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.

***

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.

Organizing at 2005

After numerous years of threatening to get organized, this year it is truly happening.  It’s a slow go, but I’m getting there.  How do I get there you ask…well, let me give you an example!

The 2005 Washington Redskins…and google docs.  That’s right two things that have nothing to do with each other have come together for today’s post.  A post about a team that was anxiety inducing to watch and a blast to look back through the cards from that year. 

Now, when I mention google docs…there are layers to this.  I like, well…I require and love organization.  I can’t stand it when things are not in the place I expect them to be.  I also love and require a ‘complete’ version of something.  If is buy #3 and #7 of something, it’s only a matter of time before I’m searching for numbers 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6.  I could go on too depending on when it all ends, but I think you get the idea.  I’m a completionist…not sure that’s a word, but neither was ‘blog’ 15 years ago.  I like to have a COMPLETE list of things.  That’s an incredible challenge when dealing with sports cards, especially modern sports cards… 

Parallels

Rainbows

Inserts

Variations

Serial Numbers

SP’s

SSP’s

1 of 1’s

The list goes on and on and on and I want my list to contain each and every single one of these cards.  Now, I know I won’t get everyone.  That’s insanity and I don’t have that kind of cash.  That’s not the point.  The point is the chase.  The pursuit of the low hanging Topps flagship vs. the extra hard to find Upper Deck something or another for a specific year with a specific color variation and the SN on the back…or front.  (Do we have opinions on where those should be?  Front or Back?  I’m a back of the card guy FWIW).  So, in order to get a complete list, or at least that I can feel is 97% complete I take the inventory of cards from the Beckett database and Trading Card Database and combine them into one google sheet…here’s the Washington Redskins version (name change will happen at some point soon…).  Insane I know.  The list covers every card, some objects and a few magazines from what I could find from 1935 – Today.  That’s upwards of 70,000 cards….seems like there would be more, but 70k is what I like to call – A SHIT TON – of cards.  The frightening part is that I’m sure I’m missing a few.  I’ve already found a few cards I have that are not in the google doc.  It’s only maddening if I know about the missing misses…a bit of Schrödinger’s plates going on…ok, maybe not.  So, yeah…the list…it’s insane.  I’ve tracked everything up to 2005 and have combined the lists up to 2012.  Some more work ahead of me, but that’s part of the hobby I enjoy.

Here’s the list…if you dare!

So, the cards from 2005.  The team from 2004.  The pain.

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve checked off the list, an image of a few of my favorite cards or players from the ’04 season and ’05 designs.

First off, the Quarterbacks.  When you have two QB’s that’s ok, because a great backup is hard to come by…but when you have three…that’s too many.  It’s like an exponential thing.  Two is ok, Three is what the hell are you even doing!

Next player is LaVar Arrington.  For a few years he was hands down my favorite player.  Never really reached superstardom at Linebacker, but he was a solid player.  Then a few injuries piled up and he was quickly overlooked and shuttled off for other players that didn’t really match his caliber.  Seeing him in New York as a Giant was a heartbreaker for me…

Chris Cooley was great.  He had a tremendous sense of humor and once even showed off his prick while (I’ll let you google that and have it in your search history) snapping a pick of the playbook…not sure what was more egregious…NFL playbooks are sacred.

Santana MOSS!  Absolutely loved this guy in Washington…so much so, that I’ve been collecting his Jets cards as well.  He was so incredible and passionate, how could you not want a guy like that on your team.  He was traded for Laveranues Coles…who, ironically was traded to Washington from the Jets originally.  The second trade worked out better for my team.

The next guy, Carlos Rogers was…well…I really thought he would be special.  A high draft pick in ’05 that just didn’t pan out as a big time player in DC.  He moved on to the 49ers and had a bit of a rebirth, then on to the Raiders where he ended his career.

