Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Obligatory Year In Review

2009 was a pretty epic year for me, with good times had by all around me. Although there were some hard times in terms of the economy, in my personal life, things could not have been better. Although I hate doing posts like this, I feel that this year was a good enough adventure to put it in the blog just this once.

It all started with an explosion of awesome, as in the beginning of 2009 I had just gotten married, gotten promoted, and the blog and my collection were hitting their strides. The blog started 2009 at around 300 visits a day, and within weeks of the new year I was seeing record numbers at the site, and many people in the industry were even starting to take notice. In March, I had the first anniversary of the creation of SCU, and at that point I felt a keen sense of accomplishment knowing that I had kept it going for so long. I never expected it to go very far, and to have one year under my belt was crazy. I also started doing the blog bat arounds, which was meant to be a way to showcase the expansion of the card blogger network. Each time they happened, I found myself continually impressed with my collegues and their skills as bloggers. I think that due to the talents displayed on our sites, the card blogs have become just as much of a news source, if not more, for the informed collector base out there. Due to that fact, other sources have tried to keep up, and mostly failed in the process.

SCU Breaks also hit a chord this year with most of the people who participated, and the pulls we had were nothing short of fantastic. There was never any manufacturer involvement, just straight box breaks bought from the same places that everyone buys from. The highlight was probably the 2 box Prime Cuts break we did, with a Jim Thorpe/Joe Jackson pull and a ridiculous Cal Ripken Jr. pull. The recent 2009 Limited Football break was also amazing, netting us a low numbered Matt Ryan auto, a low numbered Percy Harvin auto, and a coveted Limited Letter auto as well. We also broke a few boxes of Upper Deck Exquisite (which we will do again), which were highlighted by a Chris Johnson Patch Auto, and a Walter Payton patch card.

Holy Hitter also organized the first monthly box breaking club, breaking everything from SP Authentic to National Treasures. One box pulled a Bob Waterfield cut auto, as well as a four color Trent Edwards patch auto, so you can see what I mean when I say that you should not pass up any of these opportunities in the future. He also managed an awesome Peyton Manning auto for the group as well as a sweet Bo Jackson, and a cut of Clyde "Bulldog" Turner and Sammy Baugh.

As for my Personal Pulls, I did pretty well. I had some luck with packs in the recent months, and the Mohammed Massaquoi red refractor auto I got out of 2009 Bowman Chrome was probably the best I had all year. The other cards in contention were the triple auto I pulled out of SPX or the Shadow Box auto of Chris Johnson that is on eBay as we speak.

Now that its December 31st and I am looking back, I definitely had fun in 2009. My favorite products of the year were either 2008 SP Authentic or 2008 Exquisite, as expected, although 2009 Topps Chrome was surprisingly wonderful. My least favorites, also as expected, were 2009 Triple Threads and many of the Panini releases this year, as the stale and sometimes outrageously awful designs and horrible concepts really got me fired up on numerous occasions.

We also saw some favorites of the card blogger network hang it up, and I still miss reading their view points day in and day out. One was obviously Mario's recent goodbye at Wax Heaven, but also Dave's departure at fielder's choice. Both were big supporters of this site, and I always love seeing comments from both sporadically now.

My battles with Beckett continued this year as well, as they took their magazine to some of the most idiotic places, even I thought were impossible. The price guide and crap they put out on a daily basis is still awful and driven by the same factors it had been when the year started, and I am still disgusted daily with their arrogant propaganda they spew from all parts of their internet entities. However, I wasnt the only one who was raging against the idiot brigade this year, as Rob from VOTC took it to them at the National.

I also took it upon myself to explore other mediums that I could reach people this year, and I think I had more fun than I expected writing over at the UD Blog and for Tuff Stuff as the "Hobby Watchdog." I hope that next year will give me new opportunites as well, with my eye on reaching as many new collectors as possible. I also have to highlight the wonderful relationship with Blowout Cards, as they have somehow become the biggest blogosphere ad wagon around. They were nice enough to let me be a part of their massive Black Friday sale, and I loved every minute of it. For the future, I want bigger and better, and god only knows what that may be. This site has been featured on Deadspin and Yardbarker, so maybe I can set my sites on more national audiences. Aaron Gleeman was recently brought to my attention as a role model, though I doubt my niche audience would ever grow to even a sliver of a fraction of what he gets.

