Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cards from the Capital City

The other day I mentioned I bought some cards on my trip to Jefferson City.  I finally finished my backlog of scanning (it added up thanks to working on the Royals stuff),  but now I think I've caught up so I got some 'splaining to do.

First I will show off the packs I got half off at the sports store going out of business (which I just read is now at 60% off), if they go much lower, I might have to make another trip. I might even buy a jersey.

Anyways the cards.  I'll start with a pack that is the cheapest price I've paid in years.

A 75 cent pack pack, sure I'll try my hand at it.  If I go again, I might buy another pack or two.

As for this pack, I won't lie I'm not up on all the current hockey players, so I think I have heard of Ryan Callahan and maybe thats it. I will say that I like the design of the cards with the cardboard feeling texture.  The photos look pretty nice too, so I can't complain.  I like the inserts card as well.  Overall I'm pretty pleased at the price I paid for the pack, but might feel a bit letdown if I did pay full price for it.  However I would have been happier if I pulled a name I knew or a St. Louis Blues player.

I also bought a couple packs of Series Two 2015 Topps cards.  I guess they are the fat packs or whatever they are called these days.  SIDE NOTE- Is Walmart raising prices on cards or is it the card companies?  I can't even buy packs anymore because the prices are getting crazy.  Maybe its just my store.

Anyways I paid 3 bucks per pack for these, so lets see how I did.

I'm not sure how much I listen to Royals games that I forgot Justin Morneau wasn't with the Twins anymore.  Also got a nice Miguel Cabrera insert card.  For some reason I was excited to pull the Scheppers card, but I think I mistook him for someone else.  I thought he pitched at Mizzou, but I was wrong.  I like the Stepping Up card of Joey Votto.  It looks like a nice insert, and one I never saw until opening the pack.  I was really excited to pull the Luke Hochevar card because just finishing the checklist, I knew I needed the card.  I wasn't as aggressive on the Series Two Royals cards as I was Series One.  I have a little catching up to do, but will likely get the rest soon.  Finally we have an Eclipsing History insert card.  I'm not really a fan of this insert, but since it has Ozzie Smith its worth keeping.  I should be updating my checklists for non-Royals soon and I have a few Ozzie's, so this will look nice with them.

Here is some more cards from the pack.  A nice Bob Feller insert and some young players in Trout, DeGrom, and Yorman Rodriguez.  Plus a Gold parallel of Martin Maldonado.  I won't lie and say I know him, but I hope in 2016 I do keep up with other teams besides the Royals.  I also hope to watch more games.  I was so focused on the Royals last two years (with good reason) that I didn't pay attention to many other teams (though oddly I did take notice of the Mets around July and wasn't shocked to see them in the World Series).

So pack one was pretty decent I must say, it had some good players and nice inserts.  I didn't scan all the cards, but those stood out to me.  I'll do the same for the second pack.

Starting off with a bread loaf card of Freddie Freeman.  I've got a couple of these cards, but really not impressed with the insert set.  Nice to pull the Abreu but not sure if he is still the hyped up player he was a year or two ago.  I was happy to pull the Zobrist card even if it is with the A's.  The Update set has him as a Royal so I'll look out for that one.  A couple guys in red uniforms start the second row, and both were nice to pull.  Next is Chase Heady.... THAT'S HEADLEY!  I never miss an opportunity to use that line.  So maybe the pack is worth it just for that card.  Finishing the second row is a nice shot of Jordan Schafer.  I liked that card a lot when I first saw it.  Speaking of, the Cain card was one I wanted the second I saw it even before I had it.  Turns out though I already have it, so my friend will get a copy.  Closing this batch out with a couple Rangers cards, one depicting their amazing winning ways to a 67-95 record.  I think they could just put the team name on the front and the record on the back to to make some teams not look as bad.  At least it doesn't say like "FINISHED LAST IN THE DIVISION" or something.  Lastly is Lisalverto Bonilla, if he plays his cards right maybe he could work out a sweet deal like Bobby Bonilla did.

Here's the rest of the scans from the pack.  Nice to pull a Cobb card and a Ryan/Koufax (also going to a friend), as well as the Noesi card which is a parallel (not sure if its a rainbow or what its called, I didn't look).  Bottom row has a card I was also happy to pull, the Ross Detwiler.  He went to Mizzou AND Missouri State, so he fits in a couple other categories I collect.  Got a couple NL rivals for the Royals in the Giants and Mets, with the Panik being labelled a FUTURE STAR.  I liked the concept in the early 90's but I think Topps should retire the concept again.  The Flores card caught my eye as I was pulling.  I just like the shot.  We wrap up this pack with Rafael Ynoa.  I never heard of him, but I like the purple border that is used on the Rockies cards. 

Overall, the two Topps packs were decent, but I wouldn't pay the $3 a pack again for them, $2.50 or under and I would though.  If I go back and see a large stock still in hand (they had it seemed like 30 or more packs) I might try to make a deal on them all.  Maybe I could get lucky, maybe they won't want to pack stuff and can get a good deal.

So from there I bought some cards at Dollar Tree.  Sure I can buy packs any time, but this location had some 30 card packs I haven't seen in a while so I grabbed some.  I also got a football and basketball pack.  Let's look at the football one first.

I can't say I'm a huge fan of the design.  I like the no border approach but it makes the names a bit tough to read, and I never got the fade on cards unless they used the spot for autographs.  I like the names I pulled though, so that is a plus.  None really fit into categories I collect, but still not a bad pack.  I also got a Kid Reporter card, which I think expired a couple weeks ago. Even if it didn't I couldn't use it, since it was in the pack, I might as well show it.

I don't think I will buy another pack of these.  I may seek out certain cards from the set, but 5 cards for a buck isn't a great deal if its nobody you collect.

Time to try my hand at basketball now.

