Whiners and Elitists
By now, many, if not all of, you have witnessed the 2-part interview and video from Beckett chronicling the culmination of the Stephen Strasburg Superfractor 1/1transaction, between Mr. Powers and Razor Collectibles CEO, Brian Gray. You may have also read their blog's editor, provide his opinionated, elitist and biased commentary. The whole thing really rubbed me the wrong way and I refrained from commenting immediately following to allow some time to digest the self-absorbed spectacle. I must say that the negative attention the seller received was no surprise. When you seek publicity you have to take the good with the bad. However, I loathe the fact that he and his family were targeted with threatening emails and phone calls IN THEIR HOME. What kind of loser do you have to be to go out of your way to find this person's home number and leave a threatening, angry message? Get a life. The real problem I had with the whole thing, after watching the videos multiple times, is that the negative feedback he received seemed like a contrived aspect to the story and was a calculated editorial decision to label an entire segment of the collecting community (bloggers, message board users, vocal collectors via comments) in an unfavorable light. The smug arrogance that emanates from this organization never ceases to amaze me.
"The Decision" and NBA Free Agency
Lebron James has managed to go from hometown hero to nationwide villain in a single week. NBA free agency has never, in its history, seen this level of talent, in this quantity come to the market. His decision to be part of an ESPN 1-hr television special, unimaginatively titled, "The Decision" has to be one of the biggest acts of self-promoted, egotistical self-absorbed garbage I have ever witnessed in my life. His one saving grace is he took less money to win. While you do not see that often I believe professionally, he made the wrong decision. Time will tell but the Miami Heat is Dwayne Wade's team. His legacy of earning a Championship, if, and that's a big if, he wins, will be tarnished by the fact that he couldn't do it with the team that drafted him AND that he had to go to someone elses team to win. Add to this the fact that these two superstars (Wade and Lebron) games' do not compliment each other in anyway and you have all the makings of a major, legacy threatening career move.
Allen & Ginter- The Retread of the Month
I just don't care. I'm at the point where I would like to see every single product brand retired, the manufacturers' design teams locked in a room for a year and not released until they come up with a schedule of new products, utilizing any of the numerous innovations that have been well documented here on this blog and numerous others. I just can't get excited about another retread. I am done with T-206, Finest, Bowman, Triple Threads, A&G, Chrome. All of it. The exclusive licensing that Topps was able to land has indeed led to my greatest fears for The Hobby. Instead of using the opportunity as the only game in town to think outside the box, take some risks, and innovate, they have instead decided to roll out the same ole, same ole. Keep it. God to I miss Upper Deck. This is the first time I have been bored to tears with The Hobby since my re-entry in late 2001. The growing pains of reduced brands is almost to painful to bear.
Many of you have probably noticed a decrease in posts over the last few months and a lot of this has been due to a recent career change, a death in my wife's family, a vacation and other obligations outside The Hobby. The other reason is that there is simply so much less to comment on without beating a dead horse. It's obvious the companies don't care what collectors think as the majority of us will continue to buy whatever they trot out to feed our jones. Other factors include the radical decrease in products across all sports, sans hockey, the manufacturers using their own blogs more to disseminate information, the same handful of blogs reviewing the same handful of products and the realization that there is a large segment of the collector base that is content to drink the proverbial Kool-Aid regardless of some of the ugly truths that exist within The Hobby.
When I started this blog, two year's ago, my goal was to provide a platform and content that wasn't afraid to point out the 900lb gorilla in the room, to lift the veil and expose the problems with The Hobby and provide a forum that could be used as a catalyst for change, (as naive as that thought admittedly was) all the while providing informative and hopefully entertaining content sprinkled with whimsical delusions of a passionate collector.
I LOVE our hobby. I have written numerous posts attesting to this fact by listing the things I love because it is very easy to fall into the trap of being perceived as consistently negative given the subject matter I have chosen to serve as my blog's backdrop. Outside of Beckett, my partners at Card Corner Club and myself have reviewed and provided multi-media commentary for more product than anyother hobby entity and we continue to provide collectors new ways to interact and attain information. Our latest ventures, the re-emergence of Card Corner Club Radio, and our efforts on Facebook and Ning have proven very successful and we have some big ideas that we hope will come to fruition at The National that have never been utilized in The Hobby media.
I will continue to provide collectors my perception of The Hobby, the good, the bad and the ugly. One of the things I am very excited about is a new competitor in the hockey marketplace in the form of Panini. I am very, very curious to see what they bring to the market and hope that they can think outside the box and simply not roll out Elite, Threads, and the like to another sport which has been their M.O. in recent years.
To quote one of my favorite collector's Chris Harris, . . . Always Be Collecting.