Saturday, February 28, 2009

Missing the Signs - A Response To Wax Heaven

Mario, sadly, has finally jumped on the train with the rest of the "UD is going downhill in baseball" gang. Im glad he is getting it now, it will save him a lot of heartache in the future. Its disheartening that UD is starting to alienate even their biggest fans, like Mario, especially without regard for even trying. Here is what he wrote about the newest previews for UD 2009 Baseball products (my response is in between the paragraphs):

Take a look at the images below. You are gazing into previews for 2009 ‘X’, Spectrum, SPx, Icon, and a Piece of History. I have to say this right now before my head explodes: FIRE WHOEVER IS IN CHARGE OF DESIGNS!

Dude, obviously the pics are similar because the sets werent that good to begin with. I know you love SPx but the product has been on its way out since bowman chrome started doing their thang. Now that Bowman Chrome has all the RCs in a set more than a year ahead of SPX, this set becomes about the autos on the checklist. The bad part is, despite the fact that BC is beating them to the punch, the product is still filled with "40 man" RCs or the guys who have already made their debuts on the roster. Trust me, those guys cant carry a $20 per pack set. 

On the other side, we all know X and Piece of History are just ridiculous products. They are just bad on all sides. Did you really think UD would waste their time on these?

Not counting the good showing of U.D’s flagship brand, you are looking at three brands with almost identical designs and two which look like Update versions of 2008 products. Where did the creativity go? You are fucking Upper Deck for Christ’s sake, you can do a lot better than this. Don’t believe me? Buy a box of ‘08 Ultimate Collection or ‘07 Sweet Spot.

Wow, did you really put Ultimate Collection in this category? Cmon man! Ultimate 2008 was one of the most lame, boring, and unimaginitive products of the year! Every box had the same thing in it, and if you were lucky you got Grif, Jeter, or Ripken. If you didnt, you were fucked. In my mind, the set was only the jersey signed autos and one or two other subsets. It was beyond uncreative. 

Sweet Spot 07 was just as awful as UC, mainly because of the crapfest checklist, the high price, and all the fucking parallels of those signature cards. Purple and Green stitching on a baseball is supposed to make this more appealing? Fuck that. On top of all that you had those eye sore RC helmet cards which were again just the "40 man" RCs of the year. Hell, wasnt Delmon Young in there too? I would not support the idea that 07 Sweet Spot was a high point for UD. 

Please don’t take this as anything more than constructive criticism. It’s almost 4 in the morning and here I am staring at your 2009 designs in Photoshop wondering how you could possibly let something like this happen to your company. Right now is not a good time to get complacent, look no further than your basketball department for proof.

I agree 100%, UD should never have let this happen. But it has everything to do with set structure, not set design.

You guys know Topps’ flagship and Heritage completely took you to school. With no Masterpieces or Sweet Spot slated for 2009 it’s starting to look like an unfair fight. Please, for the love of the Hobby… get this train back on track before it’s too late. I have been supporting you guys since the beginning of Wax Heaven but I cannot hold my tongue any longer.

Topps and Topps  Heritage are completely different types of products than those you are comparing them to. Sweet Spot is pretty much high end for baseball, much like the grossly out dated SPx, and so to compare it with the two lowest end products of the year is way too off base. Personally, I liked 09 UD better than 09 Topps because its a better design and a better set structure to do well with baseball collectors. The problem is that it doesnt have a Topps logo on it. This is the same reason why UD destroys topps in Basketball and usually in Football - they made the playing field for those sports and therefore hold the exclusives and the set structures to make themselves better. 

Mario, I dont mean this post in a destructive way, I just think you are approaching it in the wrong fashion. I know that you love UD, I do too, but the fact is that UD is about to only have FB as its only sport because they dont have the tools or the contract to compete in BB and BKB. Its sad that they have to go, but, alas, thus is the nature of the beast.

Here is the article on Wax Heaven, go check it out.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Exquisite Box Has Been Ordered

For the people in the break, the box has been ordered and we will be breaking at or around 3 days from the product release. I will expect that it will be released on time, but with this stuff, you never know. I have it coming 3 day air, so that should give us a time frame.

Feel free to continue trading until the night before the break.

Ill keep you posted on further developments.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

SCU Breaks: Exquisite Teams Video

Here is the list of the first and second tier teams for the Exquisite Break:
  1. Volutnarheel (PAID) - Ravens, Texans, Redskins, Patriots
  2. Kickstand (PAID) - Packers, Bears, Cardinals, Chiefs
  3. speedlegg (PAID) - Panthers, Seahawks
  4. Lars (PAID) - Vikings, Jaguars
  5. Wheeler (PAID) - Falcons, Chargers, Bengals, Giants
  6. Matt S (PAID) - 49ers, Saints
  7. Poppycock (PAID) - Eagles, Titans
  8. arfmax (PAID) - Steelers, Bucs
  9. Darkship (PAID) - Jets, Colts, Rams, Browns
  10. Gellman (HOST) - Cowboys, Dolphins
  11. Psad (PAID) - Lions, Bills
  12. Sonic (PAID) - Raiders, Broncos
Videos will be posted in a second as soon as Youtube stops being a bitch.

Feel free to trade up until the cut off on the day before the vid.

Ok, holy shit. I did not expect this.

So remember when I talked about selling that lot of cards based on the idea that selling your crap in a lot is much better than selling individually? Well, coincidentally, its the truth at the moment.

Wow. Glad to see that my unwanted cards now has the possibility to get me a new Peterson auto or two. Now, granted, having the publicity from this site has definitely contributed to publicity, but its still interesting to see it go for this much.

If you bid, thank you.

Topps Sterling Football Is Back On; Still Sucks Beyond Belief

Well, Topps Sterling Football is now back on after being axed from last years list. See, thats fine if Topps wants to display their lack of talent in high end products by putting out a football set that makes Triple Threads look good, im fine with that. I mean where else will I get cards commemorating the most obscure stats ever recorded? Lets take bets on which of these will be included:

Adrian Peterson 6 piece Jersey Auto - Die cut spells out 4PSG07 to commemorate his 4 Pre season games in 2007 with at least 1 rushing yard.

Jim Brown 7 piece Jersey - Die cut spells out 3FP1978 to commemorate his 3 forward passes he threw in the 1978 season.

Joe Montanta 8 piece jersey foldout - Die cut spells out SBWINODD to commemorate his Super Bowl Win in an odd numbered year.

Johnny Unitas 6 Piece jersey - Die cut says "SETUR" and then has a picture that resembles a watch to commemorate his haircut that you could set your watch to.

Earl Campbell 8 Piece Foldout Jersey Auto - Die cut spells out 2GMKROIL to commemorate his NFL record 2 plays at Kick Returner for the Oilers.

Jerry Rice 8 Piece Jersey Auto 1/1 - Die Cut spells out ENDARND5 to commemorate his end around play in the NFL playoffs in 1988. It obviously went for 5 yards... Duh.

John Elway 8 Piece Jersey Auto - Die cut spells out 2PCKSADY to commemorate his lung busting smoking habit. This card is going to be a keeper!

Im sure that these new ones, as well as the old ones from the post last time, will all make Topps Sterling the greatest football set of all time. I mean, it will only be $200+ dollars a pack for 1 hit. That is the best configuration EVAR! Some sick MOJO will be coming out of this beast of a product. YESSSSSSSS!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

If You Do Something Like This, You Might Be A Beckett...

(Thanks to Mario for the story)

Yes, I know this is a box of Press Poop, and yes I know it is a box of Nascar cards, but I think it bears mention on here for a few reasons. So, in true redneck fashion:

- If you have to justify why you might be getting a good box at the BEGINNING of the break, you might be a Beckett.

- Despite said disclaimer, if you mention that your box was hand delivered by the president or brand manager of a company, you might be a Beckett.

- If you have to tell the viewers of your video that the company told you it may be a hot box, due to some bullshit excuse, and you STILL bust it like nothing is wrong, you might be a Beckett.

- If you consistently get more hits or better hits than you are supposed to get, you might be a Beckett.

- If your loaded boxes are always free and you deprive paying customers of hits they should be getting, you might be a Beckett.

- If you still think you havent pissed anyone off with your stupid fucking videos due to an arrogant attitude and a backwards sense of entitlement, you might be a Beckett.

- If you have to be told by your subordinant to shut the fuck up on more than one occasion during the video, because what you say is an embarassment, your name is Tracy Hackler and you are a douchebag (also a Beckett).

