Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rams Throwing A Monkey Wrench In The Draft?

What if Sam Bradford is not selected with the #1 draft pick? It is now rumored that the Rams may pass over Bradford and draft a Defensive Lineman with the #1 pick and hope that McCoy is still available with the #33 pick instead. That would definitely put a twist on this years NFL Draft. That could possibly mean that Bradford drops to #4 when the Redskins pick and then the Seahawks or Browns could take Clausen or McCoy with the #6 or #7 picks, respectively. The Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills would almost certainly pick up a QB if a decent one is still available by the time they pick with the #8 and #9 picks. I think if the Rams go the way of a DL at the #1 pick, not even Tebow would be available by the time the #33 pick rolls around and may instead be looking at Tony Pike as the best available Quarter Back.

Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 Panini NFL Elite

I just received an email from Panini with some early information about the 2010 Panini NFL Elite set.

Scheduled Release Date: June 16, 2010
Box Configuration: 5 cards per pack, 20 packs per box
SRP: $6.00 per pack

Box Break:
4 Memorabilia or Autograph Cards (at least one autograph), 4 Rookies, 1 Parallel, 1 Zoning Commission, 1 Prime Targets, 1 Stars, 1 Elite Series, 1 Chain Reaction, 1 NFL Shield, 1 Team Logo, 2 Others

Case Break:
Look for one or more of the following autographs: Peyton Manning, Joe Namath, Brett Favre, Emmitt Smith, Drew Brees, Jimmy Clausen, Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Jonathan Dwyer and/or Rookie NFL Shield/Team Logo.

-Top 2010 NFL rookies with autographed parallels # to 499 or less.
-Rookie NFL Shield & Team Logos featuring parallel on-card autographs.
-Passing the Torch & Throwback Threads dual autograph cards.
-Super Bowl XLIV autographs and material cards.

My thoughts:
I am a little saddened to see sticker autographs in most of the auto sets, the Rookie NFL Shields and Team Logos contain on-card autos but the rest are stick it and forget it.

I think the Throwback Threads is designed nicely with a focus on the player and the relic, the autograph is obscured but otherwise a nice design. The Prime Targets draw my interest too, a relic set where the jersey swatch is not hidden away within a poor design (like the Elite Series insert).

I will be picking up a box or two, the cards are nicely designed, sticking with the original Elite design, and the inserts are promising. I would love to pull that Emmitt Throwback Threads.

Does A High Draft Pick Translate In To Collector Love For Tebow?

Has Tim Tebow really become a Top 10 Draft Pick in next months NFL Draft? Apparently the Buffalo Bills are sweet on him and the Bills coach has been talking him up lately, he met with the team this weekend and he had dinner with Jim Kelly last night. Kelly even compared him with Super Bowl winning QBs Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

If Tebow is picked with the #9 pick by the Bills will the collectors take to him? He seems polarized by many collectors, pointing out that he was playing in a QB system that does not translate well to the Pros and some collectors have been turned away because of his beliefs and that he promoted them in the Super Bowl commercial.

He would not have a very good system of support in Buffalo, the teams four Receivers had a total of 665 receiving yards, the three Tight Ends had 207 yards receiving and while Running Back Fred Jackson had his best year with 1,062 rushing yards, Marshawn Lynch had his worst year producing only 450 rushing yards. Given recent high level draft pick QBs Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez came in to similar situations with teams that were expected to play poorly, I think most collectors would expect Tebow to produce like JaMarcus Russell and Matt Stafford in this situation.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Panini Comes Through Follow up

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
A couple of days ago I posted about Panini sending me an email about my Taj Gibson NBA Team Patch Signature card being shipped, well it came in today. Pretty cool to actually have a redemption come through this quickly.

Panini Signs With The NHL/NHLPA

Panini just announced that they have signed a non-exclusive multi-year contract with NHL and the NHLPA. Panini plans on releasing the first set for the 2010-11 NHL season in August under the Score label and will also be releasing sets using the Donruss, Pinnacle and Pacific labels.

