Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cute Little Guy... FIRE.

I just watched the most lame countdown of super bowl commercials, ever, in the history of commercial countdowns. First off, the two BEST super bowl commercials of all time are not even mentioned, probably because they were banned, but that doesnt mean they werent the best ever. I swear to god if I have to watch the rocky commercial with Hank the Clydesdale make #1 again next year, I will curse CBS more so than I already do for football coverage. Just in case you are wondering - these are my favorites that made me laugh for an entire quarter.

Just ridiculously hilarious.

People Who Vote On Football HOFers Are Just As Stupid As Their Baseball Counterparts

The 2009 Hall Of Fame Football Class has been announced, and for the second straight time, they forgot one person who should be in there, without even a thought. Cris Carter has over 1100 career receptions, 130 career TDs, and over 12,000 yards in his long career with Philly and of course, Minnesota.

Im not saying that the others werent worthy, but I cant understand why it takes WRs so fucking long to get in. Carter deserves to be there, no doubt about it, and I hope he doesnt turn into a Bert Blyleven situation.

Product Review: 2008 SP Authentic Football

SP authentic is one of my favorite products over the last few years because it never disappoints with its set. It usually has some of the prettiest cards of the year, and the autographed patches are some of the most valuable RCs right under Exquisite. It went live after much delay on friday, and I am quite impressed.

The Good

This product's main focus is the RC patch autos, and this year they look as good, if not better than last year's. People were shocked by the horizontal orientation of the cards in 07, but I fucking loved it. This year, they stay with the same orientation, and it looks even better with the new patch windows and autographs right underneath.

I noticed that the theme of the set is to create bullseye targets of modern weaponry almost, like looking through an advanced sight on a rifle, and that was a pretty cool idea. Maybe its supposed to be like a cumpass rather than a weapon sight, but it looks very modern and very technological, and for some reason, I like it. It works well in my mind. I still like having a set look like everything is stitched into the card like RC threads, but this makes everything look futuristic. Even the scrub autos carry this theme, with full, bold colors. Triple suck has everything as bright and borderline neon, while SPA is all bold and prominent colors. SPA makes triple threads look like a 2nd grader did it with a coloring book for half the price. I love it.

In terms of the autos in the set, this is one of the only sets to stay COMPLETELY on card. That is a prize, and it is glorious. Every single card in the product that has a signaure, was done on the card itself, including duals and trips. That is amazing, Bravo.

Last year, I really liked the Chirography and the Sign of the times subset's design, and this year, they look pretty good too. They fit the theme of the set quite nicely, and I like that the autos dont go up the side this time. Plus, there is not a single "helmet off" card from either of the subsets, and that is a big plus.

Lastly, there are quite a few veteran based subsets in this product, a rookie based adventure, and I must applaud UD for not making them an after thought. They bumped up the quantity of RC patch autos in this set, and I think that is awesome, but also didnt forget about the By The Letters, or even some of the other sets like the Chirography's, SP Authentics, and the SOTT's. I like that about SPA more than anything. Big props for keeping offensive lineman off the checklist too, from what I can tell.

The Bad

There isnt many "major" problems with SPA this year but there are a few minor ones. First off, the leatherheads were a good idea on paper, but the execution is pretty poor, if not only because of the pictures. Gregg said it was tough to get them excited to wear one of the old school leather helmets, and I understand that, but the pictures look like someone just took away their lolli's. They not only look ridiculous in their helmets themselves, but the players look like douches. Nice try, but axe it for next year.

Another good on paper idea was the rookie retro jersey autos, but there are too many problems with those to make it a good execution. I thought the designs would vary card to card, almost like creating a patch auto from that year that didnt have them, but instead they are all the same type from Vick's rookie year. It was cool to get Fran "Turkenton" in that set too, but dumb to have them as all part of the same design. It was a time to shine with design (no rhyme intended) and that ball was dropped.

The Ugly

I dont mind that there are redemptions in the set, its a necessary evil with a product that is all on card, but when half of the RC class' biggest names are redemptions, that fucking sucks. With 2007, Peterson, Quinn, Johnson and Lynch were all there and ready to go, but with 2008, Flacco, Johnson and others are not. Completely unacceptable when they should have been the focus of the auto getting venture.

I told Gregg straight out that the Number Pieces set was beyond stupid looking when the sell sheet was first put out. As good as the Exquisite version is, is as bad as this version is. They trade the cut out jersey pieces in Exquisite's version for an idiot looking manufactured patch, which in turn it makes SPA look like Topps Lettermen. That, my friends, should NEVER FUCKING HAPPEN. Ditch it.

Overall, I think SPA is a continued expectation of excellence, and for the price, you almost cant beat SPA in any way, shape, or form. Its almost like buying a high end product, and paying for a mid end - something that every single collector appreciates. Go buy a box or two this year, and I am sure that you wont be disappointed.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Monthly Box Break Club: February (1 Box 2008 National Treasures)

***Special Update: Got the info today in my email that DA Cardworld has shipped the SP Authentic. It should arrive by Wednesday and I will be busting and videotaping it late Wednesday Night. If things fill up on the February Break I will be possibly busting it the same night or Thursday night and shipping them all out on Friday....let's hope***

Normally (when product isn't super delayed) this post would be up after the break of the month before, but due to the SP Authentic delayed release this is going up before the break. Payments are due before February 1st. On the 1st, any spot not paid for will be opened up for others to purchase. As mentioned before those who participated in last months break have dibs on their spot. However, if you know that you do not want a spot in the February break then you can just comment on this post and say I pass. ***Do note that reservations for the next month are based on the month before, so if you pass this month and there is something you would really like to participate in the next month you will have to hope someone gives up their spot.*** I will mark each slot as payment is received. Here is the procedure:

1) Only people on the list should send payments before the 1st, then released spots will be up and others can send in payment to get spot.
2) $15 per slot for one random team
3) Send paypal to:
4) Please note it as payment for February Box Breaker Club

***I will be heading out of town (to Washington D.C.) February 6th-11th and so that could delay the break if it hasn't happened before the 6th***

1. Holy Hitter (paid)
2. wheeler (paid)
3. hupaskin (paid)
4. Gellman (paid)
5. Wheeler (paid)
6. Hawaiian Lion (paid)
7. Hawaiian Lion (paid)
8. I Am Joe Collector (paid)
9. I Am Joe Collector (paid)
10. scubasteve (paid)
11. scubasteve (paid)
12. Psad21 (paid)
13. Psad21 (paid)
14. Penguin101 (paid)
15. Penguin101 (paid)
16. Groat (paid)
17. Groat (paid)
18. HoustonCardCollector (paid)
19. arfmax (paid)
20. arfmax (paid)
21. fatcat4262 (paid)
22. fatcat4262 (paid)
23. darkship (paid)
24. darkship (paid)
25. whitesoxcat (paid)
26. whitesoxcat (paid)
27. sonic (paid)
28. sonic (paid)
29. voluntarheel (paid)
30. voluntarheel (paid)
31. mattlange (paid)
32. hupaskin (paid)

First Look: 2008 Exquisite Football

Well, first off, I am quite disappointed with the way this was handled by UD marketing. After conversing with UD over the last few months about getting these previews, they decided that it was still a better option to go the Beckett route rather with the blogs. I think that with the position that Beckett is in, as well as the way they approach their blog, the established card blogs should have been just as viable a route to get them at the same time.

