Monday, November 30, 2009

Special Announcement!

What a year it has been in my personal life, thats all I can say.

Last year on the 29th I honestly had one of the best days of my life, hands down. My wife and I had a beautiful wedding back in Minnesota, and I have been very blessed to have a woman like her in my life. I cant say that enough. Its been a whirlwind year with the economy negatively affecting our lives, but to have wonderful success after the bad was completely amazing. As if the tornado that has been sweeping through our lives hadnt gotten strong enough, a second hugely exciting thing comes along and makes me forget all the tough times over the previous few months.

A few months ago we found out that we are having our first child, and now that we have told the whole family, I am happy to bring you guys into the loop. The baby, a boy, will be born this May, and I cannot wait to have a little guy to pass all my collection down to. It really sort of completes the circle, you know? I have always wanted to start a family, and I cannot tell you in words what it means to me to be able to do that.

Sadly, that also means that around that time, SCU is going to take a back seat to more important things, and im sure all of you wont miss me all that much. Hopefully by Thanksgiving next year, we are going have a new family, surrounded by the wonderful family we already have, as well as a great foundation to build off of now that everything is back to the way it was financially.

It has been a relief to have used this blog as a sounding board for my life, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to be a daily contributor here, both good and bad. I never imagined that things would go this direction, and I definitely have everyone to thank for the wonderful support.

I have no doubt that SCU is not going to fade away as long as I have the need to write, and it will take a lot to quiet my voice for good. Although the blog wont have the same frequency of new material, it will not stop being a place to come for commentary on the state of what is going on.

I want to tell you all that you, the readers, are one of the things I am thankful for this year, as corny as that sounds. I never really knew what to expect back in March 2008, but I am glad that it has gotten to the point it has.

Here is to a happy and healthy rest of this year, and a great 2010.

Rookie Battle Royale: Week 12

Hope you all had great thanksgivings, I know I had a great weekend of relaxing and watching football. The rookie class is shaping up to be pretty impressive, and some of them had their best games of the season. Without further adieu...

Mark Sanchez

Another shitty game for Dirty, but the Jets won, so its not all that bad in the long run. 154 and a pick will not cut it this late in the season, and his team is starting to fade out of the long run playoff picture if they continue to play at this level. Yes, they won, but they just dont look like a great team. Sanchez is looking as human as ever, and he definitely has Darrelle Revis to thank for this one being expunged from his record.

Matt Stafford

Stafford had an abysmal game and threw four picks for another loss to the Packers. Stafford has been very up and down, which is how rookie QBs usually are, and lucky enough for him, his team is too horrible for it to matter all that much. Stafford has had a better season than Sanchez to this point, but he will need pieces around him to keep it going.

Josh Freeman

Freeman almost came away with a win if not for Roddy White. Freeman had 250 and 2 TDs with no INTs, so a good game there. Freeman has turned out to be a surprise rookie success story, I guess thats what happens when you have no pressure on a 1-10 team. Id be interested to see what happens when they get CJ Spiller or something in the backfield, as Freeman could turn out better than expected.

Percy Harvin

I will say this right now. ROY is Harvin's to lose, and this game shows how versatile he can be in this league. Harvin had his first 100 yard game of the year, and even managed 45 extra yards on the ground. Considering the Bears defense is still pretty formidable, and Peterson only had 85, Harvin looks that much better. He also had a first quarter TD, so I would file this under one of the best games of his short career so far. What is it with Vikings' rookies destroying the Bears?

Kenny Britt

Britt had a great game, including the game winning TD catch against the Cardinals. He had 128 receiving yards and was definitely one of the best rookies of this week, if not the best. Britt has done his best to put together a pretty good rookie campaign on a team that hasnt done well until 5 weeks ago.

Knowshon Moreno

A good game for Moreno, including a TD and 100 total yards. I expected him to have a little bit better of a game, especially when the Broncos were up big and running late in the game. Either way, they beat a failing team with good players, and that always is a nice boost. Next week should be another good game, so we will see what he can do.

LeSean McCoy

With Westbrook out indefinitely, McCoy will need to carry this team at the RB position. He had a pretty good game including a key two point conversion, as well as 100 total yards. They gave the goal line carry to the backup, so that sucks for his stats, but overall a game that wasnt a bad one. McCoy is turning out to be a viable option for McNabb, which can only help his stock.

Darrius Heyward-Bey

He finally caught a TD, and its been 11 weeks. Nice job Al Davis. Thats the only bright spot of the year for Hey Bey, and it was the only TD of the game for the Raiders. I guess that should count for something.

Jeremy Maclin

Maclin had a respectable five catches for 63 in the Eagles win, and he looked great on a few of those catches. Maclin will be good in the future, especially working on the other side from DeSean Jackson who will draw the coverage away from him. Jackson will be out next week, so we definitely get a good look at Maclin and what he can do.

Hakeem Nicks

Nicks had an okay game with 66 yards, but really hasnt shown the flashes of brilliance we saw from him earlier in the year. The Giants havent been doing very well, anyways, so Im guessing that has to be part of it.

Mike Wallace

Wallace was shut out in a key game, that hurts for the Steelers who havent had a very good couple of weeks.

Offensive Rookie of the Year Watch

1. Percy Harvin - another great game, his to lose (LW - #1)

2. Knowshon Moreno - a good week, and a great season (LW - NR)

3. Matt Stafford - best of the QB years so far (LW - #2)

4. Mark Sanchez - early good start will help him from falling off the board (LW - #2)

5. LeSean McCoy - great year in a pressure situation (LW - #4)

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Next Special For Blowout's Black Friday Sale

First, thank you to Chris and Pat for including me on this, and be sure to check out the ongoing thread over at their forums. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, I know I sure did.

I have the pleasure of announcing the next product for their sale, and it is box of 2008 Topps Rookie Progression for only 29.95! If you get there quick enough, you will have the chance to purchase it for the sale price.

Here are the product details:

Configuration: 20 packs per box. 5 cards per pack.

All new Rookie Progression Football presents a first look at the NFL rookies of 2008! Offering 55 Draft Pick base cards including Senior Bowl Autographed Draft Pick Variations and Senior Bowl Autographed Relic cards, Rookie Progression kicks-off the 2008 Topps NFL season!

* 2 autographed cards per box!
* 2 relic cards per box!
* 1 autographed or autographed relic card numbered to 50 or less per hobby case! (Replaces a regular autographed card).

* Veterans(165)
* Rookies(55) - 1 per pack!

The 220 base cards in the following versions:
* Platinum - #'d to 99.
* Gold - #'d to 199.
* Silver - #'d to 299.
* Bronze - #'d to 499.

Progression Single(50)
* Platinum - #'d to 10.
* Gold - #'d to 25.
* Silver - #'d to 50.
* Bronze - #'d to 99.

Progression Dual(25 cards w/different combinations/2 relics)
* Platinum - #'d to 10.
* Gold - #'d to 25.
* Silver - #'d to 50.
* Bronze - #'d to 99.

Progression Triple(15 cards w/3 players and 3 relics)
* Platinum - #'d to 10.
* Gold - #'d to 25.
* Silver - #'d to 50.
* Bronze - #'d to 99.

