I have no idea how to create pages but I'll figure it out eventually godammit

Friday, December 31, 2010

One Pack Review - 2010 Topps Magic Football

I bought a hobby pack of football cards today. I don't normally do such a thing, but the shop owner told me that it was released this week and the product is kind of in my wheelhouse so I did it. Since I did such a foolish thing, I may as well make the best of it and do a completely unfair review of an entire product based on one inpulse bought pack. Here's my review of 2010 Topps Magic Football.


This may be the greatest card wrapper in history. The color is absolutely fantastic. The blue works wonderfully with the yellow, which complements the red which clashes with the blue oh so nicely. The fifties style Topps logo pops out from the blue background so much that it's practically 3D. The yellow oval leaves no doubt as to what cards you are purchasing in this pack. The blue stripes in the background transforms the wrapper into a magical mystery tour, where the magic of Topps will take you away to a wonderful land of football and retro designs and base sets that people actually give a crap about. All the while, the harsh red border at the bottom grounds you, lets you know that this is a serious set for serious collectors. Pair this magnificent design with the boner-inducing silky texture of Topps Heritage wrappers and you have quite possibly the pinnacle of package design right here. I dare - no, triple dog dare - anyone out there to find a finer trading card wrapper. Go ahead, I'm waiting.


I'm not scanning this because it's a pain. I'll just list 'em all out.

Short Print 1:3 - typical Heritage odds. I prefer to collect sets with 1:2 short print odds, but Topps doesn't give a shit about what I want. Topps doesn't give a shit if I live or die as long as my heirs spend the inheritance money on cards.

Mini Short Print Parallel 1:12
Mini Black Border Parallel 1:8
Mini Black Border Short Print Parallel 1:24 - Unstated is the 1:1 odds for any sort of mini parallel per pack. Odds for a plain Jane non-SP non black mini would be a bitch to calculate anyway.

Mini Pigskin Parallel 1:37 - I guess these are leather cards? I wonder why PETA doesn't protest these things. Probably because they are a bunch of media whores who care more for attention than animals and no one really cares about football cards anyway. The 1:37 odds amuse me as Pacific used to use these particular odds to avoid having to put one insert in each box.

Gridiron Stamp of Approval 1:950
Historical Stamp of Approval 1:358 - Cards with stamps stuck to them, move along...

Magic Moments 1:4
Rookie Stars 1:6
History's Best 1:12 - base insert crap that was relevant in 1994 but not anymore.

Over 9000 tiers of autos, relics, autorelics, etc that I'm not typing out - I think there are two per box. Might be wrong, I didn't pay enough attention when I was in the store. You'll get a couple of autographs from 7th rounders who are playing in the CFL right now.


Patrick Willis, a very good linebacker on an average team that was hobbled by a head coach who never quite figured out that his position no longer had "killing quarterbacks" as a job requirement.

As for the design, it's not really based on any historical design. Considering last year's product was very faithful to an extremely boring design, this is probably a good thing. My first impression is that it looks very similar to last year's Upper Deck Philadelphia set. I liked that set a lot, so I'm generally pleased. Upon further review, it kind of looks like Topps' 1961 set with a logo tacked on. The card photo has been Photoshopified to look like a painting or something. It looks not so much bad as just weird. I really wish Topps would realize that they had gotten to the point where they could reproduce photos reasonably well by the early 1960s and would stop screwing up the photo on these retro sets.


I keep thinking Braylon Edwards plays for the Browns. Whether that's a reflection on him or me, I don't know.

The card back has an extremely basic design with just a card number, bio stats, a brief highlight from the player and a massive city photo/logo/quiz thing on the back.  No basic stats can be found. Historically, this is nice, it looks similar to the original Magic cards. Realistically, no stats is pretty lame in 2010 and the city photo looks great the first time, but if Topps uses the same photo on every card it will get tedious quick.


They're not short printed! Um... I think?


Here is a magical moment commemorating the celebration when Gay Marriage was declared legal in San Francisco. Insert cards in Heritage products basically server as a reminder that, no, you didn't get a short print in this pack and good luck with that set you're building.


No really, I love mini cards.


Yep, same picture. This will get old quick, especially since the picture is 2/3rds of the card back.


Not too bad. The old school posed photo from the rookie is a nice touch. The black bar + logo at the bottom of each card is really growing on me. Especially after the deluge of wiggitywhack Panini designs this year, something this elegant is refreshing.