Now a few thanks to people I owe some gratitude. First, thanks to the now 275,000 plus people that have visited this site. SCU, until recent holidays, got around 650 a day, which is almost double where I started this year. You guys are what drive me to spend the time on this site each week, and all of my successes are thanks to the support I receive. Second, on the other hand, thanks to the haters who seem to think that they are going to have some effect on the way I do things. My ass is a lot cleaner thanks to the toilet paper they seem to send me on a daily basis, its sure been nice to have your thoughts to use in that way. Im sure they are happy to know that they are just as much a reason why I keep on going.

Of course, thank you to my wonderful wife, who actually admitted to me recently that she does read the site quite often, even if she hates football and only is mildly interested in cards. I have gotten her to want to open the packs each time I get some, so hey, thats a start right? Lastly, thanks to Russ, Rob, Matt, Dave, Mario, Sooz, Marie, Chris, Ben, Jeff(x2), AR, Chris, Pat, Toby, Shawn and the rest of my twitter buds, your suggestions, support and help have been greatly appreciated.

Here is to a happy and healthy new year, all the best from myself to you and your families. Thanks for making SCU a part of your day, I look forward to what is in store for 2010.


  1. I may be gone but still reading your site. Keep up the good work.

    -Mario A.

  2. Coming across your blog is one of the factors that got me reinterested in collecting again. Thanks SCU!
    Just remember, its a hobby and should be fun. I hope 2010 is good to you and everyone affiliated with this site.


  3. Your blog along with Mario's made me decide to start NCS, I owe a lot of my sites growth over the past few months to both of you.

  4. Happy New Year to you as well my friend and I look forward to what The Hobby brings in 2010 and hopefullyu we can still get that other project started ;)

  5. Cheerio to you my friend. Just so you know, as I don't know if I ever told you, I stumbled on to your site while searching for box breaks on youtube. I saw your Beckett Exquisite rant and laughed my tail off. I had been laughing at Beckett rants for years about how they get loaded crap and finally someone agreed with me.

    Your site eventually spurred me to start my own blog and then subsequently let it die. I have no idea how you find the time to write read-worthy material multiple times a day. I had a hard enough time finding time to get something up every day for a month or so, much less longer. My appreciation for your talents grew a ton through that experience. You never know though, I might bring Cardboard Reflux back one day. It will be a surprise.

    Speaking of surprises, how the heck do you leave the RPA's, Wolverine and MelbourneCowboys off the list for the years biggest douchebags? Sheesh.

    Anyway, I appreciate ya and the work you do and I wish you nothing but the best for 2010. Especially with the upcoming birth of your baby. You will probably find yourself doing what I do and buying cards for him to mess through, all the while hoping he pulls a biggie. I bought my boy a rack pack of Gridiron Gear to put in his stocking and he pulled a Stafford Jersey card. Every morning he brings it to me to take out of the case so he can feel the jersey. It's the best.

    Another thing that impressed me about you is that you and I can agree to disagree and it doesn't affect your opinion of my next comment. We agree on most, but when we dont, we just state our points and move on. That is vital to having a growing and living blog. It's nice you realize that.

    I do however take issue with the fact that you havent done more insert articles. I for one am a huge followers of Beckett magazine for its articles on insert cards. There the absolute best. You should rethink your layout and include something like that. Trust me.

    For those that need to know, that last paragraph is heavy sarcasm and if you read the comments on this blog a few months ago, you probably know what I am talking about.

    All in All you have had a pretty darn good 2009. Let me tip one back for you tonight and toast to you Mr. Gellman. Thanks for doing your thing.

  6. I seriously choked on my drink when I read this on my phone. We are at a party, schmoozing, and all of a sudden I practically spit my champagne all over the place. Lesson? Do not drink while reading comments from Heel on your phone.

    As for the RPAs, I think Beckett covered them better than I ever could have dreamed. I mean, I graded their extensive coverage a 9.5, but I guess that I have to wait for a publicity stunt to even think of walking out with a 10 pristine.

    I was going to include Wolverine in my year end review, but I had to trim the article before posting it on ebay. Bad corners.

    Melbourne was in there, didnt you see that extra paragraph about halfway through? No? Check the vid, its there.

    Thanks for the kind words, and I will make sure to let my future son open my packs per your instructions as there is no way his luck could be worse than mine.