Man, I cant believe they are still posting videos as bad as this one, despite the fact that they have to explain why they get better hits than everyone else. Wow, what a bunch of arrogant wankers. I cant tell you how happy I will be when the company folds like a lawn chair (and it will).

A Comment On The Blog

Come the end of March, SCU will turn one, and I will be very happy that I have lasted as long as I have. Its really hard work to maintain the blog as much as I have, and I didnt think it would last. Luckily for me, the people are the reason I stay around, mainly because I am so self absorbed that I love my soap box way too much to give it up, right?

Ill say this, over the last few weeks, I have received a plethora of comments like "The world would be a better if you just went and killed yourself" and stuff like that. Personally, I love to read those types of comments because when I have disturbed you enough to make you write that, I have done my job. I win.

In fact, I just got a comment that was something like, "you care way too much about the way people spend their money..." Umm, right. See, to say something stupid like that is missing the point of blogging in general. This is because blogging is ONLY about giving commentary or opinion on things, and that is why those type of people show up on the posts I do. My opinion and commentary on those people is that they are idiots, and therefore they are highlighted for their intrinsic comedic value. I dont really spend much more time thinking about them. If I get a laugh out of it, then I assume that most of the collectors who read this will too. If you dont or wont get a laugh, feel free to read one of the 100 other blogs until I post something you like. God forbid, dont write your own opinion on a blog, no, just post anonymous comments on all the existing ones. Yes, that is a better idea.

Normally, I dont really care about comments, as I think its one of the main reason I write here. But that type just kind of struck me as weird. Listen, if you want to leave an opinion, please do so, but add something to the conversation. Dont just throw stupid statements like "go fuck yourself" out, because A) they wont be approved, B) I will laugh at you, C) its completely sophomoric and adds nothing to the blog. See, even negative opinions add something to the blog, stupid comments do less than McBain's goggles.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lets Clear This Up For The Clueless People Out There

People, people, people, do you really think these cards are from the Jerseys the players actually wear in the all star game? Wow, its stupid to me that people love these cards. First off, they are player touched, at least I hope they are. Secondly, this piece is from the Jerseys they wore either during the derby (not likely), during warmups (not likely), or during a special event sponsored by topps (very likely). They were definitely not warn during the game.
Dont believe me? Here is a picture for proof.

See? No name on the back of the jersey, and the letter above in the card is white, not black, regardless. Guys, dont be stupid and pay five million dollars for this card, it isnt worth your time. Stick to the autos and other crap you can get. This stuff is junk with no picture on it (or a very small one).

Seriously, sucker born every minute.

One Last Comment On Hot Packs

After just receiving another email from the administrator of a hot pack website to publicize on here, I want to offer my last and final comments on hot packs before anyone else gets any ideas. Either way, here is the previous post on the subject.

See, I dont think pack searching and hot packs are the bane of the hobby like they used to be, only because the cards you pull arent as rare anymore. Its pretty obvious that you wont make much money selling the packs or the jersey cards anymore because the suckers just dont care about those type of cards as much as they used to. Plus, with the economy being down, and the amount of disposable income being down, people arent as likely to take a chance on a thing like a hot pack. The same could be said about regular packs, but no one feels as bad about legitimately purchasing a non-searched pack, so naturally the risk and reward is much easier to deal with in a morally positive person.

As for the Pack Searchers and hot pack generators themselves, morality and playing the game by the rules isnt as big of an issue to them, and that is why I wont disagree with people who think that those people are huge fucking douches. Its never a cool thing to cheat, and even though every person has taken the unfair advantage at one point in their life, most people dont make a practice of it. To then offer your expertise to others based on the premise of cheating, makes this an even douchier situation than it already is.

See, here is what it comes down to. If there is money to be made, there is someone who will exploit the suckers to make that cash, no matter the industry. Pack searchers and hot packs will be around no matter what the companies or the bloggers do. So, even though I am posting the last article on hot packs for the forseeable future, dont think they are going to go away or that the practice will stop. Just like when security companies find a way to deter hackers, they always find a way. Lucky for us, when you spend 3 dollars on a pack and sell it for 5, rather than the 10 it used to go for, its going to act as a natural deterrant until the next scam comes along.

Sadly, as I have said numerous times on here, there is a sucker born every minute, and you know these guys love those odds. Wonderful.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh God, Please, I Beg You, NO.

According to ESPN, a trade between the Vikes and Texans may be in the works to acquire Sage Rosenfels to be the Starting QB. All I have to say is:


Draft Josh Freeman if you can, or someone else, or at the very least, trade a second round pick for Cassel. Please for the love of god do not trade for Sage fucking Rosenfels and doom us to mediocraty for the next 3-4 years. FUCK, these people are fucking stupid retards. I mean, I would actually prefer Jackson, a guy that has possible upside, or hell, even Gus may be a better choice because Rosenfels cant play worth my left testicle. I think Adrian Peterson would be a better QB. Holy fuck, I am so pissed that this is even a possibility. The goofy lack of talent white boy quotient on the team has already been reached with Gus, no need to pile on top of it.

NFL Combine Delivers The Freaks

You know, at this point the combine is pretty much a sideshow, and is really just for those people who already havent cemented their draft status. Listen, I understand Stafford not working out at the combine, why should he? I mean, he has already established himself as the top pick, plus he has to go to an unfamiliar field with unfamiliar receivers, and really cant help himself even if he does well. Look at Ryan, he did the same thing and it didn’t hurt, why not try it too?

Well, it wasn’t such a well thought out experience for everyone. Stupidly, Andre Smith, who was a projected top 5 pick, decided to show up overweight, not participate, and in the process basically destroyed his chances as a top pick. Its like showing up to your job interview wearing board shorts and an In 'n Out Burger t-shirt. He is one stupid fuck, and now he may be a top 25 pick, if he is lucky. Im guessing he will end up with the Vikings just to spite me. Great, draft a classy player who cant even stay fit when its his job.

Crabtree and Maclin had problems too, as each ended up or came with leg injuries, and although their draft status shouldn’t be too affected by it, the slight injuries (at least to Crabtree) were enough to peak interest in whether or not they may be 100 percent come time for camp.

There werent too many surprises overall, per the NFL network, in terms of the first round picks. Moreno and Wells had some pretty bad 40 times, and that was pretty much it. With last year's first rounders all at or around 4.4, to see Wells at 4.59 and Moreno at 4.61 was pretty disappointing. Ill say, I still think Moreno and Wells have a very good shot at being good backs in the NFL, though I think without a good OLine to play behind, they may be busts all together. I know thats like saying without speed you wont be a good track star, but there are some backs who can play behind shitty lines and still have great careers. Its rare, but it wont be that way for either of these guys.

My impressions are this, if you want a skill player, the draft this year is pretty thin. QBs, RBs and WRs have a few stand outs, but even the stand outs don’t match the hype of previous years. If you need an OT, DL, or LB, you are in luck, as this draft seems pretty fucking deep. Its also going to be pretty interesting to see values in the hobby, because without a hyped up guy, the cards wont sell as well. Stafford alone cannot hold a product, so lets hope someone does something good, and early in the year. That way we don’t end up with 3 belly up card companies. You may want to chastize me for saying that, but the RC class drives a product, and this year it doesn’t look promising from my eyes.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Its Getting....LARGER.

I just wanted to do another shameless plug for Mike over at Cardboard Connection. He is a nice guy who is trying his best to put together a cool site where collectors can display their stuff a la MySpace. Its an idea that I think takes a lot of work to set up, and its awesome that he has taken his time to help us have this outlet. Its getting pretty large, and I would expect that if you get in now, you will see a lot of the benefits before things explode.

Sign Up Here To Become A Member

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Well Lets See If It Works...

Yesterday I documented pure stupidity on the Blowout Card board when one of their members said this GEM of knowledge about Triple Suck:

"Why sell your break if you know you going to get killed ? If I pay $150. for a box of TT and know I'm only going to get $25. back if I sell then why even bother selling ? I'd try trading it for something I want OR just hold everything til I had a huge lot of GU together and flip it that way. Never understood just throwing money away listing stuff on fleabay when there are other options to try maxing my return."

The idea about Triple Threads, mainly that its a good idea to buy it, is retarded, but the theory may work in practice with other cards. I decided to try it out and see how it works. If it sucks, who cares,  the cards arent important to me.

Here is what I did:

 I went through my collection and pulled out every card I didnt want. I put them together with some of the more expensive non-important-to-me cards for exposure, and let it fly. I put BIN on it to see if maybe someone would bite, though I am more interested in the result of the auction.