This now gives Panini licenses with the NBA (exclusive), NFL and NHL plus FIFA for the upcoming World Cup (and the 2014 World Cup). Are they going to be taking over the collecting world in just a short time of existence in the US?

Topps can survive on baseball, that is for certain, but can Upper Deck survive? There is the current rumor that they will be dropped from the NFL license, and if that is true will the NFL reward Topps with their license back or will Panini become the NFL’s exclusive brand? Can Upper Deck survive on the NHL and NCAA or will the potential loss of the NFL license be the death strike to the company? Also, can the NHL/Panini agreement mark the beginning of an exclusive license for Panini? Now that would almost certainly mean a quick end for Upper Deck if they loose the NFL too

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Panini Comes Through

I guess having faith in a redemption card can pay off. On March 6th I redeemed my Taj Gibson NBA Team Patch Signature card that I pulled out of a box of 2009 Panini Rookie & Stars. I know that the cards had already started shipping because I have seen a couple up for auction on eBay, but I was expecting at least a minimum of 4-6 weeks before processing. Well, today I received an email from Panini saying that my card’s status has been updating, hoping for the best but expecting the worst I looked at my account and sure enough my Taj Gibson card shipped today. I will never complain about an 18-day turn around. To bad all redemptions are completed this quickly. I have heard of people waiting for well over a year for their redemptions to be filled only to receive a completely different card.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Blogsphere And Contests

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
I love being part of the blogsphere, it gives me the opportunity to share my tales, connect with other collectors, work out the occasional trade and winning the occasional contest adds to the enjoyment I feel from writing my blog.

Last Monday I decided to finally take part in Chemgod’s Monday Night Contest over at Bad Wax. The prizes were a Bazooka Rookie Threads Frank Gore jersey and a LaDainian Tomlinson Gridiron Kings #/100. I want to thank Chemgod for the holding his Monday Night Contests, and if you are not regularly reading Bad Wax you should take a look. Also, if you are a custom card maker or just a fan of custom cards Chemgod also hosts The Custom Card Blog.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Who The Hell Is Jeremy Tyler And Does It Matter?

People collect for a variety of reasons, there are almost as many reasons to collect as there are ways of collecting. When I say ways, I mean you have your prospect collectors, your rookie collectors, your player collector, team collector and so on. I wonder if a prospect collector would ever take a chance on Jeremy Tyler?

Not familiar with Jeremy Tyler? Here is a run down of this young man’s basketball career to give you a little insight of what he has the potential for in the future:

-He quit high school in his senior year at San Diego High School to go play professional ball in Israel where he signed a $140,000 1-year contract.

-In 10 games for Maccabi Haifa he has averaged 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 7.6 minutes per game

-He walked out of a game at halftime leaving his team to play on without him because he was upset about not getting more playing time.

-Maccabi Haifa suspended him because they are tired of his immature bullshit

-He quit the team yesterday, without telling his agent, and is returning to San Diego

This kid has pre-mature Diva written all over his face and funny thing is that his agent actually is “positive” about Tyler’s experience in Israel. Does he not realize that the kid played like shit, has a bad attitude and just walked out on a legal contract? Not to mention he can not be drafted or sign with an NBA team until after next season, he can not play in the NCAA because he has played professionally and his actions are damn well sure to be noticed by NBA scouts. This kid just showed another reason why high school players should not be drafted. For every Kobe and LeBron you find a good 5-10 other kids who failed.

Will he ever make it to the NBA? Who knows, there is a chance that he may never play professional ball again, but that will be up to him. This kid was expected to do big things, he was constantly ranked in the top 2-3 of his recruiting class and supposedly has awsome skills. But, can those overcome a poor attitude? As an after thought, Maccabi Haifa, his ex-team, is in a title race in the Israel Premier League, a title could have helped this kid's potential future too. He quit a title contender, imagine how he would play for Minnesota, Knicks or the Bobcats, I wouldn't imagine that the teams would take kindly to an unproven rookie walking out in the middle of a game.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2010 NFL Draft- QBs

Tim Tebow has supposedly impressed NFL scouts with his most recent workout where he showed off his new throwing motion. According to sources he has even been invited to the NFL Draft next month, an honor usually reserved for players expected to go in the First Round.

