Who Does #2 Work For?


Pop Quiz: What is today?

If you answered “Friday,” “the day after yesterday,” or “a nice day for a white wedding,” you are technically correct. You also happen to be a bit of a smart ass.

If you answered “May 20,” you are also correct. Congratulations on having a calendar nearby. But do you know why May 20 is important (at least to me)?

For those of you following along at home, you may have answered “Ooo! Ooo! I know! 1st & Goal’s second anniversary!” And you, my friends, would be the most correct.

That’s right. Today marks two years since I started 1&G. And unfortunately, much like marriage, the second year is obviously a bigger accomplishment and more monumental, but for some reason the first anniversary just feels more special. That’s not to say I’m not stoked to be posting something for my third consecutive May 20th (think about what anniversary means and you’ll get the math), I just don’t feel like going bonkers by writing an absurdly long, comprehensively retrospective post like I did for Anniversary Numero Uno. I will point out that I did accomplish the one feat I missed in my first year: I successfully held two group box breaks in year #2, simultaneously at that. Woot.

Looking back over the past year, I wouldn’t say I necessarily accomplished everything I had hoped, but I’m still here, so that should say something. I also officially started my own business this year, taking First and Goal Sportscards to the masses in a whole new way. That was fun. I have no where near the time or money I’d love to dedicate to growing that business, but that’s okay. One day at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day (unless you talk to Chuck Norris fans).

Looking forward, I’m not going to be terribly ambitious in year three. I’d just like to keep the gravy train rolling. Obviously I’m hoping to expand my business and find more interesting things about which I can blog, but I’m okay with the status quo at this point in 1&G’s life. I just hope I’m still going strong NEXT May 20.

But because I’m sucker for a good giveaway, let’s have another Birthday Bash Contest. What the hey? Again, I’m going to go with the “mystery prize” concept if only so I can tailor the prize to the winner’s collecting interests. Here’s how it will work:

Find a way to connect to 1&G other than through this blog, and then report back with a comment on this post telling me how you did so. Some examples could be:

   1. Find and “Like” us on Facebook. There is a convenient little Facebook logo near the top of the side-bar. Use it. Click the “Like” button on our Facebook page and then leave a comment here to let me know you did so. Already a fan? Just tell me in a comment here and that still counts. This method is worth 1 entry.

   2. Follow us on Twitter. There is also a convenient little Twitter logo to your right (you may have to scroll up by this point). Follow our Twitter feed and then leave a comment here telling me what your Twitter ID is. Again, if you’re already following along, just let me know and you’ll still be entered. This method is worth 1 entry.

   3. Buy something from our eBay Store. Yep, you got it: Another site, another logo. That will take you directly into our eBay Store where you’ll find a fairly good selection of collecting supplies and various football singles and packs. And you may want to bookmark this page as we’re looking to expand our product offerings in the near future. This method is worth 1 entry per order.

   4. Pre-Order some box(es) of upcoming football cards. What? I can’t pimp my own business? All of the upcoming football releases are available to pre-order in our Pre-Sales Store. Every box you pre-order is worth 10 entries.

   5. Pimp this contest on your own Blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. Do so and then just leave a comment here with a link directly to said pimpin’. This entry is worth 1 entry.

Comments on this post for methods #1, 2, and 5 can be consolidated into one comment. All entries must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day). If calendars aren’t your thing, just look at the blog logos. If they are still birthday-themed, the contest is still open. If they aren’t, the contest is closed. How’s that for simplicity?

So there you have it. Technically your entry quota is limitless because you can use any or all of the entry methods above. It might seem a bit selfish, but I’m hoping to begin exclusive Facebook and Twitter content/contests and those will only be fun if people are actually paying attention.

And now, as is tradition around these parts, we we will have the ceremonial singing of “Happy Birthday” by Binky the Clown:

Wow. That was great. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

So until next year, may all of your packs be unsearched, your autos be on-card, and your relics game-used. As for me, I’m still waiting to see what else lies ahead on the Yellow Brick Road…

Football Pre-Sales


As previously mentioned on this blog, I am interested in branching into sales of sealed boxes and packs. That quest starts today.