Basically this is Heritage for Football without calling it that. It's on Heritagey stock with a Heritagey design and Heritagey short prints and has Heritagey inserts and basic Heritagey autos and relics with absolutely no big money MOJO to be found anywhere. If there is a collector out there who both likes collecting Heritage sets and collecting football cards they will likely buy this product. If not, Topps takes a bath, boxes will sell for $30 a pop by Valentine's day and Topps Brass will murder off another set I like. Football collectors loooove their MOJO so I'm thinking the latter occurs.

It's not a perfect set by any means and will likely be forgotten in a few years unless Topps digs in and makes Magic their annual Football retro product. For every plus, there's an accompanying minus. The design it pleasing, but the photos aren't good. The retroization makes many of the players look like zombies. Check out Rashard Mendenhall's arms in that mini card. Ugh. Topps needs to stop messing with the photos on the retro sets. Just stop, please. The backs look good if you know what old football card backs are supposed to look like. If a random kid off the street saw that mess they'd just laugh. Old Timey sets like Magic, Allen & Ginter and T206 tend to have sparse backs, but you really need just a basic line of stats on there for a football product. It does remind me a lot of 2009 Philadelphia though and is probably a much easier set to complete.

The wrapper is just amazing though. You have to make up words to describe that wrapper. Fantabulistic or Fantasmorgasmical might work. I want a poster of that wrapper. Or a beach towel. Or a shirt. Maybe I'll have it tattooed on my dick. My God, that is a wonderful wrapper.

Another '65 up for grabs

You know the drill....

Comment on this post

Send me your address

First person to do both things gets this beautiful Ron Kline with numerical enhancement.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Random J-Hey for no particular reason

Or: now I don't have to bother with Bowman Draft ever again.

Oh wait, base card. dangit.

BRB off to Target

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Angels in the mailbox

Here we go again... First person to comment on this post and e-mail me their address gets ol' Bill. C'mon Nathan, you can do it...

Four Cards, Four Teams

More card shop pickups here. Amazing how one trip to the LCS can generate 2 week's worth of posts. No bargains in this post though (a Kevin Brown rookie for a dime IS a bargain, dagnabbit!) just some cards from the local sports franchises.

Monday night's debacle not withstanding, Matty Ice is going to be the Falcons' franchise for a long time. It seems somewhat ridiculous to call myself a Falcon collector when I have dozens of cards of Chris Chandler but my Matt Ryans are in single digits. I dug through the dollar box of Falcons looking for a Ryan or two to add to the collection. While perusing through the stack I came to a realization:


I really can't stand them at all. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Too busy, too random and the design overwhelms the picture. It's like Panini's mission statement is to emulate 1995 Fleer as much as humanly possible. I guess people must like it (or they simply discard the base and chase the hits instead) but it's not for me. Which sucks because a large percentage of Ryan cards are on Panini designs. Instead I got a football card from a baseball set where the subject is wearing a college uniform.

Panini's basketball designs I've got no problem with. Yeah, there's a lot of the same randomness going on, but it works better with the hoops. There was no way I was passing up a Crown Collection card of my favorite Hawk, Al Horford. He stayed in school, won a championship, plays hard every night, is an All-Star playing out of position, and Al has more leadership in his pinky finger than Joe Johnson and Josh Smith have put together. Al's the real deal.

I've all but given up on hockey. The local franchise has been a trainwreck from the moment they took the ice. Every last one of their big draft picks have flopped, crashed or have been squandered by crappy management. Now that the ownership troubles have been sorted out there's a very real chance that they might not even be here much longer (Winnipeg Jets take 2 perhaps?). The only reason I haven't bought a Gordie Howe sweater and jumped ship for the Red Wings is this guy right here. Evander Kane. This is my very first Evander Kane card after hunting for one for the past year. Even though the franchise is a complete mess (yes I know they are doing better this year) and might be in a different city soon Evander is the type of player I can latch on to to keep my fandom alive. Or at least help me forget about the Stephans, Heatleys and Kovalchuks....

Let's finish off with an Uggla. Wrong uniform, sure, but it will be a couple of months until he's in the right one. Besides, it's shiny and curvy. Everyone likes shiny, right? Curvy not so much.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

These cards don't belong in a dime box

Ok, maybe they do. They were in a box full of Panini commons which probably raised their value in my eyes. Not much more to say here, just showing off. I am especially proud of the Bird in the center. That one there should at least be upgraded to a quarter box.

Group Break results - BA Benny

BA Benny got hosed. There is no denying this. Let us not dwell on this misfortune. Actually, we better dwell or else there's no post.

Benny chose the code cards and the Mets. Here are the codes:

'52 Mickey...

and '76 Munson.