Ill keep you posted.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Vote For the Worst Auto Card Set Ever Produced

In early 2007, Topps released one of the worst products ever to be produced in the history of football cards. Paradigm, or as some in the hobby refer to it, Paracrime, was a $400 pile of hyperholographic poop. Every card was so ridiculous, that you needed some dramamine just to look at the nauseating design and ideas.

As if it couldnt get any worse, a subset was put in the product that flowed from the same vein of the later produced crime against humanity, Topps Lettermen. If you thought the Manufactured letter patch cards affixed with foil topps stickers were bad, gaze upon the beauty of this wonderous idea:

Yes, I did not crop the pic in order to showcase the watery turd that were these cards. I saw these when the product was first released, and I could not fathom the size of the brain fart it took to think of this idea for a card subset. Holographic frame, large jersey swatch, no picture, BIG ASS foil sticker in the middle. Wow, absolutely amazing. Compelling and rich.

Again, the rule:

If the cost of a box of Topps cards is greater than or equal to 100 dollars, run for your life.

The Hobby Is Chaulk Full of Smart and Vastly Intelligent People

I was perusing blowout cards' forum today because I am in the process of navigating a mind numbingly boring day. Of course, hobby retards always brighten my day with their blinding beacon of intelligence that they are always shining my way.

The topic at hand was whether or not Triple Threads was worth the money to buy, considering that the best hits are going for less than the price of a box. After a plethora of people who said that they bought boxes at 200 bucks and sold the contents on ebay for 25 bucks, there was this GEM of a response:

"Why sell your break if you know you going to get killed ? If I pay $150. for a box of TT and know I'm only going to get $25. back if I sell then why even bother selling ? I'd try trading it for something I want OR just hold everything til I had a huge lot of GU together and flip it that way. Never understood just throwing money away listing stuff on fleabay when there are other options to try maxing my return."

Aside from the ultra intelligent reason that Im sure this person has for buying a high end Topps product, the response to the topic is borderline brain dead. The question he asks is about why he doesnt understand people who wont sell their accumulated crap in lots, but what he should have asked was, "WHY ARE YOU BUYING AN ABORTION OF A PRODUCT FOR 200 DOLLARS WHEN YOU COULD HAVE JUST BOUGHT A NICE ASS SINGLE YOU NEED INSTEAD?!?"

For 200 bucks, there are a lot of nice fucking cards you can buy, and yet, that doesnt even cross his mind. Nah, lets buy a shit ton of the worst product of the year. Hell! We could pull one of those ridiculously awesome printing plates! No, even better, one of the foldout relic cards that I cant read! YES!!! MOOOOJJJJJOOOOO!!

Fuck dude, I love these people. Just amazing in their stupidity.

First Look: 2009 Icons Football

Last year, Icons was one of the most popular releases because of the tiny price tag and the large number of hits. I am not surprised to see it back this year, mainly because it will fit much better into the economic situation of the collectors this time.

Gregg has an interesting approach to this set, as he said that the non-autoed manufactured letters are inserted because collectors are growing tired of the 2 dollar jersey cards that these cards are replacing in the boxes. I think the viewpoint has some merit, but not with my collecting habits.

At least the design looks pretty nice, and I think that this set will be just as popular as it was last year, despite my criticisms of the set construction. I also think it fits much better into the early part of the year rather than the latter, as the companies become more aware of what actually works post rookie premiere and what doesnt.

Will Matt Stafford Be Worth Your TIme?

Matt Stafford, so far, is the consensus number 1 pick in the draft. We are still in the pre-combine stages, though after this weekend's event, there should be a pretty good idea of what to expect from the players. But, with the Lions at #1, still hosting the worst record ever posted by a modern era team, will Matt Stafford be worth your time come opening day 2009?

If you take a look back at the way the hobby values top QBs, its been hit and miss at best. Eli Manning was a big hobby all star, but he also plays in NY. Matty Ice was the star of his class, and put up a memorable RC season with a rebuilding team to accomplish it. Then again, Jamarcus Russell's value has plummetted with his awful season with the Raiders, and Alex Smith is about to lose his job after being the #1 pick with the Niners.

Matt Stafford is coming into a situation that has no where to go but up, it could be a different story. Stafford will probably sit a year and let John Kitna finish out his deal, or wont start until late in the season (barring another awful start or injury). That fact alone will automatically hurt value a tiny bit, though some prospectors dont mind the wait.

Stafford, also when you think about it, is only the #1 pick because Bradford and Tebow decided to stay in school. When teams are forced to settle, it doesnt usually work out. Then again, with very nature of the position, anything is possible (IE Tom Brady).

I think if you are a Bulldogs fan, go for it, collect what you like. If you are looking for your RC to collect for 2009, I would think twice about shelling out top $ for his cards. Yeah, you may end up smacking yourself for missing out on his shit, but really, its not worth the risk based on the situation. Hell, if he aint signed by draft day, I would DEFINITELY think twice, because a holdout is always a possibility with a situation like the lions this year or the Raiders in 2007.

Personally, I think a guy like Josh Freeman would be a better bet because his cards will be cheap to start, and if he makes it onto the field, you should have a pretty good return in your investment. I would love to see him drafted by the Vikes at 22, but as things shape up with the Jets, that may not be possible. Of course, the higher he is drafted, the higher his cards will cost, so watch out.

Right now, pre combine, here is where I would put the hobby value of the RCs:

1. Matt Stafford
2. Michael Crabtree
3. Mark Sanchez
4. Knowshon Moreno
5. Beanie Wells
6. Josh Freeman
7. Percy Harvin (tie)
7. Jeremy Maclin (tie)
9. LeSean McCoy
10. Darrius Heyward-Bey

We will see once UD Draft is released where these guys are, but with everyone trying to get in on the post draft action, including Topps with their ridiculous offerings, who knows.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baseball Group Break - You Decide

I have had some requests over the last few weeks to do a baseball group break, and I will be happy to oblige as long as there is not millions of base cards for me to ship out. So, based on that, here are your options:

Prime Cuts 08 - 15 bucks per 2 team spot per box (we can do multiples)
Ultimate Collecton 08 - 7 bucks per 2 team spot per box (ditto)
Exquisite Collection 07 - 10 bucks per 2 team spot per box (ditto)
Donruss Signature 05 - 17 bucks per 2 team spot per box (ditto)
Upper Deck Epic 06 - 11 bucks per 2 team spot per box (ditto)
Case of 2005 Absolute Update - Will be expensive, can check on case prices, this will be fun enough that I would be willing to put up with the shipping.

Please post your choices below, plus how many boxes we should do. I will decide based on response.

If A Player Scores Low On This, I Wonder About Their Prospects In Life

ESPN has published a sample copy of the wonderlic test, and I must say I am shocked that anyone can do poorly on this test. Here is a sample question:

The 9th month of the year is?

A. October
B. January
C. June
D. September
E. May

I almost cried I was laughing so hard. Seriously, players have been known to score next to zero.

How To Drive A New Card Blog

On the verge of 100,000 hits, and the one year anniversary of SCU, I thought I would give a little back to the community. When I started this blog, at first I was too arrogant to think that I would have to drive traffic to the site. I thought through linking message board sigs and youtube vids, that people would just come and check it out. Then, when they came, they would stay due to awesomeness. Yeah, that was a pipe dream.

See, a lot of questions I get from new bloggers ask how they should start their site so that people will come. Ill tell you, its a long time and a lot of work that you will have to put up with. People criticize Mario, Chris, and others because they get stuff from the card companies, but if you saw how much work they have put into their sites, maybe you would think twice about complaining.

The first thing you should consider is a good title for the blog, I know, no brainer. Since there is already about 300 "cardboard" titled blogs out there, you might want to try something new unless you are poking fun at that fact. Make yours stand out because otherwise, it will get lost in the evergrowing fray. Avoid titles that contain words like "Mania," "Mayhem," "Addict," or something like that because most people will just judge your blog according to title. My first few blogs on other subjects all had variations of those words, and I realized that I just sounded like a tool when I couldnt deliver. Ill be the first to admit, my blog title sucks, but the initials form a cool acronym like a university (an unintended benefit). Sorry if I am criticizing your up and running blog's title, Im just trying to help.

Next, you may want to buy a .com, because its that much easier to remember than Its just one of those things that isnt the end all and be all of Card blogging, but it can help. Plus, its like 10 bucks a year, and its cool to have a .com. Just dont go making it your first and last name. Blogger can load to a go-daddy .com site pretty easily, so that may influence the next decision.

