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…


Still Searching for the Wizard


When I wrote the very first post here at First and Goal, I concluded with the simple phrase, “Now it’s just a matter of finding out where the Yellow Brick Road will lead us…” At the time, I didn’t realize just how true that statement would be. Now looking back, exactly one year later, I can see it has been a bit of a crazy journey, complete with all sorts of characters. There is the loyal first friend I met, the Scarecrow; the infamous rusty lumberjack (perhaps frozen by the cold of the Great White North?), the Tinman; and the magical hairy beast, the Cowardly Lion. I’ve even met the patient yet possessive leader of the munchkins, the tyrannical and cursing Wicked Witch of the West and a flying monkey or two and other creatures of the night. For a while I thought I had contact with the great Wizard himself, but he seems to be absent at the moment. I’ve met so many new faces along the path, that I could not possibly mention them all (or quickly come up with clever analogies for all of them). There is one thing that I cannot argue though, it has been a fun trip so far.

On this first birthday of First and Goal, I thought it would be interesting to share some stats. These may or may not mean anything to you, but it gives a slightly better picture of the past year:

15,000+ blog hits
300+ Emmitt Smiths added to my collection, mostly from generous readers like you
233 posts (including this one)
145 eBay listings successfully sold
38 HOF Spotlight features
19 Heisman Highlight features
12 box break product reviews (and more just around the corner)
8 trade partners (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8)
5 free card contests (including one I sponsored at Wax Heaven)
4 major football licensing changes (Topps loses NFL, UD gains NCAA exclusive, UD loses NFL, Topps regains NFL)
3 Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder concerts (sorry, I had to mention it)
2 dry spells successfully weathered (buying/moving into a new house and tax season)
1 interview with a top company exec

I realize that a lot of blogs have far more impressive stats, some in far less time, but I am happy with the moderate “success” I’ve had here so far. It is certainly fun. If it wasn’t, I would have given up LONG ago. Along with the above figures, I also find it interesting to review my ambitions from Day 1: Provide new opinion on the Hobby? Check. Product Reviews? Check. Product Previews? Check. Giveaways? Check. Group box breaks. Damn. Maybe we’ll see that added in year 2.

In the spirit of all of this hoopla and celebration, I thought I should also hold another giveaway (if you were paying very close attention, you would have noticed the “5 free card contests” was a bit inflated without this part of the post). I will be honest and say this anniversary popped up on me rather suddenly, so I don’t have huge plans. So whaddya say to a mystery prize? The winner of this contest will need to tell me their collecting interest and I’ll see what I have laying around that falls into that category. If I don’t have much, I’ll just throw together an odd assortment of autographs, jersey cards, maybe some shiny inserts, and even an unopened pack or two. So how is this going to work? Simple. Leave a comment on this post and tell me:

   1) What is your favorite post so far on First and Goal?

   2) What is one post idea you’d like to see me attempt?

   3) What is your favorite Pearl Jam album?

   4) Would you continue to read this blog if nothing were to change?

   5) What is your favorite player/team/set to collect?

And just for S&Gs, we will say an answer to each of these questions is worth 1 entry. You answer all five, you get five entries. You only answer one, you only get one entry. Simple, yes? And just because I am a sucker for the pimpin’ life, and we all know “pimpin’ ain’t easy”, I’ll give you a bonus entry if you place a shout-out on your blog, facebook, twitter, etc. (please paste the link as a comment here, only 1 bonus entry possible per individual, regardless of number of socialized media sources on which I am pimped). We’ll say all entries need to be submitted my 11:59pm on Memorial Day (5/31/2010). That gives you knuckleheads over a week to leave your comments.

UDPATE: Contest is officially closed. Thank you to all who participated!

Last, but never least, we will now 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 can’t wait to see what else lies ahead on the Yellow Brick Road…