I am not advocating exclusivity or even that I get them first, just an understanding that the card blogs are just as much a part of the online face of the industry as the idiots at the hobby's number one authority on douchebaggery.

Regardless, here is the first look at 2008 Exquisite.

I must say these preview show a MAJOR upgrade over last year. I love the way that the cards look in every single way. They finally changed the super swatch design, THANK YOU, and the subsets even look much, much better. I dont like the helmet off look for the RC triple, so that is pretty frightening that other cards may be done the same way. All of that is definitely overshadowed by the awesome, awesome, design of the RC auto patches. I love it all the way. I just hope that the blue sharpie isnt as much of a problem as I expect it to be.

There were other cards that were released, some of which may be part of that special add on to the packaging, but it wasnt totally clear. As Gregg mentioned a few months ago, there will be a new part of exquisite called the "Exquisite Gold" in the form of a one card pack containing an auto or auto relic. I am really excited so far, congrats to UD on a great design this year.

Value Breakdown in 2009: Or Why Things Will Always Stay The Same

After reading some recent posts about hobby value and what contributes to it, I wanted to throw my opinion hat into the ring. Ill try to explain my perspective from both baseball and football, as they are vastly different, but its still relatively based on the same factors.

Number of products

I believe that the number of products contributes to the relative lack of value in baseball, but not as much as people think. As discussed before, baseball cards are no longer primed to be valuable because there arent many players under the MLB license that can garner a lot of value, and I don’t really think it matters that there are a lot of products. Personally, I like seeing more products because I see how many bombs there are each year. If there were less products, would companies spend more time on actually putting together worthwhile sets? I would hope so. Would it cost less for them to do it? Without a doubt, but they would also make less in sales due to less diversification. Would it be good for the hobby? Secondary market, yes, overall long term, no. Especially if they continued on the same path they are on now, and launched a slew of awful products. It would suck to wait three months for the next set to come out without anything to collect.


Innovation always sells well. When the jersey card first came out, it was the biggest thing ever. It still is, now, to a fault. In fact, I think that value hinges so much on innovation, that whenever the "Next Gen" jersey card comes out, whatever that may be, the hobby will change even more drastically than in 1996. Hell, even introducing super high-end products brought about a value revolution due to the sheer innovation of the cards that they produced. Dual, trip, and quad logos and autos, huge RC patch autos, cut autos at a large insertion rate, etc. all contributed to a value problems in the lower end.

A Well Put Together Card

Nothing beats a well put together card. Not contrived scarcity, not cost of the product, nothing. Look at SPA football as an example. They have been #2 on the value scale for a long, long time, even above the $400/pack juggernaut that is national treasures. You know why? Even though it is numbered above 100, even though the product only costs $100 per box, the cards ALWAYS look amazing. That drives value more than anything. They are always the cleanest cards, the best designed, and most importantly, they have a following based on years worth of good looking cards.


Brand name also drives a product's value, and that is why Panini will never make it in the NBA card market. Look at Razor baseball, for example. Even though they had every draft pick known to man, they had a problem because Chrome was king. Chrome also looked like it was a nicely produced set rather than a tristar set, so that also factors into it. Its almost the same reason that it is so tough to create a well put together set. Card companies that have the brand recognition/money already have half of what they need to drive a product. Because of that fact, many times, the other half is forgotten - design.


Sadly this category has recently been bastardized by Topps, but it still drives a card's worth. If your card is numbered, it is automatically worth that much more. Since this fact has been discovered by the companies, ALL CARDS are now numbered, so its not AS important as it was before. Because baseball players cant drive a card's value as much any more, a lot of the products put out by the big three, now focus on this to drive the secondary market.

Team Market

Lets face it, if you play in new york, boston, etc, you are going to have a more widespread market over the national scene than if you play in say, Minnnesota. I put Derek Jeter at the top of this list, as I think he stands for everything this rule is about. The sad thing is that I think this is hurting the baseball part of the hobby more than anything, as the Yankees and Red Sox are the only cards that worth anything when it comes to current players.

When it comes down to it in the end, value will decline as the economy gets worse, and come up when the economy gets better. It wont be solved by fixing just one aspect of this equation, as not one of these by themselves direct the value of a card. Besides, if our focus continues to be to drive up value in the secondary market, the primary market will not necessarily follow the same path. Just because Albert Pujols' BC RC Auto is worth thousands because there are no parallels and not as many products from that year, does not mean that it could be duplicated under the same circumstances today. It is a different market each year, and yet we always try to compare the new market to one of the past. Its time to realize that 1996 was 12 years ago and things are going to happen in a much different fashion. We can wish all day long that things would go back to our personal definition of the golden years, but the reality is that the new way is here to stay regardless of our own feelings.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

First SP Authentic Images Hit The Boards

Aside from the fact that the numbering is higher this year, slightly, I really dig the design and the way these look. I really wish that more cards would use the full bleed white borderless design more often.

Per Gregg, SPA numbering is higher this year so that they could put more of them in each case. I believe there will be 8 per 12 box case, and I fully support that decision. SPA patch autos are the focus every year, and I love seeing more of them, without a doubt.

Product Review: 2008 National Treasures

When National Treasures' sell sheet was released, I was pumped, and then subsequently disappointed with the way cards looked. To me it seemed like it was basically the same set as it was last year, the RC patches looked the same, the base cards were generally the same, and to be honest, I thought the sticker autos were still ridiculously out of place. I wont say this is my favorite set of the year, but so far, it is one of the only ones I would buy singles of.

The Good

I love the painted look of the player portraits and full size player pics. They have a masterpieces like look, and I think it’s a great Idea to stray from the "lets slap a pic on these cards" ideas of how to produce cards. What it creates, is a great way to include pictures of players who played before the invent of color television and photography, and it gives a more worn and worthy aura to the cards.

I also like the new sets they have included into the product, mainly the heisman cuts, the college materials, and also the different RC subsets I have seen. There are some I hate, but we will get to those later.

A few days ago, I showcased the Emmitt Smith card that I saw previewed, and I was shocked at its awesome beauty. The card looked amazing. They had full pics of the players, awesome placement of stickers and patches, and it had actually improved on a previous year's release. That RARELY happens in this hobby. I think that most of the card from that set are amazing in appearance, and if I were to collect one set in this whole release, it would be that. Just well done in general. Too bad they couldn’t get their shit together for on card autos.

As for the RC patch autos, I am going to file most of them under good. They have done their best to include amazing patches, and the on card autos are always a plus. I love the tapered windows this year, as that was a vast improvement over the big ass block patches from last year. Even the non-on card autoed RC patches with the two windows look 10 times better than last year. For some reason, I just didn’t like the oval windows with a stickers, and I really like the squares with the designs around it. Very cool. Even as far as the 1/1 logo patch autos for all the rookies, they got them all on card, which is AWESOME. The forte is up right now, and you can expect that every high end collector is keeping an eye on it.

Mainly, when it comes to this set, you know why DLP saves it to the end every single year. Its just a well put together product.

The Bad

I mentioned earlier when I reviewed Playoff Prestige way back at the beginning of the card year that DLP had major fucking issues with weirdly placed jersey windows. This set has them too, and they are really fucking annoying. If a base card parallel has a jersey window but no auto, it looks lopsided. If a "Champions" subset card has a jersey window but no auto, some of the time, it is placed WAAAAAAAAAAY over to the right. That is completely inexcusable. I have said numerous times that a card needs to be designed separately for the autos and the jerseys, or designed to focus more on the jersey window placement rather than keeping that space for the auto window.

