Professional Football Celebrates It’s 125th Anniversary

On Sunday, professional football celebrated it’s 125th anniversary.  According to a November 12, 1892 expense accounting sheet from the Allegheny Athletic Association, a W. Heffelfinger was paid to play.  The official entry on the sheet reads “game performance bonus to W. Heffelfinger for playing (cash) $500.00”.  This is the earliest known evidence of an individual being paid to play football.  Historians consider this document to be professional football’s birth certificate.  $500.00 was a lot of money back then.  He must have been worth it, because the Allegheny Athletic Club beat the Pittsburgh Athletic Club that day 4-0.  Heffelfinger recovered a fumble to score the only touchdown.  In those days a touchdown was only worth four points.

You would think someone as historically significant as William “Pudge” Heffelfinger would have lots of cards.  That is far from the case.  I’d say his 1955 Topps All-American SP #18 is his most important card.  He also has a handful of cards in 2011 TRISTAR Obak, and a cut signature in 2014 Panini National Treasures.

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: Clemson Tigers College Football Playoff 2016 National Champions Dangler Pin

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Nothing pleases me more than to see a team go the entire season without losing only to watch them choke in the National Championship game.  Especially when it happens to a team like Alabama who has won enough titles over the last few years.  That game was a nail biter right down to the very last second, but Clemson pulled ahead.  Alabama left too much time on the clock and Clemson marched right down the field.  I guess kicking Lane Kiffin to the curb wasn’t such a good idea.

Merchandise for Clemson’s victory immediately followed the game.  It could be seen on the field.  This pin is one of a handful made for retail stores.  You can easily add one to your collection for $8.

Card of the Day: Carson Wentz 2016 Absolute Football Rookie Roundup #1

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Card of the Day: Harry Beecher 1888 Goodwin Champions Football N162

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Goal Line Art: 2016 Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class

Members of the 2016 Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class have received the Goal Line Art treatment.  Artist Gary Thomas has once again worked his magic.  These paintings are extremely well done and look great.

As it has been the case since 1989, a 4″ x 6″ card set has been made based on these original pieces of artwork.  The 2016 set has just been released, and can be purchased here.  Sets usually sell for $30.00.  This year’s HOF inductees include Edward DeBartolo, Tony Dungy, Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Ken Stabler, and Dick Stanfel.

If you’re heading to the Hall Of Fame this summer for the Enshrinement Ceremony, I’d take one of these sets along.  You might be able to get some autographed, and these look cool signed.  Plus, they’re a little easier to carry around versus a football, helmet, or jersey.

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2015 Topps Strata Football Box Break & Review

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One of my favorite mediums that I like to see card companies use is acetate.  Some collectors think it might be overused today, but I can’t get enough of it.  There are right and wrong ways a company can use acetate.  Topps for the most part has always seemed to use it correctly.

When you’re making an autographed card using acetate, you almost always want to make sure the card is hard-signed.  Stickers on acetate just don’t mix.  Even the clear ones.  Inserting signed chunks of acetate into a card as a replacement for stickers is no better.  You simply cannot use acetate in the design process and treat it as if its just another card.  A lot of time and thought needs to go into how the acetate will be used.  If this isn’t done, the cards will come out terrible.

From a design standpoint, the acetate cards found in 2015 Strata Football are right up there in quality.  Especially when it comes to the auto/relics.  Strata Football this year follows it’s baseball counterpart when it comes to configuration.  Gone are all the base cards.  Boxes now contain (2) autographs and that’s it.  It gets straight to the point very fast.  I always wanted to try a box of Strata Football before, but I just didn’t want the excess base cards.

The price point is right on target, with boxes costing less than $60.00.  Its one of the most affordable, quick thrill, on-card autograph products you can buy.  The reason why its not that expensive is because of the checklist.  Its comprised mainly of rookies.  Two of the biggest rookies, Amari Cooper and Todd Gurley, are redemptions.  The last few redemption cards I’ve redeemed have gone very smoothly, so it shouldn’t take that long for these to start shipping.

I think the biggest problem collectors have been complaining about is what the box states.  It says “1 Strata Signature Patch Card + 1 Strata Signature Card”.  Not everyone will be pulling a patch.  A jumbo jersey is more likely.

2015 Strata Baseball has a nice feature that allows you to lookup when and where that specific relic was used.  This did not migrate over to football.  I bet this would’ve been implemented if Topps and the NFL planned to continue their relationship.

An expanded checklist with more veterans would’ve made this last version of Strata Football a little better.  Visually the cards look great, and I like the reconfiguration.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto/Relic

  • Dorial Green-Beckham Clear Cut Auto/Jersey Black Parallel #’ed/50

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Auto

  • Tre McBride Auto #’ed/800

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2015 Topps Supreme Football Box Break & Review

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The Supreme brand has always been to my liking ever since it debuted.  That goes for both baseball and football.  I like the configuration.  Its a fast thrill that gets straight to the “hits”.  The Topps physical football card run is soon coming to an end.  That’s sad, but its just something we’ll have to deal with.  With that being said, Topps can go all out on some of their final football products.  Having to worry about running out of football autographs isn’t much of a concern.  Topps wants to use them up.  This creates some great autographs you don’t always get to see.

A majority of Supreme is sticker based when it comes to the autographs.  Although it does have it’s share of on-card content.  For the most part, your autograph(s) will be on a sticker(s).  Topps did a superb job designing these cards.  For a product that is almost entirely sticker based, the cards came out well.  A couple of factors play in to why they look just so darn good.  I think it has to do a lot with the gold stickers, placement of those stickers, and the cards’ overall design.  This is one of the main reasons why I like Topps so much.  Even when they have to use stickers, a lot of the time they’ll do their best to design the card in a way that will not allow the sticker to stick out like a sore thumb.  Are they immune to using white boxes with stickers?  No.  But at least they’re better at it then others.  In my opinion, the gold stickers best blend into the Supreme Autographs #’ed/99.

Booklets are where these cards truly reign “supreme”.  See what I did there 😉  Topps got football vets to include interesting inscriptions and hand-drawn plays.  The hand-drawn plays are really awesome.

Outside of the booklets, the Autographed Jumbo Patches are some of my favorites.  These horizontally designed cards have a jumbo patch, but it doesn’t overpower the players’ photo.  They left plenty of room for both.

Costing around $84.00, boxes can be on the expensive side.  Considering you only get (1) “hit”.  Like every product today, its a huge hit or miss if you’re trying to make back your money.

This is probably one of the better versions of Supreme.  I’d recommend opening a box.  Just don’t go all nuts if you don’t pull that life altering “hit”.  With Topps not holding anything back when it comes to football, you’ve got the opportunity to find some neat stuff.

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Melvin Gordon/Ameer Abdullah/T.J. Yeldon/Matt Jones Rookie Quad Combos Patches #’ed/25

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Parallels

  • Kurt Warner Copper #’ed/194
  • Gale Sayers Copper #’ed/194

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Base

  • Matt Forte #31

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