So, does this new found release move him up the draft boards or is he still a project pick in the Second or Third Rounds? Do we see a team like the Colts or Saints pick him up with the intent on molding him in to the QB of the distant future? As a follow up question, if Tebow does some how squeak in to the First Round does that change his collectability? One thing that I have noticed is that most late First Round QBs rarely draw in the collectors, examples such as Brady Quinn, Jason Campbell, JP Losman and Rex Grossman can be found stacked in the “Commons” bin for a quarter apiece now.

This years QB listing does not seem to have any definitive standouts, people are talking about Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen but what is expected of these players? Do we see Bradford bringing the Rams out of obscurity? Would Clausen jump in for Jason Campbell and make the Redskins a playoff team? If either of those players is available at the #6 slot I do see the Seahawks picking them up as a QB of the future, even considering the recent Charlie Whitehurst trade. I could also see the Browns picking up one of the 3 QBs, but that still leaves Tebow sitting in the Green Room all alone at the end of Day 1.

Personally I have hopes for Colt McCoy making it in the NFL, which comes from my wife being from Texas, but otherwise I will not be hunting down cards from this year’s crop of QBs.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Adrenalyn Trading Card Game

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
My son is a wrestling fan, his favorite wrestlers are John Cena and Rey Mysterio, and when I stop to pick up some packs he grabs up a few packs of WWE cards. Recently he became interested in the Topps WWE Slam Attax card game and always wants to play (neither of us even read the rules, we play a version like WAR where the highest rating wins).

I have never been interested in trading card games like Magic or Pokemon, but I have been collecting long enough to see those trends come and go and I think that the artwork in some of those trading card games is pretty awesome. I decided to grab up a couple of packs tonight of the Panini NBA Adrenalyn XL while I was out at Wallyland. I figured at 98 cents a pack I wasn’t really wasting money and I would get a first hand look at the set. I hate to say it but I am hooked and while I don’t see myself working on a set, there are 450 base cards, I may pick up a few packs here and there to look for my favorite players. The set actually reminds me of the Fleer NBA sets from the early 90s.

In Panini fashion they managed to create 4 parallels not counting the All-Star set. Besides the Base set there is the Special parallel, Extra parallel, Extra Signature parallel and Ultimate parallel. Honestly I am not totally sure of the differences between most of the parallels it looks to be foiling, imprinted autographs and the NBA logo. If anyone has any additional information I would appreciate the help so I know what the differences truly are between the parallels.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Do You Wonder?

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Does the Wonderlic affect your collecting habits? The test is 50 questions long and the player is given 12 minutes to complete it. It is suppose to evaluate the aptitude of an incoming player and review how the player learns and how they are able to problem solve. The average score for an incoming NFL player is 20 out of 50; the average for a QB is expected to be 24 out of 50.

Consider how some recent QBs scored and you really have to wonder how much the test really shows about the players. Here are the reported scores of this year’s crop of QBs; Sam Bradford- 36, Colt McCoy- 25, Jimmy Clausen- 23 and Tim Tebow- 22. So why exactly are the sports casters making a humongous deal about Tebow’s 22 out of 50? If Tebow fails, I can guarantee it will not be based on his Wonderlic score.

You may ask how these scores compare to other QBs? Starting at the highest reported score:
Alex Smith- 40 out of 50
Eli Manning- 39 out of 50
Omar Jacobs- 38 out of 50
Matt Leinart- 35 out of 50
Brian Griese- 29 out of 50
Peyton Manning- 28 out of 50 (Ryan Leaf scored 27)
Dan Marino- 15 out of 50
Jim Kelly- 15 out of 50
Vince Young- 6 out of 50 and then 15 out of 50 on a second test
Jeff George- 10 out of 50

Do you notice a pattern? Yes I did cherry pick to prove a point but feel free to take a look at a larger selection of Wonderlic scores to see I am not to far off base with my small sample.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Et Tu Cleveland?