The all-new 1&G Pre-Sales site is now live. We currently have 6 products available to pre-order, the first being 2011 Panini Prestige, which is set to release in just two weeks. All prices on the website include shipping and handling for USPS Priority Mail within the United States. For Canadian customers, please add just $5 for International Priority Mail.

We are also pleased to announce our Pre-Sale Guarantee: If our final release date price drops after you order, we will reimburse you the difference. On the other hand, if our final release date price increases after you order, you won’t be charged an extra dime. That’s our promise to you: to deliver the best possible products at the best possible prices.

Also, word on the street is that every pre-sale order will include a freebie or two. Just something to keep in mind…


Please bear in mind, in order to keep costs down, I designed and coded the entire website myself…and I am not a professional website developer, so the site is a bit crude and simplistic. Please let me know if you find any bugs in the system (orders won’t process, images won’t load, links are broken, etc.).

At this time, 1&G Pre-Sales will only be available through our own website. You will, however, be able to checkout using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card if you don’t have PayPal. Due to eBay’s fees, I just didn’t think we could cover our costs and retain competitive prices through our eBay store. If you are interested in any of our products but insist on buying through eBay, please contact us and we will work with you.

Just Say No to Exclusives


Topps has announced today that the two most recent Heisman Trophy winners, Mark Ingram and Cam Newton, have signed contracts and will be autographing many cards for the full slate of 2011 Topps football products. One very promising note is that Topps also mentions “many on-card autographs” which isn’t completely void in Topps products, but is also no where near a standard.

To view the entire press release, just click here.

Now, with any luck, these players will also sign autograph contracts with Panini so there are no stinkin’ exclusive deals which only hurt The Hobby, and ultimately the collector who now has fewer options for his personal collection.

Draft Buzz


In line for tonight’s big NFL news: Who will be the 2011 #1 overall draft pick? Will Cam Newton be it? Will the #1 moniker go to a defensive player? Will the top draft pick ever play in the NFL?


No, this isn’t a reference to the still looming NFL/players labor conflict. This is a reference to a much simpler time. The 2011 NFL Draft, the 76th of its kind, stands in stark contrast with the 1936 NFL Draft, the 1st of its kind. Today, the Draft is huge and is surrounded by constant news coverage, in-depth analysis, and year-round predictions. The 1936 Draft was a little different. Yes, there were nine rounds, but there were also only nine picks in each round. It was not held in Radio City Music Hall, or even in New York City, and there was no television coverage. And with teams like the Pirates and Dodgers, the direct correlation to the modern Draft continues to fade in oblivion.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the 1936 Draft and the modern Draft is that rather than signing a huge contract with millions of dollars guaranteed, the #1 overall draft pick, the very first college player ever drafted, never even signed an NFL contract. The Philadelphia Eagles used the first ever draft pick to select Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago. Berwanger was a star multi-sport athlete for the Maroons and even won the first ever Downtown Athletic Club Trophy (renamed the Heisman Trophy the following year). But Berwanger indicated he had no desire to play for the Eagles and his rights were consequently traded to the Chicago Bears. Even Hall of Fame owner-coach George Halas was unable to convince Berwanger to play professional football. Berwanger went on to become a sports writer and eventually a manufacturer of plastic automobile parts.

There have been plenty of other top draft pick busts in the past 75 years. Will tonight’s #1 pick be a future Hall of Famer? Will he ever start a game? At least in 1936, the Eagles did not blow millions of dollars to find out like the Panthers may do tonight.

Cam Newton Variation Explained


Last week when I was reviewing 2011 SAGE Hit High Series, I noticed what appeared to be a Cam Newton short print variation of the #100 base card. I speculated it was added to provide another chase element to the product, although nothing had been reported.