Like the hockey cards earlier, I don't see a lot of basketball cards for sale, so I grabbed a pack of these.  Not to many players I collect so I didn't have many expectations on who I pulled.  It was nice to pull James Harden and a parallel of Jeremy Lamb, so I think it was a good pack.  As for the design, I do like it a lot. The borders are nice, it has a cardboard feel, and aside from being a bit large, I like the logo.  The back shows a bit too much white, but otherwise is pretty nice as well.  I think I might have tried to put complete career stats on the back but otherwise I can't complain.  I guess in this day and age people may not look at stats on the back of cards anymore since they can just pull them up on the internet.  I still check them out on occasion, but hope they never completely do away with them.

So I got three 30 packs (I was thirsty for some cards I guess) and here they are.

Love him or hate him (I lean toward the love, its all about the love), its always exciting to pull a Pirates era Bonds card.  I was pretty happy to get it though I have this card many times over.  Next is a recent Gus Schlosser card and while I don't know anything about him, its nice to see a new card or two in these packs, especially when the majority is 90s stuff I likely already have.  I'm on the fence about the 2001 Pacific design, just as I was back then.  Chances to get cards seemed to dry up around then and combined with not loving the designs of the cards, it allowed me to fall out of the hobby somewhat.  The blame isn't just on 2001 Pacific, but it didn't help.   Next is Jack Clark.  You know what I said about being "all about the love", well screw it.  I never was a big fan of his, but when he shot his mouth off about Pujols then when Albert threatened a lawsuit, he backtracked, that gave me a chance to not like Clark.  (EDITOR'S NOTE:  That was the most poorly constructed sentence I've ever wrote.  My 17 year old self who wanted to be a journalist is ashamed).

Second row begins with Bernardo Brito.  I never heard of him, but this is my first Portland Beavers card, so I can't complain.  I also like minor league cards, though I don't actively collect or seek them out (outside of Royals), it is nice to pull them on occasion.  Next is J.J. Putz.  I have a minor league card of his which I got in a mixed pack box many years ago that was signed. For that reason alone, I think I like pulling cards of Putz.  Dale Sveum is a Royals coach so its nice to pull that, though I still don't care for the border of the '88 Donruss.   We close the pack up with a Lance Dickson Diamond Skills card.  I wish I had more of these!

Pack two had no Barry Bonds cards, but it did have some nice ones.  The Harvey Pulliam card with the Omaha Royals I actually already have, but it was still fun to pull it.  I also like the design of the Aramis Ramirez Topps Heritage card.  If I ever get bored and caught up on team sets and such, I might pursue complete sets of the Heritage cards. I like most of the designs.  Greg Gagne will forever be a Twin in my eyes despite playing a good length of time in Kansas City, and even getting an a Royals card of him signed before a game once.  We close the pack up with a Lance Diamond Diamond Skills card.  I WISH I HAD MORE OF THESE!

Last pack, let's see what happens.

More starpower in this pack.  A nice FUTURE STAR card of Sandy Alomar.  I always liked him.  Next is a Mariners card featuring Harold Reynolds and Phil Bradley.  I have a healthy collection (or unhealthy maybe to some) of Phil Bradley cards.  I wouldn't be surprised to have over 50% of his cards.  Next is Dusty Baker as a player.  I might have one or two more, but this was cool to pull.  Next is a Stadium Club card that looks odd to me.  I don't remember seeing the logo placed in the middle of the card before.  I've seen it shifted to the corners, but never in the middle.

Second row starts with Harold Baines.  Nice card as well. Next is an ugly border Topps card.  It looks like the foil for his name isn't in the right spot.  Reminds me of opening a pack of Opening Day cards once that none of the cards had the names on the cards.  No major names in the pack, but still a bit odd and cool at the same time.

Next is a "card" that isn't a card.  It's a Bowman contest card, but I think it didn't count as the 30, so it was a nice bonus "card"  I liked these and am still looking for one, I think the Bo Jackson.  The back is for a contest or send in stuff for a set.  Either way its not a real card.  Following it is a Bartolo Colon card.  Much like the Topps Heritage cards, I liked most of the Fleer Tradition cards for the same reasons.  Man I really miss competing card brands, and I don't mean Panini putting out 45 different brands under the same banner.  I miss Fleer, Score, Donruss, and the rest.  Maybe if Panini's name wasn't plastered on all the cards I'd like the new ones more.

Finally is a Lance Dickson Diamond Skills card.  I WISH I WOULD STOP PULLING THESE!  I pulled the card in roughly the same spot in all three packs.  I never heard of him, and don't want any of the cards, but it is a bit funny pulling them in successive packs instead of 3-5 in a row in the same pack.  I don't even think all the packs were in the same box, so if I bought 10 more packs, there could be a good chance I'd get 10 more of the cards.

Overall, I think I did well on all the packs, but in reality there aren't too many cards I really needed.  I get my enjoyment in opening the packs anyways, so I was entertained.  Just like people go to casinos to have fun, or people go to bars to have a drink, I guess we are all wasting money in a way.  I have my fun in different ways than other.  At least I get to have some cards to remember the enjoyment I had in pulling them.

Thanks for reading and since I am caught up on scanning, I hope to have a few more posts this week.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Surprise At Every Corner

I DID IT!  I finally updated my want lists for my Royals cards, and my Royals checklist on TCDB is up to date.  Aside from the few Royals cards I've gotten in the last couple weeks I haven't scanned yet, but that's less than 20.  This is a major accomplishment over a year in the making.  As it stands, I am now updating my other cards and soon will start working on my Mizzou collection (from scratch, just like the Royals).  I honestly didn't think I'd get it done this quick.  What a pleasant surprise.

Speaking of surprises, I decided to take a trek to the capital city of Missouri on Tuesday.  Jefferson City isn't real far away, but it isn't a place I have a huge need to visit too often.  In fact I haven't been in almost a year to the day, and that was only to see the Royals Caravan which it appears won't happen this year.  On Tuesday however, I decided to visit the Capital Mall.  I haven't been there in about 15 years so besides forgetting the layout, most of the stores were likely different than last time I went.  This is a pitiful excuse of a mall, and I knew this going in, but it was somewhere different to check out, so why not.  Here is a non scale Paint version of the mall, with some points of emphasis.