Secondly, the triple relic cards are ridiculous. The patch diecuts are horizontal and the pics are vertical? Who had that stupid ass idea? Its almost like on a grade school test when you had a column of vocab words and a column of their definitions next to each other, and you had to draw a line to connect the word with the correct definition. Total crap. Put the players next to their swatch.

The Ugly

If it werent at all aparent that they were using event used gross ass jerseys that were worn for 3 seconds at the RC premiere, they have like 8 different logo patch cards for each RC, and 25 brand name patches. Considering how many other logo patches they have used this year, I am done with RC logo cards. At this point in the year, AFTER the NFL season is over, we should have at least 1 GUed jersey to use for this product. I say the same thing for Exquisite, but for some reason, it cant happen. Now, when you have an updated pic in Leaf Limited from week one, you can have a game used jersey in NT.

I think it is ridiculous to have the Leaf Rookies and Stars Patches in every box. I know you needed to use them up, but save it for a product I don’t care about. It is fucking ridiculous to see such a crappy excuse for a card in National Treasures, when they have already been in Playoff Fucking Prestige at like 2 dollars a pack. This is completely bat shit crazy to think that we would support this inclusion in a SUPER high end product, let alone at 1 per pack. Its like having another scrub auto to go through every single box.

Lastly, the upside down auto stickers are the dumbest fucking mistake I have ever fucking seen. Get some QC people on the fucking ball and FIX IT. I swear to god, a little part of me dies every single time I see one, not only on this product but on others too. The biggest deal here is that all these cards are hand fucking packed.

Overall, this product makes the grade for me, despite its short falls. I think it is still the most fun product to break, but with Exquisite revamping itself this year, we may have a new competitor in this category. Although the cards arent worth as much as UD's super high end offering, they definitely arent crap. I love national treasures, and I look forward to seeing some of the awesome cards that are inevitably going to be discovered in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Topps Should Lose More than Basketball.......

If any of you read message boards where people report how they are doing with new products, then I am sure you will know that there is some controversy around Topps Mayo. Many people aren't getting autographs at all in their boxes which does not match up with their 1 auto and 1 relic or 2 autos guaranteed per box pre-sell sheet info.

The biggest controversy though is the change to the auto list. This product was flying off the shelves (metaphorically) in anticipation of its release going from around $60-65 original pre-sell cost to over $100 as late pre-sell prices. People were excited to see the A&G version of Football, but more than that they were excited about the autograph list: guys like Dan Marino, AP, Joe Montana, Steve Young, E.E. Cummings, and the one that made many people totally pumped Joe Paterno. But guess what the released autograph list is significantly different than the original list.

I did the research by looking at the presell checklist (provided by Blowout Cards) and the released checklist (provided by Topps) and broke it down on the Topps Message Board.

Go Check it Out and then come back and comment. I am starting to believe that Topps should lose its NFL license too!

January Box Buster's Club: SPA Delayed Yet Again.....

Word from DA Cardworld is that SP Authentic has been delayed a 2nd time. That is the bad news. The good news is that this time it was only delayed 2 days. So barring a trifecta of delays, SP Authentic should be shipping out on Friday. I will keep you all updated on when the boxes should be here once I get the info.

In the mean time, for those of you involved don't forget to check out the February Box Buster's List for the 1 box of 2008 National Treasures. To make sure you keep your reserved spot in the monthly breaks make sure your payments is in before February 1st.

For those of you who might be looking for some other box breakers, we have two loyal readers of SCU that run their own blogs and are doing two interesting breaks you might be interested in participating in.

1. I am Joe Collector (busting 4 boxes of Topps Mayo)

2. HoustonCardCollector (bustin 200 packs of mostly retail, but there may be a below)

For $9 you can get a random team that would get you all the cards of that team from 200 packs of retail (with less than a handful of hobby packs), but the real deal with this is that the purchase is getting him an entry into a SuperBowl Board over at Blowout Cards. He will have one entry which randomly assigns him a numbers for the Steelers and Cardinals, and if he matches the last number of each of their scores at the end of the different quarters he could win some big prizes that would be busted for all those participating....for instance say he gets assigned Steelers 7 and Cardinals 0....if the score at the end of the 1st quarter is Steelers 7 Cardinals 0 (or 7-10 or 17-10, etc.) then he wins the prize for the 1st quarter...and so on and so forth. The killer is this, check out the prizes

1st quarter- 08 Leaf Limited Box, 08 Leaf R&S Box, 08 Gridiron Gear Box, 08 Sports Legends Box, 06 & 07 Playoffs NFL Set
Halftime- Case of 2006 National Treasures (4 boxes)
3rd quarter- Case of 2007 Upper Deck Hobby (12 boxes)
Final Score- $3000 shopping spree to Blowout

Obviously the break could end up being a ridiculous steal (and I am guessing that if he won the prizes there may be a courtesy payment to cover shipping required, but I didn't see that addressed) as there is always the possibility of running the board. (Also if the spots don't fill up on Blowout he could be randomly assigned extra slots increasing the chances for prizes)...

Just thought you all might be interested in checking out some of the other breaks going down around the blogosphere. I will keep you updated on the SP Authentic as I find out more information.

A Look At High End: Where Does It Fall?

Now that Topps and UD are out of the Basketball market, I am also assuming that high end basketball is leaving with them. That leaves football's 3-4 products and hockey's 2-3 products as the only high end products left. I assume that UD will focus a lot more energy on making their products better in those sports, but I doubt the difference will be noticible for a few more years.

I have noticed a few people over the internet hailing the switch to Panini in Basketball as a good thing as it will bring the hobby back to producing "cheap fun sets." Guess what? Basketball collectors could give a shit about cheap sets. If you look at the Basketball market, its all about high end, especially internationally. In fact, I would expect Exquisite basketball outsells Football 2 or 3 to 1 - mainly because basketball collecting isnt worth it if you collect cheaply. In my opinion, this will not only cripple basketball cards, but signal a bidding war over licenses in other sports so that only one company has the ability to produce. That fucking blows.

What is funny, is that even after all of these high end products, we still do not have (non rookie edition) Exquisite baseball in the form that Basketball and Football have it, and I don’t think we will get it. I believe that Prime Cuts and (gah!) Topps Sterling and Triple Threads will sadly continue to be Baseball's only "high end" products at 170-200 dollars a box.

As has been discussed before, right now, its pretty much impossible to produce a high end baseball product with an MLB liscense, mainly because of the over-ridiculous price it takes to obtain the autos, and the need for historical players to drive a product in contradiction to MLBPA rules. Does this mean Exquisite baseball will never happen? You bet your ass.

Even after all the price problems, the central issue is not the cost of making the product, but rather finding people to buy the product at normal Exquisite prices. I mean, look at the way Football and Basketball (RIP) drove the markets. Both had a crop of RC players that never had problems garnering huge values due to immediate playing status, and even the retired and current players still had a good handful of people who demanded a lot of money for their cards without contrived scarcity involved.

That just doesn’t happen in baseball. Even the most accomplished superstar players are hindered by their city's market, which means if you arent Derek Jeter, A-rod, or Albert Pujols, you probably wont get 100 dollars for an auto that cost the company 200 dollars to obtain. Hell, even David Ortiz, pride of Red Sox Nation, usually doesn’t get that much for one of his autos, and he is the most popular player in the biggest market outside of NY.