Progression Quad(10 cards w/4 players and 4 relics)
* Platinum - One of one.
* Gold - #'d to 10.
* Silver - #'d to 25.
* Bronze - #'d to 50.

Progression(50 players from the Legend, Veteran, and Rookie inserts subjects)
* Gold - #'d to 99.
* Silver - #'d to 199.
* Bronze - #'d to 399.

* Progression Rookies(50)
* Progression Veterans(30)
* Progression Legends(20)

Parallels - The 100 insert cards in the following versions:
* Platinum - #'d to 50.
* Gold - #'d to 199.
* Silver - #'d to 299.
* Bronze - #'d to 499.

Autographed Draft Pick Variations
20 of the 55 base card Draft Picks are showcased with their signatures in both Red and Blue base versions, numbered to 99, 199, 499, or 999.
The same 40 cards above will be featured in the following versions:
* Platinum - One of one.
* Gold - #'d to 10.
* Silver - #'d to 25.
* Bronze - #'d to 50.

Progression Single Signatures((50 rookies, veterans, and retired players) - #'d to 99.
* Platinum - One of one.
* Gold - #'d to 10.
* Silver - #'d to 25.
* Bronze - #'d to 50.

Progression Dual Signatures(15) - 2 players, 2 autos featuring both the players' names and their rookie years. #'d to 25.

Progression Triple Signatures - 3 players, 3 autos per card featuring both the players' names and their rookie years. #'d to 15.

Platinum Autographed Relic(50 Progression Legends, Veterans, and Rookies) - #'d to 25.

Senior Letters - Each card features a name plate letter from the 2008 Senior Bowl jerseys of 25 participants. Each name plate is autographed and one of one!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Friday Will Definitely Be A Black One!

For those of you who still are digging through eBay auctions for a new F5 button after Blowout's last two sales, Black Friday is going to be right in your wheel house. If you havent stumbled upon the threads over at their forums, they will be having some amazing deals throughout the day, from boxes sold at $11.27 to cases and other products. Its going to be awesome.

Sports Cards Uncensored is going to have a special posted during Black Friday right here on the blog as a part of that sale, so be sure to check back on Friday to have a shot at it.

After the last two sales, this is definitely going to be huge, be sure to have your refresh button ready. Stay tuned to SCU and Blowout for all the deals of the day, they go VERY fast, and I hear there are going to be quite a few freebies as well.

Could Small Sample Size Be A Factor?

UD Black was released for the first time in football yesterday to much fanfare, as well as much criticism. Although people's box/case breaks may not have turned out very well (some with over 11 base rookie autos per 10 box case), there are definitely no shortage of awesome cards. Really, I think this product has definitely come up short in terms of value per box, no doubt, but I am not going to say it was a total disaster, a la 2007 Black Baseball.

I think we had grand expectations for this product, I know I did, especially after seeing Michael Jordan, Lebron and Kobe all over 2008-09 Black Basketball. However, there really arent players like that in football, ones that command humongous prices per card. Thats where basketball is special. Baseball suffers a similar fate in most of its high end products, especially ones like Black. Football does have a few rookies that could break the $100 per card barrier, as well as a few players like Manning, Peterson, and others, but nowhere near Jordan territory.

Regardless of capabilities of ROI, the product does have some amazing looking cards. The rookies may be in college unis, but the sigs are almost all on card, and the design is ridiculously cool. I have been monitoring stuff that has been popping up, and I am liking as many parts of this set as those I hate.

I think the dual Jersey auto cards are awesome, and some of the combos are proving to be pretty interesting. I also really like the Lustrous cards, as cards featuring PETG elements have always been a soft spot for me. Also, though the cuts are pretty much crap, at least UD didnt use the crappy phone cards for their Payton cuts. Those phone cards, which Donruss bought in bulk for little to nothing are stupid as shit, and have been all over their products for the last few years. This is much better.

Dont get me wrong, I am the first condemn a product for shitty design and horrible ideas, and this product has its share. However, I dont think its fair to throw the baby out with the bathwater in this case as it does have a lot of redeeming cards. Although the money making aspect of a box is low to none, the singles from the good boxes are some of the best of the year so far. That is more than a lot of other products can offer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Box Break Reports On UD Black Are Grim

I have gotten a few emails from different readers, including AR Platinum of youtube fame, who have busted their boxes of Black with very unfortunate results. I could have told you up front that the Black box breaks were not going to be a money making venture, as they never are, but I will stand by the box breakers who look to be getting hosed on their breaks. For a product like this, there really needs to be some value in breaking boxes.

Those awesome memorabilia cards seem to be seeded at less than one per case, and the rookie autos have some questionable people on the checklist. I think collectors are going to quickly learn their lesson regarding pre-ordering products like this, especially at 100 per pack with a hit or miss type of configuration.

However, I will say this, for those of us who stick to buying singles, I think there are a lot of really amazing cards. Yet, those singles will never see the light of day if more than the fair share of boxes contains nothing but crap. People will avoid buying the boxes until prices drop, and at that point, the singles drop too. Black Baseball from a few years back was a huge casualty of that reality, now selling at a 50% clip from its MSRP.

Although I think there is enough cards to keep the box price above that level, its going to be a rough go at it if a lot of the preliminary breaks turn out like AR's.

UD Black Is Live, Looks Cool

UD Black is live and so far it looks pretty good. There are going to be some ups and downs with this product because of the price to bust a box, but for those of us that dont bust for profit (or at all), its going to be great based on these images. Although I hate the fact that the rookies are in their college uniforms, and that some of the paint pens dont look all there, I think these cards more than make up for it:

Plus, in all seriousness, these rookie autos really do look very good, despite the college uniforms. I am not going to go rush out and buy a set of them, but if I pulled this Harvin, it wouldnt be the end of the world. The only thing is, how much cooler would these be with pro unis?

Here is the first quad auto, looks pretty awesome with all the hard signed rookies.

They did end up putting cuts into this set, but they broke the ultimate cut rule and used other cards. That fucking sucks, and I really dont get why they have totally ditched the cuts with player pictures in this industry.

Here is a cool looking dual auto, but the signatures look like stickers.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mauer Wins 2009 MVP and I Am At Peace

Rant avoided. Thank god.

The votes are in and Joe Mauer is the 2009 AL MVP. I cannot express how happy that makes me, as Mauer is my favorite player and definitely gives new meaning to small market success. Morneau may have won in 2006, but he didn’t really deserve it over some of the other players, whereas Mauer's season was definitely MVP worthy and then some.

I remember when Kirby Puckett had his run in Minnesota, and I loved every game he played. I got to experience game 6 of the 1991 world series, and at that point, Puckett was like a god. Mauer has reached that level of fandom for me, even though he has yet to win a ring. Now that this battle against the Yankees is over, hopefully the Twins will pull their heads out of their asses and prevent battle number 2.

Regardless of what is to come after 2010, congrats to the most valuable AL player this year.

