My brother’s Christmas present

December 20, 2008 at 1:50 am | Posted in Donruss-Playoff, Football, Personal | 4 Comments

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on this blog yet, but I have a brother who’s two years younger than me.  We don’t have a perfect relationship; like most brothers we’ve had our ups and downs over the years.  Through it all, the one thing we’ve always had in common is our love of sports.  And when we were kids, we both collected cards.  We had some great times opening packs together, building sets, and trading.

I’ll never forget how much fun we had in 1988 when I taught my brother everything I knew about baseball cards and we both tried to build the 1988 Topps set.  It was my third attempt at building a set and his first.  We’d spend all of our money on packs every time we were in the grocery store, drug store, gas station, Kmart, or our local hobby store at the time, a place called G&J Enterprises.  When we’d open the packs, we’d pull out all of the cards that we needed for our sets and then trade the doubles to each other.  I still remember that unfortunate afternoon when he got a bloody nose and he bled all over my Tom Trebelhorn manager card.  By the end of the summer, we were both still about 10 cards short of the full set.  I still have my cards in a box up in my attic.  To this day, I’m still missing those 10 cards.

Anyway, we both collected between 1988 – 1994.  It was one of our favorite activities to do together.  He continued collecting after I stopped, but he focused mostly on football cards.  He was a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons.  I think he was the only kid in all of New York State who liked the Falcons.  We grew up about an hour from Buffalo, and there were two types of football fans where we lived – people who loved the Bills (like me) and people who hated the Bills.  My brother became one of the haters.  I think that the Falcons caught his interest because of Deion Sanders in the early 1990s.

He kept collecting football cards until the early part of this decade, when the huge number of sets and the escalating prices finally drove him out of the hobby.  We’ve been talking over the last few months about my renewed interest in baseball cards, and he’s been asking a lot about what the hobby is like today.  I haven’t told him about my blog yet, but I probably will eventually.  In the back of my mind, I think it would be funny if he randomly found it while looking for information about cards online.

So since he doesn’t read my blog, I think it’s OK for me to show off the Christmas present that I bought for him.  Check it out:


Since he’s a Falcons fan, he’s been extremely happy about how Matt Ryan has played this year.  I think that Ryan’s cards are hotter than anyone’s in the football card hobby right now.  Of course this means that his autographed cards are very pricey, but it’s for my only brother and I’m hoping that giving him this card will lead him to jump back into the hobby.

The card is from 2008 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia, and it’s numbered 068/299.  I think it’s a great looking card, it’s from a good brand, and Ryan’s got a very nice signature.  The card’s surface is pretty shiny too, but you can’t really see it in the scan.  It’s got two event-used jersey pieces and one piece of an event-used football from the NFL Rookie Premiere on May 17.  Sure, game-used would be better, but I think that the Rookie Premiere event-used relics are pretty standard in football cards.  After all, they don’t have any NFL game-used memorabilia when the cards are produced.

So what do the football card collectors out there think of this card?



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  1. This is nothing against your brother, because obviously I don’t know him, but I could never understand people in Western New York who didn’t like the Bills.

    When I first moved to Buffalo, I was not a Bills fan, but after being around such enthusiasm for the team, and the fact that everyone was so upbeat and positive in their rooting, made me a lifelong fan of the team. I don’t understand how you could be around all that and not be a fan.

  2. If you ever get a hankering to finish off that old 1988 set give a shout – I have a ton of doubles from my attempts to finish off the set myself! And if I were you’re brother I’d flip over that card.

  3. How could you do this to your brother??? If he returns to the hobby he will be dropping ridiculous amounts of money on overpriced boxes of cards crossing his fingers for hits. He’ll be wasting hours searching for white whales on Ebay. Eventually he will start a blog and be writing posts at the 3 in the morning. his life will be hell.

    aside from that I pull for Matt Ryan – he’s a local product and I followed his career at BC.

    However, I won’t be rooting for him this wkend, as he heads into Minnesota to take on my Vikes.

    Card looks sharp enough to me. The auto means more than GU to me.

  4. Sweet card. I have to admit, I am regretting selling the Threads Auto Jersey Patch of Ryan that I pulled. At least a little bit–I got a nice price for it, but wonder if I could have gotten more if I’d held off a bit…

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