Cam Newton Base Variations

Tom Geideman, president of SAGE Collectibles, read that review and had this to say:

So that you’re aware this is what happened with the Cam Newton dual base card situation:

We were missing a photo of one of the Pre-Rookie cards (Ryan Mallett PR6) so we either had to delay the sheets being turned over to the printer or risk missing our date. We opted to fill that missing spot with a ‘new’ card to add value to the product without having to spend a lot of time getting a new design, etc. The solution we came up with was inserting a second version of the Cam Newton base card to replace the Mallett Pre-Rookie, and then print the Mallett PR6 card on a digital sheet (much quicker to do than the conventional printing). To make sure collectors were able to determine what we had done, we made the photo of one on the left and the photo of the other Newton base card on the right. The Newton base card variation is done at the same printing quantity as the other 4 Pre-Rookie cards in High Series. The Mallett Pre-Rookie card – because it was digitally printed – is much more short-printed.

We weren’t trying to pull a fast one at all, just trying to hit our packaging dates while still trying to add some value to the product.

So there you have it. Not truly a short printed variation per se, but definitely a distinct card in and of itself. And as it turns out, there is a short print card, but it is actually the Ryan Mallet Pre-Rookie insert.

Thanks, Tom, for the clarification and the collector information!

UD Gets Another Amateur Exclusive


This just came through the wire:

Upper Deck named official partner of USA Football
Steve Alic, Director of Communications Tue, 03/29/2011 – 9:48am

USA Football and Upper Deck announced today that the Carlsbad, Calif.-based trading card and collectibles company is an official sponsor of USA Football, its national team program and its work in youth football. The agreement marks USA Football’s first partnership with a trading card manufacturer.

USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States, assembling America’s national teams for international competition. Fifty-nine (59) countries spanning five continents possess a national federation of sport dedicated solely to football.

Upper Deck’s multi-year exclusive partnership with USA Football is its most significant foray into America’s youth football community, composed of approximately 3.0 million players age 6-14. USA Football also is the official youth development partner of the NFL and each of its 32 teams.

Starting this fall, Upper Deck will produce special edition U.S. Under-19 National Team football cards to be inserted into Upper Deck’s 2011 SP Authentic Football trading card packs slated to release in September.

On Feb. 2 in Austin, Texas, America’s Under-19 National Team in football earned a 21-14 victory against a World Team composed of top teenage football players spanning eight countries. The game was telecast nationally by NFL Network. Team USA was assembled of top high school seniors who will play college football this season for prominent Division I programs including Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas, Virginia Tech and others.

Special edition Under-19 National Team trading cards will include player images from February’s Team USA vs. The World game. Team USA players’ signatures and pieces of their game-worn jerseys also will be inserted into card packs.

USA Football teaches the game’s fundamentals and inherent values through more than 80 annual football training events and innovative online skill development resources. Indianapolis-based USA Football is an independent non-profit.

“It will be Upper Deck’s privilege and honor to join forces with USA Football,” said JASON MASHERAH, Upper Deck’s vice president of Marketing. “Any effort to promote the great game of football is a step in the right direction and the opportunity to capture members of the U.S. Under-19 National Team on trading cards is one we’re very excited about.”

“We are proud to call Upper Deck a USA Football family member,” said USA Football Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK. “Our national team program and Player Academies will benefit from Upper Deck’s industry-leading work and their commitment to youth football for the millions of kids who love to stay fit by playing America’s favorite sport and gain from the game’s team-first values.”

About Upper Deck
Upper Deck is the leading sports and entertainment trading card and collectibles company. For more information on Upper Deck and its products please visit http://www.upperdeck.com.

About USA Football
USA Football, the sport’s national governing body, hosts more than 80 football training events annually offering education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent non-profit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competition and awards $1 million annually in equipment grants to youth and high school football programs based on merit and need. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.

Sorta interesting that UD can pay all these exclusive licensing agreements for amateur cards but they couldn’t pay their NFL or MLB tabs…


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