Hobby Breakdown: NFC Championship Game

Sunday’s NFC Championship Game is a clash of the Titans, no doubt. The Saints are 13-3 and the number 1 seed, the Vikings are 12-4, playing away, and are the number 2 seed. The story is more about Drew Brees vs Brett Favre, though I want to look at it from a hobby standpoint. Im going to go position by position and talk about who has the most to gain this weekend. The Saints may be the better team in terms of record, but are the Vikings a better team in the hobby?


Starter: Drew Brees
Team: Saints
Rookie Year: 2001 (Chargers)
Best Rookie Card: 2001 Bowman Chrome Auto, 2001 Playoff Contenders Auto (tie)
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $400
Autos Usually Sell For: $70
Commentary: Brees has the advantage because he has autographed rookie cards. However, outside of his rookies, his auto can sell for as little as 36 bucks. I think he is one of the more undervalued players in the league, but a win on Sunday could vault his values into a higher value bracket.

Starter: Brett Favre
Team: Vikings
Rookie Year: 1991
Best Rookie Card: 1991 Wild Card 1000 Stripe
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $900
Autos Usually Sell For $150+
Commentary: I know the 1000 stripe is a ridiculously expensive card, but it is so rare that it is hard to even find on eBay. In addition, there are fakes, so im not even sure it can be counted. The regular 1991 Stadium Club RCs sell for very little, so I guess the playing field is even there. Favre has accomplished everything there is to accomplish, so the only room for improvement is in his Vikings cards.

Advantage: Tie

Running Back

Starter: Reggie Bush
Team: Saints
Rookie Year: 2006
Best Rookie Card: 2006 Exquisite Collection
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $600
Autos Usually Sell For: $40
Commentary: Bush was one of the most hyped up players coming out of college, and his cards reflected that. They still hold a ton of value in the rookies, but other than that, he has nothing. He has underperformed on the field as well, but a good game on Sunday can be huge for his values.

Starter: Adrian Peterson
Team: Vikings
Rookie Year: 2007
Best Rookie Card: 2007 Exquisite Collection
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $1100
Autos Usually Sell For: $150
Commentary: Peterson is the biggest star in the hobby, even more so than Manning or Favre. His cards are very sought after, especially the 2007 ones, and his performance still leaves room for more improvement. Its rare that a Running Back can out value the QBs, but in this case, the throngs of Vikings fans have made it so.

Advantage: Vikings

Wide Receiver

Starter: Marques Colston
Team: Saints
Rookie Year: 2006
Best Rookie Card: 2006 Exquisite Collection
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $75
Autos Usually Sell For: Under $10
Commentary: Colston is a good receiver on the field, but doesn’t have much of a following in the hobby. Like many good wide receivers, he is very underappreciated, and a good game probably wouldn’t help much.

Starter: Sidney Rice

Team: Vikings
Rookie Year: 2007
Best Rookie Card: 2007 Exq
uisite Collection

Avg Sell Value For That Card: $140
Autos Usually Sell For: $20
Commentary: Rice’s cards have spiked this year, and its all because of some amazing games. If he does have another game like he did against the Cowboys, he may become one of the most valuable WRs in the hobby.

Advantage: Vikings

Tight End

Starter: Jeremy Shockey
Team: Saints
Rookie Year: 2002 (Giants)
Best Rookie Card: 2002 Playoff Contenders
Avg Sell Value For That Card: $42
Autos Usually Sell For: $15
Commentary: Shockey’s mouth gained him a following as a Giant, but his performance forced him to a position with New Orleans. He has had somewhat of a resurgence, but not much. I hated this guy when he was a Giant, and I have a feeling I will hate him that much more on Sunday.

Starter: Visanthe Shiancoe
Team: Vikings
Rookie Year: 2003 (Giants)
Best Rookie Card: 2003 SP Authentic
Average Sell Value For That Card: $10
Autos Usually Sell For: N/A
Commentary: Shiancoe had his second good year in a row with Minnesota, but his cards have done little to nothing. He hasn’t even had an auto recently, and that isnt a bad thing. You can pick up his SPA autos for cheap, and if he has a great game on Sunday, that may not be the case anymore.

Advantage: Saints

Wild Card Player

Starter: Robert Meachem
Position: WR
Rookie Year: 2007
Best Rookie Card: 2007 Exquisite Collection
Average Sell Value For That Card: $50
Autos Usually Sell For: Under $10
Commentary: Meachem finally had an okay year for the Saints, and the people hoarding his cards have responded. As a player with a large college following, he continues to have value regardless of performance. If he does well on Sunday, we could see an explosion.