Blogger and Wordpress are probably the two most popular blogging engines out there. From my experience, Blogger is much easier to use, but has a ton less features than Wordpress. If you have never run a site before, you may want to go with Blogger, because even I chose wordpress at one point, and all it did was confuse me. Then again I am a loser at computer knowledge and at life, so dont take my word for it. If you like the look of Mario and Dave's blog, send them an email and ask them what they think of wordpress.

Once you actually start it up, there is are a few rules that you need to abide by in order to drive traffic to your site. First, post at least once per day. If you want a blog that gets a lot of visitors, post a lot, because it puts you at the top of a lot of link lists, and it gives your readers something to check back for. Secondly, if you are going to post once per day, make sure its relevant content. Originally, it will be easy to think of topics because you havent covered anything. However, to pull stuff out of your ass, three times a day, 365 days a year, is really fucking tough. Trust me. Third, dont copy another blog's shit unless you are prepared to link. It is a huge turn off, and though you may sound like you know what you are doing, people talk, and you will not make friends quickly that way.

Another important thing you have to remember, is that design of your blog makes a huge difference. If the layout is too complicated or too weird, people wont come back once they visit, and wont stay long when they come. If you look at mine, Mario's, Dayf's, and others, they are very simple designs with a simple layout. There is not a lot of stuff on the page besides the text. We also have pretty noticible banners at the top, and though mine went through some changes, it was always there and bold. Contact Paul at Sports. Cards. Life. and see if he can make you one, he is really good at it, and he is a really nice guy. He made mine and I couldnt be happier. Offer him some stuff for his services too, you know, as something for the effort.

After you have a few posts under your belt, start sending those emails. Send them to every single blogger that has a link list on the side. Try to penetrate non-card blog sites, as they have a lot more traffic, and can help you in finding people who wouldnt normally come. If you find someone that will add you to their site, be sure to return the favor, because those bloggers you are emailing function on the same thing you do. Then, when you post, you will be updated on their lists as well. Thats also where your catchy title comes in, because if yours sucks, they wont add you, or if they do, people wont click. Also, participate in the blog bat arounds, not even a contest. There is no reason not to, and its a free link that will get you traffic from people who wouldnt normally see your site. It gives you a showcase to display your skills, and people are very interested in those.

You may also want to submit to sites that have a lot of sports blogs as a community like Ballhype, Yardbarker, and stuff like that. They wont get you much traffic, but they will help somewhat. Also, get yourself a sitecounter so you can gauge your visitors and how many you are getting per day. Make sure you also have a few RSS buttons from google and yahoo so that visitors can add you to their feeds that they read daily.

As you move through the weeks on your blog, link your older posts as they come up in the topics you discuss, and also dont be shy with shamelessly plugging other sites. The more you help other people, the more they will help you back. Even if they are cold hearted assholes like myself, a link always warms my fuzzies.

I would say, from my personal spying on other people's sitemeters, that using blogger's picture uploads is a good way to get traffic. When you add your pics to the site that way, google links to them, and people search and come to your site when they find your image on the engine. I know a lot of sites that get most of their hits that way.

If you find something that everyone would enjoy, a good breaking story, something like that, go on a message board and link it. Sites like blowout cards forums and freedom card board will get you a lot of visitors if a link is interesting enough for people to click. This also means having your site in your signature on those boards so people can see the credibility before they click. Be sure to remember that everyone on a message board usually thinks that message boards are the best source for info, while bloggers think blogs are. Regardless of the truth, dont be aloof.

A big plus is commenting on other sites. The comments should automatically link to your site, but dont pimp it like a site whore. Contribute insightful things, and dont, under any circumstances, act like JC. Its a huge turn off and we see right through it. The more good comments you leave, the more people will click on your name, and come to your site.

A hugely important thing is to have a personal contact on your page. Give your readers a way to contact you so that if they have a question or a comment, there is a place to send it. Constructive criticism is key, so that is the avenue to accept it.

Lastly, controversy sells. If you have a gripe, write about it. People say all day long that my Beckett posts drive them nuts, but those days have the biggest traffic because people want to see what the comments are, or the like. Be sure to give commentary, and people will come. If you have constant "card of the day" type posts because you cant think of something to write about, we know you got nothin and I, for one, will stop coming. If you want to do card of the day, keep it off the main blog and create a link.

Thats about it, if I think of others, ill be sure to add them. If you have a suggestion, dont be afraid to comment.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

First Look: 2009 Playoff Prestige and 2009 Donruss Elite Football

Im not going to say much about these sets because they are just the products to tide you over until Classics is released after the rookie premiere. The sets are pretty much exactly the same as they were last year, and it looks like they will still have the ridiculously high original price tag that will ultimately drop after the season starts.

Ill keep an eye out for more interesting fare and let you know when we get some stuff worth talking about.

BREAKING NEWS: Upper Deck Closes Facility?

I got this email from an "Anonymous Upper Deck Employee" today, and Im not quite sure what to make of it. It seems like there may be some layoffs and/or closings, and there may also be problems in getting the company's workload distributed. I have a feeling that this particular person is angry that they have to be a part of the current atmosphere, and is sending this email to show their disappointment. Maybe I am reading too much into this, I have no idea. Here is what I received:

Hey Gellman,

Thought you might like to hear about this news for your blog:

February 17, 2009

To All U.S. Upper Deck employees:

As all of you are aware, the weakening economy and rising costs have produced sharp decreases in consumer spending, including for our products. We, therefore, must implement additional cost reduction measures in order to maintain our financial stability.

The following cost reduction initiatives will be implemented:

The Company will close the Nevada facility no later than September 30, 2009 and will relocate certain functions to Carlsbad. During the next several weeks the Company will finalize departmental transition plans. Some departments will be relocated prior to the facility closure. [...]

The decision to make cost reductions that directly affect our employees is a very difficult one. We value the commitment and hard work that each of you have dedicated to building this company; however, we believe that these cost reductions are crucial to our overall financial stability.

Thank you for your continued commitment and hard work.

Richard McWilliam

It was announced yesterday afternoon. The memo has more to say about future initiatives; interesting yet weird & disapointing.

so if you thought things were bad before, you haven't seen anything yet! Good luck getting anything done while things are being transfered from one state to another and nobody cares in either state. The Nevada guys know they will be laid off and Carlsbad is already overworked and can't handle those new duties on top of it.

Gosh, and none of the 43 VPs are getting laid off, what a surprise! In Vegas, you had customer service, quality assurance, accounting, sales support and warehousing (for everything but cards). Lots of good people going for corporate greed and profit margin.

Sad day

Thank you for safeguarding my anonymity.


I think this could be a sign of what may be to come, I know I am not surprised. I emailed Gregg for comment, I am sure I will be forced to take this down pretty soon, so be advised.

Still, pretty interesting, and hopefully the employees involved will have luck in finding a new position. Layoffs are always very tough to deal with, and I feel for the people who are affected. Regardless of your feelings for UD, people losing jobs is never something to celebrate.

Shameless Plug for Cardboard Reflux

One of my favorite commenters, Voluntarheel, has started his own blog, and I have already laughed a few times over it. Okay, scratch that, you are all my favorites like my non-existant children, but he actually took the time to make a blog. I love you all equally, even you "anonymous," and you "gellman sucks."

Regardless of my creepiness, check out Cardboard Reflux, its still in the early stages, but hopefully you can see what I mean.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Congrats Psad21.....

If you remember the 2 box break of 2007 National Treasures from January, then you will remember that in one of the boxes we received 4 Material Cards and only 2 autos. I put in the claim with Donruss and today in the mail I got the replacement card.

Donruss did not replace it with a 2007 NT Auto, but rather sent us one of those "manufactured" patch autos from 2008. While it is somewhat disappointing at least it is an auto of a historical player and not some no-name rookie.

Anyway here is a scan of the card that will be sent out to psad21 who owned the Cleveland Browns in that break.....


Does Beckett Have Some Competition That Actually Uses Real Info?

Thanks to Jason who sent me this post from a tech blog, saying that CardPricer is trying to make a name for itself by using auction data for card pricing rather than the pricing hat that beckett uses to draw their arbitrary prices out of.

Personally, I dont really care about how much my PC is worth, as I dont intend to sell any of it. However, if I encounter a retard on a message board with something I need, this site may be of use to show him how ridiculous his notions of value are.

When it comes down to it, card value is a subjective number that will never have a place in a monthly or daily guide. Something is always worth only as much as someone will pay for it, nothing more. Either way, this site may be closer to getting that value on the internet.