The Cleveland Browns are ready to dig themselves further in to obscurity, yesterday they released QB Derek Anderson and today there is rumor that Brady Quinn may be following Anderson out of the door. Who will they use to replace the departing QBs you ask? How about former Carolina Panther Jake Delhomme?

If the Browns do release Quinn they will only have 2 QBs on the depth chart, former Seahawk Senaca Wallace and untested Brett Ratliff. As a Seahawk fan I had the opportunity to see Wallace play often and I have to say that seeing Wallace line up behind center still makes me wince. As a wide receiver or playing QB on a trick play he is fine but you do not want to see him take a majority of the snaps. Ratliff went undrafted and spent his first couple of years on the practice squad and then as 3rd string QB for the Jets, his biggest claim to fame was that he was included in the trade that sent the Brown’s 2009 First Round to the Jets in which they used to draft Mark Sanchez. He has never taken a snap in the NFL and went a whopping 10-5 in college for the Utah Utes.

Given, the Browns do hold the #7 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and there are a couple of prospects at QB in the draft this year including Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy. Take in to account that Mike Holmgren has already said that the Browns are not interested in Tebow (which could just be a talk).

What inside information do the Browns have to really want to pursue Delhomme? He did put up more yards then Quinn last year but he was sacked more often, he had more INTs and his overall rating was worse not to mention Delhomme just turned 35 in January. Well, I hope that if Quinn is released that he finds he way up to the Pacific Northwest and signs with the Seahawks. With the Seahawks having 2 picks in the top 15 you can expect a QB to be drafted, some mock drafts have the Hawks taking either Bradford or Clausen (depending on the Rams draft at #1) and Quinn could fit in nicely with the change over from Hasselbeck to the new QB.

Goodbye Nomar

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
It has been announced that Nomar Garciaparra will be signing a 1-Day contract with the Boston Red Sox so he can announce his retirement today. It is good to see that the Sox are accommodating him; he was a corner stone of the team for 8 years and deserves to go out in Boston.

Garciaparra was once considered one of the top 3 or 4 Shortstops during his early days, often comparing him with Jeter and A-Rod, but then he fell out of favor with the team and seemed to go in to obscurity. He ended his career hitting .313 avg, 229 HRs and 936 RBIs, not a bad career when you look at it.

Surprisingly enough, the eBay trolls have not begun to overload the site with overpriced cards just yet. You can also find plenty of Nomar autographs and relics for under $10 and even a handful running around $1.00 each.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Boldin Traded To The Ravens

The Cardinals have traded WR Anquan Boldin and the Cardinal’s 5th Round pick to the Baltimore Ravens today for a 3rd and 4th Round draft pick. The Ravens definitely got the better of the deal out of this one.

Not long ago I wrote up a post about Early Doucet coming around as a viable receiver for the Cardinals but I do not know if he is ready to jump up in to the #2 slot just yet. This is going to leave a lot of situations where Fitzgerald is going to be double covered and possibly triple covered. Toss in that Leinart just became the starting QB, depending on how the draft plays out, and the Cards just dropped in the standings without even playing a game.

Adding Boldin to a team with QB Joe Flacco, RBs Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, WR Derrick Mason and TE Todd Heap, you can expect a better result then last years surprise playoff run. I have been drifting towards being a Ravens fan (I will never stop being a Seahawks fan…ever); this just adds another piece to the fan puzzle for me. I look forward to Boldin wearing the purple and black next season.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 8th, The Countdown Has Begun...

Thorzul of Thorzul Will Rule has put out a call to the blogsphere. The plan is to notify Beckett that they are no longer the “Be all, end all” of the hobby, bloggers are just as informed and are more grounded in reality then any publication.

If you wish to take part in the Manifesto simply follow the link.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Custom Hat Patches

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
As many of you know I am a diehard Seattle fan (Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders FC) and Ken Griffey Jr is my favorite baseball player, so this seemed like a decent project to work on. I used an official Seattle Mariner’s ball cap and trimmed down swatches of the cap. The set is based on nicknames with the letters die-cut to show the hat relic below.