The blanks spaces weren't empty, they were either places I didn't check out/forgot/ or didn't care about.  I walked in on the right side of the food court.  The food court had about 4 options, and flanked an arcade and some kids games. I wasn't hungry, and moved on.  I went left first, and considered the candy store but passed.  My mom went with me I should mention, so I didn't go alone.  I mention that because the next two stores were more for her than me.  We went to a shoe store near the Sears wing and then thought about going to Sears but passed.  I messed up over there because Sears might have been behind (above) where I showed it, I think it had another wing.  Oh well.  We stopped at a Kitchen store and my mom got a few things, I settled on a container of Chives that cost a buck.  I never understood why chives were expensive, so for a buck I jumped on it.  At this point I figured this would be the highlight of the mall.  We walked some more, and found a meeting room inside the mall, I think the mall had like 20 stores if that, so there was plenty of room for meetings.  Currently the mall is attempting a redevelopment, but I'm not sure it will help any. A better option might be a complete demolition and rebuild.  As it stands the majority of foot traffic is mall walkers.  Older people at that (I'd find out why shortly).  So, we ventured on, and I saw some jerseys in a store.  Then I saw a sign "STORE CLOSING EVERYTHING 50% OFF!".  Now I got excited. In fantasy land, I'd get a couple Royals jersey, maybe a St. Louis Blues jersey, and a bunch of other random stuff.  In reality I knew I was a cheapskate and would likely never sniff the jerseys.  While I was in there a customer did buy a Blues jersey, and got it for under $100 which I thought was a great deal, but still too much for what I'd offer.  Knowing I would pass on jerseys, I looked at other things.  I thought about a Kansas Jayhawks football for laughs, Maybe a Maty Mauk or DGB Mizzou jersey would be thrown in for free with orders (no luck), and a plethora of other various items I passed up on.  I found out the store (Pro Image) announced this store was closing just after Christmas and started sales then.  Just this week it hit 50% off, and the store is still really full.  Their last day is Feb. 11th I think they said (maybe the 8th), so there is an outside shot I might go back to see if they discount more. In the end my mom actually bought more than I did, but I did get a few things.  FIrst some cards, which I'll show tomorrow, but also some non-cardboard sports goodies.

While $13 still seemed high for me to get a Royals World Champions shirt (that's my level of cheapness, mixed with not being too keen on the design), this button was a much better option at only a buck fifty.  I've wanted something to signify KC winning the crown, and this is perfect.  Maybe I should have gotten two, but one is enough for now.  If I go back, I might get another.

While $13 for a shirt was too much, this one was $5 after markdown.  They had another design I liked better but it wasn't my size.  It said "I don't always hate, but when I do, its the Jayhawks" or something to that effect.  They had a lot of these, and while we don't play Kansas anymore, I still am shocked I've never seen either shirt before.

Besides the cards I'll show next time, I got one final item.  This one I almost passed on, but I have wanted one for a while, so at a price of $10, I think it was a good deal.

While a wish of mine is to get a mini football helmet of either Mizzou or the Chiefs, a Royals mini-helmet is still a nice grab.  They had a good amount of mini helmet's but this was the last Royals one with no Mizzou or Chiefs.  They did have the Sun Devils, and Illinois.  For being a sports store in Mid-Missouri, they sure did have a lot on non-Missouri items.  Maybe that's why they are closing.  How many Colin Kaepernick jerseys can one store have?

A side view of the helmet.  For now it will stay in the case.  At some point if I get a chance for someone to sign it, I might.  However, I haven't decided though who would get the chance.  I don't really want a one year guy signing it, but if I ran into George Brett, it would soon have a signature.  It will take a special player for me to get it signed I know that much.  If I go back and its say 90% off, I might grab a couple random mini football helmets, maybe I would be more willing to get them signed.

My mom who is a huge Packers fan found quite a few items, and stocked up.  She even mentioned she should get a hat, but couldn't decide which one.  If we go back and its cheaper, I might grab a hat or two.  They had World Champs hats, but again, I didn't like the design vs. the price.  I might also get a Blues hat.  Not sure why as I'm not big on hockey, but I don't really have any Blues wear aside for a stovetop hat that is beat up and not really wearable.

So after we left there, we headed to the last wing the Dillards wing.  No desire to go to Dillards, but just look at storfronts, I figured out why so many elderly folks walked the mall.  Inside the mall in addition to a conference room, is a senior center.   It was lunchtime and it was packed.  I really hope this mall gets some more stores soon.  Nothing against the elderly, but man, this mall needs a more diverse clientele.

Having just come from a sports store I passed on another, one called Hibbetts.  I have one nearby if I need something from there, so I was good.  I did go to one more store in the mall though.  One I forgot relocated there recently.  SLACKERS!

Slackers is a CD/DVD/video game/comic book/pop culture store.  I guess like FYE but to me much cooler.  The buy and sell and this one had a decent amount of NES games for sale.  That wasn't the reason I love Slackers though.  Slackers has a shelf of CD's in a 5 for $5 bin.  Well they did.  Now its called "Pay what you want".  You show them what you got and make an offer, if they think its a decent deal, they will accept it.  I got 7 CD's and planned to offer 7 bucks, but for some reason I said $5 and they took it.  So that was a win.  The reason I love it is because you can find 2-3 good/decent CD's in the bin and then get 2-3 more of unknown bands to try out.  They might suck or they might rock, either way the good/decent ones are worth the 5 bucks.  I've found bands I'd never hear of otherwise in the bins before like Treehouse, Spinaround, Fleshies, and some others.  I also find some good Christian artists in there too because I guess Christian artists don't sell well, or are traded in often.

Let's start with a Christian CD I got.

Buck is a ska band from the late 90's early 2000's.  I have one of their songs on a CD somewhere, which is on this CD too.  It's called "Why Won't Josh Dance"  and its fairly catchy and not really a Christian song, just a fun song.  Though I had the song, I figured I'd like the other songs on it and worth essentially a buck.  People may laugh at me paying a buck for a used CD, but there are all spotless, and instead of paying 99 cents on iTunes for one song, I'm getting a whole album.  So I think this way works better.

