Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Winding Down by Bearing Down

Yesterday was a day.  You know what I mean - we've all had those kind of days.  The ones where your running around like, as Charlie Daniels might say, your head is on fire and your ass is catchin', just trying to keep up with the amount of work, neediness and insanity around you.

Yea - THOSE days.

Well, after a looooong day at work trying to keep up at ludicrous speed (I now see that graduation time is almost more stressful for faculty than students), I was completely emotionally and physically drained.  Then, I still got up and ran 4 miles because I'm a glutton for punishment.  Anyway, what I'm saying is that I was exhausted yesterday evening and in desperate need for respite.

In steps Adam from Cardboard Clubhouse.

Well, not quite literally - it would be weird if the Ohio-native just walked into my house unannounced, threw cards at me and ran (though what a story that would be).  Rather, a padded mailer stuffed to the brim with neat, new cards for my collection showed up at my doorstep, sent off by the aforementioned Adam.

A good half of the contents of said package were 1980 Topps football, which is a-okay with me, seeing as my vintage football collection is sorely lacking.  Such awesome names as Golden Richards and Virgil Livers were sadly missing from my Bears All-Time Roster Collection binder, which is such a shame.  Thankfully Adam (figuratively) stepped in and corrected that misdeed.

You might know Golden best from his days as a Cowboy, but he also spent a couple of seasons in the Windy City (1978-790  towards the end of his career.  Virgil might have an organ for a last name; however, he is much more known for another part of his body.  That is, I'll put it this way, he's known for an injury that is often cited as why athletes should wear cups...


Tommy Hart is another guy best known for his work with another team (49'ers), but was also teammates with Golden in 1978-79.  Meanwhile, local boy Ted Albrecht (Harvey, IL) was a Bear through and through during his five year NFL career and currently serves as an analyst on WGN broadcasts of Northwestern football.  Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that I went to college with a relative of his.

Steve Schubert was a Bears wide receiver for a few years (nothing too notable about the guy) while Greg Latta was one of the few players to have ever played in the playoffs for the NFL ('77 & '79 with Chicago) and for the old World Football League, where he played for the Florida Blazers in the 1974 World Bowl.

WFL, USFL, XFL, UFL... the money-machine that is the National Football League really has crushed any and all challengers, hasn't it?

Now, I should also note, that the backs of most of these vintage pieces also have some inscriptions on the back:

After inquiring with Adam as to the pen markings on the back (they came to him as part of a lot, so individual info was lacking), we came to the conclusion that these are the workings of some 80's kid trying to impress his friends or some other such nonsense.  The handwriting seems pretty uniform on all of them, the pen is the same and the "autographs" don't even come close to other known examples for any of the players.

No matter - there's no love lost with me.

Meanwhile, as great as these vintage finds were, Adam sent more than just "oldies but goodies."  Also included was a sizable portion of the Bears 2014 Topps team set:

RIP Topps Football.

Gotta love Jared Allen plowing through the snow on the bottom right (that's about the only kind of plowing he did with the Monsters of the Midway) and the sweet catch by Alshon Jeffrey in the middle.  However, my favorite card of the bunch was definitely this one:

The reason being is that this is my very first card of Kyle Long, which will now slot nicely into that Bears All-Time Roster Collection.  Woot!

See, there hasn't been much to cheer for or a lot of talent to speak of the past few seasons of Bears football - they're deep within a rebuild  Kyle Long is one of the few legitimate stars on the roster jenga'ing squad and thus, his cardboard comes at a premium in Chicago.  Being the cheapie that I am, I'm not going to pay a full buck for his base cards at my LCS; so, I've been holding out.

You might say that this addition to my collection has been a "Long" time coming!  ba dum tiss

The rest of the padded mailer was filled with other cool, miscellaneous singles.  Sadly, the disheveled, mentally exhausted version of me that was present last night forgot to take a picture of the rest before I sorted them away, except for this excellently-framed Alshon from last year's Prestige release.

Here's hoping that Panini has more of this sort of stuff up their sleeve now that they've got the exclusive license for physical NFL cards (Topps still has their digital-only Huddle).  Rather reminiscent of Stadium Club here.

With that, we've finally reached the end of Adam's chock full 'o' awesome trade package.  Seriously, after a pretty trying and tiring day at work, this was the best possible way to unwind; plus, seeing so many needed names for my Bears collection really turned my frown upside down.  Hopefully, at least some of this joy was reciprocated with my end of the trade; a sincere thank you, sir!

Is there any way better to wind down from a rough day than sorting through new cards?  Methinks not.


  1. Glad you liked the cards Tony. Your end of the trade held up quite nicely. You mentioned that Kyle Long cards go for a premium up there. I hate to brag but that card was actually free when I got it. One of the local LCS owners was clearing out a bunch of stuff and a giant box had a free sign on it saying to take as much as was wanted, so I claimed the whole box.

    Now that your on my mailing list, I might have some leftover Blackhawks as well. I'll have to check my hockey trade stash.

  2. I'm not a football guy but that Ted Albrecht card is just awesome!

  3. a) Haven't heard the name Golden Richards in ages b) I love those old Topps football cards!

  4. Hope things are improving as the week goes on. Hope my boy Kevin White can form a dynamic duo with Alshon Jeffery.