Product Review: 2008 Ultimate Football

2008 Ultimate football is live, and this leaves 2008 Exquisite as the only remaining football set of 2008. If you take out your personal crystal ball and look back to mid 2007, you would see ultimate as a stale product, badly in need of a revamp, put together as an afterthought. The cards were cookie cutter-ed and basically slapped with hundreds of worthless stickers. The design was ridiculous, and the product just plain sucked. Hell, even upper deck knew they had a stinker on their hands when they look back on it. Fast forward to Uitimate Baseball 2008, and again, you have a cookie cutter-ed set with not much variation or value in the cards. It had some cool ideas with the signed jersey pieces, but to make an entire set out of that is boring and lame. 2008 football is much different, with a brand new approach, a brand new case system, and some kick ass cards. It has its issues, but we will get to those in a second.

The Good

I always liked Ultimate because it was the first 100 dollar per pack item on the market that was available to everyone. Of course, when it first came out, Jerseys were not that common, so it was okay to put that price tag on things. Now, its really tough to justify that price tag unless you have some nice hits. Luckily, Ultimate does have some nice hits. Not only that, but it has a very sleek design for just about all the subsets, and I am a big fan of any set that has a nice design (See Premier 2008).

I really like the dual inscriptions cards, as they are dual autos with inscriptions, both on card, with a cool design as well. This part of any set is usually forgotten, but these cards are awesome. I think its always cool when you get something in addition to the autos, especially when its two players on a card, with two extra inscriptions. I saw one with the two manning brothers, both inscribed with their super bowl MVP years. Call me a JC, but I think that’s awesome.

As for the 1997 legend sets updates, I think it is an awesome idea. The original set is collected by people like the Piece of History 500 home run club set for baseball, and to finally get an update is beyond awesome. The design still holds as one of the best ever, and to have Favre, Elway, Faulk and others added to it is a really, really good way to draw people in. Some of you may not like the set checklist selections, or the design, but for those of you who were around the first time, will no doubt love these as I do.

Aside from the designs or the legends, having a complete set with on card autos is really deserving of a great ovation. I don’t think you guys really understand what it takes to get a bunch of stickers signed, let alone all the actual cards. It’s a great feat, and I think to have 3+ full sets with all on card autos is a huge step away from stickers. It shows the planning, execution, and follow up that most of us crave in a manufacturer, and I will be the first to give my applause. You may say that I have my head up UD's ass, and you are probably correct - but at least the sets are worthy of that. DLP and Topps have churned out a few good ones this year, but nothing like the horrid mid year releases that were LCM and some of the other high end diarrhea that Topps put out. UD has had a pretty solid calendar, and I am not afraid to admit that I have a little man crush on some of the 2008 sets they produced.

The Bad

Im kind of pissed that they added a jersey swatch to the RC autos this year. If you look at 2006, they were some of the simplest, yet coolest card I have seen in a while. 2007 weren’t great, but they surely werent bad either. This year, I like the design, but I feel like they cheated a little by tossing in a swatch. As a subset, those autos would be pretty fucking cool, but as the base RC autos, Im feeling a little slighted. That’s just me.

Im still not sold on the pack configuration, as I told Gregg, mainly because there is just no guarantee anymore that you will get any of the previous year's box hits in your packs that you buy. Although Gregg assured that the ratio of duds to scores is very low, I cant put my seal of approval on it until I see more breaks come Wednesday.

The Ugly

Although Ultimate is vastly improved over last year, I still don’t think its justified to keep around as a set. It doesn’t have the niche to me that SPA does, and Exquisite is in a different league, though the box prices used to be similar. With the rising cost of producing a set, Ultimate may just be better as left on the cutting room floor. It used to be THE set, but now its just lost in the shuffle. Honestly, did any of you even remember that Ultimate wasn’t released as normal this year? I forgot until about a week ago. I think most of us would rather have another mid end product rather than another shot at a high end one. Maybe Im alone on this, but Im sure there are better uses of this slot.

Overall, Ultimate is a really good end of the year offering this year. Although the set is not really needed a month before Exquisite, it does have its merits to prevent it from being completely irrelevant. I would say it may be worth your time to pick up some singles and maybe a pack or two in place of your normal 100 dollar purchase for the month, but I think with Exquisite on the horizon, I might just think twice before plunking down any money.

Breaking Exquisite (FULL)

I am doing a break of Exquisite because its always fun to break the highest end stuff there is. If you want to get in on this break, it will be $37.00 a spot for 2 random teams, one tier 1, one tier 2. That way you have a better shot at a good team. THIS IS OPEN TO EVERYONE.

IMPORTANT: I am hosting this break, not Hitter, so please send paypal to

ALSO IMPORTANT: Break will not happen until March when the product releases, please be advised.

LASTLY IMPORTANT: This is not the monthly club break unless HH wants it to be.

Here are how the tiers break down:

Tier 1 (You get one of these teams per slot):


Tier 2 (You get one of these per slot):

Everyone else.


1. Gellman (HOST)
2. Volutnarheel (PAID)
3. Voluntarheel (PAID)
4. Darkship (PAID)
5. Darkship (PAID)
6. Kickstand (PAID)
7. Kickstand (PAID)
8. Poppycock (PAID)
9. Psad (PAID)
10. speedlegg (PAID)
11. Wheeler (PAID)
12. Wheeler (PAID)
13. Sonic (PAID)
14. arfmax (PAID)
15. Matt S (PAID)
16. Lars (PAID)

Product Info:

Configuration: 1 pack per box. 7 cards per pack.


- BONUS!! Every Exquisite Box contains an additional EXQUISITE GOLD PACK delivering one extra Autograph or Autographed Memorabilia card per box!
- Each pack is hand collated to assure value for our collectors!
- An autographed Rookie Card numbered to 150 or less in every box!
- Every Autograph is signed on the card!

Regular Cards and Rookies:
- Regular Cards - # to 75
- Rookie Signatures - # to 150
- Rookie Signatures/Patch Cards - # to 199 or less

Autographed and Memorabilia Cards:
- Exquisite Super Swatch and Parallels - # up to 50
- Exquisite Patch and Parallels - # up to 35
- Exquisite Dual Patch and Parallels - # up to 35
- Exquisite Triple Patch and Parallels - # up to 25
- Exquisite Quad Patch and Parallels - # up to 15
- Exquisite Rare Materials and Parallel - # up to 35
- Exquisite Endorsements and Parallels - Varied #
- Exquisite Inscriptions and Parallels - Varied #
- Exquisite Legendary Signatures and Parallels - # up to 35
- Exquisite Legendary Multi-Signed Cards and Parallels - # up to 25
- Exquisite Ensemble Multi-Signed Cards - # up to 35
- Exquisite Notations - # to 5
- Exquisite Champions Signatures - # up to 15
- Exquisite Signature Jersey and Parallels - # up to 25
- Exquisite Signature Numbers Piece and Parallels - Varied #
- Exquisite Logo Signatures - # to 1
- Exquisite Gold Signatures and Parallel - # up to 60
- Exquisite Gold Signature Jersey and Parallel - # up to 35
- Exquisite Gold Debut Signatures and Parallel - # up to 60
- Exquisite Gold Dual and Triple Signatures and Parallel - # up to 99
- Exquisite Gold Generations Signatures and Parallel - # up to 35
- Exquisite Gold Immortals Signatures and Parallel - # up to 55
- Exquisite Gold Cut Signatures and Parallel - # up to 4

Monday, February 16, 2009

First Images of Ultimate FB Hit The Web

One of the Blowout Cards forum users busted a case of Ultimate and posted the results and pics on the site, and I must say, I am impressed so far. The UD legends additions look like they could be everything that people want them to be, and the fact that all autos seem to be on card is amazing.

I also like the design, and I think after last year, anything is an improvement. The only thing that I dont really like that much is the addition of a swatch to the previously swatchless RC autos. That was unnecessary, and I think the previous ones were great just the way they were. No reason to overjersify them.

Overall, I think this product could be a home run if things turn out the way this break looks, and I have a feeling Exquisite will probably be the same.

Check it out!

Its That Time Of The Year, Dont Be That Guy

So, in a few weeks and months you will be getting a refund on your taxes, right? The one time during the year when you know that you will have extra money lying around for you to spend without remorse. This is also the time where you usually see a bunch of people go out on a spending spree of cards and buy all the wrong things. Here is your guide, that is, if you have the ability to spend that money.