Next is another Christian band, and a band I like, but an album I never heard of.

As years went by, it seemed The Elms went more of the "Christians in a band" versus "Christian Band" route, but they still made solid music.  You gotta love it when some kid writes their name on the CD to mark their territory, lol.  I opened it up to see what year this came out, and its possible this is their first CD, it said 1998.  I also saw something else inside.  It had a bible verse written in it.  So it got me wondering.... wait a minute,  MAL wasn't the kids name.... MAL is Malcom!  This is an autographed CD!  You can't beat that for a buck (or less since I got 7 for 5).

I passed a couple really great CD's up, but only because I had them already.  One was the Daredevil soundtrack, which I still play on occasion, and has songs from 12 Stones, Evanescene, Nickelback (hey, it was a good song), and others.  The other CD is by one of my favorite bands of all time.  The Benjamin Gate was an early 2000's Christian Rock band that had an amazing sound, but disbanded in a short amount of time.  I could probably write a whole blog on them, and one day if out of ideas I might, but not today.

First off I'd never pay 5.99 for this CD even if new, but under a buck, sure.  Evan and Jaron was another turn of the 21st century band comprised of brothers.  They had a minor hit with "Crazy For This Girl" but stopped making music a short time later.  A few years later Jaron (don't ask me which one that is) traded in pop music for country and had a couple songs on the charts.  I liked their sound from this CD, so for a buck it was a safe bet. Crazy For This Girl is on this CD so for a buck I got that song, and a few more.

Before I show the big CD (at least to me), let me show you the CD's I went out on a limb on.  99% of the time they are bands I never heard of, so no buzz and no hype for them, I pick them on album cover/overall design, band name, album title, and song titles.  If something pops out, it get picked up.  If I have more than 2-3 I decide what to try and which to put back.

Pick #1:

Devilhead is an interesting name (especially since I just had two Christian albums in my hand), but more intriguing is the album title.  YOUR ICE CREAM'S DIRTY!  That stood out to me.  The album cover seemed cheesy, and the back had a I'd guess a 3-4 year old dressed as the devil.  With zero expectations I picked it up.

Quick review:  Um.... I won't buy another one from them.  This really shocked me.  I noticed as I was listening to it on the way home that the CD is from 1994 (not a shock with the album design), but it was a Seattle band that wasn't grunge.  In addition to horrible songs, somehow they got a record deal with Sony.   SONY!  I've heard better garage bands than this, and somehow they got a record deal.

I'm not complaining because it was a risk I know all too well on these blind picks.  Sometimes I give albums another try and they get better, so maybe it will be better next time.  It happened before with Fleshies, and now I randomly sing Meatball for no real reason.

Ok, so now Pick #2:

The Outpatience... hmm, interesting name. Interesting cover. Anxious Disease... decent title.  Song listings weren't spectacular, but one track stood out.  Smokin' Dope and Sippin' Tea... ok, its worth a shot.

Quick Review:  I didn't get a chance to hear much of this as I was almost home, and didn't get the chance to see more info on them (forgot record label if they had one, or year).  I actually really liked what I heard on this one.  Even Sippin' Tea was good. Lyrically it wasn't the best, but the music itself made up for it.  I'm glad I picked this one up.

I forgot to mention I picked this CD too.  8Stops7 had a good song called "Question Everything" and its on this album "In Moderation".  I believe it might even be on the Friends Soundtrack.  I heard the song in the late 90's and even included it on a CD I got made by Mountain Dew in the late 90s.  It was a deal where I think you entered codes and after so many you got to pick like 12 songs from a list and they would make a CD for you and send it to you.  I think I'll listen to this one a lot.

So one CD left.  Honestly if I didn't see this one early on I wouldn't have bought any of these. Not that I didn't want the others, but this CD was worth about 4 bucks, so the rest were cheap add ons in the first place.

A Life of Saturday's from Dexter Freebish.  Dexter Freebish was the first concert I went to at The Blue Note in Columbia back in 2001 or so.  Not my first concert, but first one at the Note.  Dexter opened for SR-71 at this show, and while waiting in line I actually got a t-shirt from a local radio station signed by one of the members of Dexter Freebish.  I never buy CD's by the bands at the shows, but 15 years later I've never held a CD from them in hand, so I saw this and knew I wanted it.  I have most of SR-71's stuff but Dexter wasn't around long, so this one is harder to find.  Their hits on the album include My Madonna, and Leaving Town. In fact Leaving Town is the first track.

I popped it in the CD player in the car on the way home and something wasn't right.  Leaving Town starts with a slow beat a softer song if you will.  This was really heavy.  I mean, it sounds nothing like Leaving Town or Dexter Freebish.  Uh-oh, crap... did I get the wrong CD in the case?

The answer was, yes indeed, the wrong CD was in the case.  The only CD I wanted wasn't what I got.  I was already heading home and couldn't head back to complain... except....

As it turns out, Diffuser was the first band that played that Dexter Freebish/SR-71 show!  Much like Freebish, Diffuser had minimal success and their only "hit" was on this album, called Karma.  Injury Loves Melody also happened to be a CD I have spent 15 years trying to find.  I believe I might have had it at one point, but I don't now... well I guess I do have it now, but still.  All I could do is laugh at this because if it was any other CD in that case, I would have been mad.  But it not only was a CD I was looking for, but an opening band for an opening band at the first Blue Note show I ever went to!  So in the end I'm still looking for A Life of Saturdays, but at least I have Diffuser's good album.

I know this is running long, but I have a couple more things to share.  After the mall, we went to Barnes and Noble since my mom likes the place.  She decided she didn't need more books, so we left and went to Dollar Tree. In addition to cards I'll show next time, we each bought.... books!  One each.  We left a bookstore empty handed but couple pass up books for a buck.  So what was my book?

I think I can spend a buck to read about Jim Abbott.  I really need to set aside time to read all these books I get.  Maybe I will do that now I got all my Royals stuff current.  I love how you can go to Dollar Tree and pay a buck for a book that still has a $23.40 price tag on it.

