Afro Diesel

Since i’ve been getting back in to the whole blogging lifestyle, i thought it would be cool to show off some of the purchases i’ve picked up over the past few months…mostly summer pick ups.

This week i wanted to focus on the graded Redskins rookie cards.  Obviously, i didn’t want to blow my budget on all of these cards but wanted something really nice to add to my collection.  Initially i wanted to shoot for 9+ cards but realized very quickly that most of those cards were a little ridiculous in price, so as i’ve done with most things in my life, i lowered my expectations.

The first card is of one of my most favorite football players, John Riggins aka Riggo aka Diesel.  My very first jersey was of John Riggins and his #44 when i was 7.  Now, you have to understand that i grew up in San Antonio and this was the early 80’s.  A time when the Cowboys rivalry with the Redskins was serious and fierce.  Both teams seemed to meet in the playoffs each year and there was a lot of hatred for the Redskins where i grew up.  But i didn’t care.  I loved the Hogs and the Diesel.

72 TO John Riggins PSA 8.5

This little gem is in pretty nice shape although the centering is off just a tad.  The 8.5 seems to be a little high maybe?  I’m not card grader and i was happy with the price on this one, so I couldn’t pass it up.

John Riggins was one of those players that was kind of a bad ass that would plow through the defensive line and sway defensive back away like annoying gnats.  Kinda like what Marshawn Lynch has been doing in recent years.  Riggo has managed to take great care of himself after retirement and stays busy.  Still a little crazy and an off beat personality but he’s doing well for himself.

Box Break: 2013 Topps Magic Football

It’s been a while since i’ve picked up a box of cards.  I have been doing my best to stay away from boxes of cards unless I plan to put the set together since I have terrible luck with the ‘hits’.  I’m not a hit chaser and don’t plan to be one either…but I do love opening packs of cards.  It takes me back to being a happy go lucky kid with $5 in my pocket riding my bike to the Stop’n Go for a few packs of 1986 Topps or Garbage Pail Kids and tall bottle of coke…man, those were the days.  Back when $5 could get you way more than 8 cards to a pack.

As you can see from the title, the box is Magic Football from this year.  Unlike the last couple of years, the rookie class isn’t too exciting…but I love this brand and here we go!

Card Design: 3.5 of 5

Just like the past couple of years, the base card design is pretty simple.

13 TM Josh Gordon

Topps does it’s best to give these cards a sort of retro look with the banner and stars.  Nobody really does that anymore, do they?  seems like a throwback to the 50’s.  I’ve always felt like Magic is Topps version of Heritage for football, minus the copying of vintage designs.  Instead of copying them verbatim, they take bits and pieces of the cards to create a ‘new throwback’ look, which i love.

13 TM Marshawn Lynch

I also like that they used a good solid card stock with no glossy finish.  I’m kind of old school like that.  The glossy cards are great and have a time and place, but i really enjoy a card that isn’t slippery or covered with texture.  Just some nice smooth cardboard with a little friction.  Such a weird comment…

Photography: 4 of 5

Photography, yes, photography.  The photos are highly over processed and in most cases i despise this.  Technology is a great thing, but a heavy hand can ruin a great photo.

13 TM Josh Freeman

I was quite impressed that Topps was able to get a photo (almost looks photoshopped, eh?) of Josh Freeman’s short lived stint with the Vikings (is he coming back to the Vikings next year?) As i’ve mentioned in previous posts, I enjoy photography and my wife is a professional photographer, so we have our fair share of HDR imagery discussion in our home.  Fun huh?

13 TM Jawan Jamison

This fairly new form of photo processing is everywhere now and definitely has its place…and I think sports card photography is that place.

13 TM Alfred Morris

The photos on these cards always look really sharp and you can see a lot of texture and depth on each card…i guess for some, this may make up for the lack of glossy-ness.

Look at that smile!  And those Tattoos!

13 TM Brandon Jenkins

Look at those crazy eyes!  And that old school mesh jersey top!

13 TM Roger Craig

Hits: 3 of 5

As i’ve mentioned, I do not by boxes for the hits.  I am not that type of collector.  Magic does offer three autographs in their boxes along with the occasional relic or memorabilia card.  The autographs are stickers though…ugh stickers…better than redemptions, but man an on card autograph is so great!  Since the rookie class wasn’t too stellar this year, the autographs weren’t that stellar either.

Brandon Myers – New York Giants

13 TM Brandon Myers Autograph

Kayvon Webster – Denver Broncos

13 TM Kayvon Webster Autograph

Khaseem Greene – Chicago Bears

13 TM Khaseem Greene Autograph

Magic is owned by Topps, so they fill your box up with little hits and parallels and a whole bunch of other shit that makes collectors want to collect things they don’t really want to collect.  Like some micro cards with Drew Brees and Arian Foster on them.

13 TM Brees Foster 1948 Minis

or how about some receiver action with Cal bookends of Keenan Allen and DeSean Jackson sandwiching Anquan Boldin from the base white mini.

13 TM Allen Bolden Jackson Mini

How about some green border minis with these three dudes.

13 TM Hunt Wheaton Holmes Green Border Mini

Or what about these black border minis!

13 TM Gates LaFell Black Border Mini

and a Hall of Famer Blue Border mini!

13 TM Andre Reed Blue Border Mini

I could have done without these groovy Aerial Attack inserts…but my wife loves Cam, so here honey.

13 TM Cam Newton Aerial Attack

The colors on this thing…holy crap…ho-lee-crap.

13 TM Adrian Peterson Ground and Pound

The Rookie Enchantments are back, but aren’t that enchanting.

13 TM Mike Glennon Rookie Enchantment

Markus Wheaton for all of you Steeler fans out there.

13 TM Markus Wheaton Rookie Enchantment

and a Cordarelle Patterson card.

