Quick updates

March 11, 2009 at 9:17 am | Posted in Donruss-Playoff, Football, Panini, Random, Razor, Upper Deck | 4 Comments

As you’ve probably noticed, my posting has been sparse since the beginning of March.  I’ve been very busy at work and at home recently, with very little time left over to devote to collecting, let alone blogging.  This will probably continue at least until the beginning of April.  My schedule is pretty packed for the next week and a half, and then my wife and I will be on vacation in Florida from March 20 – 28.

In case you’re waiting for it, I’m still working on my follow-up post on 2009 Topps Heritage.  It should be ready soon; I just need to find some time to scan some of the cards.  One thing that I can tell you is that I was extremely lucky with my two boxes in that I got ZERO doubles!  Yes, I managed to get 382 different cards.  I got enough base cards that I don’t think I’ll need to buy any more hobby boxes or packs.  I’ll just buy the cards that I still need on eBay or Sportlots.

Of course, any time that I take a break from blogging, huge events start to happen.  Here’s my take on a few of them:

  • It’s absolutely inexcusable that Razor and Upper Deck have allowed fake “cut” signatures to find their way into their products.  I’m sure that everyone has read about this by now, but if you haven’t, the details are here.  I give Brian Gray of Razor credit for trying to rectify the situation after the fact, but I think that some irreparable damage has been done to the hobby.  I know that I’m not alone in saying that I’m much less likely to buy any cut signature card now, but my confidence is shaken in other types of cards too.  For example, I doubt that any significant verification is done on the “game used” pieces of memorabilia that are inserted into cards.  I think that it’s less likely that non-cut certified autographs are fake, but in many cases, the card companies are simply mailing stickers to athletes, who sign them and mail them back.  I do believe that the vast majority of athletes are legitimately signing the stickers (and cards) if only because they don’t want to see their reputations damaged if they’re caught mailing back fake autographs to the card companies.  But the potential does exist that there are some fake certified autographs out there.  If any evidence of that is ever discovered, get ready to watch the entire card industry implode.
  • So apparently Panini is buying Donruss-Playoff (details here).  This has the potential to be a very good thing for collectors.  First, it keeps Donruss in business.  The company was obviously having financial troubles, but Panini seems to have plenty of cash, so that problem is solved.  I think it’s logical that Panini would use the Donruss name for their U.S.-based card business, and keep many of the existing Donruss, Leaf, and Playoff brand names around.  Let’s face it, football and baseball card collectors are much more likely to buy cards with the Donruss name on them than Panini.  Hopefully they’ll keep many of the creative people from the company too.  But this is really great news for basketball card collectors.  After it was announced that Panini had obtained an exclusive license to produce NBA cards, many collectors assumed that the cards that would be produced would be a joke.  But now, the cards are likely to have the Donruss brand name on them, be designed by the Donruss creative team, and be produced at the Donruss facilities.  I don’t really see any negatives about this deal at this point.  Now, it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens to Upper Deck, which is also for sale, and has apparently completely given up trying to make quality baseball card products.
  • If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m a Buffalo Bills football fan.  Even though my blog is focused on baseball and cards, my private conversations with friends and family in recent months have been dominated by talk of my disgust for how the team is being run.  They have a completely incompetent head coach (Dick Jauron) and coaching staff who are coming back again in 2009, their biggest star player (Marshawn Lynch) is unable to obey the law and stay out of trouble, and they consistently make horrible decisions about what players to let go and what players to sign.  It seemed obvious that a 10th straight non-playoff season was on the horizon…

    And then they signed Terrell Owens this past weekend.  I was completely shocked and blown away by this.  My first reaction was disbelief, and then I quickly decided that I hated the signing.  After all, T.O. is a complete jackass, a horrible teammate, and he’s been a cancer in the locker room of every team that he played for.  I mean, if Jerry Jones didn’t want him in Dallas anymore, that really says something.  The signing also demonstrated the impulsive decision-making in the Bills front office and their complete lack of long-term planning.  But amazingly, the more that I thought about it, the more that I started to like the signing.  First, it’s a one-year deal.  If it doesn’t work out, the Bills can cleanly cut ties with T.O. after the season.  Also, he’s going to have to keep his tantrums to a minimum and perform on the field at a high level if he wants any other team to want to sign him next year.  But most importantly, T.O. is unquestionably an elite receiver, and he’s going to make the Bills offense a lot better.  One of their major problems has been that opposing defenses have been able to double-cover Lee Evans, preventing him from getting open and making plays.  Now, the Bills will have two top receivers, Evans and Owens.  That’s going to cause problems for defenders, and it should allow both of them to make more big plays.  And if the passing game is much improved, then teams won’t be able to load up on the line of scrimmage to stop the run, so Lynch and Fred Jackson should be more productive too.  Finally, one of the things that I hated about 2008 was how apathetic it appeared that the coaches and many of the players were.  They just didn’t have much competitive fire.  Say what you will about T.O., but he wants to win more than anyone, and he’s not afraid to speak his mind if others around him don’t have the same commitment to winning.

    Strangely enough, the signing of T.O. has made me a lot more excited about the 2009 football season.  If nothing else, he’s going to make the team much more exciting to watch, either because of his performance on the field, or his antics off the field.  The Bills weren’t going to do anything in 2009 without T.O. and now that he’s on the team, they have somewhat of a chance.  If the Dolphins and Falcons could improve so much between 2007 and 2008, anything is possible with the 2009 Bills.

It looks like this wasn’t such a “quick” update after all.  I might only have a few more posts for the rest of the month, but I hope that you’ll stick around and keep reading Fielder’s Choice when I’m able to write more!

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4 Comments »

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  1. At least it’s only a one-year deal, so if he turns into a headcase in Buffalo, he’s gone in a mere 16 games. Plus it should help Lee Evans’ game too… assuming TO doesn’t start pouting when the ball doens’t come his way each passing down.

    That being said, it gets cold in Buffalo, and the ball gets a little harder to catch when it’s cold. TO has a problem hanging onto warm balls.

    Wow, I just read that last sentence again. There’s a joke in there, but I’m too tired to figure out what it is.

  2. Whew – you can have TO. I’m glad to get him off my team… I’ve hated that signing from Day 1. Owens was a great receiver, but in reality he’s a 36 year old receiver who’s best days are behind him. I watched all of the Dallas games this past season and he just wasn’t separating himself from defenders like he used to be able to.

    I hope he works out for your team and he can check his ego at the door like he does in his other 1st year contracts.

    I didn’t see Dick Jauron at the press conference or see him quoted in the release. I think that might say something too.

    He’ll definitely bring some excitement to your team this year!

  3. Thanks for the updates! And enjoy your trip to FLA!

  4. I think first impressions are usually right, and yours was spot on with TO. I agree with JRJ that his best days are probably behind him.

    You also said this: “Also, he’s going to have to keep his tantrums to a minimum and perform on the field at a high level if he wants any other team to want to sign him next year.”

    I’d agree with this if we were talking about a rational human being. I think TO has proven over and over again that he is not.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope it works out for a few reasons. 1. I like Lee Evans. He’s an Ohio boy (I’d like him better if he would have gone to OSU). 2. I will always liked the Bills. When the Browns were gone in the late 90’s they kind of took us in. I remember them having a few “Browns Days” at their games. I always appreciated that. I’ve got nothing but love for the Bills

    But…I see this ending badly. I hope he isn’t there long enough to truely sabatoge the team.

    Isn’t it great what you can talk yourself into?


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