AL MVP Announcement Coming at 1:30 ET

All I have to say is that Mauer had better win. Its not even a contest. However, because he is going up against two Yankees, its always a contest. Although Jeter and Texiera had good seasons, they werent at the level of Mauer, who had arguably the best season in MLB history for a catcher. He did it all while missing a month due to a debilitating injury, and still came back to lead his injury laden team to the playoffs. Jeter was behind 8 other players on his team in some categories, and Texiera was just HRs and RBIs on an All Star team. If Mauer had as many runners on base to play with like Texiera, you would bet he would have had massive numbers.

Stay tuned for an EPIC rant if Mauer is snubbed for the second year in a row.

Rookie Battle Royale: Week 11

I love this week, I said it before, Ill say it again. The Vikings had an easy win, the Entire AFC North lost, some in epic fashion, and the rookies had great weeks, which is good for all of us. I think the playoff picture is becoming pretty clear in some parts, which is also cool, even though a few of my least favorite teams are pretty much in. Anyways, on with the show.

Mark Sanchez

Its been an up and down season so far for Sanchez, and this week was a major down week. He threw four interceptions en route to a Jets loss, again, and showed that rookie QBs usually don’t have the know how to figure out a tough D. Sanchez was once the runaway contender for ROY, but now isnt looking so hot. His cards have taken a hit as well, with some not cracking $100 where they used to be getting $120 and above. He is not going to be Jamarcus Russell, so don’t worry, but he still has a long way to go.

Matthew Stafford

Holy crap, what a week for Matthew Stafford. I guess the Browns really are that bad, and Stafford may be that good. He threw five TDs, a rookie record, and also passed for over 420 yards, again a rookie record. His Lions' team had an epic comeback against the worst team in the league, and even though he broke all kinds of records, it just goes to show that the Browns suck that bad. Regardless, his cards will jump, and they deserve to, as he may have just catapulted ahead of Sanchez in the ROY watch.

Josh Freeman

Again, rookie QBs usually have a pretty bad game against good defenses, and Packers game aside, Freeman has done just that. 126 yards, a TD and a pick doesn’t leave you with much if you are the Bucs, especially so when you play against the Saints. Eh, growing pains are going to be common in Tampa Bay.

Percy Harvin

Harvin had a very good game against the Seahawks, including starting the scoring with a 23 yard TD. He ended up with 79 yards and 5 catches including one on third down for a nice gain. Harvin has quickly emerged as a top candidate for rookie of the year, and the Vikings seem to greatly benefit each time he catches the ball - kickoffs and otherwise.

Mohammed Massaquoi

Another great week for Massaquoi, even though it was against the Lions. He had a long TD, as well as 115 yards, so I guess the Browns fans should pleased that they ended up with Stuckey and him as their two guys instead of Braylon. I doubt that will remain the case, but for now, its not bad.

Bernard Scott

Bernie had a great week in a stunning loss. 115 yards rushing, though the Bengals were the second top team to lose to the Raiders. With Benson out, the Bengals are going to need some major help, especially with Larry Johnson dragging them down. Scott doesn’t look like a bad fill in, but he is little more than a stop-gap.

Michael Crabtree

Crabtree had his first good game of the year against the Packers, and it only took 11 weeks to do it with the hold out. Good for you buddy, smart move. He had 77 yards and a TD, though the Niners couldn’t pull off the late come back. Crabtree looks like he is going to be pretty good, but he will have that hold out tag on him until he explodes.

Brandon Pettigrew

Pettigrew had a feast with his Lions teammates, including a game winning TD catch with no time on the clock. He almost dropped it, which was funny, but overall he had a pretty good game with 72 yards. Its going to be tough as a tight end for him to get any sort of value momentum while playing in Detroit, so don’t go rush to your local shops looking for his stuff.

Hakeem Nicks

Nicks has been notably absent during the Giants losing streak, and this week was just alright. 65 yards on 5 catches, but the Giants did squeak out a win. Nicks is losing steam, but that could be just that the 16 game season is starting to catch up with him. He was injured for 2 games early on, so who knows.

Beanie Wells

74 and a TD is pretty good, second good game in a row for Beanie. Now that Warner is banged up, he should have a much more prominent role in the Cardinals' offense. Maybe that will do well for him to get even more back on track.

LeSean McCoy

I remember back when getting 100 yards against the Bears on the ground was an impossible feat. McCoy came awfully close with 99 and a TD last night, so I guess its not that much of an accomplishment anymore. McCoy has quietly put together a great season, but with Westbrook coming back again soon, I doubt he will get the same attention later on.

Offensive Rookie of the Year Watch

Now that the season is more than half over and the graveyard is coming to life, its time to switch gears. There are a lot of candidates for ROY, and here is my own version of a tracker to show you who deserves consideration to me.

1. Percy Harvin - 36 rec / 501 yards, 4 TDs, 2 KR TDs - he has helped his team the most, and has shown to be a very elusive runner and tough to tackle. Those KRs have been icing on the cake in some of the Vikings wins, where others have been the cake themselves.

2(T). Mark Sanchez - 1761 yards, 10 TDs, 16 INTs - Sanchez is here because so many of the rookie QBs are always the most visible. NY has a better record than DET, even though Stafford has generally played better.

2(T). Matt Stafford - 1911 yards, 11 TDs, 14 INTs - Stafford has brought 2 wins to a horrible team with his arm alone. His recent 5 TD game brings him into this conversation, especially after missing games with a knee injury.

4. LeSean McCoy - 452 yards, 4.3 YPC, 3 TDs - McCoy has done great in Westbrook's absence considering the circumstances. I doubt he has a chance to win unless he puts up a monster game next week.

5. Mike Wallace - 28 rec / 500 yards 3 TDs - He has done pretty well as a 3rd wide receiver, though has been used more of a deep guy than someone integral to the offense. It has netted him a great YPC avg and a few TDs, but he will need to step it up to overcome the rest of the candidates.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today in UD Redemption News...

SPA this year just got slightly more interesting thanks to this nugget I found in Blowout's case sells sheet.

Per the product info from 2009 SP Authentic Football, there will be redemptions for an ENTIRE rookie patch auto set. Similar, im guessing, to the whole letter set redemptions from baseball, this could be ridiculous.

Now, I dont think this is the first time they have done something like this, as I remember it from past years, but this could be a really good idea to bring back for a strong rookie class. The redemption easily brings $2000-3000 in cash value, as you could easily redeem it and sell the pieces or sell the thing unredeemed.

For me, as a HUGE SPA fan, its nice to see things like this added, though it is just one miniscule part of an already awesome product each year.

Product Review: 2009 Topps Mayo Football

Ill say this right now, writing reviews of the hugely packed calendar for football has become extremely boring and aggravating. There has been little to bring about excitement in my eyes, and Topps Mayo is not any different than those. Last year, the Mayo product was new, and brought early comparisons to Allen and Ginter for football collectors. After a myriad of checklist issues and problems, it went from collector favorite to hobby dog. This year, things actually got worse in my opinion, as the set went from having its own soul to stealing that of Allen and Ginter and bastardizing it for retail success.


