Where The Hell Did This Card Come From?

Recently on blowout, a card came to my attention that has a lot of people questioning what is going on. This Chris Johnson national treasures auto is up on eBay, slabbed from BGS, thus begging the question of where it came from and if it is real. See, the reason there is a question about this card stems from the fact that Panini did not release any Chris Johnson national treasures cards, let alone one that has been around long enough to have it graded.

Chris Johnson’s lack of available stickers did not allow for an inclusion in Contenders or National Treasures, and its rare that a card like this just pops up out of no where. Even when seeing the card, there are questions I have for sure, mainly having to do with the autograph on the card itself. Its hard to fuck up a fake autograph of one of the NFL’s worst signers, but this one managed to do it. Im just wondering if someone got a blank card by accident and slapped a fake sticker on it. Because the card said autograph on the back, and the missing sticker had been replaced with a real one, Beckett’s people werent smart enough to reject it (typical). I also think that the card was slabbed to begin with in order to fend off questions of authenticity, as most people arent smart enough to believe that BGS is as falliable as they are.

Bascially, someone at Panini has some explaining to do, more so if more of these cards show up.

The NFL Season Ends On Highs and Lows

Wow, I didnt understand how crazy it could get in the AFC, and it doesnt look like things are even close to being done yet. There were sure some weird decisions all around, the Patriots, Eagles, and Cowboys, all with possible detrimental choices to say the least.

Chris Johnson
What a freak, the guy was just lightning AND thunder this year, and I am very glad that he got to 2000 yards. Not only because my two Chris Johnson auto auctions should do a little better, but because I think he proved that you dont have to be a huge guy to be successful in this league. He showed week after week that he is a force to be reckoned with, thus cementing his place atop the yardage list as well as next years fantasy drafts.
Wes Welker
A lot of people questioned teams starting their guys without a purpose, and Wes Welker looks to have taken the brunt of the punishment. He tore multiple ligaments in his knee and may have taken the Patriots playoff hopes down with him. Brady also has a broken finger, and all of it did not prevent the Pats from sitting their guys in a meaningless game.
Minnesota Vikings
When you pitch a virtual shut out of the Giants banged up offense, no one really thinks much of it. However when you have to go to the dome two weeks from now and its louder than an airport runway during rush hour, it becomes apparent that it was not a good thing for the opposing teams. Philly ended up being killed at Dallas, so the road to the super bowl will go through two domed stadiums, one where the Vikings have gone 8-0. Favre also rested much of the second half, and now the Vikings look like they have a shot again. I love it.
Im not sure if its very clear anymore, especially with how Favre has played in the last two halves. He ended up with over 4000 yards and 30 TDs while throwing fewer than 10 interceptions and leading his team to the two seed. He played every game, and we all know the hard on that the sports writers have for his success. Manning and Brees are pretty much a toss up other than the Favre factor, and I could even seen Chris Johnson win in a split decision. Absolutely crazy for sure, but I am eager to see how it turns out.
Im not as sure as I once was that Harvin will walk away with it, but he is the odds on Favorite right now. If Sanchez rolls over the Bengals tonight, he could be back in it, and so may some of the other guys. Harvin’s contributions to his team were greater than many of the other rookies combined, although Austin Collie, Knowshon Moreno, and Mike Wallace have made their cases as well. Another good battle to see who takes it home.
Denver Broncos
Its been six years since a team started with six wins and missed the playoffs, but Denver sure looked very much like their brown throwback unis in the KC game this week. Im not sure how you can justify benching Marshall, even with the attitude problems, and losing to the Chiefs only makes that worse. Oddly enough, the last team to do what the Broncos did were the Vikings, and trust me, Im sure the Broncos fans are just as fucking pissed as I was in 2003.
Week 19
We could easily be headed for a Packers/Vikings III in two weeks, and I can only imagine what the media blitz is going to be like. Even though the Vikings decidedly beat the Packers twice this year, its far from the truth to think they are the same teams they were so many weeks ago. If the Packers beat the Cardinals like they should, I would expect a hard fought game come two weeks in the dome. Although I think the Vikings still have the firepower to win, it wont be as easy as it was in the beginning of the season.
Saints lose again
Although Drew Brees sat this game out, The Saints are no longer invincible, and could have trouble waltzing into town on the back of Tony Romo. Remember, the Cowboys beat the Saints down from their undefeated pedestal, and it could be hard to avenge that loss looking like the Saints have in recent contests. They will be playing at home, but look for some fireworks regardless if its Philly or Dallas coming to Louisiana.
Rams Secure Number 1 Pick
Whether its Ndamukong Suh or Jimmy Claussen, the Rams are drafting at the top in March. Because of a new regime in St Louis, I look for the Rams to stupidly chase a franchise QB rather than going for a beast in Suh or a Tackle to shore up their line. I just dont think you can justify a top pick regardless of the way you go due to the way that players can bust at a moments notice these days, but I do think you have to at least think of what your team could be missing if you choose someone like Bradford or Claussen at number one.
I dont ever remember there being this many rematches on wild card weekend. Packers/Cardinals, Jets/Bengals, and Eagles/Cowboys are all week 17 rematches, and I cannot fathom what the odds are on that. It created a horrible atmosphere for some of the teams, as the routs were on in every one of the games. Whether its the coaches not trying to tip their hands, or just laying it down all together, the three games next week will be that much different than it was this time around. Not only because of the importance of the games, but because the teams will actually play their guys.
In closing, I am fucking sad that football season is over, as this is always my favorite time of year. Granted it is less than 50 days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training, but honestly, I couldnt care less right now. I am hoping for a fun playoffs starting next week, and after that I will enter my usual depression until the draft in March. At least its been a good season with no regrets for me, and I wish you all good luck in following your teams.