I discussed before that baseball collectors are not the same as the rest of the sports. Baseball collectors have been forced into a hobby life of set collecting, mainly because there just isnt anything else to collect. Before Prime Cuts, there hadnt been a box over 100 bucks worth buying since 2005. That is a fucking long ass time, if you ask me. In the mean time, thousands of new collectors have come to the sport and seen a world without worthwhile products to bust for needs other than set collecting, so naturally they went the other direction. People on the blogosphere will argue that a limited budget and lack of willing to spend on high end is the reason they went the way they did, but really, its not possible to adopt a different philosophy.

Ill give you an example.

I came back a few years ago into the hobby with VERY little cash and NO cards. I immediately started to look for the coolest cards I could find, but I quickly found out that the hobby had changed quite a bit since I left. Exquisite Football was the king of the mountain now, and I immediately swooned at the amazing cards it produced on a yearly basis. I could not believe my eyes. I rapidly jumped on board with mid-end products like Limited, Absolute and LCM so that I could build a collection worthy enough of selling in a high end market. After a few years, I had enough cards to accomplish that. Set collecting was the furthest from my top priority as it could get, because that is not how football functions.

Then, when I tried to take the same mentality to Baseball, I found that the other collectors were thinking about collecting in a completely different manner. Only recently have I come to the realization that there really isnt much else they can do. You could cite Sweet Spot and SPA as successful mid end products, but even the mid hits in those products cant break $50. SPA and Sweet Spot in Football has 3-4 rookies a year that break that barrier, plus a generous handful of retired players, current players, and others that break it. Its also a hell of a lot cheaper to produce, though the price for football autos has been on the rise as well (Matt Ryan was the most expensive rookie auto I had ever heard of).

Basically it comes down to this: If you want to make a successful Baseball product, you either fill it with rare jerseys of pre-war players and tons of cut autos for a reasonable price, or you make a product with a huge and cool base set for people to collect at a really cheap price. Other than that, you have no chance - there is NO in between.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Holy Crap: UD and Topps Are Out of the NBA Card Market

Holy Hitter passed along some interesting info that takes exclusive contracts to a whole new crappy level. From the end of this year forward, the only company liscenced to produce NBA trading cards will be Panini, an italian company. Thats right, UD and Topps are done with Basketball cards as we know it, through 2012-13.

Personally, I think this totally takes a huge loose and chunky dump on everything that we have expected from the card market, and though it could be good for international collectors, it should prevent everything from being awesome here.

I dont collect basketball cards, and dont really care about current players, but I see how invested a lot of people are in the current NBA market. Internationally, NBA cards are the top of the mountain, and now those people are out in the cold.

I sincerely hope this does not transfer over to other sports, and my thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the NBA collectors affected by this fucking awful tragedy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

National Treasures Is Looking Better By The Day

I hate small pics, I fucking hate them. Why even make a card if there is no picture on it. I dont care about logos, but I DO care about pictures of the players. That is what makes or breaks a card for me some times.

The problem with National Treasures in the past has been that the pictures have never been that big. It was usually a face shot or a little tiny pic by the auto or jersey on some of the subsets.

This year, along with their painted picture styles, the sets look to have huge fucking pics on them. I love it.

February Will Be A Big Month

Man, I am excited for February in the hobby world. It is usually a pretty big mother of a product release time, mainly because NT, SPA, Ultimate and a few others should all be full blown market-wise, and because we should get some first looks at Exquisite.

SPA has always been one of my favorite sets of the year, and over the last few years, this has become even more evident. With the continuance of the horizontal SPA Patch Autos with white backgrounds, this year's cards should be among the best ever. Add in a few other cool new additions to the brand, and you have a great set to look forward to.

National Treasures, on the other hand, caters to a very different crowd. It is purely for the gamblers and whales out there, as the ridonkulous price tag is not for the faint of heart. Of course, the cards you get are very reflective of what you pay for, so that is a big plus as well.

Last year, Ultimate plain sucked. It was probably the most worthless break other than Triple Threads, and I pray that this year will be much better. The problem is, with all the craziness that has arisen from the incredibly bland baseball brand of Ultimate, I am very, very worried. Lets hope that the addition of the 1997 legends, the new RC autos, and a few other new goodies will be enough to carry this product that is quickly becoming more irrelevant by the minute.

As for Exquisite, I am VERY excited for more information after Gregg took the time to explain everything that will make the set better than last year. Lets hope we get that preview pretty quickly here.

Too bad baseball season doesnt start for a few months because I am already feeling the wasteland that remains when Football is gone and only Basketball and Hockey remain.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Testimony To The Sucktitude Of Topps Triple Threads

Topps Triple Threads, in its very essence, is a ridiculous display of the overjersification of the hobby, the stupidity of contrived scarcity (mainly an overabundance of 1/1s), and of course, the freakish and idiotic need to include fugly printing plates in every single product.

Let me showcase an example of all of these:

The eyewash is to the right, please feel free to use it. Holy fuck.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

National Treasures: Dreams and Nightmares

Sometimes when a set comes out, you just know its going to be awesome. I have that premonition right now about National Treasures. Personally, I dont even mind that most of the set is on stickers, and I even like the vertical orientation of the base set - something I was worried about. Now, after seeing more of the cards, I have an even better feeling due to the Masterpieces style player art, and the 1/1s definitely reflect that.

Check this out:

However, that doesnt mean that everything is coming up Millhouse for this set. After going through the 1/1 slideshow on Donruss digital, I did find a troubling instance of stupidty that reared its ugly head in the form of a huge, HUGE, mistake. This is one of those things that just shouldnt happen, especially on a 1/1. I feel bad for the Greg Jennings fans.

I really hope this is a VERY isolated incident.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Product Review: 2008 Topps Triple Threads

This week, all around the world, people I think are the biggest retards, are rejoicing. Today, Topps Triple Threads: Joe Collector Edition is live and on the market. Despite the fact that I would rather rip my toenails out one by one than watch someone try to justify the existence of this shit party, many people are dancing in the streets. Im guessing, though, that these are the same people who have also wallpapered their bedrooms with wrappers from all the lettermen packs they opened.

The Good

There is not much that is good about this product. I mean, I really have to struggle to find a reason why I even need to talk about this traveshamockery of a product. Either way, Topps at least managed to put some good patches in the rookie cards. Thats pretty much the only good thing I could find here. Im completely serious. Yup, I would rather jack off a bear with foam hulk hands than even watch a simulated break of Triple Suck.

The Bad

Where to start, where to start. Well, lets start with the fact that this product has not changed, even in design, since 2006. I seriously cannot believe that Topps would even consider releasing a high end product year after year, with die cut shapes being the only difference between the releases. Its like Mac putting out new computers every year with the only difference being the color of the desktop background when you first start it up.

Secondly the cards were not even that good to begin with, considering how much they cost to buy. This year is not any different, as the pictures are ridiculously small to make room for their asinine die cut windows, and it looks beyond awful. On top of all that, when you get to the triple autos, the pics are even smaller. I cant understand that.

Moving on, the color schemes are so bad that I want to avert my eyes out of fear of retina damage. The crap is filled with bright green, bright blue, and bright everything, and it makes me think that lettermen was just the four horsemen to this apocalypse.