One final thing I bought was these.

Not that I needed these, but blue stickers (which I never seen at my Dollar Tree) that I can use on my Royals box so I went ahead and did it.

By this time it was getting close to schools letting out and the threat of heavier traffic, we made one more stop to grab a bite.  I conned my mom into stopping at Chick-Fil-A.  I love their food but haven't had it in about 2 years or more.  She never ate there, but I think after this trip she understands why I crave it so much.  People may say its just chicken, and I would probably want to punch them, but in all seriousness, I can't find a chicken that compares.  Eating Wendy's Spicy and Grilled Chicken for a decade makes them a threat, but Fil-A is still better.

So we headed home on a fun day, and I still have some cards to show.  I think this post is long enough, so I'll show them off next time.  Thanks for reading and have a great night.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Wrestling Custom Cards, Rumble style!

I know I haven't been on here much lately, and I've already fallen behind my average of 13 posts a month to get more posts than last year (I still have time to make up on that goal).  However, for the most part I have a good reason.  I have been working on my want lists, and have updated them all the way to 2010 now.  Hopefully by the end of the month I can get it current.  After that, I will work on other things.  I have also been knocking out some of my other cards I collect too, and entered them into the Trading Card Database.  I haven't made want lists or anything on them yet, and not sure I will, but its nice to get them catalogged.

Since I've been busy with that and some other things, I decided to take a short break Sunday night and watch the Royal Rumble.  It's the first PPV I've watched live since I think Wrestlemania a couple years ago, and boy was I happy I did.  I haven't been pleased with the current state of wrestling for the last year or so, but have watched some of the most recent PPV's from WWE, TNA, NJPW, and ROH, and I must say, I have been somewhat pleased (aside from TNA's Bound For Glory and WWE's TLC, I liked all the rest).

The draw of the Rumble for me is two-fold.  I may or may not have said how the Rumble match itself is my favorite match in wrestling.  Though it has been watered down the last few years and the shock seems all but gone, I still like how anything could happen.  The second and bigger draw this year was a possible debut.  I only get WWE on the cable I have and weekly ROH, so I haven't got to see as much of AJ Styles in the last couple years as I'd like, so his potential signing excited me.  I made a pitch on a wrestling site a few days ago that I wouldn't have had AJ debut at the Rumble because I couldn't buy him as a potential contender for the WWE Title in his first match.  However after watching it, I was pleasantly surprised and happy with how they booked "The Phenomenal One".  He was given time to get acclimated to WWE style, got introduced to future opponents, and even got some good offense in while being in it for half an hour.  His elimination was by the perfect guy (Kevin Owens) as it gave KO some heat, but also gave AJ an out before the serious threats to the title entered (aside from Roman Reigns who drew first).

Okay, so I haven't posted pictures yet, but don't fret.  I decided to honor the Rumble, I would make some custom cards.  I haven't made any in quite a while, so I am a bit rusty, and I didn't spend much time on them, but it helped me get back in the groove.  Once I get things caught up, I'm going to try using something besides Paint to design my cards, I'm thinking GIMP.  Anyways, let's see some customs.

Let's start with the pre-show match and probably my worst card of the bunch.  I missed the pre-show, so I missed the four way tag match between the Dudleys, the Ascension, Sandow and Young (why are they teaming?), and Mark Henry and Jack Swagger.  I'm glad Swagger and Henry won, and to be honest, I know they aren't really the same style as most of the tag teams in the division right now, but I hope this is a full time tag team.  It works well I think.  Mark and Jack won the match gaining them entry into the rumble, but it didn't amount to anything.  While I like Jack Swagger, I'm fine with how he was used, but I felt Mark Henry should have gotten more time in the Rumble.  I know he isn't a serious title contender, but give him some time and he could.  Plus big men should be better protected in the rumble not dumped less than a minute after entering.

As for the card,  I had no real inspiration for the design, but wanted some sort of border and wanted to stamp them to show what event it was (thus the box showing 2016 Royal Rumble).  If I spent more time on it, I would have included my RCR cards logo but couldn't find it, and like I said I wanted to make these quick.  I planned on blogging this last night, but I was watching Raw while I was making these, then The Rock came on and I decided not to post last night.

This was the second card I made, and possibly the second best one I made.  The border does remind me of and early 2000 WWE (or maybe still WWF) set but can't place which one it was.  I do notice now the bottom box reminds me a bit of the recent Road to Wrestlemania sets Topps has produced for WWE, which wasn't my intention.  In fact, I'm not a fan of those sets.

The card depicts Kevin Owens, who I've watch since his Ring of Honor days, and in fact sometimes I still call him Kevin Steen.  I will admit I missed a good portion of this match, but I liked what I did see.  Owens and Ambrose was told to start the show and they did their job telling a story in the ring and pumping the crowd up.  I'm not sure I would have booked it any different, aside from possibly making the table spot at the end a little less obvious, but they still made it good.  Even though it opened the show, Owens and Ambrose still sold the injuries as they entered the Rumble match, though I must say sometimes a lot of wrestlers tend to forget to sell when getting their offense in.  Usually a lot  of workers only sell in defense spots or rest periods.  It something I admit I'd probably not do too well, so I can look past it for the most part.

No border on this card, and I'm not happy with it.  First off I only had a small picture so that hurt it to begin with.  I think I could do a lot better, but I liked the shot enough to make it a card.  I guess I should mention that spoilers will be ahead in case you haven't watched or read the results yet.  I figured by now fans would have though.  Plus they gave most the results out on Raw last night.  If you don't want the spoilers, just read the blog later.

