Upper Deck Has A Exquisitely Tough Problem To Deal With

There is a time when signing on the patch of a card is great. I am a big fan of signed memorabilia cards, and I seek them for my collection when available. There are also times when it is catestrophic, and this is one of those times.

For some of the 2009 Exquisite Rookie Patch Auto cards, a few rookies got the instructions wrong. With so many signed patch sets in the product, I can see why they may get confused, yet it should be the job of Upper Deck to run QC and maybe even include more detailed instructions for the rookies to sign. Mark Sanchez, in particular is the most visible rookie in the set, and it looks as if he did each and every one of his /99 base rookie autos incorrectly. What makes this even more ridiculous is that he did all of his /25 cards right, signing on the card and not the patch. This makes me wonder a few things.

First, when Phil Hughes was a member over on the old BMB, he documented a signing he did on about five or six different card sets. Each card set had EXPLICIT instructions, including little arrow stickers where he should sign. Did someone label Sanchez’s cards incorrectly? It could be a definite possibility.

Secondly, with all the signing of memorabilia in this set, it’s a possibility that sanchez signed all sorts of material for the mem cards, his /25 cards, and all the other subsets for the product, but didn’t sign the /99 ones due to whatever problem. Instead of having a redemption and making people wait, they just used 99 pieces of the material he signed. The reason I say this is because the swatches are signed in silver pen, not the blue that the cards are usually signed in. Not a likely scenario, but plausible.

Lastly, maybe this is a Sanchez problem, and he made a mistake due to rushing through the cards. One of our closest family friends is close with a past NBA lottery pick, and he told me a story that would make a ton of sense. Basically, his friend HATED signing the cards because of how long it took, so they had to force him to do it due to the contract he signed. They helped keep him focused while he signed, and im sure he didn’t mind if he made a mistake. On the other hand, from what I heard from people watching Sanchez at the rookie premiere, that’s not his personality, and he is one of those people who likes making his fans happy. As for Kenny Britt, another player who made the SAME mistake, Im not sure.

In the end, we are stuck with what we got, and I guess its better than nothing. Sanchez’s /25 cards just became more valuable, either way, so I guess that’s a plus for the people who pulled them. Regardless of whose mistake it was, this is the biggest football set of the year without question, and it should have been taken care of rather than packed out. With all the recent problems for Upper Deck, you don’t want the biggest player in the biggest set to have these issues.

I guess we can await the news of what UD will do, if anything.

Its Possible That The NFL May Be Down To 2 Next Year

Earlier on Twitter today, Steven Judd, of former Sports Card File fame, commented that he had heard the NFL was cutting a license from one of its three manufacturers for 2010. Considering that all three licenses are up for renewal next year, that isnt a stretch. Now, none of this is confirmed, and it could just be rabble-rousing, but after reviewing the situation, its definitely plausible.

Im sure a lot of you would expect me to say that getting rid of Panini would be a great idea for the NFL, but actually I would hate it if they left. Cutting the choices of collectors in any way is a completely ass backwards fucking idea, even if that means that my hatred for Panini football would no longer be required. See, thats the beauty of it all, as more choices equals more hobby variety, so that if someone like me hates Panini, I still have more to fall back on.
Everyone knows that Upper Deck football is my favorite, because in my opinion, their quality of products (design, content, hard signed cards) is absolutely and utterly unmatched by either of the other two brands. There just is no substitute for me. However, other collectors disagree completely, and they have just as much at stake in this. The actual reality of this type of situation is that no-one wins, and every collector loses. I may despise Prestige, Absolute, and others, but I do like some of Panini’s stuff. If Panini is forced out, for example, I would lose out on those products, as well as the notion that my hatred could change with the design evolution that each brand goes through.
Then again, if Upper Deck is forced out, I will be too. At that point, there is no reason for me to continue collecting new stuff, as I buy 90% UD with the exception of the Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome stuff. Theunfortunate part remains that I wont be the only one in this situation. The Gellman haters out there would love to see me squirm at a future without licensed UD football, but its not just me. There thousands out there just like me, if not more hardcore for Exquisite, SPA, and the rest of the UD slate.
I commented before that there NEVER should have been an exclusive license in Basketball, and there NEVER should have been an exclusive license in Baseball. To think that the one place where exclusivity is NON-EXISTANT, they are cutting back on stuff, is a completely fucking asinine notion. All politics aside, limiting exposure of any commodity is a horrible idea, which leads me to believe that there is another agenda at work.
Guys, this is bad if its true, very fucking bad, no matter which brand gets the axe. The industry part of this hobby will be in worse shape than it already is with this crap, and its sad to see it come to this point. Personally, I see one of two outcomes: 1) UD is forced out of yet another sport, and resorts to unlicensed and college branded football products. 2) Panini realizes that they cant support an NBA and NFL brand, so they focus everything on Basketball and drop the license without being forced out. Either way, I see Topps as safe, as for some reason they are thought of as never expendable, despite producing abominations like Sterling, Triple Threads, and Lettermen.
Hopefully, none of this comes to fruition and we are back at square one come 2010.