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.

Rookie Battle Royale: Week 14

I don’t really have much on the rookie front this week due to a number of injuries as well as a few that just didn’t perform. To be honest, the only rookies worth talking about were Hakeem Nicks and Austin Collie, which was disappointing, but we can look forward to next week when the playoff picture comes more into focus. Harvin was out with Migraines this week, and Sanchez may be back with the team as well. Stafford is still hurting from the shoulder injury he had, and Freeman might as well have been injured this week.

At this point I don’t think there is much Moreno, Sanchez or Stafford can do to overcome Harvin’s case for rookie of the year, unless some how he loses the division title for the Vikings in the last game or something. On the defensive side, Brian Cushing is pretty much wrecking people on a weekly basis, so right now, I don’t think there is any question there either.

Its too bad that there isnt a second year player of the year award because Chris Johnson deserves some sort of hardware for his season. Manning or Brees will win MVP, but holy crap, Johnson has been ridiculous.

Lastly, it also looks as if the Steelers are not going to make the playoffs. That is pretty shocking considering how much of a favorite they have been since the beginning. However, when you lose to the Bengals (twice), the Raiders, the Browns and the Chiefs, maybe you need to rethink some strategies. That means a new champ this year, so I am even more excited than normal. The Vikings proved they are ready to play on the big time this week against cincy, even without Harvin and Tyrell Johnson in their weak secondary. After being torched by Arizona, im not sure if they can play against a team like New Orleans or Indy, but I guess we will see.

Chris Johnson’s Autograph Needs To Match His Performance

Chris Johnson is one fucking talented running back. After another 200 total yard performance last week, he is continuing to tear up NFL defenses like tissue paper. The problem with Chris Johnson isn’t something he does on the field, but more something that he does for us in the hobby. In case you are unfamiliar, Johnson has a card signature that is reminiscent of Vernand Morency, and seems to give less than two shits about what we think. His two letters (barely) and out, leaves me VERY bittersweet whenever I pull an auto of his, or see a card I would like to buy. In fact, I actually think the value of his autograph is lower because of the fact he is a jackass in that respect.

Funny enough, when you see his signature on non card items, it’s the full signature, but cards are still lackluster if not worse. I know for a fact that the companies have approached him about the stuff he signs, but obviously we have not seen the results in the cards for 2009 and beyond. There are rare instances of a full signature, but 99% of the time his effort is less than the effort Keenan Thompson puts into his characters on SNL. That takes talent.

I have avoided buying Chris Johnson’s cards from the beginning because I cant stand his signature, and I have put any I pull up for sale right away because of that same feeling. That’s a huge problem for a lot of fans out there because he is doing so well on the field. Usually when someone has a shitty signature in the past, they have been an unimportant pick with no prospects, but this is completely different.

Say he goes on to win MVP in the next few years, which could be a possibility with his talent. Immediately, the bandwagon collectors go back and try to purchase some of his cards, only to see that he has the worst signature in the last few years. That sucks for this hobby, and its even more frustrating because cards are the only thing he does it for. It also adds a whole new level to forgeries because its so hard to tell what is what.

Granted, fellow defense destroyer Adrian Peterson recently switched to a similar 4 character autograph, and that is just as frustrating. Personally, despite the number of things they have to sign, I would never have a problem giving the fans what they want in most normal circumstances, even more so when you are sitting at a table signing stickers or cards. No screaming fans, no quickness needed, just sign and be done. There is no earthly reason to shaft your fans, especially because one day, it may be the way you are remembered.

Ask people like Harmon Killebrew, Torii Hunter and Kirby Puckett, who all stood by the fact that a measure of a player’s signature is the presence of every letter. Harmon has said on numerous occasions that an autograph is just as much a part of the player’s history as their game, and to have one that doesn’t look like some effort was put into it, is detrimental.

I agree.