Well, I have some bad news for football collectors, news that I have been expecting for a few weeks now. I got word from the peanut gallery that Upper Deck is losing their football license due to non-payment on the fees or something to that degree. Although this news is speculative at this point, and very much unconfirmed, I have a feeling we will get the news later this month or early next month. After recent troubles, speculation on lack of funds has run rampant, and this should only add fuel to the fire.
With UD possibly leaving football for the foreseeable future, it leaves an open spot for Topps to return to the fold, which may be the other side of the announcement. It may also spell the end of a company who has produced the best looking cards of anyone in the football market in the last few years. With their baseball and basketball arms all but severed, Im not sure how much longer they will be able to stay viable. Football was a profitable brand, and Exquisite is looking to be one of the best products in a long time. As this news would suggest, it’s the last product they will make in the football market, something that makes me a very sad panda.
I cant really fault anyone but the top brass over at Upper Deck, as the management of the company has been piss poor lately. Where UD had finally started to build a good reputation among people, that construction was mostly destroyed with the news of the Konami lawsuit. Though Topps may return with fan favorites like their base set and the Chromes, we are also going to have a hole where Upper Deck’s MO of great looking cards and on card sigs usually fit. Its rare that a company has as many problems as Upper Deck has had in the last few months, especially with so many of them stemming from unethical and unsound financial behavior. I guess this is the nail in the coffin.
For me, if this situation turns out to be true, im pretty much done buying current football cards unless Panini and Topps change their tendencies to match my tastes. I doubt that will happen, so that makes me feel extra cynical about the future of what I will buy in the upcoming years.
Hopefully, I am wrong.
NOTE: LET ME STRESS THAT THIS IS AN UNCONFIRMED RUMOR. IF/WHEN IT BECOMES CONFIRMED, I WILL POST AN UPDATE.