It gets worse as the product moves up the cost charts, mainly the the foldout duals and foldout jerseys. To tell you the truth, bigger cards should be awesome, and most of the time that is true. But due to the shear craptasticness of this set, and because all of the foldouts are so ridiculously ugly, that the above theory of bigger is better is crying in the corner. First off, with the dual autos, they are impossible to display, and are basically just two triple threads auto cards connected in the middle like a demonic siamese twin. What is even funnier, is that most of the people who I think couldnt solve a basic math problem, think these cards are the shit of shits. They would litterally kill another human to get one, much like starter jackets in the 1990s. Those people are seriously funny to watch, and the great thing is that most of them have robust channels on Youtube filled with maildays and SICK MOJO!

As for the six to eight piece jerseys, they usually are way too busy and way to retarded to garner my desire at all. Next time I want a card consisting of all the conference usa mid level rookies, Ill give topps a call to send me a pack of triple threads.

The Ugly

Triple Threads' biggest issue is a main problem for all topps high end - you dont get shit for what you pay. Its fucking special ed to buy this product, as for close to 175 dollars, you usually get a crap jersey auto and a crap jersey card. That is ludicrious. I would never even consider a single pack as a worthwhile bet, unless Joshua Johnson was my favorite RC of 2008.

The best part of all of this is that Topps main selling point of this product was the inclusion of the new 24 "piece" jersey fold outs that you can pull. Yes, you can now have a card that gives topps three whole lines to spell out the most random facts about your favorite player that you can think of. Want a picture of the player on the card you just pulled? Sorry, only a dime sized photo is put on each half of this fugly foldout. I really think that anyone who pays good money for these cards should be chemically or forcefully castrated in order to prevent them from adding to the genepool and creating more idiots who buy this fucking trash.

Lastly, as usual, Topps has put more 1/1's in this set than actual higher numbered cards. Its fucking crazy how many 1/1's there are for each card, and if you go by how many there are for each player, the number is staggering. Further proof that this set is only for the douches that ruin everything that is cool about the hobby.

I once touted this product as the inagural member of the Joe Collector HOF, and I hope you can see why. Basically, National Treasures comes out in a few weeks, so dont be a fucktard buy any of this.

2008 National Treasures: The Great, The Annoying, & The Rejects

National Treasures to me is one of the most exciting products for football. It is a product that offers a chance at some really great looking cards and some really great pieces of history. The 2008 Edition is due to release on January 28th and many football collectors are excited I am sure (even at the IMHO gouging price of $400-$500). As the collecting world waits, Donruss has started to release some more images that look great, but also point to something really annoying that should not be happening in the high end products of sports cards. Let me break down my opinion


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I always love the chance of getting a cut auto. This year the Historical Cuts are amazing once again and the aesthetics of the cards is unbelievable. Mother Teresa would be an amazing pull. This year the addition of the Heisman Cuts is great. It is a chance for football fans to pull some cuts from some of the greatest "yearly" college football players.


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What's that you say? All those cards look awesome. You are correct. They are beautiful cards and I commend DLP for once again having some amazingly sweet looking cards. However, on to the annoying aspect. Each one of those Tony Romo cards is a 1/1!!! That is right each one of them is a 1/1. I know Gellman has written on this before, but when this crap starts dropping into National Treasures, then I start to get really annoyed. At least in the past runs of NT they have changed the foil embossment for the different print runs. And with "laundry tag" and other such "premium" patch cards they usually have been in a run of #/10. Not here though. We have three 1/1 auto cards and the only difference is what piece of the jersey they plopped in the "material" window. Not even a change of picture or embossment foil color change. This is annoying to me. If the only thing you are going to change is the piece of material, then for the love of everything sane and logical would you please number the above cards #/3!!! Don't play us like idiots. (Side question: Does anyone else feel like this is just a manufacture equivalent of the Ebay 1/1 sellers? There the sellers say the numbering or the "patch" make it a 1/1 because there is nothing like it. To me it seems like that is just what DLP is doing here except they legitimize it by "stamping" 1/1 on the back. I ain't buying it!) Annoying, but that doesn't even compare to the following "horrible" reject product that should cause box busters everywhere to puke.... Ladies and Gentleman I give you the following:


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That is right folks. Manufactured Patch Autos! Never should DLP reuse a concept from a mid-end to low-end product in their "premium" set. Manufactured Patches are horrible in my opinion. As you can see some of the autos look alright, but as you can also see above some of them look horrible. Nobody likes sticker autos, but this can end up even worse then those annoying sticker autos because the autograph looks horrible. DLP has taken a pretty cool concept in "nickname" autos and paired them with one of the most pointless manufacturer moves in creating manufactured patches. These do not belong anywhere near the National Treasures set. As a side note, is it just me or does it seem that "manufactured patches and/or letters" are becoming the new "sticker" auto? This allows them to get the autograph before production like stickers but it seems that the vast majority of collectors think these are somehow better than sticker autographs and I don't know why. At least on the stickers the autographs can look bold. HORRIBLE!

All this being said, I am still excited for National Treasures because it has some really great looking cards as always, but DLP somewhat has disappointed with some questionable manufacturing production.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Praise the Effing Lord - Sterling Gets The Axe

I am so fucking glad right now that I am actually taking the time to write this out on a hotel computer. Yes, ladies and gents, Sterling football has been cancelled like a bad sitcom. I sincerely thought that the product had the chance to rival the craptasticness of Lettermen, and thankfully now, we will never know. Lets go through some of the "SICK MOJO" that we will be missing out on:

1) Joe Montana Triple Patch Auto spelling out "140 YDS" in reference to his mammoth amount of career rushing yards in the second week of an odd month as a player of the KC Chiefs.

2) Eric Dickerson Quad Jersey spelling out "2 Pairs" in order to pay tribute to the number of pairs of goggles he wore as a los angeles rams player during the 1990 season.

3) Adrian Peterson booklet jersey auto spelling out "40 degrees" to show the temperature outside during his record breaking rushing performance against the chargers

4) Darren McFadden 1/1 Patch auto spelling out "3 letters" to awesomely display that "Razorbacks" has 3 more letters than Raiders in its spelling.

5) Jim Brown six piece jersey spelling out absolutely nothing, but rather having 6 different cut outs of a football, an african hat, a person that somewhat resembles a football player, a shape that oddly looks like a vag, a pizza, and a spade.

Man, Topps Sterling, we hardly new ye.

h/t Wax Heaven

Saturday, January 17, 2009

SCU Breaks: 2 Boxes 07 National Treasures

***The Break was awesome and crap at the same time. First, some really sweet looking cards as you will see. However, as you will also see in the video our 2nd box was 4 "material" cards and 2 autos. With a hand-packed high end product like this there is absolutely no excuse for an error like that. I will be putting a claim into Donruss and whatever we get out of that will be sent out to whoever owned that team. NOT HAPPY ONE BIT, but at least we got some sweet cards too.***

***RANDOMIZATION MISTAKE---In the video I said I would randomize the list 5 times and then ended up randomizing it 6 times. I said the card would go to slot #3 Mseink..... when at the 5th randomization it was on arfmax.....due to the error I am sending a make up auto and prime jersey card to arfmax....I feel bound to give it to the one I declared in the video. Sorry for the error.***


Hopefully Looking Forward: My Blog Bat Around Submission

Thanks to Dave at Fielder's Choice for putting on the Blog Bat Around this time. I wish I had more time to work on this, but things have become very busy lately.


When I looked forward into to 2008 last january, I was really excited. I knew that there were a bunch of awesome things on the horizon, and I thought that the year would be one for the record books. Then, as things started to materialize, it became painfully apparent how bad 2008 was going to be.