I originally posted each hat individually over at the Custom Card Blog.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2009 Panini Rookies And Stars Box Break

I have been so backed up between work and soccer that I have not really had the chance to keep up with the blogsphere. I am finally getting a few minutes to sit down and go over my 2009 Panini Rookies & Stars box break. I was much happier with this box when compared to my National Chicle football box.

The cards themselves are pretty basic, the backgrounds are removed and the player is imposed over a patterned background. Most players are in an action pose with the player’s name and team logo on the bottom left. I do not care for the font that was used, I understand that the designers were going for a grunge style to match the background but it just looks sophomoric and poorly designed.

The set is 165 cards consisting of 100 Current Stars, 15 Retired Stars, 15 Rookies (lower round picks) and 34 Rookie Team Patch Signatures. Each card has 3 parallels; Gold #/500, HoloFoil #/250 and Materials #/250.

There are also a whole slew of inserts including Gold Stars, Moments in Time, Sharp Shooters, Studio Combo Rookies and Team Leaders. I like the Gold Stars and Moment In Time inserts, the font on the sets suck too, but otherwise the designs are pretty sharp.

What I Pulled:

Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 5
Cards pulled: 124
Duplicates: 1

Base set completion:
91% of Commons
62% of Entire Set (counting Common, Retired, Rookies & Rookie Patches)

Base Set:
Gold x2
Holofoil x2
Materials: Dwyane Wade
Rookie NBA Team Patch Signatures
#134 Tyreke Evans
#154 Taj Gibson – Redemption Card

2 Gold Stars
3 Moments in Time
4 Sharp Shooters
1 Studio Combo Rookies
1 Studio Combo Rookies Materials Hasheem Thabeet/DeJuan Blair
5 Team Leaders

I love that the set contains a mixture of current jerseys, alternate jerseys and throwback jerseys; it shakes things up a bit when working on a set. The Vince Carter card caught me odd, he does not have a jersey number and I am not sure why. Gotta love the Artis Gilmore card, rocking the ‘fro before Ben Wallace sported it.

I pulled 3 of the 4 Dwyane Wade cards, I am only missing the Gold #/500 parallel card. Not a bad player to get the entire parallel set with.

Besides the Wade jersey swatch I pulled 3 other “hits” from the box. I got an interesting match of Hasheem Thabeet and DeJuan Blair on a Studio Rookies Combo jersey card. We got Blair, the #37 pick, who is arguably one of the top 15 rookies in the NBA this year for a playoff bound Spurs team. On the other side we have Thabeet, the #2 pick, who was just delegated to the NBAD league from a Lottery Pick team. You wonder who makes the selections for the match ups.

This takes me to the hit of the box; a Tyreke Evans Rookie NBA Team Patch Signature #/379. Evans is easily one of the top 2 or 3 rookies this season, yes the Kings are down this year but he makes them worth watching. I know the patch is a manufactured patch but I like the design on the card and Evans has a clean signature. As an unexpected surprise, the last pack of the box contained another Rookie NBA Team Patch Signature card, this time a redemption for Taj Gibson. I really have hope for the Bulls, I think they are stocking themselves up pretty well and should start to challenge the Cavs for the Central Division title within a year or two.

The Good;

- A large selection of current stars, retired players and rookies
- Large variety of inserts
- NBA Team Patch Signatures are just kick ass auto/relics
- Some signatures are on relics

The Cons;

- Plain backgrounds
- To many parallels
- Sticker Autos
- Poorly designed relic cards with dime sized relics
- Redemption cards

Final Thoughts;

Overall I really was happy with this box. I completed 91% of the base set (cards 1-100) and 62% overall of the 165 cards. The only duplicate I pulled was a Magic Johnson Moment in Time insert card, but lets be honest… pulling 2 Rookie NBA Team Patch Signature cards well made up for just the one duplicate. For under $70 and free shipping from Blowout Cards I might consider picking up another box or two if I have the cash to work on completing as much of the set as I can.