alls they wanna do is win.

Big day for all you Redskins out there.  The organization has a new head coach and I am really excited about it…until it bombs and I cycle back through my football depression.  I think Jay Gruden will be a lot of fun.  He has a pretty good sense of humor and a wonderful accent…sounds just like his brother minus the television schtick.  Hail to the Redskins!

Ok, enough about football teams.  The real reason I want you to read this blog of mine is to let you kids know, I am putting my sorting and collating skills to work over here at the Hog household.  I’ve started work with the Redskins Topps cards of the 1970’s.  There are some unbelievably wonderful cards and some very exceptional hair stylings like Mr. Hanburger.  This guy.

71 TO Chris Hanburger

What about the good ol’ days when the Cowboys and Redskins played in NFC Championship games…and the Redskins won!

73 TO NFC Championship Game

If you have some extra cards you are dying to get rid of or care to make a trade, take a look at my checklists for the 1970’s Redskins.  I’ve managed to pick up a few little gems like this shiny and bright Sonny card!

70 TO Sonny Jurgensen Super Glossy

I also have some gems like this…

71 TO Sonny Jurgensen Game Inserts

…and this…

71 TO Larry Brown Game Inserts

But I still have quite a few holes left to fill, so if you can help a brother out.  You just let me know and send me an electronic mail my way to see if we can work something out.

no more Mickey Mouse Horseshit football please.

Sick Pickups!

The title is true, but not in the douchey overused term that is used way too much in this hobby today.  My whole family was sick, including me.  The wife and baby had the H1N1, aka swine flu and luckily i avoided it.  There has been a minor breakout of this strand of flu in Portland and SW Washington…but i somehow missed out, I guess I’m just strong like that!

The sick pickup part comes in to play with an evening visit to Target to get a few physical mending supplies like juices, fruits and drugs.  I’ve been avoiding retail packs for a while now because of the unlikeliness of getting anything worthwhile.  I ended up buying a few packs just to see what the cards look like, knowing I wouldn’t be happy with any of them.  I guess I was delirious and more than happy to fill my slightly sick body with new shiny football cards.  Here are some fun scans of what i spent my hard earned loot on.

The first pack was Absolute Football from the fine folks over at Panini.  I pulled two QB’s that I have a lot of respect for, even though i can’t stand either of their teams.  The Cowboys dislike should be obvious…they are the hated rivals.

13 AF Tony Romo

The Seahawks one may not be as clear for you.  I find their fans to be a little over the top.  I’ve been to football games in Dallas, Houston, Seattle, New Orleans and DC.  The fans in Seattle are hands down the most belligerent and a little too handsy for my liking.  Plus they act as though they’ve won 3 Super Bowls.  They haven’t, but the Redskins have.  Now, that’s not to take anything away from Wilson.  I think he is great.  I actually love the kid.  He’s modest and works really hard and I believe he is going to become one of the leagues great QB’s.  He’s also an underdog which I always love.

13 AF Russell Wilson

I also managed to pull a serial numbered Phillip Thomas card.

13 PP Phillip Thomas 411:499

Next up is Topps Prime.  The base cards of this set are decent.  I feel that the photos are way too tight on the players and would love to see a full photo of the athletes…maybe that sounds weird if you read it out loud, but I think you know what i mean.  Is it me or is Milliner’s smile a little goofy?

13 TP Rob Gronkowski Dee Milliner

Jordan Reed!  I have the hobby version of this card, now the thinner retail version is in my sole possession.

13 TP Jordan Reed

Ok, so this next card really caught me off guard.  Is this seriously the best photo Topps could get of Matt Ryan?  I have to believe there are at least 15 other photos that could have been used, but they chose this shot.  He’s even staring in to the camera while giving his center the business!  I’m sure Mrs. Ryan is none too happy about the photo immortalized on card stock…at least it’s not a butt fumble card…Mr. Sanchez…

13 TP Matt Ryan

The final pack was PRIZM.  YES!  I loved Prizm last year and I think this years cards are equally as nice.  Love the quality of the card, the texture and photography of them as well.  Target has a small rack pack that came with 3 red parallel cards, and here are two of them.  Both are often injured RB’s.  These red cards have a nice sparkle to them, almost like a disco ball or some fancy pop star sequence…very shimmery when viewed in person.