Ok.  Here are a couple Miami guys…I could have grouped Moss in here as well, but these two were special.  I love Portis.  One of my top 5 Washington guys of all time…Love everything he brought to the team, including Sean Taylor.  Not saying that Portis was the reason Taylor came to the team, but he did push hard.  To be honest, I don’t think it would have been wise for Joe Gibbs to pass on such a talented player…still miss ST21.

***

***

The last group of guys are Redskins greats, guys that had a huge impact on the organization.  All three are in the Redskins ring of Fame.  Bobby Mitchell and Charley Taylor are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

oh yeah, found this one too…Alex Smith Rookie Card…along with one of the numerous Browns QB draft picks Charlie Frye…and future Browns QB Jason Campbell. Let’s play six degrees of separation with these guys some day.

***

Since 2020 is almost done. YAY. I thought i’d share the most 2020 video from one of my favorite groups in the world. RTJ – Run The Jewels. Love these guys!

Keepin’ it 1 hunid

Today on Twitter, Josh Doctson posted this vague tweet that was left up for interpretation…or maybe it was quite clear.

Yup, 100%.

There’s a lot of things that can be 100%…one of them is not this laptop i’m typing on, that’s at 42%…apparently in honor of Jackie Robinson.

100% could be how he’s “keeping’ it!” that’s what the kids say.

100% could be how much effort he gives each time out, although some like to give 110% or 120%.

100% could be the score on his driving test, that’s a good grade.

100% could also be how his health is rated in relation to his aching achilles, which is most likely the reason for the very general tweet.  If that’s the case, this is great news for the Redskins and the guy that drafted him…the guy that was fired a couple weeks ago.  This, of course is assuming he continues to stay healthy and is at 100%.

I find it hard to believe that a football player every really gets to 100% healthy.  With all the hitting and overzealous physical contact from large, fast moving objects from opposing directions…how can you ever be at a full 100%.  100 percent is technically perfect, can’t really do better.  Even the foolish coaches that tell you to give 110% or 120%.  If you give your all, isn’t that a full 100?  Maybe i’m just a slacker or too cynical for wordplay with number…but…nevermind.

So, today marks the 17th anniversary of one of my all time favorite albums.  Hands down favorite album by one of my favorite artists, Common (Sense as he was named when i first heard him).  Like Water for Chocolate was a phenomenal album that came out at a time when hip-hop was getting back to more positive rhymes and storytelling…not to mention the music produced by the late great J-Dilla.  Here’s my favorite track from that album…if you like this one, the rest of the album will be a great listen for you if you haven’t yet heard.  Common definitely gave it a 120% effort on this one.

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.

16-dap-josh-norman

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.

16-depp-josh-norman-54100

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!!!

16-pp-josh-norman-3550-wave

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.

16-imm-matt-jones-auto-23288

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.

16-afri-keith-marshall-auto

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.

16-lc-keith-marshall-gold-168225

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.

16-lt-keith-marshall-auto

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…

 

Sundays with J-Dox

 

Sundays around here can be a little chaotic.  Lots of chores to be done before the day is done, spending quality time with the family, and getting ready for the upcoming work/school week.  Not to mention finding a way to watch every second of every Redskins game.  The swings of my emotions would often swing directly with the results of the game and how each play played itself out.  I’ve grown up a little bit though.  I’ve been able to manage my expectations a little better and control my emotions and temperment…being a fan of a team that hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since 1991 will do that do you i guess.

The 23-31 loss to the Arizona Cardinals today though was quite frustrating.  Arizona has a solid defense and a few fantastic players on both sides of the ball…but i think the Redskins had many chances to win the game today…the defense just didn’t get the job done today.  Here’s hoping they can regroup for the Philadelphia Eagles next week in Philly and that DeSean Jackson has a big game.

Speaking of D-Jax, there seems to be a lot of build up about him returning to the Eagles next season.  Although i wouldn’t be overly happy about that, i don’t think i would lose much sleep over it either.  One of the reasons is this guy…Josh Doctson.

