The Last Post…and a farewell to a Villain

This year has finally come to an end.  An unforgiving parallel universe of a year where wrong was right and low was even further lower than we could all imagine.  Maybe it was the end of a bad dream, the kind of nightmare where you’re about to crash into a concrete wall, screeching brakes being hammered to the floor, arms off the wheel to cover your eyes, barreling towards the wall and nanoseconds before impact you wake up.  Sweating.  Shaking.  Breathing heavily.  Saying to yourself, “what the hell just happened!”  The nightmare has ended…for now, but is it really over?  What will ’21 bring for us?  I would love to see an overcorrection from the wrong to the right and some goodness be brought to everyone.  More generosity and kindness.  Less judgement and crassness towards others.  Can we live our lives in a manner that we want to without condescension?  I sure hope so. 

I love this hobby, I love it dearly.  It brings me great joy.  In a world where I have marginal control over things, I can control my collection. 

It’s there when I need it to regroup emotionally…I’m a highly anxious person. 

It’s there when I’ve had a rough day and need to zone out…I worry too much about others opinions.

It’s there when I need a new organizing project and get an idea in the middle of the night…I got some OCD too.

Our hobby is fantastic.  A lot has changed about it this past year. 

I hope it keeps evolving. 

I hope the people that are new are welcomed with open arms.

I hope the new people take some history lessons and learn about our hobby.

I hope we let people collect what and how they want to collect.

For 2021, I will be more involved in helping to make this hobby great.  Reaching out to bloggers, twitter folks, flippers, old-school collectors and the new ones as well.  I plan to buy more from my LCS than eBay, but I also plan to sell more on eBay.  I want to find a happy middle where I can enjoy the hobby without feeling like I am going to strangle myself financially.  Creating a net zero cost of cards is the ultimate goal, not sure how that will get done.  The architecture and build portion of the world is attempting to reduce carbon emissions significantly with the 2030 challenge, but this is nothing like that. 

I just want to have fun with these pieces of cardboard and card stock and shiny whatever the hell they are materials.  I hope you do too!

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With the end of the year usually comes collecting or personal goals.  I’m not going to list anything, I think that’s mostly been covered by the manifesto above.  So, instead, I’d like to take the time to update the annual wallet card and take a look back. 

I started carrying a card in my wallet quite a few years ago.  It was a way to always keep the hobby with me wherever I went.  Every once in a while the card would be exposed to other people and it would start a conversation, or maybe just some ridicule from some colleagues…architects can be a judgmental group, ya know?

At some point along the way, I’ve lost a few cards…but here’s what I’ve got since I started the blog.

2020: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 1999 Pacific Paramount, card #162

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2019: Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves 1987 Topps, card #490

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2018: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1992 Pro Set, card #90

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2017: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 2014 Gypsy Queen, card #N174-DJ

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2016: Art Monk, Washington Redskins 1985 Topps, card # 185

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2015: Rickey Henderson, New York Yankees 1986 Topps, card #500

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2014: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1990 Pro Set, card #333

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2013: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers 1991 Topps Archives, card #1

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AND NOW, FOR TWO-THOUSAND TWENTY ONE!  THE NEW WALLET CARD IS (drumroll…)

2021: Santana Moss, Washington Redskins 2006 Topps, card #245

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I know, I know…I can hear the clapping through the keyboard!

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OK, so when I woke up this morning I was thinking about the best video I could share with you all today.  Something fun and positive and light-hearted to ring the new year in.  I was getting distracted during the day and everything was getting away from me.  When I sat down to start writing I first jumped on twitter to get an update on this mad world we’re living in…and my heart sank when I saw that MF Doom has passed away…shit shit shit shit.  He was one of my favorite MC’s…crazy entertaining and a tremendous wordsmith.  Lots of double entendre’s and just some good ol’ hip hop metaphors.  At this point, I’m not sure what took his life as he was only 49 (4 years older than me).  The one thing that can make me smile is that he actually passed away on Halloween of this year.  That’s gotta be the most MF Doom thing ever.  For the uninitiated, he was wore a ‘gladiator’ mask and was well known for skipping out on shows but still having someone perform for him…the mask helped with that endeavor.  Not sure of the reason for keeping his passing quiet for two months, but that’s none of my business really.  If you have the time, please take a listen to the video below of his collaboration with the producer Madlib for the quintessential MC and producer hip hop album.  It’s a classic. 

MADVILLAIN – MADVILLAINY

Also, check out his earlier work with KMD as Zev Love X and music from his other aliases; King Geedorah, King Ghidra, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Fingers, King Dumile and Metal Face.  He also did some work with 3rd Bass back in the day…enjoy.  Have a Happy New Year, hug your loved one, tell them you love them and stay safe out there.

-Cardboard Hogs!   

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.

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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