The Weekly Roundup…Aoki and WFT

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate at your home.  The Cardboard Hogs family had a great time…of course it was mellow over here.  Not too many family members in the house, but we did manage to have a good amount of family conversation via phone and facetime. 

What a year, what a year, man.

During the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the hobby. 

The good and the bad. 

The collectors and the flippers.

The blah blah blah…

I love the hobby and am all in for whomever wants to join.  One of the things about the hobby that I enjoy is the multitude of ways you can collect or be a part of our community.  Now with the greater reach of social media and added interest in cards, the gap between old man collector and young kid collector has been filled with so many new characters…celebrities, I mean.  That term celebrity is a difficult one to tackle.  Who is a celebrity and how did they become celebrated?  More importantly…why are they celebrated?  The one well-known name, read celebrity, I’d like to talk about today is Steve Aoki.  That’s right, this guy 

Not sure how many of you have heard of this fella.  He’s pretty big in the dance or electronic music scene, I guess…  My only real knowledge of him is, as a close friend has described…

“…a knob twisting celebrity-J, like Paris Hilton.” 

The worst part about that quote is that I’ll feel compelled to tag Paris Hilton to this post, simply because I typed her name. 

A quick snippet of Aoki’s Wiki page notes that he’s a musical renaissance man of sorts, something of each of the following titles.

”…an American entertainer, DJ, record producer and music executive. In 2012, Pollstar designated Aoki as the highest grossing dance artist in North America from tours.”

You can add online card breaker to that list, as well as card designer…and apparently future card shop owner as well.  Man, everyone has a shop these days.

When Topps started pimping him out on their site along with his upcoming cards, I said to myself. 

“DON’T BUY THAT SHIT…DON’T DO IT!!!, DON’T BE A PART OF THIS COLLABORATION OR REMIX OR WHATEVER THE HELL IT IS.  IT’S JUST A CELBRITY GRAB FROM TOPPS!!!” – yes, I was internally shouting at myself…sortofa Shia LaBeouf Just Do It sorta thing. 

but then I saw the cards and thought, eh…they’re not horrible…kinda cool even.  The photos I saw on eBay looked quite nice to me.  A bit trendy with the light blue color and some laser show lights bouncing around and whatnot.  I dove into the checklist and decided I would only pick up my PC guys.  Here’s a couple for your viewing pleasure.  Trea Turner and Bryce Harper.  Former teammates and now division rivals brought back together by a knob twisting celebrity DJ, Steve Aoki.

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Now that the cards are in hand, I must admit…a little underwhelmed.  I had imagined they would be a tad thicker, something of a nicer card stock.  They’re pretty basic.  About as basic as a card can be.  The backs are something to behold though, self-serving even.  Each player has a “REASON TO CELEBRATE” breakdown on the back, which is somewhat self-explanatory albeit brief.  Basically, Bryce likes to hit homers on opening day and Trea Turner runs fast.  The Aoki bio though, that’s where it’s at…apparently, he likes to “CAKE” people.  Topps does a good job of describing the act so I don’t have to google it and potentially come across something inappropriate on my computer.  For that, I say thank you, Topps!

I have a few more of these cards coming in; Rickey Henderson, Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter and Juan Soto.  They come in waves, their term, not mine.  I’ll share them once they come in. 

Topic change…

As I type this, The Washington Football Team can clinch the NFC East this afternoon.  If they beat the Carolina Panthers and go to 7-8 along with a New York Giants loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the WFT will have a division crown in their first year as The Washington Football Team…with no better than a .500 record…maybe worse.  To that, I say who cares!  Gimme that NFC EAST DIVISION CHAMP T-SHIRT and a home playoff game!

The great season by the young and exciting Chase Young has me passing on most cards from ebay, but here a few that came home to me this week. 

A PATRIOTIC ROCKET POP FROM PRIZM

A DISCOTEQUE BLINGY BLINGY FROM PRIZM…also apropos of today’s main character subject.

A MOODY BLACK AND WHITE VARIATION FROM PRIZM

A BIT OF CRACKED ICE FROM PRIZM

A PREMIER, YET NON-SPECIFIC EVENT OR GAME OR SOMETHING ELSE 1” SQUARE FABRIC FROM PRIZM

A PANINI INSTANT FRANCHISE CARD…I really wanted this one to be a recessed image   

Also picked up a Terry McLaurin relic, which appears to be a glove…possibly a shoe relic numbered to /99.  I was hoping to get the jersey number 17 for this one, but 12 is close and looks a tiny bit like a One-Seven.

The final card from the week is a JT Riddle Father’s Day card numbered to 50.  I had bid on a version of this card when Topps Update came out and lost when it reached $15…I thought, damn…that’s a ton of money for a JT Riddle card.  So I waited and waited, then this one showed up and got it for about five bucks shipped.  Still looking for the Mother’s Day version, superfractor and printing plates…just in case you come across them.

That’s all I got this week, hope everyone enjoys their Sunday!  I’ve been on a bit of Bob Segar tear lately…no explanation for that.  Enjoy and please feel free to turn the page on 2020 as soon as you like, doesn’t even have to be over…you know.