Although I really like the switch to the white bordered cards, I really don’t like the way this stuff turned out. The cards are just rip offs of another popular set, and really have no redeeming value of their own. Almost 80% of the painted subjects are in non-game situations with their helmets off, and I find that extremely fucking boring and stupid. I get the human aspect of the baseball players having faces in the game, but football is a gridiron sport built around violence. I don’t need to see Michael Crabtree lounging around, or Vince Young with his sideline hat. Get their helmet on.

Secondly, adding the rip cards to this set just makes me want to fall asleep even more, as the concept is so fucking stale outside of A&G. Because Topps football isnt as widely collected by the cult of topps fans, this Mayo set doesn’t have the same allure as a perennial success like its Baseball counterpart. A&G isnt successful because its new and fresh every year, its successful because of the number of Topps baseball collectors out there. The baseball collectors are rabid set builders, where in football its about rookies, autos and relics. So fuck off with your lame ass rip cards.

Lastly, im not happy about the non-sports subjects in this product. They are really not fun or interesting, and just tend to make this more of an A&G rip off than usual. The problem is, that with the minis, the different backs, and the rip cards, you may as well just slap the A&G name on it and call it a product. At this point, its just a hamburger filled junk box posing as a favorite retro set.

Rating =

Autograph Cards

If there was one redeeming part of 2008 Topps Mayo football it was the on card signatures. The checklist may have sucked balls, but at least the cards looked good. This years' is typical foil stickered Topps poop, where they had to change the orientation of the cards just to accommodate the stickers. Fucking weak. There is a good part to this though, as the four player cabinet cards, straight out of A&G, look like they acutally have some merit in the way they look.

Honestly, the one fucking part of making a retro set is the on card signatures. Philly did it without problems, and yet both Magic and Mayo feature nothing of the sort. Its really sad actually, because I know a lot of people love the retro sets, and unfortunately, Topps could give a flying fuck.

Rating =

Relic Cards

For once, the framed relic cards are good in a set. I actually think they did a pretty good job! The football shaped windows look pretty nice with the painted cards, and I think it is the one part of this year's mayo that deserves our attention.

Hell, the four player cabinet relic cards look good too, especially when you see the size of those beasts. I think if they had put the thought into the auto cards that they did for the relics, things may be a lot different.

Rating =

Value to the Collector

The autos are cheap, the set is cheap, everything about this set is cheap. The only way I would suggest buying a box of this product is if you are looking for a big set to collect. Its not going to be interesting like Ginter, but it will keep you busy until something better comes out.

Stay away from this set and stay away from the singles. Its not worth your time.

Rating =

Overall Impressions

This is another reason why I am somewhat glad that it was topps that got the axe. Souless ripoffs that have no business in a calendar other than for filler purposes. I feel bad for the late season shit, because it will be worthless as Topps cleans out the vaults.

Average Rating =

2009 Product Leaderboard (SO FAR)

1. Topps Chrome (4/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Donruss Limited (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Bowman Chrome (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Donruss Certified (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Upper Deck Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Philadelphia (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Topps Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Icons (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Heroes (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Topps Finest (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Upper Deck SP Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Upper Deck SPX (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Playoff Absolute Memorabilia (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Bowman Sterling Football (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Donruss Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Donruss Classics (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Donruss Elite (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Topps Mayo (2/5 GELLMANS)
21. Score Inscriptions (1/5 GELLMANS)
21. SP Signature Edition (1/5 GELLMANS)
23. Leaf Rookies and Stars (0/5 GELLMANS - NR)

Innovations and the Industry

Over the last few years, we have had a handful of innovations in cards that have spread the market to the point of nauseum, much to the dismay of many collectors. However, despite the fact that these cool innovations have become over done by each of the manufacturers, one thing has yet to undergo any real innovation since the early part of this decade. For the cards, we have had logo patches, letter patches, manu-patches, shadow box cards, PETG cards, etc, but for the boxes themselves we have seen the Tin, the one pack box, and the Exquisite style box. The card tech has actually explored different limits of printing, while the box itself has improved little more than just modifying the packaging.

What if new packaging and configurations could bring new life to the thaw that has happened in the industry lately?

As an example, an iditter (a twitter idea) came to me yesterday, one that isnt the answer to everything, but could be fun for those of us who break at hobby shops. What if the manufacturers took the hobby content that was normally in a box and developed it into an organized pack war type configuration? Instead of splitting the box with arbitrary means, the new pack war configuration would be set up to deliver equal chances at advertised content for both collectors, and would have bonus packs or something for the winner. For instance, you have two individually wrapped mini boxes a la finest (thanks Cardboard Icons), with both having special content configuration inside. There would packs as normal, but each side would have equal numbers of hits. In addition to the two boxes themselves, there is a winner box with extra hits and packs. Point system and instructions could be included, and it could even bring about organized play. Aside from people just breaking up the content and selling it, the cards would present an interesting draw for card shops. It would encourage collector competition (already an inherant thing for us) and the cards themselves wouldn’t be any different than a normal hobby box. The winners box could have extra perks, but I think this is something that needs to be at or around the level of a normal box to be successful, rather than the pack war stand alone product from Topps a while back.

Another example would be the packaging itself. Rather than opening packs and cards, what if companies went back and took a page out of fleer's book and offered signed jerseys, footballs, helmets, etc. Each box a collector would buy would contain a claim card for a specific product that could be shipped to them like a redemption. Tristar has already done amazing with the Hidden Treasures mini helmets, but taking it a step further would be awesome. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to create a set around it, but the focus needs to be the full size shit.

Going further, with high end products, I have preached pretty extensively that card protection and seals need to be included with the cards. This means pre-emptively encasing the cards in holders with seals, thus preventing counterfeits and damage in transit. I approached some of the high end producers a while with the idea, but the general consensus was that packaging and supplies would raise the cost of production way too much to make it worth it. To that, I pointed out Sportkings and 2007 Topps Chrome, which seemed to have it all down pat. Either way, I don’t think this will be a reality for a long time.

Regardless of the lame ideas I can come up with in a few minutes off the top of my head, I think it bears notice that packaging should be just as much of a focus for innovation as the cards. Considering that a cool looking box like 2006 National Treasures can change people's mind about possibilities, it becomes essential to get shelf marketing to the top of the priorties list. This means for Target and for Wal Mart as well, as many shoppers who may not be collectors are the sports fans that the companies are chasing. If you can get your products noticed by team fans, this could be an untapped resource.

What if you had a product based solely on players in a certain division or on a certain team? No more busting wax and walking away with stuff from teams you don’t collect. Im not talking about team sets either, Im talking about actual hobby boxes with team themes. Not bad for us team collectors, right?

Now, I am not in any way tuned into the cost of producing a product, but these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg for what is possible. I think we need to shift our thinking and prevent thinking from ceasing once you get to "outside the box." Lets start thinking FOR the box.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The (Good) Collector Dilemma

Every so often, a collector has to make a choice. You come into some money, and then the chase starts with what to buy, what will be coolest in three months, etc. For this its always down to three choices for me, Wax, Single, or Memorabilia. I have been really good about making great choices lately, but this time seems to be a little different. Here is a glimpse into my thought process.


