Guest Column: The Day I Bought Football Cards

To all the collectors out there who peruse the sports card blogosphere and are starting to believe that baseball collectors completely dominate this “media” outlet: you are correct. There is no doubt that baseball will (most likely) forever rule the Hobby. Sports cards and baseball just go together. So much so that I, an avid football (and former basketball) collector who couldn’t care less about the baseball cards in his collection, will go to the length of just saying “I collect baseball cards” when asked about my hobbies. It’s just easier that way.

As a sort of minority amongst my fellow bloggers, I have apparently gained enough of a reputation to be considered a source of information. While I’ve never made bombastic claims stating as much, I guess it just comes with the territory. A little while ago, a faithful and long-time reader and fellow blogger, Joe, emailed me about his struggles with the temptation to buy some football cards after collecting almost nothing but baseball cards his entire life. Let’s just say I encouraged him. He said if he decided to pull the trigger, he would write up a review and wondered if I would host this review. Of course! As I said, Joe is a fellow blogger, of The Priceless Pursuit fame. It is a great blog and worth the time and effort to visit on a daily basis. I was only too happy to FINALLY receive his guest review this week in my email (apparently at the same time I was complaining on his blog that I hadn’t received it yet…go figure). So without further ado, here is Joe, the first guest columnist at First and Goal:

The Day I Bought Football Cards

I’m a baseball card collector and have been for the vast majority of my life. In fact, I haven’t had more than even a passing interest in any other sport until recently, and “passing” is perhaps generous. There are two seasons I follow: baseball, baseball’s off season, and college football.

Errr… three seasons.

People claim football is America’s new pastime, that it’s more popular than baseball, blah blah blah. In my house, baseball is still king.

But like a lot of others out there, fantasy football has peaked my curiosity in the real life version of the sport. Though I currently live in an NFL city, it’s still one that faces a serious threat of local television blackouts on a near weekly basis. There really are plenty of other things to do on a sunny, San Diego Sunday morning. And yes, I’m bragging. I pay so ridiculously much to live here that I think I’m entitled to it.

So at the beginning of every football season, as I get excited about another championship run in my fantasy league, I get an itch for football cards. And since the beginning of the 2009-10 season just so happened to coincide with having a little extra cash burning a hole in my pocket, I figured I’d pay a visit to the “other” half of my card shop: the pigskin cards.

Now, this was after very nearly purchasing an entire box of something online, but I convinced myself to do the “responsible” thing and spend money on single packs, instead, just to make sure I liked ‘em before committing to several hundred pieces of faceless cardboard pictures of players and teams I have virtually no interest in.

I didn’t like them.

I purchased some Bowman and some Heroes. I grabbed a couple different years of Score, and even picked up a pack of Philadelphia on the way to the shop at Target. I was chompin’ at the bit for these, but I was left severely disappointed. It wasn’t because I didn’t pull anything good, either. In fact, I pulled one of the two hits from the box of 2008 Bowman and got a nice, serial numbered Adrian Peterson card from a pack of ’08 Heroes.

So why don’t football cards excite me?

Perhaps it’s because I have what could generously be called just a moderate interest in the sport itself. I’ll watch the Chargers on Sunday and I’ll track my fantasy squad, but I generally don’t care how any one game turns out. Usually I’m too burned out from a college football filled Saturday. Or maybe it’s because when I was younger the card collecting hobby was so thoroughly dominated by baseball that cards of any other sport still seem a little… off. Or maybe it’s because all of the players have freakin’ helmets on and I can’t identify them? Or because half the cards are of linemen who I’ve never, ever heard of?

I certainly don’t look down on football card collectors. To each their own, right? And I do understand the waning interest in the sport of baseball. It’s slower paced, they play too many games, there isn’t enough parity, and on and on. Thanks, Dave, for letting me share my experience. But somehow I just can’t get into football cards, no matter how badly I’d like to expand my card collecting horizons. This will be my last rendezvous with football cards… until I get the itch all over again next season.

If you’d like to see some colorful pictures, you can view the post he wrote on his own blog right after his purchase here, as well as scans of some of the cards he pulled here.

Thanks Joe, for this great review. I’m sorry you weren’t more pleased with your foray into football cards, but I do commend you for trying something new. Hopefully you will have a better experience when (not if) you give into the temptation again next year. 🙂

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2 Responses to Guest Column: The Day I Bought Football Cards

  1. jswaykos says:

    If only there’d been another hit or two in those packs – I would’ve been hooked! But I’m definitely digging all the Heroes RCs with guys in college unis…

  2. Baseball is the default, you’re right, but I love football as well.

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