13 TM Cordarelle Patterson Rookie Enchantment

Desmond Trufant, a man that Steve Smith respects.

13 TM Desmond Trufant Rookie Enchantment

Review

All in all, i love the cards.  I was really hoping to put together a set, but after seeing the 330 card set checklist and heavy dose of SP cards i’m not sure that’s gonna happen.  I need to think about it.  My collection is a bit chaotic right now and this won’t help with the chaos.  I really wish Topps went a little lighter on the SP’s.  A box of these guys won’t set you back too much, but if you plan on putting the set together you could be dropping well over $100 on this set and i’m not sure that’s worth it for this group of cards.

13 TM Jordan Reed

and a MINI!

13 TM Jordan Reed Mini

Bacarri Rambo…the best name ever.

13 TM Bacarri Rambo

Hope you enjoyed the review…my pack breakdown for 2014 Topps will be up soon.  I’m waiting for everyone else to release theirs before I put my thoughts out there.  🙂

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

Road Trip Packs I

Since I was going to be on a road trip from 4 days, I thought it would be cool to pick up a couple of packs along the way from a local Target or Wal Mart.  Living in Portland, we don’t have too many local Wal Marts and Target is my only real retail option, which isn’t bad at all…I’m just saying.

Our first stop along the way was in Amarillo, Texas.  Yes, I know.  EPIC by all possible definitions.  I picked up a couple retail packs of the Football version of Topps Archives.  I already had a couple of Hobby pack versions and was curious what would come out of a Wal Mart.

And here we go!

Love the Wilson Card, great action photo and love the look in his eyes.  Wilson should be one of the next great QB’s in the league for the next few years…just hope his team stops knocking mine out of the playoffs.

13 TA Russell Wilson

Next up was a mini Calvin Johnson Jr. card with some sweet color gradation from top to bottom.

13 TA Calvin Johnson Jr. Mini

and finally, the last card i’d like to present from a retail wal mart pack is a Darrelle Revis gold parallel from the New York Jets  Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

13 TA Darrelle Revis Gold Parallel

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

One Dollar and Five Cents Pt. IV: Non-Redskin Redskins

Getting back to the copious amount of cards in Marv’s boxes…I found a lot of good pieces to plug in to my PC for Santana Moss.  He’s been with the Washington Redskins for so long, I forget he put up some really nice numbers with the New York Jets in the first four years of his career, most noteworthy was 2003 when he had over 1500 all purpose yards.  Not bad for an undersized receiver.

02 FG Santana Moss 03 HH Santana Moss 05 TT Santana Moss

Box Break: 2012 Panini Absolute Football

I am way behind on reviewing some of the boxes I have opened in the past few months, mostly focusing on cards that i’ve picked up at card shows.  I have a few lined up, so here is the first one.  Panini Absolute Football.

Like most of Panini’s cards now, you can buy a retail version and a hobby version but the quality is quite different.  As a set collector this would drive me insane, but since i don’t plan on putting this set together, it’s no worries to me.  I do think this is a great way to differentiate between a hobby card and something you can pick up at Target, good for the hobby and collectors in my opinion, but allows the fringe collectors to afford different brands of cards.

12 PA Santana Moss

Card Design – 4 of 5

The base card for Absolute is pretty clean.  Photo of the player on the front along with his name and position as well as the team name along the bottom.  The greatness of these cards for me is the vertical gradation in the colors from left to right, or right to left depending on your culture.  The gradation gives them a nice light show or a cardboard Pink Floyd laser show look to the card.  Groovy.

12 PA Aaron Hernandez

The one thing i’m not liking about these cards is the card stock.  Seems really thin for the amount of money these guys cost.  I also wasn’t crazy about the overall packaging by Panini.  You get the display box, and a pack box…with a cello wrapped cards inside.  That’s quite a bit of packaging for a box of cards, wouldn’t you agree?

12 PA Ray Lewis

Living in the Pacific NW, all the extra wrapping is heavily frowned upon.  Yes, we are those people that bring their bags to the grocery store and ride our bikes to work in the rain.  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Photography – 4 of 5

Panini has the waist up photos locked down.  They do a great job of focusing on the player, allowing them to take up most of the photo space available on the card.  All the cards i’ve seen appear to be game action photos and give you a good view of their eyes.  No over processing or out of control editing for these cards either.  Another good job by Panini.

12 PA Frank Gore

Hits – 4 of 5

No Redskin hits here, but when you get any card autographed and numbered to 10 it’s a good thing, and it’s an even greater thing when that player is AJ Green.  This may be one of the best hits i’ve had in a long while.  It is a sticker auto, but i will let that slide for a perennial pro bowler card numbered to 10!  Not really a Bengals fan or an AJ collector, but the guy has proven to be a beast in his first couple of seasons.

12 PA AJ Green Spectrum Auto 3:10

The other hits were fairly nice as well.  Brandon Weeden came through with a nice looking jersey card but he looks completely unimpressed in this photo…or thoroughly confused, you be the judge?

12 PA Brandon Weeden War Room Jersey 4:49

I Like the Terrance Ganaway autograph, it has a nice flair to it.  The card itself has a ton of great color in person and is very attractive (much better than the scan!)

12 PA Terrance Ganaway Spectrum Auto 46:299

Review

I was pretty happy with the box i received.  Nice hits and i really love the design of these cards.  If i have a few extra bucks to spend on cards laying around next year, i can see myself picking up a box for 2013.  Although, with my desire to spend less on boxes and packs I doubt i can justify the cost for the value.

12 PA Vick Ballard 215:399

Opening each pack was cool, although i think it was a bit excessive packaging.  It was nice that i could open one or two as i wanted, can’t have everything i guess.  I think Panini can do a better job of their future packaging.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.