I love busting wax, I fucking love it. I don’t gamble out of fear of losing money, but for some reason, I love buying packs of cards. The exhileration is pretty much unmatchable when it comes to the short term, and from my last break you can see that I had a ton of fun with pulling huge cards. That’s the draw, right? 99.9% of the time you are not going to pull something you collect, but you don’t care if you still get something good. I wouldn’t buy a Chris Johnson auto with my own money, but when I pulled that dual auto and the shadow box auto, I pretty much drooled at the awesomeness of getting them in a pack. Same thing with the guy who breaks case after case of 2007 Exquisite Football looking for a Peterson over on Blowout's forums. He could easily just buy one, but in his mind, it wouldn’t be the same as pulling it. I actually find similar feelings with cards I have pulled, but that is just an absurd thought. I guess when you have the money, it doesn’t matter.

For me, I love this option because it will always provide a ton of fun in the short term. But when a lot of money is involved, its not for me. HOUCollector over on twitter said to go buy some Black, but with the price of that product, its too rich for my budget. Even if it had diamonds in the packs, I would much rather take the sure thing when I am spending the amount I plan to spend.


Of the three, this is the way I have gone almost every time over the last few years, and I think my collection is awesome because of what I have decided on. Every time I make a purchase, I get to make the decision on what I will end up with, and every purchase is something I want. I know the current value of the end item, and I will feel comfortable in what I paid. The problem is, the short term excitement is rather low, and you have to appreciate the presence of your Man-display to really take pride in your collection if it is built this way.


However, if you do have the patience to forgoe the original lack of short term excitement, the long term value and excitement is that much higher. I now have 15-20 cards in my collection that I would never sell just for more money to spend on cards. Those cards are what I chase, and now I have them thanks to avoiding large wax purchases. I cant buy one every month, but if I plan accordingly and have patience, they will eventually come my way.

The problem is, singles are still a piece of the player that most people wouldn’t be able to appriciate unless they have had prior exposure to cards. UD has been focusing on this a lot, trying to make casual sports fans into card collectors, but that is still a fledgeling program. People will appreciate the autograph, but in all reality the prestige of the card itself will only be a draw to another collector. If you want to impress someone, or even satisfy your own want for a huge draw, option three is the way to go.


I have said from day one on this blog that I was always more an autograph collector than a card collector in my life. Thanks to this blog, things have tipped the scales more towards cards now, but the auto chaser in me drives me towards the auto cards more than anything. For that reason, making a cool memorabilia purchase can always whet my appetite when spending larger amounts of cash. When I say memorabilia, I mean signed photos, equipment, jerseys, balls, etc, and right now I have lots of all of those.

Since its football season, and since I have yet to get a large Adrian Peterson piece of memorabilia under my belt, I decided to go that direction. Now that my move to a more permanent location is iminent, my man-bungalo is as well, so I will need wall decoration to fill it. I have lots of Peterson signed stuff outside of cards, photos, mini-helmets, and other stuff, but a Jersey has eluded me since his rookie year. Now that he has switched his signature to the bastardized "AD 28" I was not going to waste my money. Luckily for me, DA Cardworld and still has old signature Peterson jerseys, so I bought one of those without hesitation.

I am really happy with my purchase, as it didn’t cost me as much as one of the Peterson cards I am still chasing, or a large wax purchase. I still have some money left over for Black singles when it comes out, and overall I am really fucking happy. I cant wait to get it framed, shadow box style, for use in my little man-area before the larger version comes into reality.

Who knows, maybe I will have this chance again soon, and my decision will be different.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A GREAT Example of Why Hard Signed Cards Are FREAKING AWESOME

Just got these preview card pics out of 2009 Ultimate Football from Upper Deck. The set is being released in early december, and I cant wait. After seeing these cards, I have much more confidence that Ultimate should be as good as last year's great product.

Of course, here are some impressions I got.

I love the personal touch cards which are based off the USA baseball ones from last year. Those cards were extremely popular, and these should be too. Also, I fucking love that Aaron Curry wrote Batman as the answer to that question instead of Jesus or some shit like that. Shows that he is definitely in the right frame of mind, right? One other thing, anyone questioning why Mike Fucking Epps is Shonn Greene's favorite actor? Haha, too funny.

Secondly, I really like the 1997 Legends cards, but the autos are a little streaky a la Panini. That kind of sucks.

Lastly, the college shout out cards are really cool, and should be pretty sought after. I have a feeling that the Pettigrew is just one of many cards like that, as Gregg told me a while back that inscriptions are the new on card auto project to make their brand stand out. I love it.

Ultimate should have some pretty awesome shit, if these are any indication. Glad to see they are stepping it up.

Another Comment On Grading

Chris over at Blowout Cards just tweeted on Beckett's story that a near "perfect" Michael Jordan Fleer RC has sold for over $200,000 per the people over at Scamville, USA. Let me respond by saying that this is further evidence that shows grading is about as subjective and arbitrary as PSA and their autograph fraud detection services. Basically, a guy in texas gets a good copy of a Jordan RC in for "grading." After seeing that it is a good copy, he has a choice - as a human being - about how to continue with "grading" the card. I mean, there is very little concrete differences about what can be a 9.5 and what can be a 10, and no one would ever question a good grade on a card like that, so who is to say he doesnt act with bias.

See, as a human, not a machine, he makes arbitrary and subjective calls due to his inconsolable nature. When Beckett created a grade higher than mint, despite this problem, the goal was not to show the perfection of a card, but to add more reasons for people to submit their cards for "grading." If it was just a scale from shitty to mint, it would only be used as the service it was supposed to be (a fraud prevention device for online sales), rather than a way for people to make money.

Let me put it this way, grading is a complete scam, like most of the other shit Beckett does on a regular basis. Because it is done with only loose standards applied to human eyes, with little reason to question any positive result, Beckett has created a loop hole for their ad vehicle, as well as their big customers.

Ill give you an example to illustrate what I am saying.

Because no one will question a positive "grading" result (no matter how fraudulent it may look), due to increased value of the card in the slab, Beckett has an out. This means if you buy a Beckett 9.5 slabbed card that is really an 8, it is now a 9.5 and no one will question that. Same with the 10 above, as it could really be a 9.5, but no one in their right mind would ever try to dispute that with the prospective loss of thousands of dollars. This also means that for each customer that submits huge orders on a regular basis, Beckett now has the ability to reward them for their business without establishing that the "graded" cards are done so at a lower standard as a favor. If a guy sends in thousands of cards each month to be graded, and consistently receives 8.5s and 9s, he has every reason to stop his submissions or go to another company. If he continually gets 9.5s and 10s, thats more and more business Beckett would receive. Because the "grading" process is so arbitrary and subjective, there is no ability for me to prove this happens, but I have definitely seen the possibility in action with sellers like Wolverine24 and others.

The possibility of helping out a high profile card can also be used as a ridiculously potent ad vehicle, as we saw with the absurd Montana 10 sale, and the previous Jordan 10. Its almost like people cant see through the thinly veiled attempt at promoting the service, and pay the price of a FUCKING HOUSE to get these cards, despite the fact that cracking them and resubmitting them would almost surely result in a lower grade.