I forgot if this match was next or the Del Rio vs. Kalisto, but I didn't like this card as much, so I'll do this one next.  I am a fan of the New Day.  I didn't think they could make me like Big E Langston, but they pulled it off.  I've always liked Kofi, and the same for Xavier Woods (dating back to his Consequences Creed days in TNA).  I'm not sure what makes me like them so much, but I think its a combination of it is something different, the seem to have some leeway with what they can say and do (unlike most of the others), and they are basically just having fun.  I'm not on board with the unicorns, but otherwise I like most of what they do.  I'm glad they are the W...W...E...World...Tag...Team...Champions (admit it you thought of their shimmying why you read that).  I'm glad they retained their ugly looking titles at the Rumble (seriously, those are the worst looking titles I've ever seen).   I am also one of the few people who thought they saved the segment on Raw featuring The Rock. I won't say I'm the biggest Rock fan, but he seemed all over the place and wasn't as great as The Great One once was.  New Day I felt saved a segment which in essence was a 30 minute setup to try to get The Uso's over.  Boiling it down to that, I'm not sure it was worth it.

As for the card design, something doesn't work for me, firstly the size of the card.  I didn't want a straight line border and figured this played into their zany personas well.  I think the box at the bottom could have been smaller as well.  I am happy with the colors though, I think that made it pop more and actually distract you from all the negatives.  I guess I shouldn't be sour, cause its a NEW DAY BABY!

This is my favorite card I made, and is actually the first one I designed.  Sad it all went downhill from here.  Again, a basic design and border, but it has a nice action shot (one of my favorite moves in the match), and while you see no faces, I think it still tells a story.  As for the match itself, a lot of people complained about sloppiness but I can look past it somewhat.  Despite what this feud has done in recent weeks (which hasn't done much for either aside for giving Kalisto some screen time) it told a story.  I like how the finish didn't have interference but still made Del Rio look strong and gave Kalisto the win. The botches didn't bother me as much as Del Rio trying to unmask him during the match.  I know he's a heel but I have a feeling one day someone will try that and succeed and ruin someone's gimmick.  To be honest, that's all Kalisto has going for him at times, so that was a bit risky.  On top of that, it seemed Del Rio was aggressively trying to unmask him like it was personal.  Again I know it was storyline, but he has dominated the feud so I see no need to do this tactic. I also didn't like how this feud never really saw Kalisto get a untainted victory over Alberto.  A face U.S. Champion needs to win cleanly even if he is portrayed as an underdog.  His match against Miz on Raw showcased that better, even if the finish seemed weak, and the announcers didn't put Miz over enough as a serious threat to beat Kalisto.  As Vince Russo said on a post-Raw podcast, all the work John Cena put into trying to give the US Title more prestige has just gone out the window this month.  It's a shame too, I think Kalisto could be a good US Champion if they build it right.  For now give him exciting matches against Neville or someone to showcase their skills, and build Kalisto up before getting another big name to challenge.

Okay, so now its time for the Diva's match.  I made two cards, and neither are that good.

Horrible sized card but I wanted to showcase this part of the match.  Thank goodness JBL was calling this match.  Flair kissed Becky Lynch and Byron Saxton and Michael Cole acted shocked. JBL said (a few seconds after I did at home) "that's why he's the kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin' son of a gun". Its like they forgot.  Full disclosure, I don't care much for the divas right now (I'm glad they can actually wrestle, but don't have a favorite like most do), so this match didn't do much for me. I'm also not a fan of Charlotte, and not a fan of Ric being at ringside.

Having said that, I thought this match told a great story, and was well booked until the finish.  I see (maybe) the direction they are heading, but I'd have booked it different. I would have had Becky Lynch win the match by disqualification allowing Charlotte to retain the title at the Rumble.  The next night on Raw, I'd have a rematch made with a special guest referee.  Cue Sasha Banks.  Let Charlotte and Becky fight for a bit, let Ric get involved (allowing Sasha to send him to the back), then Sasha could attack both.  This would set up a triple threat match for Wrestlemania, and making all parties look strong.  I agree with others, Becky is being pushed aside and not made to look too strong.  At least they aren't on Total Divas.

This card design is good I think, but I should have went ahead with a bottom border.  I also needed to fix the apostrophe in Diva's but that was just because of the font I used.

Okay, time for the Rumble match.  I could have made 30 or more, but settled on three.  Two of which was the reason I tuned in.

I like this card.  I wanted a better picture of Styles (maybe one with a better expression on his face)), but this one works.  I can say I have actually seen AJ Styles wrestle in person before, so this make me so much happier I can see him each week.  Now I hope WWE can make a trip to my neck of the woods sometime soon (I think its been of 7 years since they've last been).  Maybe I could make real cards and get them signed.

I found this picture before I knew they'd square off on Raw, but I think their Raw match lacked something.  Maybe its AJ still learning WWE style, but something was off during the match.  They telegraphed a lot of moves.  I think a smarter move would have been putting AJ in a match with maybe Del Rio or R-Truth on Raw, someone he has faced before, so maybe he could get used to WWE.  I also don't think they needed to set anything in motion for AJ just yet, he just needed a match, so even someone else could have worked, maybe Zack Ryder or Curtis Axel, just to get AJ a match in.

So here is the final card I designed.  It is of the winner, but the loser.

I don't have hate against Reigns like most people seem to, but I do think he should get some kind of mouth piece as he can't cut good promos.  That's why he worked in the Shield.  He was little talk, big action.  I really wish they would bring back more managers, or create new ones.  I know generally faces shouldn't need managers, but having one for Roman I think could help him get over a bit better.  That and not being pushed to the moon all the time.

As for the card, its simple and direct.  The picture tells the story, that's all I wanted.

Overall I will say while it appears I complained a lot, I thought the Royal Rumble PPV was pretty good.  Hopefully it can lead to a great Wrestlemania (I don't care about Fastlane).

Next time I design cards, I will spend more time working on them.  Thanks for reading and have a great day.

EDIT:  I had to make an update of one of the cards due to a typo, I guess I should proofread my cards better next time.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hell Freezes Over

In a quest that began over a year ago, I am glad to announce that I have finally finished sorting my entire Royals collection (minus a couple cards).  It took a lot longer than it should, but its done now.  I have also finished adding all the cards back to my Trading Card Database account.  It will be the most accurate way to see what I have, but I also plan on updating my spreadsheets soon as well.  I have already started and hope to have them updated in the next week or two.  I have finished my Completed Sets spreadsheet as well, so I have made some progress.