13 PP Ryan Mathews Red Target Parallel

Spankee, if you like the Wilson…it’s yours.

13 PP David Wilson Red Target Parallel

Here are two more cards.  Michael Vick.  He would look good in the Burgundy and Gold next year as a backup to RGIII and could teach him how to survive in the NFL.  Maybe teach him how to slide too?  Or just run out of bound before being tackled?  #justsayin

13 PP Michael Vick

Kenjon Barner.  Showing this one because he’s a Duck and so am I…sort of.

13 PP Kenjon Barner

The last two cards came from the Prizm pack.  I’m guessing they are not part of any Prizm insert or chase set as they have none of the qualities of Prizm.  BUT, they do have a QR code on the back that takes you to an online video.  Unfortunately Kenny Stills doesn’t explain his hair in the interview which I think is a huge missed opportunity.  Terrance Williams broke my heart this afternoon, but that’s nothing new.

13 PP Kenny Stills Terrance Williams

Sort-of Vintage Redskins

The last show didn’t have too much going which turned out to be great for my wallet.  I spent the least amount at this show than i ever had in the past…which is great.  I was also able to pick up some older Redskin cards for the Topps air brushed days…like this gem of a card of Diron Talbert.  This beauty set me back one american dollar.  That price alone covers the bad assness of Mr. Talbert.  When i see the burgundy and gold along with number 72, I can’t help but think of Dexter Manly, the Secretary of Defense.  I guess that would make Diron the dean of the National Defense University, or something?  Diron.  What is the origin of that name anyway?  Apparently this guy is the proud owner of a grocery store in Texas.  Growing up, the only grocery stores in San Antonio was H.E.B. and they had a pretty strong hold of Texas.  Winn Dixie and Piggly Wiggly didn’t have a chance.

77 TO Diron Talbert

I also stumbled across this trifecta of Skins.  The card in the middle is the only one that really matters.  The Cowboys getting thumped in the NFC Championship game.  This was about 3 years before I was born, so I only know what i’ve read about the ’72 team which was apparently a fun bunch of cast offs led by George Allen.  This was also the year the Dolphins finished perfect with a not so overwhelming victory over the over the hill gang.  You can’t win them all…plus the Redskins would get their revenge 10 years later

72 TO Kilmer NFC Champ SB

Hip

Hip

Hooray!

 

Top 12 All Time Redskins: Santana Moss

In the next installment of my all-time favorite Washington Redskins players, Santana Moss checks in at #8.

12 TC Santana Moss NFL Captain Patch

TanaMan came to the Redskins in a trade that sent Laveranues Coles back to the Jets in 2004.  I was more than happy to see Coles go.  He had become another prima-donna receiver and complained about everything with the Redskins.  There could have been some behind the scene things I don’t know about, but if you don’t want to play for my favorite team, than I don’t want you to either.  Bringing Moss in was a bit of a coup for the Redskins.  They needed a big play receiver that could stretch the field as well as someone who could become a possession receiver.  Moss ended up filling both roles very nicely and was a part of the late season push for the playoffs in 2005.

12 PS Santana Moss Auto 4:25

Moss will forever be one of my favorite players for what he did on Monday night in Irving, Texas on September 19, 2005.

When the schedule for the 2005 season came out and i saw that the Cowboys and Redskins would be playing on September 19, the day before my 30th birthday, I knew i had to get tickets.  I got them locked down and went overboard on the seats, but was able to justify them by saying it was a gift…to me, because I’m special! 🙂  Finding someone to go with me was difficult and I was turned down by my father (I know…) and a couple other friends.  So, that left my Mom.  Who doesn’t love their mom?  They are the best.  She came through when noone else would and dealt with the 100+ degree temperature in the dumpy old Cowboy stadium to be a part of her son’s favorite team playing their biggest rival.  During the game, I could tell she wanted no part of the action on the field and was more than ready to leave…especially seeing how poorly my guys were playing.  Until the last 4 minutes of the game when the noodle armed Mark Brunell tossed two bombs downfield to a double teamed Santana Moss for game winning touchdowns.  Magnificent.  Not to mention, by the time the touchdowns were made it was actually September 20th…an awesome birthday gift and one that hasn’t been matched since (although my wife came really close three years ago with amazing tickets to a game at FedEx Field.)  One more thing, the Dallas Cowboys Trifecta of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin were inducted in to the ring of fame during halftime of that game…even more reason to have this game at the top of the list!

