stand to benefit. Would I go out and buy all sorts of cards from people like Sidney Rice and Juaqin Iglesias? No, not in a million years, but you may want to cash in if you have them.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I have posted a futher expose on my opinions of the Favre signing on the UD Blog, be sure to check it out. I am definitely not going to hail the Vikings as Super Bowl favorites now that Favre has signed, thats a given. I mean, they dont wear purple for fun, right? Its from choking all these years.
Either way, Favre is definitely an improvement over what we have, but dont place your bets until he actually makes it onto the field. Who knows with our luck.
You can check out my full reaction here.
A wise man once said that variety is the spice of life.
Obviously, that person had never met some of the people running around in the sports card hobby these days. Ask a sampling of people around, many of them would say that the one thing they would change in the hobby is that there is too many products to choose from. Yes, I said that correctly, people think that there are just too many products to get what they want out of. When I see this sentiment run rampant, all I can ask myself is why people want less to choose from, especially when so much crap makes it onto the market each year.
Maybe its the fact that as collectors, they need every last thing of what they collect. Back in the day, with 4 sets per year per sport, many collectors could put together every card that was produced each year. Good for them. But the question is, how many people actually get angry that they cannot collect every card of their favorite player, or that it is near impossible these days to be a super collector? Im guessing its a factor behind some of these feelings. I know there have been a few posts on a few blogs lately that state just that. Really? Is that the reason why we want less products? Because you cant be number one?
Personally, I think that is a ludicrious feeling to have. Really, it should more about rewarding the good products and avoiding the bad products. That can be an issue in itself, however, as what is bad news for me can actually be a treasure to someone else. Example? I think Triple Threads is one of the worst products ever to be released in the history of cards. Just the idea alone makes me want to spew my spaghetti from dinner. Yet, much to my chagrin, a lot of people love it. Ahh! There we have it, the reason why variety is so important.
Even though I want to run the other way whenever someone sends me an offer on some Triple Threads cards, thats all I really have to do to avoid it. If there were only three products per company per year, that would be a lot tougher, right? It wouldnt be as easy to run away and still have cards from other products waiting for me anymore. Not only that, but I would probably have to wait a few months for the next product to be released when I chose to follow through. Then what? Explain what I would do once the next product sucks as much as this other one? I tell you, I would be gone from collecting faster than Mike Tyson at a rape support group, and a lot of people would be right behind me.
The issue will continue to haunt people as long as this false sentiment continues. When you think about it there is really no basis that says the more products there are, the more people will leave. In fact, during the boom, as product numbers grew, so did collectors in the hobby. Now that Product numbers are limited, you see a stagnant sort of feeling around. The difference between then and now is the cost of creating a product, which may be the only reason to support a down shift in production. Yet, if we think that any money saved will be funneled back into the existing products, people are sadly mistaken. Its almost naive to think that a company would cut production to save money, and then spend all that money all over again on products that cant support a brand to begin with.
The solution is actually pretty simple, and feel free to follow along in your own mind. As products come out, if you dont like them, dont buy them. It is the easiest way to show disapproval, and it doesnt shut out the people who may like the product. Then, when your favorites come out, buy as much as you like. Your dollars can show more than a comment on a blog could ever do.
Thats pretty much it, especially with all this bullshit about how number of products is driving people away. Really, if every one of those products were absolutely the best fucking product ever released, it wouldnt be an issue, but due to laziness in design (something that cant be fixed with a smaller variety), people leave because they are overwhelmed with the crap that is out there. Instead of limiting the sets, how about improving what is released? Stop trying to cram a swatch into every card, stop trying to get every scrub to sign every card every year. Instead, focus on making each product look the best that it can, and I promise that no inflated number of sets will drive people away if the quality is there.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Ok, we are now coming up on pre-season week two, and people are still thinking that Brett Favre may make a decision to play this year with the Vikings. At this point, I am so fucking sick of hearing about the guy that I dont think I could stand a whole season with him at the helm. Of course, both Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson suck beyond belief at last check in, but who is to say they cant just be a placeholder until next year?
Last Friday was a day that many people have been waiting months for, the release date of the latest installment of the greatest sports video game franchise ever, Madden '10. Naturally, I had pre-reserved my copy long ahead of time, and I was very excited to get my first taste of HD gaming on my XBOX that I bought a few months ago. Although the cost of the game can be prohibitive, I can see a vast amount of gameplay out of it.
They have added a few new things, some of which were piss poor after looking great on paper. One of them was a new halftime feature like sportscenter which is presented courtesy of the NFL network. The first time I saw it, I was very impressed, but after about the 5th game, you just get tired of having to button through it. The gang tackles are also a new feature, but again, it seems like every freaking tackle is shared by 18 people. The new PRO-TAK system is pretty nice, and the cut scenes at the end of the play make the game feel realistic, but I kind of wish for my games of old while playing this one.
Another new thing, the cut scenes for the measurements and TD calls could be the most annoying feature I have ever played through. Each time anything is even remotely close, the measurement team comes out and you have to watch them do their thing. You cant button out of it, and most of the time, you already know the outcome before they start. Im still looking for a way to turn this off, so far I have not had any success.
Other than the new features, most people usually buy the game for the new rosters, as well as new ratings of people who had breakout seasons in 2008. The new rosters are obviously in place, but as has been stated before, the rating system greatly displays a huge difference between the good players and the bad ones. QBs are especially affected by this, though some of the ratings seem like they were done by sports equivalents of Joe Collectors. For instance, the Steelers are so good, that it is as impossible to get to 3rd down when they are on offense, as it is to stop them. Roethlisberger was on the ground on two separate occasions, and still made the throws to tight ends that had broken my zone. Same thing goes for the Patriots, Giants, and other fan friendly teams. Another example, last year, the Minnesota rush defense was a brick wall at the line, coming close to the NFL record for yards allowed per game and per attempt. Do they get a three star rating on the game? No. But every other of those fan faves have it. Peterson is pretty authentic in the game, but I was literally destroyed by Willie Parker and Brandon Jacobs who seemed to be the fastest people on the game I have seen so far.
Im sorry, the Steelers deserve to be the best, but they do not deserve to be almost unbeatable. Its too bad that the game designers catered the ratings to those people who cheer for the big market teams instead of going for authenticity.
Lastly, I had fun with the Wildcat, especially with Percy Harvin, who was very useful in just about every situation I needed him in. I had similar experiences with Moreno and Maclin, who seemed very authentically represented. They werent "oh my god" good, but filled their roles like they would on a normal team. In my first season, Harvin won ROY, obviously, so that isnt interesting, but Donald Brown was second, which was pretty fun for me. Any user controlled player is going to be the best, but to see Brown as the guy behind, dealing with Addai playing too, seemed improbable. Could this be a sign to come?
Overall, Madden will be a blast for the season, great for venting out a lot of my frustration as the real life Vikings get destroyed by a slew of teams. I would definitely go out and buy it if you don’t already have some form of Madden, but rent it first if you do. The way it plays is much different, and I could see it being a Mac versus PC type of thing. Though, I will say this, nothing beats the thrill of hit sticking Eli Manning into next week. I hit him so hard a few times, that I think he may have needed kidney surgery. Yeah, its that painful to watch.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Earlier this week, my comissions came through from work and I found myself with a few extra dollars. Thanks to good work performances, I got an extra $500 amex gift card due to my winning a contest, which has provided me with an opportunity to get some cards I was eyeing. I wanted to get a Peterson SPA, but due to eBay gift card policies, I was only able to get a $200 card with the amex, leaving $300 to use at my disposal other places online.