Faces in new places

Change is inevitable, it happens.  People move, make new friends, change jobs, etc.  It’s a big part of life and in my opinion, it’s a great part of life.  I love to experience new things.  Try new restaurants and take a trip to a place i know nothing about…or simply listen to new music.  I live new.  New is good to me, it excites me and awakens me.  The flip side to that is i tend to jump in head first for the new thing and get caught up in the moment.  I’m a bit impulsive at times and this can be a bad combination…compulsivity and attraction to the novel.  That said, if i really am honest with myself and look back on what i’ve gone through, i can’t say that i have any regrets (or at least very few…) for things that i’ve done.  It’s always the things i didn’t do that get me…which i think most people go through in their life.  The fear of taking a risk and just going for it cripples most of us.  I know it’s paralyzed me in the past…completely shut me down at times.  I’m a totally afraid of fear.  Last year though, i started to take a different approach and go head first in to new things…now, these were safe gambles.  I wasn’t jumping out of planes or wrestling tigers (GO CLEMSON!!  YAY!), i was leaving something that was know for something that was unknown and striking up a conversation with people i wouldn’t normally talk to.  Attempting to become fearless.  Well, my levels of fear are creeping back up.  Self doubt is creeping back in to my mind and slowing me down once again.  It’s been tough adjusting to the new…but i think it’s worth it and i could really use a little bit of a reboot and a chance to challenge  myself again.

Leaving and arriving are antonyms, but really you can’t have one without the other.  If you are leaving a place, then you must be arriving to another place.  Whether the circumstances were of your own volition or through the making of someone else, it’s a chance to start fresh and push yourself to do things you maybe haven’t had to do in a while.

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Less than a year ago, the Carolina Panthers offered the Franchise tag to arguably the best cornerback in the NFL, Josh Norman.  There was quite a bit of back and forth with him and the Panthers and to be honest, i wasn’t paying attention…didn’t need to.  He played for a team that i appreciate, but don’t think too much about, he wasn’t a Redskin.  Well, time went on and the contract wasn’t signed for whatever reasons.  Just before it needed to be signed, the Panthers pulled the offer and Norman became a free agent.  Less than a week after, he was a Redskin.

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This was quite a coup for my team.  They needed major secondary help…MAJOR secondary help (and still do), he wasn’t going to be the savior but he was a night and day improvement over what the Redskins had last season.  Being the shutdown corner that he is labeled, he doesn’t get too many passes thrown his way.  A little ironic that the best player on your defense rarely sees the ball or gets close to the ball…seems counterintuitive doesn’t it?  He’s basically a little leaguer in right field…put him where he won’t see any action!!!

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Norman had a good season.  Not an epic season, but nice.  Held some of the best receivers in the NFL to their worst games of the year.  His battle with Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this year led to OBJr. getting sacked by a kicking net on the Giants sidelines.  Classic material if you ask me.  Josh Norman is one of those guys that you love if he’s on your team and hate if he isn’t and i’m cool with that.  He seems like a cool guy, energetic and knowledgable about the NFL game.  I guess he’s a great example of making the best of a new situation.  A situation he didn’t have total control over, but it worked out…kinda helped he got crazy paid though.

Being a rookie has to be tough on the college kids.  Incredible levels of competition and a whole new routine and way of life.  There is always someone nipping at your heels pushing you to be better and reach higher levels of excellence.  Some succeed and some crumble.  This guy, Matt Jones did neither last year.  He was somewhere in between and ended up losing his job due to costly fumbles…but hey, competition, right!  That hair in the photo is pretty epic.

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Another difficult part of being a rookie is injuries…damn injuries.  This kid, Keith Marshall was hit with some elbow issues in preseason and ended up on the IR for the year.  Not a great start for a guy at a deep position.

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He showed some signs of potential in the few touches he had in preseason, so it made sense for the Redskins to IR him in hopes of keeping him on the roster and not cutting him.

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Not sure what next year will bring for him, i hope he gets healthy, gets reps and has a chance to make the team next year.  Georgia has had some pretty fantastic running backs in the past, and maybe he can be a hidden gem?

So yeah, i picked up a couple autographs of him over the weekend.  They are cheap and colorful with wicked wands of hair…can’t go wrong really.  One of the cards i picked up though really caught my eye.  It was a personalized card, and a card that Kim had set aside for me.  My first personalized authentic card ever.  But it was cool and timely for me.  Take a look.

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I already miss Athens, GA.

Now, this could simply be rhetoric and i’m making it in to something deeper, but my point is that we should always feel great about moving forward and challenging ourselves with new experiences and be allowed to miss the people/places/things we’ve left behind.

I’ve always thought i was someone that never wanted to look back, only move forward…KIM (keep it movin’).  But, i’m understanding the importance of being able to look back happily and remember the experiences, good and bad that i went through…and more importantly the people that helped get me where i am today.  Thank you for reading tonight.

The song for the night is fitting for the post i believe…