Today, we begin. I could not be more excited for the start of the NFL season, and I hope that everyone can feel the palpable tension that fuels the first games of the year. As for my favorite sport in the hobby, this is where we get our first look at some of the major players we already collect or will evemtually collect, and that drives some major sales on ebay.
I also have my predictions for the year, something that I have a lot of fun with, and I encourage you to voice your own.
For the MVP of collecting this year in football, its going to come down to a few guys, all of whom have a chance to make it to the big game in February. The first is last year’s hobby MVP, Aaron Rodgers, who managed a 15-1 record with the packers, but no playoff wins to match. Because of signature rarity and his resume, he is already one of the most expensive pulls in any sport. His challengers are many in Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford, all of which have the weapons to eventually be the big man on campus. I would normally include Drew Brees in the mix, but his autographs just dont sell the way these other guys do.
I think Aaron Rodgers keeps his crown, here is where he is now:
Although the class has a lot of collectability, only two guys really have a shot at ending up on top. Both Luck and RGIII have many reasons why they wont live up to the hype, mainly in their supporting cast, but the potential for greatness is still big. Right now, the Colts have more weapons around Luck than the Redskins around Griffin, which leads me to believe that Luck should have the better year. Washington’s offensive line is a mess, which spells further issue for RGIII, and I believe that collectors have come around to the fact that Luck looks like the better prospect.
Andrew Luck is my pick, and so far that is exactly what the prices show:
Comeback Hobby Player of the Year
There are a lot of people out there who get initial hype, fall on their face, and evetually make it back to the top. This year, there are quite a few, but two stand out in particular. The first is a guy who was destined to be a playoff QB last year, but got injured along the way. Jay Cutler in Chicago has a great team around him, especially with the addition of Brandon Marshall, and I definitely believe that he has a good shot at a huge resurgence. The other guy is Blaine Gabbert who looked like a different person over the pre-season. For a guy who did ABSOLUTELY nothing during his rookie year, he looked much more comfortable this time around.
Cutler has a rarer signature and a better team, he pulls it off:
Sleeper of the Year
Its tough to be a sleeper in this hobby, if not only because everyone has so many autographs as it is. The guys I consider to be sleepers are ones that might be a good pick to buy in low, and then sell when the time is right. I really like the potential of guys like Calvin Johnson, as he is relatively non-existent in terms of availability, but he isnt my pick. My picks are two guys that have tremendous potential for Super Bowl appearances, and both have recently come onto checklists as a big part of things. The first is Arian Foster and the other is Matt Schaub. Foster’s autographs go for very little, and shouldnt, which is a similar situation for Schaub. As a quarterback, Schaub will be more valuable, and coming off injury always helps in setting prices low. Both guys will come on strong.
Check out where they are now:
Im always interested in the beginning of a season, if not only because everyone starts fresh. In the hobby, reputations carry over, but can be forgotten as soon as collectors sniff good production in the future. Here is to another rousing season of my favorite sport. I cannot wait!