10-josh-doctson-a

 

Josh is a completely different type of receiver than Jackson.

65-josh-doctson-249499-a

He’s also a very different kind of receiver than the Redskins have had in a long time.  Tall, fast guy that can make some plays on the edges and in the middle of the field…i just hope he can get healthy.  He’s been dealing with some odd achilles/foot injury all year and hasn’t been on the field too much this season…two games i believe.

Here are a few of the nicer cards i picked up from Brian the other day.  Brian is an Eagles fan.

jd-josh-doctson-4850-a

I’m always a sucker for jumbo patch cards like this…but i’m always a little curious about the crop of the player on these cards.  Jumbo patch or player photo…i’ll take the jumbo patch, especially with the burgundy and gold stitched together.

126-josh-doctson-6799-a

The tri-colored patch is pretty cool, but the autograph is just aiight.

7-josh-doctson-a

So whether or not D-Jax leaves and Josh Doctson can fulfill his large shoes…or not is to be seen.  If J-Dox turns out to be a gem, i’ve got a nice start to his rookie card collection.

Thanks for reading…on to the Eagles!  HTTR!!

 

 

 

Holy Grail?

Well, not quite, but this USFL Gary Clark rookie card (his true RC) has been a card that i’ve always wanted.  I realize it’s probably not that difficult to find, but every time i saw the card it was a little too expensive or dinged or a part of set that I didn’t want to buy.  Not this one though, it was actually free.  Well, free with strings attached.  I picked it up at the Mall 205 card show a few weeks ago from my new favorite table, Kim.  He always has a ton of Redskins ready for me and i am more than happy to hand over some cash for what he has.  I picked up a few gems from him and paid but decided to dig a little more in case i missed something new and exciting when i stumbled across this card.

85 TU Gary Clark USFL Rookie

He just gave it to me.  It was only marked at $5 and i would have paid for it regardless, but getting it for free was a much better deal.  Nice little addition for the Gary Clark cards.

Black Friday Reeds

Going back to Black Friday.  As I mentioned earlier, I jumped all over the COMC.com Black Friday sale and picked up some very nice Jordan Reed cards.  These are the kind of cards that you want to put in nice card holders and present on some prominent shelf in your sports card room.  I don’t have a sports card room, so they will be shown here on the blog.

Here are the player worn patch/player worn relic/player worn memorabilia cards in landscape format.  The first one is from Topps Inception.  I love these cards with the very cool over processed images and intense photography.  Plus it’s number 1 of 93.  What’s up with the random number 93?

13 TI Jordan Reed Player Worn Patch 1:93

Next up is Bowman Sterling with Mr. Reed staring very intensely into the cameraman’s lens.

13 BS Jordan Reed Relic 671:1214

And here is a quad patch numbered to 75.

13 TP Jordan Reed Quad Patch 68:75

Here is the autograph portion of the post.  The Bowman card along with the three above are super thick cards that barely fit into a penny sleeve.  It’s kind of a shame that a card this thick and nice is a sticker auto.

13 BS Jordan Reed Autograph

The next card is from this years Prizm set.  I love Prizm.

13 PP Jordan Reed Auto

For the last two cards, you will notice they are crazy die cut cards with reflective shiny-ness all over them.  I love the die cut cards, but they can be a pain to put back in the penny sleeves.

13 TF Jordan Reed  Finest Atomic Rookies Die Cut

This one was more difficult to put back in the sleeves.  Not putting the toothpaste back in the tube difficult, but difficult no less.  I happened to scan these along with the thicker cards, so pardon the shadows…although they create a nice depth to the card and the angles.  So nice!

13 TC Jordan Reed Die Cut

If you are in your late 30’s like me and love some good ole Hip Hop, then you should listen to this as I am doing right now.  This takes me back…life moves way too quick.

PS – I’ve updated my 1970’s Redskins checklist…check it out if you think you have something to help me complete my team sets.