11 PP Santana Moss Jersey Auto 4:10

Santana is getting close to the end of his career and I doubt he will suit up for anyone else.  He is still productive and can put up some great numbers with RG3 getting him the ball this season.  I would love to see him put up a 1,000 yard season and 5TD’s this year.  Could be a nice way to round out the career.

09 BS Santana Moss Refractor 53:199

#8 – Santana Moss

#9 – Chris Cooley

#10 – Gary Clark

#11 – Brian Orakpo

#12 – The Hogs

Box Break: 2012 Panini Playbook

Panini Playbook

This is something i have never thought of buying in the past and will not buy in the future.  For me, this was a high risk, low reward box and something that i bought because i got whipped up in the Panini hype machine and my pursuit of pulling an RG3 auto from a box.  As you will see, that did not happen.  With all that negative energy out, these cards are pretty cool and it’s difficult to have any kind of criticism of the cards themselves.  They are quite beautiful and definitely pieces of art…for the cardboard connoisseur.

As you may know, Playoff gives you 4 cards in a box with some autos and some jersey cards.  You always see the great 1/1’s on the websites out there, but I never actually pull them myself.  I do love the booklet card idea and had hoped to pull any kind of Redskin card… instead i got a freakin’ Cowboy.  A very young and talented cowboy no less…but a Dallas Cowboy.

12 PP Morris Claiborne Jersey Booklet 11:49

The other booklet card i pulled was a guy that i strongly remember from Hard Knocks that barely made the team and seemed lost quite a bit.  Michael Egnew.  He played in two games last year and put up some goose eggs.  I wonder if he even ran the right routes?  It’s kind of crappy that this is the box ‘hit’.  A guy that will probably be out of the NFL in a year or two.  No disrespect to Mr. Egnew, but Panini should do a better job of making these box hit booklet cards of guys that will have some type of impact in the NFL.  I realize they don’t have crystal balls, but if they did, it would be awesome…crystal balls.  If i pulled a single card of Egnew, I would have been cool with that, but not the booklet.

12 PP Michael Egnew Auto Booklet Acetate 9:49

The next two autos were of the Bears Rookie Brandon Hardin…

12 PP Brandon Hardin Auto 53:140

…and Casey Hayward from the Green Bay Packers.  Casey had a pretty good rookie season with the Packers, picking of 6 passes.  Seems like the kind of guy you want to keep an eye out for in the future…would love to have received a booklet auto of THIS GUY!

12 PP Casey Hayward Auto 119:140After re-reading this post, it sounds really negative an filled with varying levels of disappointment.  That’s not totally the case.  I knew what i was getting in to.  It was a gamble and in all honesty it was a fun gamble that i enjoyed taking part in.  I probably won’t buy another box of these in the future, but I really do like the look and feel of them.

Top 12 All Time Redskins: Chris Cooley

Captain Chaos, Chris Cooley is next up on my all time favorite Redskins list, coming in at number 9.

10 LC Chris Cooley  Shirt off my Back 37:50

Cooley was drafted in 2004 and part of Joe Gibbs first draft class since returning to coach the Redskins.  The unheralded TE from Utah State ended up being selected in the 3rd round (81st overall) and was the 6th TE picked behind guys with marginal NFL success such as…Kellen Winslow, Benjamin Watson, Ben Troupe, Kris Wilson and Ben Hartsock.  Not sure why he was able to slip this deep in to the draft?  The only thing i could suspect was his performance at a small school in Utah (football small…)… it could also have been that he played in the Sun Belt conference.  Not exactly the SEC when it comes to talent pools.  This kind of oversight always happens to the small school kids.  You see guys that go to the tradition football powerhouses and get pushed to the top of the draft or taken higher than they should be and fail to meet the high NFL expectations.  I always love it when the small school guys succeed, kind of the all american redemption story.

10 PP Chris Cooley Jersey 94:150

Cooley became one of the leagues premier Tight Ends in 9 short seasons, and putting up solid numbers with a franchise that was nothing short of chaotic.  New coaches, coordinators and QB’s seemed to come through each year, but he always managed to put up solid numbers.