I have also made updates on my other pages on here as well, and hope to give more updates soon.  As of now, I have updated my want lists until 1980 and will work on the rest soon.  As a reminder, my lists aren't solicitations for cards, but for me to see what I have and don't have.  If a card isn't listed on the complete sets or on the want list, it means I don't have cards from that set yet.  In the future I will add the other sets I want, but for now I will only add what I have started.

In addition I will be adding more cards to my TCDB page soon of other cards I have (I have started with some football), and later cards I have they I no longer want, and will add to my trade list.  I will give updates when all this is done.  I'm just happy I got all the Royals done. After I get caught up on the want lists, I will try knocking off some of my goals this year.

No pictures today, sorry, but nothing to really show (I did add a picture on my completed sets page), but in closing I wanted to mention the passing of Glenn Frey.  I named the post Hell Freezes Over because that seemed  like when I'd finally finish the Royals sorting.  It was also the name of the 1994 Eagles album.  I read an interesting tidbit a bit ago about that.  Frey and Don Henley have said they didn't break up in the 80's due to fighting.  However when fans would ask when they would reform they would respond "When Hell Freezes Over".  I don't regret not going to many concerts, but the biggest one I do regret is not going to see Eagles play at Mizzou Arena a few years ago.  I really wanted to, and could have gone even getting time off from work, but I am tight with my money, and didn't want to pay the price for tickets they were selling for.  I think the cheapest was $75 bucks and $150 for the good seats.  Looking back I probably should have went, it would have been the biggest concert I ever went to and likely the best show I'd see.  While I admit I like Don Henley's solo stuff slightly better than Frey's, unlike Henley, I never heard an unkind word about Frey.  He also was a good friend with Bob Seger, which is always a good thing in my book.  R.I.P. Glenn Frey, you will be sadly missed.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Final Christmas post for 2015

Better late than never, eh?  Our family celebrates after the new year for a couple reasons, so I usually get stuff later.  We had our Christmas last weekend, and so here is a recap of some stuff I got.

My nephew actually gave this to me on Christmas Eve.  I don't collect a lot of action figures, but as I've gotten older, the ones I do get now I have sealed.  This will go with the two Macho Man ones I have, and my Eddie Guerrero (I need to bring it down here).  He knows I love wrestling, and I like this action figure.

One thing I will say is that unlike the early 90's, they put a lot of detail into figures these days.  I don't think I would ever fully collect action figures, but there would be a few I wouldn't mind having.  Maybe I should look for a Sting one since WWE is inducting him into the Hall of Fame.

My sister gave me some cool stuff as well.  This first item wasn't really part of my gift, but was included in the package since she forgot to give it to me before.

I like getting Sports Illustrated when teams or people I like are on the cover, but usually they are off the stands by the time I get a chance to pick one up.  Though I get many free magazines in the mail (and a couple I pay for), I've never subscribed to SI (though I did like SI for Kids I got for a couple years).  Too bad I couldn't trade in 5 years worth of ESPN the Magazine for a year of SI.  ESPN the Magazine is the worst thing I've ever read.  For those curious of the gambit of magazines I subscribe to (again most are free), they include a few photography ones, Bloomberg Businessweek (wish I understood finance more), The Economist, Star and Us Weekly, Better Homes, ESPN (I think they send it to spite me now), and occasionally a few others plus some I know I forgot.  I get them for my mom too, so its not just for me.  At one time I subscribed to 40 or so magazines, but I've cut back on a lot of them not (so long Rolling Stone).

The rest of the gifts my sister mentioned weren't as cool as a signed George Brett card, but I was still quite impressed with them.  I have already put them to good use.

Who couldn't use a soft blanket?  I used it the moment I opened it, and it couldn't come at a better time when temps around here could reach single digits.  I'm also not sure if she planned it this way, but it is mostly the colors of the Royals, which makes it even better.  Though I must admit I won't replace my Cardinals blanket (it is so heavy and feels so warm best $3 ever spent at a second hand store), it does compliment it well, and I've slept better since using it.  I'm not a guy that uses a ton of blankets, but I've thought about getting another one recently, so this saved me the trouble.

Next was this hat.  She didn't know if I needed it, but I've exclusively worn my Royals cap the last year and a half, so having another option is a good idea (especially if I'm at Mizzou for a game).  Sure I have other hats, but most seem a bit plain.  She said she liked the design on this and I agreed.  The "Tigers" is embossed so it stands out on top of the Tigers head logo.

There was another aspect or two I liked that she didn't pay attention to.

I love the mesh backing hats.  It lets your head breathe and for some strange reason I like the way my hair feels as it sticks through it.  The other big thing I like is its a snapback.  I don't like the newer style fitted caps, I'd prefer the snapbacks any day.  I would even prefer the velcro or the belt like back ones to the fitted ones.  It just seems normal to have a whole in the back of the cap.

I think she was really surprised I liked it so much, and explained why I liked it so much.  I wore it out in public today in honor of National Hat Day.  Well, I planned on wearing one anyways, so I didn't need a reason, but if felt like a good time to do it.

Finally she got me some cards too.  First was two packs of Dollar Tree packs.  6 cards in a pack, and some decent ones at that.

While the names may not be superstars, I must admit I lover those Score cards when I was a kid.  I had the full set.  I read the cards front and back many times.  So pulling Albert Bentley and Rich Camarillo cards were pretty cool (nothing against Melvin Bratton, I just must not have read his card as much).  I didn't have many of the Topps card, but had quite a few of the Pro Set cards.  So this pack while lacking a bit of star power, brought back many memories.

