Earlier on Twitter today, Steven Judd, of former Sports Card File fame, commented that he had heard the NFL was cutting a license from one of its three manufacturers for 2010. Considering that all three licenses are up for renewal next year, that isnt a stretch. Now, none of this is confirmed, and it could just be rabble-rousing, but after reviewing the situation, its definitely plausible.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Im sure a lot of you would expect me to say that getting rid of Panini would be a great idea for the NFL, but actually I would hate it if they left. Cutting the choices of collectors in any way is a completely ass backwards fucking idea, even if that means that my hatred for Panini football would no longer be required. See, thats the beauty of it all, as more choices equals more hobby variety, so that if someone like me hates Panini, I still have more to fall back on.
Everyone knows that Upper Deck football is my favorite, because in my opinion, their quality of products (design, content, hard signed cards) is absolutely and utterly unmatched by either of the other two brands. There just is no substitute for me. However, other collectors disagree completely, and they have just as much at stake in this. The actual reality of this type of situation is that no-one wins, and every collector loses. I may despise Prestige, Absolute, and others, but I do like some of Panini's stuff. If Panini is forced out, for example, I would lose out on those products, as well as the notion that my hatred could change with the design evolution that each brand goes through.
Then again, if Upper Deck is forced out, I will be too. At that point, there is no reason for me to continue collecting new stuff, as I buy 90% UD with the exception of the Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome stuff. Theunfortunate part remains that I wont be the only one in this situation. The Gellman haters out there would love to see me squirm at a future without licensed UD football, but its not just me. There thousands out there just like me, if not more hardcore for Exquisite, SPA, and the rest of the UD slate.
I commented before that there NEVER should have been an exclusive license in Basketball, and there NEVER should have been an exclusive license in Baseball. To think that the one place where exclusivity is NON-EXISTANT, they are cutting back on stuff, is a completely fucking asinine notion. All politics aside, limiting exposure of any commodity is a horrible idea, which leads me to believe that there is another agenda at work.
Guys, this is bad if its true, very fucking bad, no matter which brand gets the axe. The industry part of this hobby will be in worse shape than it already is with this crap, and its sad to see it come to this point. Personally, I see one of two outcomes: 1) UD is forced out of yet another sport, and resorts to unlicensed and college branded football products. 2) Panini realizes that they cant support an NBA and NFL brand, so they focus everything on Basketball and drop the license without being forced out. Either way, I see Topps as safe, as for some reason they are thought of as never expendable, despite producing abominations like Sterling, Triple Threads, and Lettermen.
Hopefully, none of this comes to fruition and we are back at square one come 2010.