For some out there, set collecting is the end all and be all of cards. Those people, who are mostly baseball collectors, do everything they can to complete the base sets of the annual products they love. They love the hits when they get them, but mostly its about collecting their favorite sets to completion.

Ill tell you, I used to think these people were the dumbest people on the planet. And although I still think that buying retail is about as smart as buying a used car from UNCLE CLEO'S HOUSE OF LEMONS, I have come to understand that buying baseball mid and high end is about as pointless and stupid, unless DLP's name is on the box. The reason I say this is because there just arent many current players that are worth the price of admission, even on a mid end product. After that epiphany and realization, I stopped hatin' and started seeing baseball products in a different light. The problem is, even with this mentality in most of the sets, it doesnt excuse sets like Moments and Milestones, UD X, and Documentary.

So, if I were the one to plan out a 2009 card calendar, I would definitely put those three on the cutting room floor, and add more sets that are geared towards offering good hits at lower prices, as well as a good base set. SP Authentic can usually accomplish the feat in question, but the problem is that the price is usually too high to attract people who collect. Plus, if you look at the price range where SPA should be, the market is usually ruled by chrome, a set that focuses mostly on prospecting.

On the other end of things, DLP has done an amazing job (as usual) with their entry into the high end and mid end baseball product market. The issue that most people are coming to be familiar with, is that without limitations from the MLBPA, products like Prime Cuts can focus on the meat and leave the crap by the side of the road with their trash. They understood that Baseball cards is about two things - rookies and history - and made a few sets out of it. They flourished, and we all had some of the best products in years. In all honesty, I barely missed the team names and logos, and I for sure did not miss the abundance of Chin Lung Hu cards.

When it comes Topps high end baseball products, they have seemingly missed the boat so many times, that I have come close to swearing off their sets all together many times. Basically, anything with "Sterling" after it needs to be killed in a very painful fashion, as they dont seem to get that foldouts and diecut jersey windows do not make products worth while.

In terms of football, my specialty, its a completely different market. People dont collect for the sets because there are quite a few current players that carry a high price tag. They also dont have as awful of a limitation to deal with, due to the fact that RCs carry many of those high tags. This leads the products to head more towards the middle end and high end, while the low end products that flourish in baseball, usually flounder.

Based on this paradigm, 2008 was an okay year, if not only because Matty Ice and Joe Flacco had some of the greatest years in rookie history. As for the the designs, they were less than par on a few sets that I love, but vastly improved on some sets that were just okay the year before. Granted, we havent seen the blockbusters yet, but they cannot revive the year all by themselves.

In 2009, I would love to see Prime Cuts make the crossover and products like Topps Sterling, Topps Lettermen and Bowman Sterling get the big bloody axe. Those three products have and will be some of the worst in recent memory and I sincerely hope that Topps doesnt think that poor designs around awful looking foil stickers are going to fly round heeyah.

Hopefully, 2009 gives us something to keep us interested, as it is quickly becoming a chore rather than a joy to collect all the gimmicky junk that keeps coming out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SCU Breaks: 07 NT Team Randomization

Here they are folks. Best of luck to everyone and trade away. Trade deadline is Saturday (Jan 17th) by 6 p.m. central time. As stated in the video the break should be Late Saturday Night/Early Sunday A.M., Sunday Evening, or Monday Evening (in the event that UPS would not deliver to my office and drops off at a later date instead).

Darkship- Jets, Panthers
Kblose- Bengals, Texans
psad21- Buccaneers, Browns
penguin101- Giants, Bears
groat- Chargers, Cowboys, Redskins
voluntarheel- Cardinals, Packers, Lions
arfmax- Redskins, Lions, Cowboys, Cardinals, Packers
Dave (FC)- Saints, Chiefs
vmonfredo- Broncos, Vikings
Holy Hitter- Dolphins, Eagles
caspalta- Seahawks
wannatrade- Jaguars, Colts, Bills
tomtheripper- Ravens
fatcat4262- Steelers
mseinkiewicz- Patriots, 49ers
hupaskin- Raiders, Titans
wheeler- Rams, Falcons

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gone For A While

Sorry for the infrequent updates guys, I have been stuck in training for the last week, and will be until training. Be sure to stay tuned for Holy Hitter's breaks, and also for the monthly box breaking club.

Also, dont forget to check out Fielder's choice for the next blog bat around, ill try and get my post up some how some way.

Keep on keepin' on.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

SCU Breaks: (2) Boxes of 07 National Treasures (FULL)

There were some sentiments for making the 2 boxes of National Treasures a box of 06 and a box of 07. I went to look over at and the 06 National Treasures were out. Since there were a few votes for straight 07 and a couple who just said NT break we will stay with the 2 boxes of 2007 National Treasures. Here are the details:

(1) Video Break of 2 Boxes of 2007 National Treasures Football
(2) $18 per slot
(3) Slot gets you [1] random team assigned via video recording at
(4) Send paypal payments to:
(5) Cards with multiple teams will be randomed out between the owners of the teams represented on the card (taking Lars, aka penguin101, advice if say there are 3 teams on the card each team slot will be entered via along with "dud, dud, triple" and whoever gets the triple gets the card. Will hit random button 5 times for random distribution"
(6) Boxes will be ordered once the break fills. (I will be out of town until Saturday Night, so if this fills up quickly the break will be at the earliest Saturday, January 17th....I will keep everyone posted)
(7) Teams can be traded amongst participants once assigned.
(8) Your name will be added once you have been paid.

Best of luck to everyone.

1. darkship (paid)
2. darkship (paid)
3. kblose (paid)
4. psad21 (paid)
5. penguin101 (paid)
6. penguin101 (paid)
7. groat (paid)
8. groat (paid)
9. voluntarheel (paid)
10. voluntarheel (paid)
11. arfmax (paid)
12. arfmax (paid)
13. dave-FC (paid)
14. dave-FC (paid)
15. vmonfredo (paid)
16. vmonfredo (paid)
17. Holy Hitter (paid)
18. Holy Hitter (paid)
19. psad21 (paid)
20. caspalta (paid)
21. wannatrade (paid)
22. wannatrade (paid)
23. wannatrade (paid)
24. tomtheripper (paid)
25. fatcat4262 (paid)
26. mseinkiewicz (paid)
27. mseinkiewicz (paid)
28. hupaskin (paid)
29. hupaskin (paid)
30. wheeler (paid)
31. wheelerl (paid)
32. kblose (paid)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thank You For Being Awesome Dave

Dave has given my hatred for Topps Sterling a major boost with this amazing detail of the Mattingly cards. I love his fucking post, I want you to read it. Please, I beg you, see why Sterling gives me nightmares.

In fact, Dave has found a better card from the set than the Yogi I found earlier in my Sterling review.. Its so good, in a bad way, that you need to gaze upon its stupidity to believe it.

Because Sterling is so bad, and because Dave has done the great detective work, I can now shout its failures from the rooftops more effectively. Thank you!

SCU Breaks: As we wait.....

As we wait for the delayed release of 2008 SP Authentic football, I was wondering if the readers of SCU would like to do a break in the interim to pass the time. I thought of 3 different options and the one with the most votes by Saturday at Noon (central time) we will do a sign-up for. Here are the options.

(A) 2 Boxes of 2008 Playoff Contenders Football. $18 per slot. Slot = 2 random teams

(B) 1 Box of 2007 Upper Deck Exquisite. $15 per slot. Slot = 1 random team

(C) 2 Boxes of 2007 Playoff National Treasures. $18 per slot. Slot = 1 random team

If there really isn't interest that is fine too. Just throwing this out there.