09 TC Chris Cooley Blue Refractor

One of my favorite stories was when the Redskins were looking at drafting him, Joe Gibbs fell in love with the guy and thought he was a Mormon, being from Utah and all, you know?  That’s where they keep the Mormons and all of the fine folks of Utah are indeed Mormon!  Joe Gibbs couldn’t have been more wrong.  Captain Chaos was a beer drinking, prank calling wild child that let everything hang out…literally…or figuratively…whatever.

foghorn-cooley

One of my favorite Cooley moments was his second season with the Redskins, 2005, agains the Dallas Cowboys.  The Redskins were in the midst of turning around the season and making a late season push, needing to win out to even have hope of making the playoffs.  That game was a huge breakout moment for Cooley as he put up 3 of the Redskins 4 first half TD’s, with the last being a beautiful 30 yard run down the sidelines.  I remember shouting COOOOOOOOLEY as loud as i could at my tv, just in case anyone could hear me.  Such an exciting game and fantastic season.  It’s moments like these that make you love your sports team…and make everything seem so much enjoyable.

11 TT Chris Cooley Auto Jersey 11:25

The Redskins ended up winning the game 35-7 and making the playoffs.  They beat the Buccaneers in Tampa and traveled to Seattle where my wife and I attended our first Redskins game together.  Although the good guys lost, it was great to see my favorite team in a playoff game…how many kids get to do that!

11 LL Chris Cooley Auto 13:25

Cooley is also a bit of a renaissance man.  An artist, a painter and a potter.  He has had multiple gallery exhibits in DC and involved in the art community as well.  But instead of showing his art, i’m choosing to show his crusty heavy metaled out practice shorts…cause that’s just more fun!

cooley-metal-shorts

He also married a Redskins cheerleader, which is pretty cool…kind of high school-ish, but cool no less…

Cooley wife

…and eventually ended up wearing this at his wedding…what a guy!

chris-cooley-on-the-dancefloor

Last season was more than likely his last.  Cooley was cut just before the start of the season as the development of Fred Davis and transition of Niles Paul to TE made his role less critical.  It became pretty obvious that his tenure was coming to an end.  Cooley ended up coming back for 8 games last year but only caught one pass.  At this point, i’m hoping he hangs it up and does the traditional signing of a one day contract as a Redskin.

IMG_0566

All Cooley fans remember the great stories about him…his oddball personality and all around fun lovin attitude from a one of a kind character.  He reminded me a lot of John Riggins with some of the things he did on and off the field and will alway be one of my favorite Redskins.

Chris Cooley

#9 – Chris Cooley

#10 – Gary Clark

#11 – Brian Orakpo

#12 – The Hogs

Box Break: 2012 Topps Magic Football

A busted box of Topps Magic Football has been sitting on my stack of cards for some time now just waiting to get judged, and now is the time.

Magic was something that i got into (cards, not tricks) a couple of years ago on a whim at Target during a deodorant shopping event.  I saw a blaster box just sitting there and thought it would be a cool purchase and was hooked from that point on.  I loved the retro look and the college unis on simple borders.  Loved it so much so that i ended up buy a few more boxes from Target but never completing the set or buying any hobby packs.  The following year, 2010 i wanted to pick up a hobby box to see if i still had a crush on these pieces of cardboard and sure enough, the love was there.  I loved the photography and simple borders as well as the card stock.  Although i do love shiny cards, i am a sucker for matte finish stuff that is done well.  Again, i bought a bunch of cards, but couldn’t be bothered with completing the set…just wanted the few Redskins and any hits i could pull.  Now, in 2011, it got a little tricky…and extremely annoying.  Magic had become a set that i was tuned in to on when it would be dropping and where i could pick up some good packs.  BUT, as Topps likes to do sometimes, they changed the rules, moved the goal posts and upset this collector.  The only way to get a box of Magic was to purchase them from their online store and pay their exorbitant shipping fees, which was about the same price as the box itself if i remember correctly.  SCREW THAT, no thanks.  I was able to pick up a few singles from COMC and ebay but no packs, since they weren’t really issuing those this year.  I never really found out why Topps decided this was a good idea, but would love to hear the reasoning if someone can help?