There sure are a lot of people out there who cant understand why I despise Beckett as much as I do, but I have my hundreds of reasons for doing so. The fact has always remained, with no objective non-profit regulating body, Beckett has ZERO responsibility to provide a service to collectors that doesnt have huge conflicts of interest built in. Every single thing they do is designed to make them money, not provide you with real information or a realistic view of what is actually happening in the hobby. For that reason alone, the tip of my iceberg was created, and luckily for me, I have developed a great vehicle of my own to show how much of it lies below the surface of the water.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I am ... a Joe Collector.

I value relics and stickers over design and concept.

I bust products because Beckett has them on the hot list.

I post every pack on a message board.

I videotape my maildays.

I harass people on youtube.

I live for last pack MOJO, and you will hear me scream it.

I let the price guide rule my trades.

I am Topps Triple Threads.


Well, this might as well be what they had posted.

Ebay Pisses Me Off Sometimes

Ebay can be the best place in the world, but it can also be a scam ridden cesspool, teeming with horrible and stupid people. When I got my virtual MEBAS (Masters of Ebay Buying and Selling) after spending years of working within the system, I have a list of grievences that I need to air per my pre-Festivus party planning list.

First, if you buy an item, you better be ready to pay for it then, not seven to ten days later. I know that eBay policies lay out their feelings on it, but paypal has changed the game. Fifteen years ago, it was done all through the mail, so I can understand any issues they needed to institute policies for. However, now, with most sellers ONLY taking paypal or similar services, there needs to be a common courtesy statute. I don’t want to hear about any money problems a buyer has, because that’s a 'your problem' not a 'my problem.' Pay as soon as you possibly can click the mouse over to paypal because I hate waiting when they knew the bill was coming. If you didn’t have the money you shouldn’t have bought, plain and simple.

Second, I hate people that don’t check their emails. This kind of relates to the above, because I have gotten the "I didn’t pay because I didn’t know" excuse way too many times. This also relates to item questions and BIN offers, especially when your iPhone gives you instant email updates. If I send a question, I expect a response ASAP, at least within that first 24 hours. That gives ample time for you to find out the answer and send it my way. Waiting until two minutes before the auction ends is complete poop. With BIN offers, I understand that you want to gauge interest in offers, but don’t let me sit there waiting. In fact, I avoid BIN/BO items with multiple expired offers.

That brings me to the next thing, BIN offers themselves. Ebay gives sellers the opportunity to counter offer, so they need to fucking use it. If I give you a reasonable offer, I think it is well within your role as a seller to counter if you do not think it is enough. If I am lowballing (which I have given up on), then I understand. But don’t reject my market value offer because you are a douche with no understanding of the BIN system. Don’t put your item up if you arent going to sell.

Speaking of selling but not selling, I have said before that using ebay as your personal photobucket is stupid and a complete waste of my fucking time. If you arent going to sell your item, go post a mailday message on a board or something. I don’t need to waste my time sending offers your way if you arent going to sell. Yes, yes, I know that there are success stories of people putting ridiculous BINs and getting a sale from a crazy person, but that is the exception to the rule. Stop with the show offs and get back to your regularly scheduled auctions.

Also, please do not send me a list of demands with your lowball BIN offer. I am not going to ship to Taiwan when it EXPLICITLY says otherwise in my auctions, and I am not going to waive shipping because you are begging me to help you. Ill deny you every single time just for being a thorn in my side.

Lastly, I hate shitty photos. If you have a card for sale, give me a good pic or I am going to bid lower. It is your responsibility to provide an accurate description of the item, not just a blurry cell phone shot. Spend the extra two minutes to get out your scanner or digital camera, and I will reward you as a buyer. God that pisses me off when I see something I want with a shitty ass photo.

Now, who has a good festivus pole that I can put a best offer on?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chris Johnson's Autograph Needs To Match His Performance

Chris Johnson is one fucking talented running back. After another 200 total yard performance last week, he is continuing to tear up NFL defenses like tissue paper. The problem with Chris Johnson isn't something he does on the field, but more something that he does for us in the hobby. In case you are unfamiliar, Johnson has a card signature that is reminiscent of Vernand Morency, and seems to give less than two shits about what we think. His two letters (barely) and out, leaves me VERY bittersweet whenever I pull an auto of his, or see a card I would like to buy. In fact, I actually think the value of his autograph is lower because of the fact he is a jackass in that respect.

Funny enough, when you see his signature on non card items, it’s the full signature, but cards are still lackluster if not worse. I know for a fact that the companies have approached him about the stuff he signs, but obviously we have not seen the results in the cards for 2009 and beyond. There are rare instances of a full signature, but 99% of the time his effort is less than the effort Keenan Thompson puts into his characters on SNL. That takes talent.

I have avoided buying Chris Johnson's cards from the beginning because I cant stand his signature, and I have put any I pull up for sale right away because of that same feeling. That’s a huge problem for a lot of fans out there because he is doing so well on the field. Usually when someone has a shitty signature in the past, they have been an unimportant pick with no prospects, but this is completely different.

Say he goes on to win MVP in the next few years, which could be a possibility with his talent. Immediately, the bandwagon collectors go back and try to purchase some of his cards, only to see that he has the worst signature in the last few years. That sucks for this hobby, and its even more frustrating because cards are the only thing he does it for. It also adds a whole new level to forgeries because its so hard to tell what is what.

Granted, fellow defense destroyer Adrian Peterson recently switched to a similar 4 character autograph, and that is just as frustrating. Personally, despite the number of things they have to sign, I would never have a problem giving the fans what they want in most normal circumstances, even more so when you are sitting at a table signing stickers or cards. No screaming fans, no quickness needed, just sign and be done. There is no earthly reason to shaft your fans, especially because one day, it may be the way you are remembered.

Ask people like Harmon Killebrew, Torii Hunter and Kirby Puckett, who all stood by the fact that a measure of a player's signature is the presence of every letter. Harmon has said on numerous occasions that an autograph is just as much a part of the player's history as their game, and to have one that doesn’t look like some effort was put into it, is detrimental.

I agree.

Rookie Battle Royale: Week 10

Another week for the NFL, another good week by a few of the rookies who werent doing so well before. With both undefeated teams staying undefeated, the rookies werent as much of a focus as usual, but they definitely didn’t sleep the week away either.

Josh Freeman

Coming off the game of his life in his first start last week against the Packers, there were high expectations this week for him against a struggling Dolphins team. Freeman did not play half as well as he did in his debut, and the Dolphins took it on the last play of the game. He threw for 196 yards, a TD and an interception, but had four fumbles with one lost. Not great.

Mark Sanchez

Sanchez played like a rookie again this week, with a very mediocre game against a team they should have beat. This now shows that he is human after all, with more games this year on the rookie side than the spectacular side. He threw 2 interceptions and a touchdown, as well as 212 yards, so it wasn’t all that wonderful of a game for him. This should make it interesting come the end of the year ROY voting.