Here are all the Mets in the box:

NOTHING. Poor BA didn't even have a special refractor to assure him of one lousy Met. The group break giveth and the group break taketh away. Here's what he did get:

Brian Matusz Chrome RC

Chris "Pie-eyed" Coughlan Chrome Rookie Cup

A couple of Tigers.

I added a couple of Mets to the package out of mercy, but unfortunately I'm running low on Mets. I may need to start joining group breaks just for the Meta at this point to replenish my stock. Ugh - what am I saying??

Last one is the Cubs, but I still haven't received payment. No hurry, you did slightly better than BA here though. 

Ortega up for grabs

1965 Topps Phil Ortega. Up for grabs. First person to both comment on this post and e-mail me your address gets the card. Plain White Envelope. I'm dropping them all in the mail today, so hurry it up already.

Off to work, so winner will be announced in an hour or so.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Falcon Fever

No, really. Falcon Fever.

Saints at Falcons tonight in the biggest game of the week. Saints win, they clinch a playoff spot. Falcons win, we win the division. I've avoided posting about the Falcons due to superstition, so if the Falcons do a traditional Flop, I'm the one who did it. The Saints hit a field goal just as I typed that sentence so they are doomed. Dooooooooooomed. All because of me.

I picked up some beer, cheap chinese food and 11 packets of Panini Feetsbowl stickahs to enjoy while watching the game. Watch this space and I'll rip 'em live throughout the course of the game.

Pack 1:
55 Ronnie Browm shiny
Brian Urlacher
45 Lex Hilliard
551 2009 Leaders - Jets
476 Steve Breaston
Michael Jenkins - FALCONS
Rams logo
Rob Grankowski

Yep, I just cursed them. Todd McClure fumble, Saints get a touchdown out of it. Oh well, at least I know I'm bad luck now. All the stickers in red are duplicates, if you want them, claim them. Up to 12 per customer. All unclaimed go to Captain Canuck.

Pack 2
27 Marshawn Lynch
Lance Briggs
316 Leonard Weaver
525 Mardy Gilyard
Calvin Johnson Jr shiny
Mike Wallace
Mark Clayton
Brandon Meriweather

Falcons driving, TOUCHDOWN! Roddy White~!

Pack 3
116 Matt Jones
Terrell Suggs
3 AFC logo
Deion Branch
Cadillac Williams
Emmanuel Sanders
AJ Hawk
CJ Spiller

Yeaaaaah Saints punted. Carve 'em up Matty!

Pack 4

Texans/Colts Helmets
149 Ben Roethlisomethin Shiny
Lee Evans Shiny
487 Beanie Wells Shiny
LeSean McCoy Shiny
Calvin Pace
3 AFC logo

Every sticker in the pack except one was on foil. And what's up with all these pass interferences against the Falcons?!?!

Pack 5
Laurence Maroney
381 Donald Driver
Mark Sanchez
Brandon Gibson
500 Takeo Spikes
Chris Gamble
Clay Matthews
Paul Posluszny

Two minute warning.... Hold 'em D...

Pack 6
3 AFC logo (third one!)
380 Greg Jennings
340 Trent Williams
2009 Leaders Wes Welker
Kyle Orton
Tony Romo Shiny
Jake Delhomme
Jairus Byrd


YAY! THEY HELD! 10-7 Saints at the half.

Pack 7
Jason Witten Shiny
84 Shaun Ellis
Joe Thomas
51 Channing Crowder
537 2009 Leaders Chris Johnson
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
354 Julius Peppers
2 NFL Players logo

C'mon, time for halftime to end. I can only take so much Berman.

Pack 8
38 Lee Evans Shiny
12a 12b Texans/Colts Helmets
101 Joe Flacco Shiny
560 Super Bowl XLIV
Ronde Barber
Packers/Vikings Helmets
Daniel Manning
Wes Welker Shiny

Yeah refs - 'bout time a call went the Falcons way!


Pack 9
Jay Cutler Shiny
Peyton Manning
Joe Flacco
Randy Moss Shiny
51 Channing Crowder
200 Titans logo
308 Jason Pierre-Paul
Sam Bradford

Oh, the defense held. Time for the offense to stop being offensive.

Pack 10
Peyton Manning Shiny
214 Chris Johnson Shiny
315 LeSean McCoy
Lions Logo
Giants Logo
Robert Mathis
382 Jermichael Finley
Vontae Davis

BLUH. The defense is going to have to score at this point.

Pack 11
Aaron Rodgers
Chad JOHNSON. Shiny
2 NFL Players logo
470 Cadillac Williams Shiny
Elvis Dumervil
Pierre Garcon
Jermaine Gresham
315 LeSean McCoy

Defense holds again (Although they can't sack Brees to save their life). Time to step it up Matty!