After the previous years experience, i had pretty much forgotten about the Magic cards and moved on with my life as we do with Topps at times.  Until, i saw they were going to be releasing a new set and boxes that you can purchase at a store…holy crap!  You mean i can buy cards from a store and not online only?  Normally i wouldn’t be so snotty about this, as i am totally cool with purchasing online, i just don’t want my only options to be online purchases.  Takes away from the fun of busting packs on a Wednesday afternoon after work.

IMG_7695

So here is my take on the 2012 version of Topps Magic.

Card Design: 4 of 5

In keeping with the simple style, Topps has again followed through with the same KISS theme.  Minimal information is on the front, but you get the basics; name, position, conference, team helmet, and a whole bunch of stars that make no sense to me.  The banners blends in nicely with the border and unfolds to reveal the critical information like a scroll with an oversized shield.

12 TM Luck and Richardson

The backs are nice and include some fun little facts with the Magical Memoranda.  You don’t get your typical stats, but they tend to highlight some important information and single game stats for your FYI.  As usual, nice card stock and the lovely matte finish.  The matte finish is nice in a world of glossy cards.  They have become the rarity in the hobby for the most part, save for the vintage inspired sets.

Photography: 5 of 5

The thing that i am most drawn to this set about is the photography.  They have HDR’d the crap out of the photos and really over processed them, but i think it works well for these and tends to give the players a greater level of detail and grit.  My wife is a photographer and she tends to stay away from over processing as it always looks…you guessed it, over processed.  When you are doing family portraits or architectural photography it can become a distraction, but for professional athletes it works well.

12 TM Morris and Cousins

Look at the intensity in those eyes!

12 TM Bush and Vick

Hits: 4 of 5

The hits with this brand are minimal, which is fine with me.  I believe collectors get too hot and heavy about the hits.  If that is your thing, this set isn’t for you.  If you are OK with getting a nice auto or two than you may be happy with Magic.  I ended up pulling 2 autographs and a redemption card.  So, it’s not just Panini that is slapping me with redemption cards, Topps does it too.  I’ve stated my thoughts on the redemption card here before and thought about it a little more.  Still don’t like it, but maybe it’s not that bad…assuming you actually get the card.  There have been times when i forgot about my redemption cards and come home to a manilla envelope.  It’s like a little slice of cardboard heaven when you get one you weren’t really expecting.

12 TM Ronnie Hillman Magic Auto Redemption

There are a couple of subsets in the cards as well.  Nothing to exciting.  As a matter of fact, i must say that the Charismatic Combos is not only a weak insert, but a terrible name.  Charismatic Combos, christ that’s terrible.

12 TM Manning Cruz Charismatic Combos

The ultra mini cards are cool, but a little too mini for my man hands.  If i don’t get these in some penny sleeves quick they will have rounded corners.

12 TM Tannehill and Vick super Mini

There are also the Supernatural Stars, which are not that existential or starry either galactically or professionally.

12 TM Sanchez and Turner Supernatural Stars

Magic also has the Magical Moments inserts which makes sense, because it’s Magic.  Drew Brees is on a 3 Mile Island.  Cute.

12 TM Brees and Murray Magical Moments

I do like the Enchantment cards, especially the one that i pulled…big smiley face for the RG3.

12 TM Robert Griffin III Rookie Enchantment

There were also these other good looking young running backs that have some nice upside to their careers.

12 TM Martin and James

One of the autos i pulled was a Kaepernick.  The HDR affect does his tats some serious justice although his auto is crazy sloppy.  An odd thing about this card is the photoshop flub with his hands.  It looks like the photo editor cloned his left hand over the football…kind of a crappy job for a big time player.  Let’s try harder next time Mr. Topps Photoshop editor.

12 TM Colin Kaepernick Auto12 TM Marvin McNutt Auto

Review

Overall, i do like these cards a lot.  They are simple and clean and the photos are nice.  It’s a basic card and the price point isn’t too excessive for what you get.  I haven’t decided if i am going to build the set, i did manage to get quite a bit of unique cards and minimal doubles, so i will see how i feel about it.  I do hope that Topps issues these cards again next year and does not do the online only thing.

Here are a couple of the Redskins cards i pulled from the box.  Funny that they decided to include Jabar Gaffney since he wasn’t on the team this year and he is wearing RG3’s number.  Technically, there are two Redskin cards with a player wearing number 10.

12 TM Robert Griffin III 12 TM Jabar Gaffney

Topps Magic, I like you.