The Business of Sports Cards

Will here, I know it's been far too long since I posted something on SCU, but I'm still here, and still happy to be a part of Gellman's fantastic blog.

Something that I've been fascinated with for a long, long time is the actual business of trading cards. Now I'm not so interested in the retail end of the hobby, since it's patently obvious to me that a good majority of card shop owners have absolutely no business acumen and are doomed to failure from the start (don't feel bad, I feel the same way about comic book store owners). No, what I'm more interested in would be the behind the scenes activity at the companies that provide fodder for our hobby, which these days is Topps, Upper Deck and Donruss. Sure there ARE other companies producing trading cards: Razor is a new fish in the pond, Press Pass has been around for a LONG time it seems, and In The Game still has it's niche in the marketplace. But since those three companies are nowhere near as large as the "big two/three" their impact on the hobby is minimal at best (though it can be argued that Razor is impacting a lot more than the other two).

There's a new card blogger out there that I was alerted to this morning by the wonderful Chris Harris which will hopefully fulfill my need for inside information straight from the hobby producers, it's called The Sports Card File and it's written by Steve Judd, a former Beckett employee, and most recently a brand manager at Upper Deck. Judd has left the business, but decided to produce a blog explaining all the arcane and maddening decisions made by our favorite card manufacturers.

You should give it a read, because it explains a TON about the state of our hobby today. The simple fact that our rapidly crumbling economy is destroying our hobby isn't what's salient, because the hobby has been crumbling for far longer than the economy has been failing. No, what's more interesting is WHY the hobby has been crumbling, and how it got to where it is today.

Also he fills in the blanks as to why things are the way they are in the hobby. For example, I had NO IDEA that Albert Pujols charges card companies $200 PER SIGNATURE. That makes cards like this one, which sold recently on eBay for $175 a STEAL when you consider that it cost Upper Deck just a bit more than $200 to even MAKE the card in the first place.

When you have one player who charges that much for signatures, if you want to include him in a set you HAVE to fill the rest of the set up with players who don't charge quite that much, in retail that's called a "loss-leader". This explains why even in a super-high end product with one autograph per pack you will get crappy hits.

Further Steve fills us in one some of the pecularities of the contracts between MLB, the MLBPA and the card companies themselves. For example, the 20% rule makes sense from the standpoint of the MLBPA, but not the MLB or the card companies. What is this rule? Well, in any set licensed by the MLBPA the set checklist cannot consist of more than 20% retired players (except in parallels, which I don't quite understand to be honest). So if you have a 100 player set, only 20 of those players represented can be retired. Effectively this kills the market for a retro ONLY set from Topps and Upper Deck, but opens the door for Donruss to kill the marketplace with their non-licensed products. Interesting isn't it?

The axiom that less is more certainly fits well in the card industry today. Instead of a handful of products that are truly stellar, both Topps and Upper Deck have, in recent years, flooded the market with mediocre product, hoping that some gimmick will come along and rejuvenate the industry. Of course, this is the paradigm that's worked for them for quite a long time when you think about it. In my lifetime I've seen so many new paradigms in sports card collecting that I'm not sure I can recount them all. First the sole monopoly on Baseball cards was broken by Fleer and Donruss in the 80's, and Score and Upper Deck later. Then we had holograms, foil cards, high end brands, parallels, autographs, relics, serial numbers and relics. Each one of those innovations captured the market for a time as collectors scrambled to get the latest and greatest gimmick cards. Instead of focusing on the core values of the industry, namely great photos, representative player selections, ease of collectibility, and a "fun factor" card companies pander to the lowest common denominator, so much so that opening up a pack of cards is now legitimately gambling (real money in Topps Rip Cards? WTF?).

What we're left with is a bloated hobby that is rapidly losing collectors and fans alike. Even though 21st Century Technology is producing cards, the basic concept is still 19th Century. Sometimes I think that the card companies need to be reminded of that, and also that their product is by no means a MUST HAVE for anyone, regardless of the hype. The only autographs that should be truly collectible are the ones from people who are DEAD, i.e. you can't get them anymore. Or from guys who charge $200 per autograph.

I hate to bring up the dreaded "C" word, but contraction is necessary at this point, and I'm not the first person to bring this up. Fortunately Upper Deck seems to be obliging by killing more than a couple brands for 2009. Unfortunately, so far the two brands that have been announced as not coming back are two of the more POPULAR brands with collectors, the all-painted Masterpieces and the very cool idea Sweet Spot. So while they are moving in the right direction, why not axe Spectrum, X, First Edition, Timelines, Documentary or any of the other myriad of choices they had at hand. I'm sure that Masterpieces' demise has something to do with the 20% rule, since at this point, how many current MLBers even DESERVE to be on a Masterpiece card?

The card market in 2009 is going to be an interesting one to watch, because as the economy undoubtedly will improve (hey it has to right, if we're at just about rock bottom now, can it get much worse?) will the hobby industry roll along with the economy, or will the same boneheaded ideas continue to fester and piss off collectors? Either way, I know I'll be following Scott Judd over at The Sports Card File, and maybe you should too.

Cards and Life - Part 2

Last year, I talked about interviewing for the new position at work and having a chat with my interviewer about cards that were brought up during the course of the interview, well it turns out that there are more cardboarders in all parts of the woodwork at my job, and they are always cool to talk to.

For the last week, I have been training and "shadowing" for my new position, or basically learning how to do what I already know how to do. In the process of this sometimes ridiculously boring part of the new job, there was a bright ray of glorious light.

Most of the time I have my cards and stuff shipped to work because of numerous problems I have had with the apartment managers here, and yesterday was no different. I had recently spent some of the money I got from selling the Peterson rookie premiere auto and bought a 2007 base chrome auto. Normally the base chomies are not that big of a deal, but for AD, they just never come up. Its always the superfractor /10 or the refractor out of 25. Either way, one of my new coworkers catches me pulling the card out of the envelope and almost flips - in a good way.

We get to talking, and it turns out he loves collecting, hates beckett, and spends most of the day reading blogs and stuff. He mentioned that he reads SCU on a regular basis, but didnt know that I worked for the same company. He also mentioned Fielder's Choice and Wax Heaven, of course, but his main topic of conversation was the YouTube rant I posted a few days ago. He said he posted a video of him and his son opening a few packs, and had to take it down because some kid, whose only contribution to youtube was maildays and hot pack breaks, made comments about his son's appearance. I told him that it didnt surprise me, and that he would be among the majority of the people on youtube who have wanted to pull vids because of retarded 12 year olds.

Lastly, its cool to see that there are people out there that you never expect to collect, and they always have a few words to say, even in the craziest of environments. To Rick, thanks for the coolness.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Product Review: 2008 Playoff Contenders

Every year, sets are flooded with no name RC autographs, and you can credit two things. First is the overjersification of the hobby, needing a hit in every pack, etc, annnnnd playoff contenders. Thanks to this set, people who were without cards now had auto cards in a regular set. It has produced some of the hobby's most expensive cards, and really, I think it is a good idea for a set, as long as it is the only one. Now, with the hobby focused on producing a card of every single fucking player, this set is pretty much forgotten.

The Good

Contenders is actually a pretty good value this year, as the auto content isnt as terrible as it was last year. There are many more autos of good players to offset the 5000 autos of Mr. Irrelevant, so you are more likely to make back your money with a decent box.