Matt Stafford

Of the three rookie QBs, Stafford had arguably the best game against the best team. On 51 throws, he didn’t have a pick, which is pretty good considering that last time he played the Vikings he threw 3. He was sacked 4 times, but really it was more of a receiver issue than anything. The guys he was throwing to also dropped 8 passes, so that will hurt in the long run. Stafford ended up with 224 yards and a TD. Not bad.

Beanie Wells

Finally, after nine weeks, Beanie had a really good game, best of the week for the rookie running backs. He had 85 yards and 2 TDs, which was only the second 2 TD game of the year for rookie RBs. His YPC avg, a concern in previous weeks was up considerably (5.3 this week), and he didn’t look lost out there in a nice Cardinals win. Beanie still has a long way to go, but things are starting to improve.

Jeremy Maclin

Maclin is quietly putting together a great rookie campaign. He led all rookie WRs with 76 yards, as well as a touchdown, which makes his second consecutive with a score. Maclin is playing on a team where he will need to be the top guy eventually, so he really needs to come through, and this game was another notch in the bed post for him.

Bernard Scott

If I told you at the beginning of the Cincy/Steelers game that Bernard Scott would be the MVP, you would have laughed me out of the building. Yet, with a HUGE kickoff return TD, he was the reason the Bengals won. So, Steelers fans, you have given up KR TDs to two rookies this year, who is next, haha?

Knowshon Moreno

Moreno had a good game this week, but the Broncos lost to a team that they should have killed. He had 104 total yards and 97 on the ground, so it was definitely a solid effort. I also didn’t see any huge fumbles, which Im sure was a sigh of relief for his fans, but the loss was more than a shock irregardless.

Johnny Knox

Knox went from the top of the game to being right where he was expected to be. On Thursday, he had his third game in a row where he did nothing, and this time the Bears needed a big play. Knox hasn’t caught more than two passes in any of the games of late, and he is going to need to step up if the bears are going to recover.

Percy Harvin

Harvin had 3 for 53, but most of those yards came on an amazing catch where he pinballed around and ran for forty yards. Harvin's impact was minimal, but the Vikings didn’t really need it with Favre, Peterson and Rice playing like fucking beasts. Not the best game of the year, but that catch was pretty awesome considering the hit he took and still stayed up.

The Rookie Graveyard

Darrius Heyward-Bey - 1 for 20? C'mon Al Davis, you suck at drafting.

Michael Crabtree - Nothing still, needs at least a TD to be worth the hold out.

Brandon Pettigrew - Had a couple drops and no production again this week.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Its The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I freaking love this time of year, as this is when things really start to heat up. The NFL season is coming to an end, and my favorite products hit the shelves. I have been trying to give my paypal account steroids for the workout its about to get, as there are more cards I will be chasing now than ever. Lets review the Calendar:

UD Black (11/24) - Peterson has some amazing looking cards in this set, all on card, which means that I am really going to have to choose between this and the ones to follow. Hopefully they wont be too much money or its going to be like choosing between children when figuring Black or SPA/Exquisite.

Ultimate Collection (12/8) - Although the general design doesnt really do it for me this year, the Ultimate Peterson patch card featured in the preview is one of the best looking cards I have seen so far. Thats going to cost a shitload, and I am still chasing the "AD All Day" inscription card from last year. There are also going to be some Harvin cards I need here, all of which should be on card sigs.

SP Authentic (1/2010) - SP Authentic is my favorite set of the year, and this year's product is shaping up to be amazing. The Harvin rookie auto patch is a must get, and the jumbo signature patch is also on the list. Peterson should also have some good ones, but SPA is all rookies all the time. Maybe we can get our first Peterson/Favre dual.

Exquisite Collection (3/2010) - I dont even know where to start with this one, as every card is always a purchase I need to make. Harvin and Peterson will be all over this set, and Favre may have a card or two I may go after for shits and giggles. This will be the fourth all on card set to rape my wallet, and you can bet I will not hesitate to break the bank.

Because National Treasures wont be a target for me this year because of the design, I can focus a lot more on my other favorites. I wish I had the money to buy both the boxes and the singles, but being smart only provided me with enough for selective targeting. Earlier this year, I preached only going after what you truly love, and I am so glad my savings have paid off. I should have enough for one or two cards out of each, and I can say now before I own them, it was already worth not buying much wax through the rest of the year.

Product Review: 2009 SP Signature Edition

A lot of us were expecting something completely different when SP Signature edition was announced early this year. A product focused on autographs with promises of four, five and six auto cards couldn’t be a bad thing, right? Well, sadly, the product ended up being more of a sticker dump than it was a viable set, and there are sure a lot of angry wax breakers out there because of it.


When you look at the set design initially, it isnt bad. The cards don’t look like they are designed for a normal sticker dump product, but that is just the surface. When you delve deeper into the set itself, it becomes clear that not much thought was put into what everything was going to look like. Each of the subsets looks exactly the same, and though as a standalone set they may be fine, together it all looks like a snoozefest. Funny enough, that’s all I can really say about this design because there is not much in terms of set construction. The six player autos look like the single autos with five extra players, and that just kind of puts me to sleep.

Personally, this set reminds me of two enormous UD flops from years past. First is 2007 Ultimate Collection, where UD explored the multi hit Ultimate pack for the first time. Each one of the cards looked exactly the same, just like this junk, except with 2007 Ultimate, the design was completely terrible. The other product I get bad trip flashbacks of is 2007 SP Chriography, a sticker dump for five times the price. Again, the design for the set wasn’t terrible, but there was no differentiation between the entire product's line.

Rating =

Autograph Cards

This is where things get really fucking ugly. When I say fucking ugly, I mean Hairless Chihauhua ugly. This set is stuffed so full of unused rookie auto stickers from 2006-2009 that its hard to see the good stuff that is hiding in the pile of crap. For every Mark Sanchez or Matt Ryan auto card, there is 15 cards numbered to a billion that feature players who may not even be on a team anymore. This also means that when you pull one of those "ridiculous" six auto cards, 19 times out of 20, you are going to get a card worth less than 5 bucks. Crazy for a card like that.

There is some redeeming cards in this set, like the first Emmitt Smith/Adrian Peterson dual auto, or others like it, but those cards are so rare that paying box or case price is almost equal to burning your cash as a sacrifice to the card gods.

The rookie autos, as said above, arent horrible, but they cannot outweigh the mountains of shit in this product. Its almost like they used as few good autos as they could to prevent the product from costing them for dumping their warehouse stock. Hell, this product isnt even tin worthy anymore. Remember back when each pack came in a tin, and you at least had a place to store your Kurt Rambis auto when you pulled it? Yeah, not so much this year, it’s a tiny box with a pack inside.

Almost like they knew not to waste the good shit.

Rating =

Relic Cards

There are no relic cards in this set

Value to the Collector

I cant stress against buying SP Signature enough. It is a product that will not hold its value, will cost less than 20 bucks a box come the off season, and you will only end up getting junk. If you are thinking of buying a box, send your money to me, as I will buy you a nicer single card and send it back to you. Not only will you have better luck playing Top Skater at Dave and Busters for a good time, but you will possibly gain more out of it as well. Seriously, go put 40 bucks into that machine, and you may just learn to skateboard better. With SP sig, all you are going to get is a hole in your wallet. You know, if you do spend the money to buy this, you deserve to have that hole in your wallet just for your stupidity.

