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

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…

EXCLUSIVE: First Look at 2011 SAGE Hit


Here is an EXCLUSIVE first look gallery of the “Big Time” inserts from the upcoming 2011 SAGE Hit set. These images are courtesy of SAGE Collectibles and are not available anywhere else. Take a look and let us know your thoughts. By the way, SAGE president Tom Geideman will be reading your comments, so this is the place to let your voice be heard!

Click each thumbnail for a full-sized image

NOTE: An easier-to-navigate image gallery can be found on our Facebook Page.

2011 SAGE Hit Low Series goes live the week of March 14 and is packed out in 16-box cases that contain 30 5-card packs. Low Series boxes have 6 autograph cards on average and NO REDEMPTIONS. This will be your first chance to collect cards of the 2011 rookie class. SAGE’s website has the complete checklist for Low Series and High Series posted.

Topps Takes New Approach to Designs


Well, alright, it may not be a new approach to an entire design scheme, but it certainly is an interesting concept. What am I talking about? Check out this press release from Topps regarding the forthcoming 2010 Topps Five Star Football:


Topps announces it will be adding its popular player sketch-cards as additional hits to the highly-anticipated Five Star Football. Several gridiron stars have added their artistic skills including Tony Romo (image attached), Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Roddy White, Matthew Stafford, C.J. Spiller, Matt Ryan, Mike Williams, Tim Tebow, Aaron Hernandez and many more.

Each original 1 of 1 drawing features the artist/player’s signature on the card’s back.

The hobby exclusive Topps Five Star Football hits stores late February.

Tony Romo Sketch Card
Click image for larger view

I think this is actually a really cool idea. In the late 90s, jersey swatches were supposed to get you closer than ever to the players you collected. Then it turned out that jerseys were just “event worn” or “player used” and the athlete never knew where his old sweaty laundry was going. Then seeded autographs (and some were inserted in-pack well before the jersey craze) were supposed to be the next big thing. But sticker labels and mass production led collectors to want more from the card companies. On-card autographs were viewed as the next best thing because you knew that the player actually held the card and knew what he was autographing. Now, Topps is taking it to another level by having the player draw/design the entire card himself, PLUS autographing the back. Who would’ve thought that on-card autographs on the BACK of cards would be acceptable? It works here.

It will be interesting to see scans of these things when they are released. Is an art chase hit still chased if the athlete can’t draw for crap? Does a no-name bench warmer suddenly become a hot commodity because he would be better employed, though much hungrier, as a free lance illustrator? I suppose only time will tell, but it should be fun to watch.

By the way, would anyone be willing to bet that Tim Tebow’s card includes a Scripture reference?