The price has dropped considerably from last year, and that is fucking awesome. I remember at 120 bucks for a box at release in 2007, I was screaming my brain out watching people bust it time after time. Now at 80 bucks and below, its a much better idea.

Believe it or not, I actually support the addition of college team RC ticket autos this year, not because of what they are, but more of what they produce - MORE AUTOS OF GOOD PEOPLE. There are now more Ryan and Flacco, and more of a chance to get nice stuff.

Also, major props on the photo picks this year. I hated most of the photos used from last year, but this year looks pretty good. The top RCs look like they are in top form, and I especially like the game photos they used on a lucky few.

Lastly, there is not a single relic in this entire product and I fucking love that. With both chrome sets and others heading the way of using event used, 5 second touched, no player connection jerseys in their cards, its nice to see that contenders is still all about the autos. I have a feeling its only a matter of time, though.

The Bad

This product's design is actually okay, although the idea to scrawl ROOKIE across the whole front of the fucking card is a stupid ass design idea. Imagine the way the cards look and then remove the giant ass ROOKIE text. Looks much better right? You know, its okay if you dont put that 72 pt eye sore on the card, we will still find out that they are a first year player.

I would also like to take the time to say to donruss that its okay if you dont have every single goddamned rookie in this set. We dont need an undrafted free agent card of a lifetime practice squader. You may miss a Brady type guy every once in a while, but thats okay to save us from more autos of worthless players who wont last a year.

The Ugly

Right now, this product is stale, really, really stale. Cards are heading in a different direction, which is fine, but I think it may be time to re-evaluate the status of this product in the lineup. I equate this product to the Ultimate collection of DLP. Check that shit at the door and think of something else.

We have yet to see an amazing mid end Vet and Star product that can drive a brand. At this point in the year, I am fucking sick to death of rookies, and starving for more HOFers and veterans. Please, please, please, boil a product like National Treasures down to its essence and release a similar product at 100 bucks. We will eat it up, I promise.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Apologies

Guys, sorry I havent been as ever-present lately, the new promotion started up yesterday, and training is an all day thing.

I received a few emails about rejecting comments, and I assure you that they are not rejected, but rather on the shelf until I get back from work. The next few weeks may be a little sparse, but hopefully things can get back to normal once training is done.

Thanks for your patience!

YouTube: The Hobby's Latest Dick Measuring Contest

Its truly hard to believe that over the last 6 months, Youtube has gone from the premier place to find info on box breaks and recent products, to a bunch of 13 year olds having a pissing contest on their webcams. Rather than having actual box breakers and collectors go on youtube to get info on the latest product, or watch box breaks of something they could only dream of busting, youtube has become a haven for asshats who go on only to belittle people who show that they may have a bigger Tube-dick than they themselves have.

Ill tell you the truth, I dont watch much stuff on the Tube anymore. Its just not worth my time to wade through a sea of retarded fucking maildays and shoutout videos from the latest pube-less dick face. I think its become obvious that just because you have ability to use the medium, does not mean you should. I should know, as I have reduced my own participation to only SCU breaks and a few commentary videos here and there to spread the word. Lately, all that those videos have attracted is a bunch of cum dumpsters who feel empowered by the fifth grade fat jokes they leave. Its fine for me, as I am used to it, but I could see a lot of people feeling like I did, the first time it happened.

Yeah, yeah, I know, that is all YouTube is good for these days. I should not be surprised, right? Well, as recently as july of last year, there were still quite a few channels I enjoyed watching. Guess what? Almost all of them are gone. The reasoning? The service they were once happy to provide to the collecting world had become too costly due to the sheer number of awful people that burrowed their way deep into the throws of the video blogosphere.

If there really was a person who wanted to have the biggest dick of all the micro-penised youtubers, they would create a place where the correct people could post their services for all to enjoy. No more willy nilly videos posting the daily shit that comes through your mailboxes, but rather a community approval based system that showcases the last of videos that are actually worth my fucking time.

Want to spend five minutes on camera showcasing your 2 dollar jersey collection? Take it to youtube. Want to videotape yourself berating another well respected channel because he wouldnt stroke your small dick with a shoutout? Get the fuck back to youtube hell. Want to post a well documented break of a product that we all can appreciate? Post at will, please.

I long for the days of the Chri5784 and a handful of dedicated box breakers. Hopefully we can get back to the good ole days, and fast.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Comment On Ultimate Collection

People, I remember when Ultimate Collection was cool. It was 100 dollars a pack, and it was filled with cards that had value in the fucking game used jersey cards. Now, at still the same price, the cards have become cookie cutter pieces of crap. There is no individuality in the sets and everything looks exactly the same as the next.

After seeing this year's baseball set, with absolutely no change from card to card, I sincerely hope that football has some sweetness to it - and I am not talking about an abundance of Payton cards.

The last three years have been crap for Ultimate. I hope they get their asses in gear.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Vikings Recap: Wild Card Weekend

The season is over, and really, thats fine. I dont need to spend another week waiting for the Vikings' ultimate destruction. They played most of this game quite well, and other than two plays, it was all Vikings. They played above their paygrade for most of the season, a division championship was great, Adrian Peterson's rushing title was great, and that 99 yard pass play was awesome. Thank you Vikings for a fun ride.

Tarvaris Jackson

Tjack made a few mistakes during the game, but sadly secured a job for next year. Crap. I couldnt help but notice that as the game wore on, his passes got worse and worse, making it an obvious assumption that he was losing his composure pretty quickly. The pass that Samuel got for the TD was so poorly thrown, and the decision to throw was so poorly made, that I was ready to give up on him right there. Here's to drafting a QB, giving Jackson one more year, and then calling in the reserves.

Adrian Peterson

All Day was completely ineffective because of a number of reasons. Even though he had 2 TDs, he couldnt get anything going when it mattered. He looked run down, hurting, and showed that the Vikings better not expect that many carries next year if they want a healthy AD down the stretch.

Brad Childress

Looked like he had things under control for 3 whole quarters. The D was hurting before the game with both Williams and Ray Edwards on the shelf, and he managed to keep Philly in check for the whole time. The offense was surprisingly moving the ball and converting on 3rd down, so he must have been happy with himself. Then the wheels fell off. He was so out coached in the 4th quarter that the game flew right out of his hand. He really better get things going next year or he can kiss his ass goodbye.

Jared Allen

Allen has been a force all year, and this game was no exception. I think that we can expect big things from him next year when he becomes a little more accustomed to the dome. For Allen to make the kind of money he does, its fair to expect a little more than he gave us this year, although 15 sacks is nothing short of impressive when it comes to the Vikings.

Bernard Berrian

Berrian put absolutely nothing into this game, and was really quite disappointing. I hope that next year he preforms a little more up to his level, as his inconsistency this year was not where I would have liked. Of course, the QB situation is somewhat to blame, but you can say that a good receiver can do well regardless.

Overall, I liked where the Vikings ended up, as I expected a below 500 year. I guess when you look back at the number of ways they showed they could win, they deserved to win the division, and just got unlucky with who showed up for this game.

Monthly Box Break Club

Everyone has paid for the January break which will be 4 boxes of 2008 SP Authentic Football. I posted earlier last week that the video of team assignments would be tonight. Due to some job requirements I was not able to get it done tonight, but will be posting it on Wednesday night. Due to the delay in the release the delay of the team assignments will still give us plenty of time to do trades, etc. (SP Authentic's release was moved from January 7th to January 28th).