1) Do not buy cases under any circumstances. It just doesnt make sense to throw away the money you have waited all year for. Cases will never get you anything you couldnt buy for half the price of the case itself. If you are an All Day fan like I am, I could easily just buy the Peterson 1/1 logo patch for less than half the case price. Why waste my time with opening box after box, when I can get the card I want for half the price.

2) If you have to buy a box or two, keep it within reason. As I said before, everyone gets the itch to bust, and this may be the one time you can scratch until it bleeds. Dont. Buy a box or two and call it a day, you will feel much better about yourself in the end.

3) Focus on getting one or two key singles. You may think that the rush isnt there if you just buy the card instead of pulling it. But let me ask you this: Can you remember every box you broke? No? Can you remember the favorite cards you have in your collection? Hmm, interesting. Why not add to the latter and have something you like for the rest of your time in this hobby instead of getting 2 dollar jersey cards aplenty.

4) Save your money to use throughout the collecting year - YOU ARE GOING TO NEED IT. Just because you have the money now, does not mean you wont need it later. Why throw it all away now, when you can have some scratch for the rest of the year instead?

5) The most important one - Dont buy any cards! Most of us have tons of bills to pay. Knock a few of them out and forget it. Trust me, if you do this, the money for cards will be there later. Dont get behind on your shit because you want to buy shit you dont need.

See? Its not that hard. Dont be the guy on blowout with 1700 dollars of cards that turns into 200 worth of pulls. Instead, watch that guy, laugh, and then revel in the fact that you are a better man and a better collector.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This Only Adds Fuel To My Beckett Hate Fire

Ted C sent me this story today, and I laughed because it has happened to me so, so, so many times.

"Just wanted to write you today and tell you how much I've been enjoying your site. I can relate to your experience from a few months ago when yesterday I had some Joe C. back out on a huge deal over $10 bv. I spent hours looking at his trade site, checking completed sales on ebay, and even looking at my October beckett. I had a card that he supposedly needed, but he would not go over an imaginary limit of $400 bv because the card did not book. He offered me 3 cards, 1 for a set I am working on and 2 others that I really liked. I researched it and accepted. He responds a week later saying that his math was wrong and the 3 cards added up to $410 bv, 10 over his "limit". I told him he could check my bucket and pick something small to complete the deal. He 'didn't see anything.'"

Now, aside from the absolute idiocy of this insaneulous Beckett thumping idiot, I just want to detail a story that you all have experienced. Its basically the way my life on message boards worked, that is until I vowed to stop trading on them.

You see a card you want, and you see that the guy needs something that you have. Its like a match made in heaven and you get happy because you have a chance to get that card. You PM the trader and you say that you have what he wants. Then you wait.

He PMs you back and says that he likes what you have but the cards dont equal the BV that it says in his latest cum mag.

Your heart dies a little because you know he cares more about the arbitrary hat drawn value than he does about the card he needs. You know this will be a long ordeal.

You PM him back saying that he can choose something small to add to the deal because you want the card he has enough to play his retarded game.

He PMs you back saying he cant find anything, so he'll have to pass.

You curse beckett and their clones again.

Dont act like you dont know what Im talking about. I guarantee you have been that guy who dies before.

Kudos to Nate Robinson

Even though he is a mediocre player, and is only impressive in most of his dunks because he is so Spudly, the guy deserves the credit for being awesome last night. Dwight Howard, my least favorite NBA player aside from Ron Artest, was basically crowned before the dunk contest started last night. Unlike last year, they gave him props aplenty, including his 12 foot hoop, and even a phonebooth inspired by a cape from last year that was inspired by the worst rapper, ever. This was coupled by the horror that the judges gave him top scores just for a regular dunk.

Yet, even against all odds and all the popularity contest that the night had turned into, Nate still pulled off some amazing dunks, only bettered once by Howard's off the side of the backboard alley oop. Robinson's best dunk, which basically had him jump over Howard was impressive, to say the least. I thought it deserved to win, only because Howard tried the cliche freethrow line dunk that seems to make an appearance every year. 

Let me go back, because I dont think Howard should even have won last year.  The "Superman" dunk that won it for him last year, wasnt even a dunk. It was a layup that looked powerful. It sucked, if not only because Howard, the man who thought there should be a Christian cross in the NBA logo, based his performance off of the Soulja Boy song that makes my ears bleed.

The best dunk last year, performed by Gerald Green, didnt even get him a good score. Green put a lit candle in a cupcake on the rim, and proceeded to blow it out on the way to a mammoth jam. Points for power, points for creativity, points for hilarity. Howard does a layup and wins. Blechhhh. 

This year, despite the stupidity of dressing in green and dunking with a green ball (to simulate kryptonite), Robinson's dunks in the finals were very good, better than Howard's. Im glad he won. 

The funny part of all this was that if JR Smith had converted one of his "from the stands" alley oops in more dramatic fashion, that would have been the best of the night. He was a few inches short on a ball that he had to reach to scottsdale to get, andI was so mad when he missed. Too bad the judges would have only given him a 40 anyways, as the theatrics with Howard and Robinson would have been missed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Topps Continues To Suck At Everything

Printing plates are my least favorite type of 1/1, especially when they are done by topps. It’s a fucking asinine way to appease the Beckett thumping Joe Collectors, and I don’t think I would ever pay for one or recommend even keeping one. If I pulled one of Adrian Peterson, you better believe that it would be on eBay the next day. Just a fucking stupid pull, yet people still go fucking nuts when they pull them, screaming "MOJO!!!!!!" like they are that kid who got the Nintendo 64 for christmas. God I hate people who say that shit, but that is a different post all together.

Well, this one takes the cake, but coming from topps, I am not at all surprised.

This is a 1/1 printing plate of Mushin Muhammad that has some retard pooping his pants on SCF. I swear to god, there is no fucking reason this should be in the set. It is a sheet of metal that someone slapped a topps sticker on the back of. It just floors me every time I see this shit. But wait, it doesnt stop!

Below is another gem from Topps Triple Suck, wonderful how they have like 20 of these per card per player. Can someone find a name on this worthless piece of metal? No? Hmm, let me relate Triple Suck to something a little more concrete. A few years back, Kia tried passing one of their cars off as a luxury car worthy of competing with the top luxury cars in its class. They put out commercials, and all sorts of bullshit to try to make me think that their cars were good for someone looking for luxury. The whole time I was watching, I was just screaming in my head, "IT’S A FUCKING KIA!! WHAT THE FUCK?!?" That’s what Topps is to high end. They are a Kia trying to compete with Mercedes and BMW. Wonderful.

From High End to Collecting On a Budget

Its obvious, things suck right now in terms of just about everything. Money is low, products are being churned out on a seemingly endless parade of crap, and you still have that itch to bust. You know what im talking about, it gets to the point where you walk past the display in target and you STILL think you want to go and bust, even though you know that the shit that makes its way to a retail outlet is about as worth it as buying old crap from the 1990s. There is a mental slap you can give yourself, but really that only works for so long. Eventually the dam will break, and I am here to tell you how I survived in a shitty time for collecting, because at least you gotta pass the time until things get better.

First thing you gotta do is realize that you wont be able to function the same way you always have. You wont be able to buy every product you, and you surely wont be able to get every cool card from your favorite player. The trick is to get excited over one or two especially awesome products and start planning. If the card will cost 100-150 bucks in a month or two, start your shit now. Find out what you can live without, and start getting excited about the future. Dont even look at other crap until you can look at the future offerings. If you only have a mindset where you dont find your mind wandering, its really tough to penetrate it (thats what she said).

Secondly its time to trim the fat. We all have it in our collections, the stuff that is just there so you can tell the others that you have it. Interestingly enough, its worth something to someone. It may only be worth two dollars on ebay, but thats still 2 dollars you could have in your account. Its isnt worth your time to have a 2 dollar you dont care about, when you could have more progress towards that upcoming product you do want. Sell that shit off and start to think in quality over quantity. It takes time to sell, so dont waste it, and ill tell you nothing is more satisfying than seeing money in your account.

Of course, when the time does come for you to get your sustinance, dont buy the wax to get what you want, just buy that one thing. Why waste your money hoping for something big, when you can just buy that one card you want right away. Wax is for people with disposable income, and also, wax is for suckers. Why waste your time? Its not feasible to buy the chance on a budget, its much better to buy the stuff itself. Trust me, you arent any less of a collector for using ebay rather than pulling your prize out of a pack.