Starter: Jared Allen
Position: Defensive End
Rookie Year: 2004 (Chiefs)
Best Rookie Card: 2006 SP Authentic (Non-auto)
Average Sell Value For That Card: $20
Autos Usually Sell For: $60
Commentary: Allen has a humongous Minnesota following, and that following pays enormous prices for certified autos in Vikings uniform. His autos out of UD Black and UD Philadelphia have commanded $100 and $40 respectively, on top of the 40 bucks his first certified auto usually gets out of 2005 Score.

Advantage: Vikings


The Saints and Vikings are dangerous teams, but the Vikings definitely have more hobby power. Although Minnesota is the underdog come Sunday, they still have a pretty good shot just because of the team they have. However, they are going to have to contend with one of the best players in the game in Drew Brees, so who knows what could happen. A 51-50 win for the Saints is not out of the question.

Advantage: Vikings

The Vikings Continue To Disappoint

The Vikings had one goal going into Monday night, and that was to beat a struggling Bears team that they had destroyed once already that season. Of course, as every Vikings fan expected, they fucked it up, and now the two seed is out of their hands. Thankfully, they are going to be playing a bruised and beaten Giants team in the dome next week, a place where they have yet to lose this season, simultaneously watching the scoreboard to see if Dallas can beat Philadelphia. In a perfect world for us, the Eagles lose to the Cowboys, the Giants go down a la this past weekend, and Wild Card Weekend becomes R and R weekend.

Personally, I think that after the dismal first half, the Vikings did not deserve to win Monday’s game. The Bears played them like a fiddle from the beginning, running up and down the field and preventing anything from materializing on defense. Peterson was no where to be seen, Favre was floundering, and the scoreboard had a nice goose egg for the Vikings at the half. In true Favrian fashion, Minnesota storms back, scores 17 unanswered points and tied it up late in the fourth. At 23-23 with less than five minutes to go, Danieal Manning returns the ensuing kickoff into Vikings territory, and Cutler engineers a score two plays later. This is where it gets interesting, because in the next couple of drives, the Vikings should have ended up “game over” on a few separate occasions instead of forcing OT.

First, after the kickoff, a holding penalty and a sack puts them at 2nd and 20 from deep in their own end. Sure enough, they get a first down on a long pass play and short run. Second, Favre overthrows Percy Harvin while on their way to a touchdown, and Zachary Bowman drops a tipped pass that was in his hands. Instead of a game ending interception with less than a minute on the clock, the Vikings score on a sweet touch pass to Sidney Rice in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. Third, on the first drive of overtime, the Bears’ MVP of the game, Devin Aromashodu, sets them up with a field goal from inside the 30, but Robbie Gould could not seal the deal. Luckily for the Bears, the fourth time is a charm, and after a crippling Adrian Peterson fumble, Aromashodu catches the game winner with Favre watching helplessly from the sidelines.

Regardless of Peterson’s fumble, or Antoine Winfield’s poor decision to underestimate the player of the game, the loss was eerily reminiscent of the Saints overtime loss to 2-12 Tampa Bay. Both losses came to bad teams that should have been killed, and both losses could have very large playoff implications. The Vikings no longer control their own destiny to lock up the two seed in the NFC, and it has become probable that 40 year old Brett Favre will have two extra games to play in the 2009 season. Instead of sitting out for week 17 and resting up for the playoffs, he will have to play full speed ahead for the game against a team that has nothing to play for. It could also add in a new hurdle for the week after, where the Vikings now have to play instead of having the bye. For an aging body that has been beaten mercilessly over the past month, it could spell disaster for a team that once looked infallible.

As a lifelong Vikings fan, I have trained my mind to expect the worst in every situation. However, this time, having Favre is definitely better than not having him. I guarantee you that the 2007 and the 2008 Vikings never would have even made it to overtime last night, or have been in a position where the game actually mattered as much as it did. That is where Favre makes his magic happen, and I am eager to see what he has up his sleeve come next week and beyond. Although I doubt the Vikings have a Super Bowl run in them without linebacker EJ Henderson, I do think they have enough gas to make it to the second or third round of the playoffs. I think the Eagles have a great shot at beating the Cowboys to win the number two seed, and at this point its almost better that they do. That way the Vikings don’t have the time to think about what could have been, and they wont go soft watching others bang it out on Wild Card Weekend.

As we saw this week, anything can happen any given Sunday in the NFL, and maybe that “anything” spells a few more victories for the Vikings. Maybe that anything also means that Devin Aromashodu gets a flat tire on his way to the stadium, and gets stuck on the side of the road in 10 degree weather for week 17 as “payback” for his ridiculous game.

Who knows?

It could happen, right?

