Sunday, February 14, 2016

Will You Be My Valentine?

Today is that special day upon which we all arbitrarily decided to make showing affection towards someone important in our lives acceptable.  Valentines day is upon us and we must shower our significant other with chocolates, teddy bears, candlelit dinners, roses, cheap jewelry - otherwise, we clearly don't care about them.  But, just on this one day; come February 15th, go back to the status quo.

At least, that's how Hallmark, Fannie Mae, Vermont Teddy Bears and Kay Jewelers all want you to think.  My fiance and I personally believe we should spread the love out all year round and it should be based around more than just how much money we spend on each other.

Of course, there is one ritual of V-Day time that we haven't completely disposed of - she still likes to buy little Valentine cards for all of her co-workers.  Y'know, those little cards that we all were forced to give at least one of to all of our classmates in elementary school.  It was a stressful process for a 10 year old, finding the perfect card for your secret crush, one for your platonic friends that showed you were cool and that one kid whose name you didn't even know but were obligated to not leave out.

So, while she went out and got herself a nice set of pizza-themed Valentines from the local big-box store, I picked up a set of my own:

Of course, my motives weren't quite as noble as my better half's - I bought these for my own entertainment.  My reasons for this are as follows:

  1.   I don't really care for my co-workers all that much.
  2.   These make for some interesting, oddball trading cards too.
Yep, I bought these Valentines for inclusion in my burgeoning basketball card collection.  Well, not really burgeoning - I hang onto Bulls cards when they find their way into my hands.  Honestly, I thought these would make for some good blogging material for the holiday. 

If MLB wasn't so stingy with their licensing, I'd have gladly bought a set of those instead; but, we all know how that is.

These Valentines are more like mini Sportsflics cards than anything else - they're lenticular and about the same thickness.  While the box includes 32 cards, they come in tiles of 8 featuring the same amount of NBA stars:

Each card "lenticulates" between a image of the hoop star in action, a zoomed in crop-shot of that same image and their team logo.

We all know how difficult it is to show these kinds of cards off in picture form, but I'll do my best:

Here's the only one of the 8 that really fits into my collection.  Believe or not, even though I do have a modest Bulls collection, Derrick Rose was not in it yet.  Therefore, I'll be sliding this guy into my Bulls All-Time Roster binder, for the time being.

With the exception of Sammy Sosa, I've never seen Chicago spin such a drastic 180 degrees on a star player.  Of course, the former MVP and local product hasn't really done anything to counteract that sudden distaste, due to his constant injuries, prematurely declining skills, his overly-insulating entourage and his steadfast refusal to share the spotlight with Jimmy Butler despite his decline.

Rose went from being the heir-apparent to the Jordan throne to the most resented athlete in Chicago.

Maybe I should be giving the Roses out to my co-workers...

Speaking of athletes who aren't very well-liked in Chicago...

The difference here, of course, is that LeBron is just far too good and makes things impossibly difficult for the rest of the Eastern Conference.  LeBron is Chicago's penance for their dynasty years - I mean, now we know what it was like for the rest of the league to have to deal with Michael Jordan all that time.

Okay - I'm surprised the city of Chicago didn't just burn all of these boxes when they came within the city's borders.  Here's another guy that the Windy City doesn't care too much for.

Carmelo was hotly-courted by the Bulls a couple of off-season's ago and offered him a great deal of money.  However, the Knicks offered him more and he decided to stick around in NYC.  However, a lot of meatball fans felt entitled to him and now hate him for only caring about the money.

I'm sorry, but if I have two job offers to do the exact same thing with a significant difference in salary, I'm going to take the higher-paying option too.  That's just capitalism.

Ahh, the retiring superstar.  His victory lap tour of the NBA reminds me very much of all the Derek Jeter hoopla from a couple of years ago.  His skills have decline to the point that he no longer belongs in a starting position; however, nobody is going to stand in the way of that money/attention machine.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here we have the NBA's current golden boy... of the lynch-pins of a great basketball dynasty...

..Kevin Durant...

...and Damian Lillard.

I didn't have as much to say about the last few since my knowledge of the NBA outside of the Bulls and the player movement that directly affects them is very limited.  I can only focus on so many sports and basketball is already behind baseball, hockey and football on my totem pole.

Oh - in the interest of completeness, here is what the backs of all these cards look like:

No lame basketball puns?  Do these really even count as Valentines then?  Aren't they legally obligated to say something like, "Hope your Valentines Day is a slam dunk!"

There you have it, that's what the contents of a box of Paper Magic Group's lenticular, NBA Valentines looks like.  If I were still a kid, I'd be much more likely to use these for my 6th grade classroom than the Frozen or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles options they were displayed next to.  As it is, they made for an interesting "box break" and relevant blogging material.

I gotta wrap this up though - like I mentioned earlier, the fiance and I are going to be spending our whole V-Day wandering around the Chicago Auto Show, daydreaming about the latest and greatest cars we'll never again see in person.  We try to do a romantic dinner every week (not just when Hallmark says to) and the Auto Show only comes around once a year.

Unless this is all a clever trap and she's actually expecting a human-sized teddy bear holding a box of chocolates in one hand and a bouquet of flowers in the other... if I don't throw up a blog post tomorrow, someone send help!

Happy Valentines Day everybody!


  1. "You're my favorite Valentine, let me COURT the ways"

    I didn't look for any on recent trips to stores, but I think the sports related ones are still better than whatever else comes out these days. Those looked pretty cool, though I am a bit surprised Damian Lillard was included, I'd figure someone else would be, but I can't really thing of anyone since I don't follow NBA much these days.

  2. Curry is so hot in the Bay Area... I probably could get $5 for that card. These are pretty cool. Maybe I'll look for a box at Target tomorrow. Should be on clearance, right?