If you need to bust, you cant avoid it, and you arent in target or other retail shit places, buy cheap products like Chrome or buy a few packs of the expensive stuff to tide you over. No need to spend 100 bucks on SPA boxes when you can buy a few packs at a time for a good rip. That way you save money and you can avoid getting Earl Bennett patches when you do spend 100 bucks.

Also, youtube is a good energy release. Sometimes, if you watch the masters bust thousands on the tube, you will either get that rush from watching them pull something amazing, or you will see them waste their cash and it will turn you off. I do it all the time, because I know I will see what I want to see. Surprisingly, it works.

Group breaks are also a really great way to scratch that problem itch. You spend a fraction of the cost, you get lots of interaction, and usually, you still have the same odds to pull a monster. You may not always come away with cards, but at least you spent less money, and you still had a chance.

Trading posts are always a good way to get nice stuff, and most of the time, the people arent so stupid that you cant stand them. You have your bad apples, but if you play your cards right (no pun intended), you should be able to get stuff you need. For instance, you have a card you pulled as a box hit from a product you shouldnt have bought. Most likely, someone needs it, and has something you need too. That way, you trim the fat from your "needless haves" and add something from your "I need wants."

Lastly, if you have the choice, just blog. It takes your itch away, and you usually dont have to spend any money to do it. There are a number of different people who will happily give you a plug, myself included, as long as you arent a douche about it. I see a number of people who comment on blogs who I think would be great bloggers themselves, and most of the time I will read your shit even if I disagree.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Buy Low, Sell High, or Dont Be An Idiot Volume 5032

The way things are going with the economy, there is a lot of industries that are hurting. Some may take major hits that may take years to recover from. The sports card industry is no different, as we have seen, and if you arent hurting for cash or work, is this a good time to get in on some deals? I would say so.

The economy will rebound, eventually, and the prices for gas and other ammenities will go back up, eventually, so I will assume that cards will come back up too, eventually. The good thing is that if you have been trying to get that card you have wanted for a long time, maybe now is the time to check eBay for a good price. Now, I just said yesterday that investing in cards is a bat shit crazy idea - and it is - but buying cards that you like is still a worthwhile adventure, especially if you can get them for cheap. Listen, money is always going to be a part of this hobby, and everyone wants a worthwhile pile of their favorite cards. That doesnt stop people from thinking that now is a good time to sell because the cards are down and not coming up. I agree that prices are down, but dont even think of selling now to get out before things hit rock bottom and stay there, because it wont stay there. I would say that this is one of the better times to grow your collection, and one of the worst times to sell it.

I see hundreds of people trying to get out while they can, and really, I think that is such a stupid idea unless your house or food is on the line. If it comes down to eating or collecting, dont be retarded. But if you just want to jump off the pain train because you are worried about the long run, stop your fussing.

Patience is a virtue in this hobby, especially in selling, and I think that most of the people who do have that patience are some of the better people to get involved within the confines of the industry. Of course, that doesnt say much for the people who pay 20% more for a product because its new, or the people who sell their collection at the first sign of peril. Stick it out people, you wont be sorry.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Brett Favre Retires...Again...For Real...He Promises...Maybe

Bretty McTractor has decided to hang it up with the Jets, and hopefully I dont have to fucking hear about it for the next 8 months. I know that Kornheiser and Madden are probably going through the 4 stages of grief again, but they deserve it.

I love all the idiot Jets fans who went and bought every single Jets Favre card that was made, including the entire set of "Broadway Brett" letters from Icons, and a jersey, and a bobblehead, and a sex doll. I finally get my time to laugh in your stupid faces, and laugh at the Jets for believing that the golden boy of flesh colored beards could save you.

Odds that they will be playing tearful montages on sportscenter narrated by Stuart Scott and Chris Berman? 1:1.

Thank god he is gone...

....for now.

Blog Bat Around IV: Investing and How To Work The System

First, before I start, I want to send a big thank you to Patricia over at Dinged Corners for taking on this round of the Bat Around. I hope it is awesome. Please check out their site for more takes on the topic they have chosen about holding cards and who to collect. I also want to thank Paul from Sports.Cards.Life. for the insaneulously sweet graphic header.


For some reason, many people look at the hobby as a way to invest or make money, and really, that is a pretty dumb notion. Usually, they buy case after case after case, and the majority of the time, they cant even come close to making their money back. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from trying though. Other people try to get on board with raw vintage cards, and try to grade them to make a profit. I doubt that works. The only way I have seen it work, albeit in a minimal gain fashion, is through prospecting in baseball, and sometimes in football.

Really, the practice is simple. Do your homework on a draft class, pick your guys, and buy in lots, all until you have a huge collection of a guy(s) who no one but the prospectors have a good idea about. Then, on top of that, maybe buy a few cases of Chrome Draft and see if you can get some nice stuff of the rest of the class. Diversify. When you have your pile, you send to BGS to get them graded, and hopefully the arbitrary douche gods will give you a few 10s or 9.5s. Then you wait.

As soon as the guy makes his debut in the big leagues, you sell as quickly as possible. Whatever you cant sell, you sit on until he does something. That way you can make more money if he turns out to be a good player. Now, this is a very high risk venture, but with guys like Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, and a few others, it can also be high reward. The problem with most people who want to try it is that they don’t want to wait to make their money. They want a quick fix, and they cant run the system the way that it needs to be run. There are also people who don’t really get the fact that prospecting IS a risk, and they chastise people for even trying. I don’t practice it, nor do I have the funds to try, but I have seen it work to perfection quite a bit. The people who are the best at it are the best at looking at the stats, interpreting how that will translate, and then choosing VERY wisely with their guys. Others who just do it to do it, don’t really grasp the whole nature of selecting the right player. They usually fail. Epically.

Now, the reality of the industry is this, brace yourselves, THERE IS NO MONEY TO BE MADE IN PLAYERS WHO HAVE ALREADY "MADE" IT. Don’t go buy yourself a ridiculously expensive Pujols card and expect to make any money off of it. Even if he does break every record in the book, its not going to appreciate all that much. I mean when you spend 1500 on a high grade RC, another 100-200 is a minimal gain when you consider how long you would have to hold it.

Really, it comes down to this simplistic view: If you don’t like the crap you are collecting, and you are only doing it to make money, go somewhere else. There is no reason to hold out hope here. Its pretty obvious to a select few people that investing in cards is crap, but there are waaaaaaay too many people who cant see the forest for the trees.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Thanks to this seller, you now have the opportunity to own the greatest baseball card ever produced. Its a 1/1, its of one of the most recognizable people in the history of the world, king tut, aannnnnd it will be delivered by camel caravan. Amazing.

The great thing about this auction, is that the seller obviously spent way too much time putting it together, and even though its a once and lifetime opportunity, its still more info than most people get when offering a card like this. On top of the glorious nature of the card, the way it was obtained should be noted. According to the description, the guy did it TTM back in 1321 BCE, only to get back just in time for the ebay sale. In this time of recession, he was able to put an impossible price on an impossible RC card to obtain, and I think its something we need to cover here on SCU. Yes, I did use the royal 'we' for this royal card.

Be sure to check out the Q and A at the bottom.

Final Look: 2008 Football Product Awards and Failures

For football cards, 2008 was a very interesting year. There were some high points and some very, very low points, to say the least. I want to take the time to talk about my favorites and also the worst things I have ever seen, not because I havent mentioned them before, but just to get one last pat on the back or kick in the ass in for those winners. It also seems as though with the end of the 2008 card season, we will be very aware as to where things may be headed in terms of the economy's affect on the hobby, and really, it can be quite scary if you truly consider what could happen.

Best Product of the Year - Low End

Topps is the master of low end products. Although base topps and crap like that have become useless as the hobby shifted more towards high end, Topps Chrome still remains as the hobby's top low end product. I bought a number of boxes at around 35 dollars a piece, and for that price, you cant beat it. The autos are actually well done on those ridiculous foil stickers that Topps does, and even though the photos left something to be desired, Topps Chrome was the best of the low end this year.

Best Product of the Year - Middle End

Although there are a number of people who disagree with me, I think SPA is the best of the year, with Limited a close second. To me, the cards are the best looking, the best put together, and the lack of ridiculous parallels makes me happy beyond belief. With the focus of 99% of the products produced in the last 3 years being RCs, SPA is the top of the mountain. To add the fact that the entire set's autos are on card makes this product that much better. I liked a lot of the additions to the product from last year to this year, and if the set weren't so packed with redemptions, it may have been even better.