Chris Johnson and Breaking the 2000 Yard Barrier

Chris Johnson is 128 yards away from a barrier that only five other players have reached. This 2000 yard club is tough to become a part of, and it includes names like Sanders and Dickerson. Players like Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Jim Brown, who are generally thought of as the greatest running backs of all time, never got to the amazing mark Johnson is approaching. The question I want to look at isnt whether or not he will get there, but what will happen to his cards when he does.

In my opinion, a lot of his value is derived from his production, but it isnt really where it should be. That is the result of having a give up auto as he does, in addition to the team he plays for. Considering that he is a dynamic player, he should have prices in the stratosphere, but because his auto looks like someone said “initial here, here and here” people arent willing to pay the prices that they normally would for someone like Adrian Peterson. Johnson deserves it at this point, dont get me wrong, but when you cant even bother to sign the cards for the fans, the collectors are not going to give as much attention.

When he does break the 2000 yard mark, he might have a large spike, but when the year starts next year, things still may not be at the top of the spectrum where he left them unless he continues to shine. Look at Jamal Lewis, he ran for 2000 yards with Baltimore, but after seasons of limited production, his values have dropped. Having a great season or two does not make a career, though with Johnson, I would think he is more probable to have a better go at it than Lewis. Because Running Backs are now thrown into games in pairs or even committees, the punishment Johnson will receive is much less than someone like Lewis.

Because he will be a better player, barring injury, Johnson’s cards should maintain much more of their expected value over a longer period of time. Does this mean you should hold rather than sell? Hell no. I would have an auction that ends right after the game next week for all of your Johnson cards, as he is pretty much assured to get close against Seattle next week. At that point, you will have a good shot at getting top prices even if he falls just short. My shadowbox auto and dual auto with Kevin Smith will be up for sure, though im not sure how much they will get. Hopefully a lot.

Even if Johnson doesnt get there, he has sure put on a show. I cannot wait to see what he will do next week, as it will be quite a spectacle if he does reach 2000 yards. Im even more excited to see if he will get close again next year, as he is truly an exciting player. Ill tell you one thing, if he does get there, his Offensive Line is going to get a nice gift for New Years care of their new favorite player.

Interesting NFL Notes

A few things came through the newswire today that were pretty good stories. One of them featuring a player that many of us have some money into. The other was just cool.

First, Crabtree is looking more and more like he is going to wait out the season, so the Niners lowered their initial offer to him. I laugh. Crabtree is being a little bitch and is asking for the same or more money than Hey Bey’s 7th pick contract, and I think its great that the Niners arent budging. Obviously Hey Bey was a reach at 7, but that doesnt mean you have the right to call that into question as a player. You get your slot, and thats it, deal with it and play football. Michael Oher was asked at the draft if he minded being the last guy in the green room when he was picked by the Ravens at #23, he said he wouldnt have cared if he was the last pick of the 7th round. He just wanted to play, and was happy to be with a great team. That is the attitude I want on my team. If I were the Niners, I would do my best to sign him, but I wouldnt cave to his wants. Let him try again, show him what he was missing. He is crying over a few million dollars, see what he says when he loses 10-15 million over the year, plus an entire salary for the current season. What an epic fail.
In homersota news, the second story was talking about AD and his impressive 67 yard run against the Browns. A few people are calling it the best of the last few years, I am in agreement. I mean, the player fist to defender face ratio alone was higher than I had ever seen on a single run, and it definitely sent a message for the rest of the year. Peterson commented that it was his favorite so far, something that Ryan Longwell concurred with. Longwell even called his kid, a bid AD fan, so that he could turn on the TV to watch the replay. Im not sure why your kid wouldnt watch to begin with, but whatever. Peterson should have a tremendous year as long as the pieces in place stay that way, as we saw what could happen against a defense that is middle of the pack.
Be sure to check out Pro Football Talk, Im really liking the site. Even though they dont always say the smartest things, the up to date news is worth it.

A Great Day For Me

I was lucky to come home to two things in my mailbox that made me very happy. I had a slip to pick up the two boxes of SPA that I was going to break, and the slip for my Adrian Peterson National Chicle Redemption.

When I opened the package from Carlsbad, I was greeted by one hell of a card. I love the look of the painted National Chicle minis, and to have a signed one, hand numbered to 5 is amazing. The fact that it took UD LESS than a week to get it to me is even better.
See for yourself:
After opening the two boxes I bought from Blowout, I was happy to see that I got two boxes with more than the alotted hits. In one box, I got two box hits in the Romo and the Avery, along with the Woodson Sign of The Times, and in the other I got the Sayers SPA Retro Sigs. That was awesome, and I ended up with four very nice cards.

All in all, a pretty great day.