Rating =

Overall Impressions

First, this product fucking sucks. Second, Black comes out in two weeks, and I guarantee you can find at least one card you would like for the money you would spend on this. Third, this product fucking sucks. It was worth mentioning a second time.

Average Rating =

2009 Product Leaderboard (SO FAR)

1. Topps Chrome (4/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Donruss Limited (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Bowman Chrome (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Donruss Certified (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Upper Deck Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Philadelphia (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Topps Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Icons (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Heroes (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Topps Finest (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Upper Deck SP Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Upper Deck SPX (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Playoff Absolute Memorabilia (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Bowman Sterling Football (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Donruss Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Donruss Classics (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Donruss Elite (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
11(t). Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)
20. Score Inscriptions (1/5 GELLMANS)
20. SP Signature Edition (1/5 GELLMANS
22. Leaf Rookies and Stars (0/5 GELLMANS - NR)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You Might Be A Joe Collector If...

I was flipping through channels last night and saw a repeat of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, so I had to watch a few minutes. Here is my response via Twitter:

- If the number of mailday posts you make out numbers the meals you've eaten that day, you might be a Joe Collector.

- If you have jerry-rigged a case not meant for sports cards to hold your triple threads fold outs, you might be a Joe Collector

- If you have an auto-correct set up to add ten exclamation points for every single one you write, you might be a Joe Collector

- If you have created certified sticker labels to add a signature your girlfriend's birthday cards you might be a Joe Collector

- If posting bash comments on youtube is the only way you can get sexually aroused, you might be a Joe Collector

- If you scream "MOJO!!!" each time you get a Christmas bonus at work, you might be a Joe Collector

- If you have used Wikipedia to look up a stat cut out in a Topps Sterling card you just bought, you might be a Joe Collector

- If you failed a test at school because you described Bowman Chrome in a essay question about refracted light, you might be a Joe Collector

- If you re-printed your high school diploma on rainbow foil board to make it look better, you might be a Joe Collector

- If you have memorized the book value for every card of a player that has yet to play a single game, you might be a Joe Collector

- If you asked "what'd you pull?" when your mother tells you she is SICK, you might be a Joe Collector

- If you know how to say MOJO!! in more than three languages, you might be a Joe Collector

From Jstarz34630 - If you spent more on Topps Triple Threads 1/1s than you did on your rent for the month, you might be a Joe Collector

From FCBSportscards - If you scurry to ebay to check your watch list every time you walk in the front door, you might be a Joe Collector

From Reggie - If you named your kid Joba Gold Refractor to commemorate your best pull, you might be a Joe Collector

From Houcollector - HOUCollector If you were addicted to Power Puff Girls because you thought they collected cards of Jojo, you might be a Joe Collector

From Cardsnwine - If can't find your desk because of too many bubble mailers going out on trades, you might be a Joe Collector - wow on that one.

For more, the hash tag is #youmightbeajoecollector on Twitter, or follow SCUncensored.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Program Worth Supporting

Today, Upper Deck posted on its blog that they will be sponsoring a new initiative to get 1,000,000 unopened packs collected and sent to overseas US troops by 11/11/2010. Its not often that you see something like this put together, so I hope you guys help contribute to this good cause at your local shops or by mail. They have given the program a head start with 100,000 packs, and the rest is up to us.

I dont think many of us realize how much this would mean to our friends across the ponds, as this little taste of home could mean the difference between a good day and a bad one. One of my best friends is stationed in Iraq right now, and he has had quite a struggle to find places to send him cards to feed his wax addiction. I can see that something like this would be wonderful for guys like him, and now we have the opportunity to bring that to them.

Im already working on putting together a contest to help, ill post as soon as I have everything ready.

Down in the (Sticker) Dumps

Now that Topps is out of football for the next few years, we do know that one thing is coming. Unfortunately for us, Topps will need to get rid of their built up stickers and jerseys, and the sticker dump product will be on its way. Sticker dumps are an inevitable part of using the labels for products, and thanks to this new Topps-less NFL, we are prone for a glorius second helping, after choking down two to three similar products from them and UD already this year.

Most of you are probably wondering what a sticker dump actually is, so here is an explanation. Basically, each year, the different companies send out their label sheets to rookies, veterans, and others for them to sign for the upcoming year(s). Unfortunately, due to the fact that the world of sports is ever-changing, a sticker that deserved to be in a set one season, may not have that status for the following year. This is especially true for rookies that never get established in the league, and are demoted, hurt, or cut. Due to the Tom Brady effect of having to put every single possible player's rookie auto in every product (just in case), there are tons and tons of stickers that end up in a box somewhere at the end of each card year. This box sits and rots in the warehouse until a set is developed where the company can use those stickers to fill out a checklist with players that dont matter.

For the NBA and its new exclusive license, both Topps and UD needed to rid their stores of unused stickers so that they could make as much money off the leftovers before they were unable to legally be used any more. The result was Topps Signature series Basketball and UD SP Signature edition, where the products' sole purpose was to eliminate all possible unused labels. Im sure it was pretty obvious something was up when you were getting Jorge Barbajosa and Josh Boone up the ass.

Earlier this year, you may have also noticed that Topps Magic Football was stuffed full of autographs from players like Isaiah Stanbeck, Allen Patrick, and Fred Davis. These players, at one point, were welcome in sets that featured many of the rookie autos that we have come to expect per normal protocol. However, as they have moved into 2nd or 3rd string roles with their respective teams, they are now not welcome in any normal set. Of course, when you have a sticker dump, those types of stickers come out of the woodwork for one last use before either being tossed, or whatever else is done with unused stickers.

This practice of completely dumping everything was even more prevalent in the crime against collecting known as 2009 SP Signature Edition football. As recent comments have pointed out, this set is quite possibly one of the most obvious sticker dumps ever created. Players that are now practice squad players, or at best second stringers, are littering almost every auto card, with rare big hits of people that actually matter. Granted the price is VERY small at around 40 bucks a box, however, it doesnt justify the horrid, horrid checklist.

The fact of the matter is this. If we continue to support the sets like this, they will continue to terrorize us. We need to speak with our wallets and show that products like this are completely unacceptable. Even though UD tried to blind us with four and six autos per card, it doesnt matter if none of those players will ever see game action or make a good contribution to their team. Although I think the Brady effect is very much to blame for a lot of these horrible excuses for products, it is not a reason for us to have to endure the pain.

The problem remains, Upper Deck and Topps have become pros at doing this every single year, sometimes without prior warning of a checklist. This leads to people opening their products expecting one thing, and getting something completely different. Although Topps will be forced to employ the sticker dump as a way out, UD should have a similar answer when the next season rolls around. The only way to avoid being caught in the trap is to look for obvious signs on the sell sheets, and wait for breaks and checklists before committing your dollars. Trust me, its worth losing fifty to one hundred bucks on a case pre-order when you find out you just saved thousands by avoiding a dump.