Best Set of the Year - High End

I cant quite give this award to National Treasures because Exquisite has yet to be released. Im guessing that NT will have a good competitor in a revamped Exquisite, even though last year, NT was a runaway favorite of mine. I really like the NT design this year, but I think Exquisite is more aptly designed in both the RC patches and the basic sets. I also think that the new Exquisite gold cards and the overall quality of the break will be that much better this year due to some new collation rules, but who knows. Also, it looked like some of the autos may be hard to see this year, so that may hurt things. Plus, of course, hopefully Beckett doesn’t get any boxes.

National Tresures was very good, dont get me wrong. The different additions to the set, the addition of some more color and subsets, and the better design of the on card RC patch autos have made it an amazing win for DLP. I love the Masterpieces like look to it, and I think it is one of the better NT sets of the last three years. The presence of stickers on the vets and stars is really disheartening, even though it was done tastefully, and that is why NT may not eclipse the granddaddy of High End.

Worst Set Of The Year - Low End

As good as Topps and Bowman Chrome was this year, Topps and Bowman were that bad. Why even have these pointless additions to the calendar when its obvious that they are a bad way to spend your money? I am selecting Bowman over Topps because Topps is and always will be around as long as Topps is making football cards. Bowman is just a cheap version of chrome, and the fact that they include some of the bowman chrome rookies but not all is fucking ridiculous. The set is crap and should be axed along with some of the others I am about to talk about - almost all Topps Products. Wonderful.

Worst Set Of The Year - Middle End

Leaf Certified Materials was great last year, one of the better sets of the entire release calendar. This year, it was crap. Floating windows, sticker autos, and a poor design made this product suck. Plus, the whole stamp auto thing I never understood. I think this wasn’t necessarily the fact the product was a horrible offering, but just the sheer disappointment in the finished product. It looked rushed and poorly designed, plus half of the set had event used footballs in them. Fucking disgusting.

Worst Set Of The Year - High End

This is a dead heat between three of the most awful products ever to be produced in the history of football cards. One of them is Topps Lettermen, one is Topps Stadium Club, the other is Topps Triple Threads. Those three products were so awful that I cannot comprehend why anyone would even think of purchasing any of it, let alone as much as some people did.

Topps Lettermen was a disgusting abortion of a product that I would rather force my head up a pregnant elephant's vagina than buy even a pack of. It is that bad. Sticker autos on manufactured letters and patches? What the fuck were they thinking? Its like they were seeing how fucking low they could go before they couldn’t sell any. Sadly lettermen wasn’t low enough.

Topps Stadium Club had major potential as a low end or barely mid end product. Instead they decided to charge 20 bucks a pack for poorly designed base cards and RC autos, combined with ridiculously ugly jersey cards and parallels. I was so surprised that this product was given the green light considering how much of a pile of diarrhea it was.

Topps Triple Threads continued the foldout legacy with some of the SICKEST MOJO one person had ever seen in his life. It is the favorite of idiot collectors everywhere who don’t mind paying 170 dollars for two shitty hits.

Best Event Of The Year

The best thing I saw all year was the continued success of the blog bat around. 30 people responded via blog with 30 awesome posts and showed that Beckett may not be the number one authority on anything but doucheyness - the blogs are quickly becoming the new king of hobby info. I may have birthed the first bat around idea, but your continued participation made it a man. It was so much fun to read every response, no matter the affiliation with this blog, and I hope it continues again with Dinged Corners this month.

Worst Event Of the Year

The worst events of the year were every box break done by the dirty vag patrol over at Beckett, hands down. Every time they broke a box, it was as if they took out their little baby dicks, and took a baby sized pee in the face of every collector who buys a box the right way. I know that my bitching doesn’t do much to stop the crooked people at the manufacturers from sending boxes over there, but that doesn’t mean we have to stand for it in principle. Beckett and the people who support them make this hobby an even shittier place than it already is, and hopefully my rants can convince even a small portion from being that guy. If one person is swayed, that’s all I care about. Fuck them.

Hobby Rookie of the Year

Matty Ice took on all comers and surprisingly knocked em all down. I have said he was the rookie of the year before on here, and he was voted the offensive ROY in the NFL. He is, without a doubt, the hobby ROY too, with most of his autos breaking the 100 dollar mark now. Some of the guy's cards are going at Peterson level clips of money, and I think if he backs his shit up next year with a good season, things may go higher. I can only imagine what his logo cards will bring from SPA and Exquisite.

Hobby Failure of the Year

I am going to give this to Larry Johnson and Plaxico Burress in a combined win for them both. Larry Johnson was suspended indefinitely for off the field accusations of abuse and other problems, and immediately his cards hit the floor. Plaxico perpetrated the worst off the field event in the history of the NFL for a player who makes a difference on contending team. His cards also bottomed out. What total pieces of shit.

Worst New Signature of the Year

Chris Johnson could have taken a dump and wiped his ass with every card he signed and it would be better than his signature is right now. It didn’t stop people from paying out their ass for his sig though.

Best New Signature of the Year

It’s a close race between Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco in my opinion, with each taking the time to write out a good portion of their name. I really like Ryan's overall presentation, as it looks cool as well as written well. Flacco has a signature that reminds me of Batman's logo for some reason, and his sig has definitely looked good in dark black and blue marker. Lets call it a tie.

Best New Gimmick of the Year

Man it was really tough to think of a new gimmick that was acutally good. I liked the idea of the Rookie Leatherheads signatures in SPA, but the execution wasn’t there for me due to the pictures. I also thought the retro rookie autos in SPA would be good too, but the design element was lacking in my opinion. Im going to give this to the Classic Cuts set out of Donruss Classics, because there isnt usually room for a cut subset in an early year set, not to mention one with an 80 dollar MSRP. I really liked the designs, and to get Stram, Payton, Grange, Baugh, and Thorpe(!) into a set like that is nuts. And yes, I know that Limited also has cuts, but that checklist was awful, and the design was awful.

Worst New Gimmick of the Year

The worst new gimmick of the year was definitely non autoed manufactured letter cards, fold out cards, or better yet, fold out cards with manufactured or an overabundance of patches. The two prime culprits to this ridiculous idea was Topps lettermen (non-autoed manufactured patch booklets with sticker autos - yes that is not a typo, this actually happened), and Topps Triple Threads ( Foldout cards with 24 different jersey windows, that spelled out something that most people couldn’t understand, plus a tiny, tiny pic). In fact, Topps sucks at high end so badly that many people just don’t acknowledge the sets all together. I just don’t understand why people buy them, other than immediate flipping to the retards who buy the singles. Funny enough, multiple people on Beckett commented how both of the ideas I just gave examples of were the coolest things they had ever seen. Joe Collectors, ASSEMBLE!

Well, that’s all I have for now, if I think of more categories, I will post them here for sure. Feel free to post anything that I missed. I was trying to rack my brain for the last two days, and this is what I could come up with. Im sure there was stuff I missed, yet I do think I hit those "worsts of the year" with the biggest mallet I could think of. Really, it’s the bests of the year I need more work on. I think that says something when its tough to find a best.

Monday, February 9, 2009

This Is What Happens When You Are An Idiot Shop Owner

Most of the JD Booty SP Authentic 3 colors have gone for around 30-40 bucks. This guy, who lives in "CARD CITY" thought that was a little low. Considering that Booty is a 6th rounder QB on a team that has been shopping for a TJack replacement, I wholeheartedly agree that he should try to get 500% of the real value of the card. I was going to offer 195, but I saw that he wasnt taking offers. Too bad really. Although the taupe pattern carpet in the background is a nice touch, CARPET-JO!

Upper Deck Answers YOUR Questions

As I have mentioned a few times here on SCU, I have been conversing on and off with Gregg Kohn, Football Brand Manager for Upper Deck, for the last six or so months. Our first Q and A session is viewable here (link).

Gregg is a great asset to UD and to the customers themselves, and I have been continually surprised by the transparency that he has brought to the table. His help has been invaluable to my personal footprint in the hobby, as well as to this blog, and what follows is hopefully your chance to get involved in the awesomeness. Gregg has graciously offered to answer some questions from readers here on the blog, and I am really excited to see the kind of discussion we can get going.

Here is what I want to do:

- Post your questions below in the comments
- Gregg will read the questions and respond via the comments as needed
- He will answer what he can, we all understand that not everything is able to be shared
- Please give him proper time to respond, he is a busy guy
- Feel free to give feedback on products and UD Football in general, but I will warn that all nasty comments will not be approved

I encourage you to ask whatever is on your mind, this is your chance to get some insider info straight from the manufacturer.

Thank you again to Gregg for helping us to get that inside view we crave so much.