YEAH D!!!!!

(I knew I shoulda bought more stickers)

Chauncey Davis is not in the Panini album. Jeez that was a horrible play by Brees.

Another interception by a lineman!!!!! Abraham isn't in the album either, wtf?

Yet another punt by Keonen. You can't keep giving Brees chances even if he's got the Favres right now.

HOLD 'EM D!!!!!!!

they didn't hold :(

All right Matty, it's GO time.

Bluh. Can't do nothin' on offense again.

Wait? Fumble? Nah, he's down. #$%@!

Aaaaand now the D can't stop 'em. One more first down and it's over.

And that's it. Absolutely no offense tonight. Gotta beat Carolina next week. I am a jinx. Guuuuuh.

For all my fellow Falcons sufferers  fans here's a more amusing flop to distract from tonight's flop.

Kom aa Falcons!

Catalog Question

The only cards I got for Christmas were gift cards. Out of the gift cards I got all but one lonely Barnes & Noble card ended up being given to the wife and kids because they would use them more readily than I. Since I have a chance at a free book, I decided to go ahead and upgrade my well worn dog-eared 2002 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. I haven't done it before now because I am a miserable luddite curmudgeon and the recent catalogs have included a CD with the listings for 2001-present sets instead of putting them in the catalog itself. Since my Catalog shows all sets up to 2001, to buy a new catalog basically meant spending $44.95 on a CD and the exact same catalog I already had. I don't pay $44.95 for any CD so I passed.

Since it's essentially a freebie, I broke down and decided to get the 2011 version. When I found it on the B&N website I didn't see any montion of a CD. Finding this odd, I hunted around on the net and still saw no mention of a CD at all. Another interesting tidbit I found is that the page count for the 2011 version is almost 300 pages larger than in 2010. 1848 pages up from 1560. I hunted around for the 2011 version during my Christmas shopping and didn't see one so I've struck out both online and in meatspace.

So, my question is: has the CD been kiboshed? Have the the 21st century sets finally been printed on 15th century technology? I suppose I could go straight to the source with this question but he's probably busy with important things like digging up examples of oddball regional cards from the '50s and creating custom '55 Topps All-American cards. I'll ask you lot first before pestering Bob. Anyone have this thing? Any plastic come with the tome?

Even if there is a CD, I'm probably going to have to buy it. A Hank card is on the cover. Now what the heck am I going to do with the other eighteen dollars and nineteen cents.....


If I were Jimmy Carter or George Herbert Walker Bush, my ass would be kicked to the curb right now.

Actually this year (and last) kicked my ass plenty and it's practically a Christmas miracle this post is being written at all.

Luckily for you, I am completely insane and shall continue to post nonsense about worthless ephemera until my laptop is pried away from my shaking, clutching hands while I gibber and wail great blasphemies.

I'm not going to say that there won't be some - ahem - changes in the new year. I'm seriously considering doing a couple of things that are somewhat radical. I reserve the right to wuss out at the last minute... or perhaps not. We'll see what the future brings.

Perhaps I'll recap, rethink or retrench in a post one year from now. It'll be a great excuse to post a Freddie Freeman card at the very least.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Take Mah '65

Merry Trollmas part deux. First person to comment and e-mail me an addy gets former Braves great Del Crandall in a PWE mailed out tomorrow. As soon as I give this away I'm going to bed, so hurry it up I'm tired.

Not the first, won't be the last

Seriously Topps...

What's with the Chrome this year??

Were you originally planning on making potato chips but got a shipment of cardboard instead of potatoes?

mitch hedberg on pringles - Watch more Funny  Videos

(Christmas is over kiddos, back to the grouchy)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

White Christmas


What ho! What is that demonry?

(it's gotten worse since I took this and it won't stop)

On the 12th day of Cardmas

Thorzul sent to me...

NIQUE!!! (21 is 12 backwards)

Captain Canuck sent to me...



Eleven Sticky Bravos

Joe Collector sent to me...

Ten, um, I mean a hundred Murad commons

Night Owl sent to me...

Nine cards with Fabulous Facial Hair

Wicked Ortega sent to me...

Eight Old School Ballers

Stats on the Back sent to me...

Seven Multi-player Cards

Tunguska sent to me...

Six Fightin' Falcons

Chris Harris sent to me...

Whole entire boxes of unwanted Card-ooooooo-laaaaaaa

Jeff Edelstein sent to me...

Four Cards for B

Four Cards for Boiling

HamRamMobTown sent to me...

Three teeny tiny Hall of Fame Jersey swatches (and a bat chip)

Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius sent to me...

2:8 Ephesians

White Sox Cards sent to me...