This pack had less cards that I remember, but another Score card, this time a Ground Force of Bobby Humphrey, so that was nice.  A solid name in Steve Wisenewski and George Seifert (maybe my only card ever of him), this set was also solid.  I even got a bones Bostic card.  Sure one was enough, but a bonus card is always good.  "What do we do with this second Jeff Bostic card?" "Eh, just throw it in that pack, maybe the buyer will feel special."  THANKS!  Let me also say that the Pacific card I loved as a kid too.  I can't think of a Pacific set I didn't really like.  I've noticed going through some of my cards from the 90's that Pacific didn't seem to stray as much as Fleer and Donruss did in the late 90's.  I may like Pacific more as a result.

Lastly, my sister got me a pack of wrestling cards.  In the last couple years, I've tried to stop getting as many wrestling cards because I don't really need, them but their designs draw me back in.  2015 sets of WWE cards have been nice across the board (though the Road to Wrestlemania set is pointless).  My favorite sets the last few years have been the Heritage sets.

LOOK AT THAT!  Heritage cards!  While some might consider it excessive, some of these guys fit in subsets I have.  Kane is from Missouri, began his career in St. Louis and I believe even went to a college here (maybe Truman State or one of those in the northern part).  Big Show played basketball at Wichita State, which for a while I had a mini collection.  Show and Regal also was in WCW, so they were nice gets too.  I don't watch NXT much if at all (no WWE Network as of now), but what I've seen of Sami Zayn, I've liked.  Xavier Woods I've always liked, since the first time I saw him as Consequences Creed in TNA (alongside R-Truth as... Truth and.... you get it).  Now Woods is killing it as part of New Day.

Round it out with Edge, who I didn't always love outside the ring, but his in ring abilities were second to none.  He was a bright spot for WWE for a long time.  Lastly is Sting.  If it wasn't for Sting, I'd likely not have been such a WCW fanboy.  He was my favorite for so long, and I'm glad he has a couple subsets in this years Topps sets.

More Sting cards, with the last one being a coupon for $3 off a box of Heritage cards.  I might use it if I can find a box before it expires next month. I like the design of the set, and it would be a good birthday gift for myself.  Plus it would gear me up for Wrestlemania, which with the announcement of Sting into the HOF, I might have to get the WWE Network for a month or two.  Gives me a chance to catch up on other stuff too in the meantime.

The other card is a parallel card of Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Shiek.  Shieky Baby was one of a kind... he still is actually, so this was a nice pull.  I like how they included Legends in this set.  To be honest, this set is better than the regular Topps set from earlier this year.

How about more legends?

If you didn't like the Nasty Boys they would take you on a trip to Pity City.  I never would want to go there.  The Nastys I liked in the early 90's but by the end of the decade, they ran their course.  Knobbs did transition decently into the hardcore division in WCW, but even then I had enough of him. 

Bret Hart is another one I really liked.  It didn't hurt that he had a cameo on The Simpsons either.  I think that's why my sister remembers him more than some of the other guys.  He was another legend in the same league as Sting (actually wrestling wise, he was in a higher league), but the latter part of the 90's ruined him.  Jumping to WCW, the Montreal Screwjob, and most importantly the death of his brother Owen, really affected him.  In addition to concussions and other injuries (which may or may not have happened in matches against El Dandy), and by 2001, he was done.  A stroke a short time later finished his in ring career (aside for a Wrestlemania one off years later), but through it all, I always liked him, even if he didn't always seem like the nicest guy.  Then again if I went through all that, I'd probably be sad and bitter a lot too.  At least he made amends with Vince and WWE.

Earthquake to me was one of the most underrated wrestlers ever.  I always liked him too.  He was one half of the Natural Disasters in WWF, then moved to WCW where no longer Earthquake, he had a number of names that never stuck like The Shark, Avalanche and eventually John Tenta.  He had good matches with Sting, and worked well in Kevin Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom, but never was a serious threat like in WWF.  He later returned to WWF where he was in the Oddities, which doesn't deserve to be talked about.  He passed away a number of years ago from cancer (I forgot what kind specifically, I think throat), but I heard a rumor he was trying to get an acting career going and was hoping to be on a TV show as a butler or something like a Mr. Belvedere show.  I would have watched it in a minute.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan is something else.  His gimmick worked well, but then it just got stale.  The he kept doing it forever.  Then he turned heel (which I actually liked until he started wearing stupid gym shorts) and supported Canada.  Then they turned on him and he rooted for USA! USA!  and swung his 2x4 again which was still stale.  At some point he found the WCW Television Title in a trash can and started wearing it to the ring.  WCW closed and since he has made sporadic appearances for WWE.  He is a cancer survivor himself, and these days I'm not a fan like I use to be.  I will say I did enjoy his time on Legends House, a WWE Network show which I'd love for them to bring back.  Imagine the Real World but with WWE Legends!  It had Roddy Piper, Tony Atlas, Hacksaw, Mean Gene Okerlund, and others.  It would have worked if they pushed it better and found a TV network to show it before putting it on the Network.  A new season should be tried again.

Junkyard Dog was a wrestler I didn't get to see a lot of, but what I did see of him I liked.  I wish he got better runs in wrestling, but it appeared he did well for himself.  He is another wrestler he passed away way too early, in 1998 at the age of 45.  He died on his way back from his daughter's high school graduation.  She would later represent JYD when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.  A couple years ago she would pass away at the age of 31 in her home while talking to a friend on the phone who said she heard a loud thud.

Finally is The Dragon!  Ricky Steamboat is another wrestler I wish I got to see more of, but due to injuries he retired a bit earlier then expected.  However I remember some of his matches when they happened like his wrestling series with Ric Flair in WCW as well as his tag team matches involving a much younger Steve Austin.  Most though will say it was his Wrestlemania 3 match with Macho Man Randy Savage that elevated him to Legend status.  Many even say it was the best match of all time.  I can see that argument as it was nothing short of spectacular.  Ricky still works with WWE in various capacities despite some health issues in recent years.  It was nice to see him in the WWE 2K16 game as well, especially in the Austin storyline from the WCW days.

So that wraps up the rest of the gifts I got for Christmas.  My sister thought her gifts weren't up to par with George Brett, but I beg to differ.  I mean I haven't tried to warm myself up using the Brett autograph unlike the blanket, but if that was an option, maybe I'd consider it.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.  A delay in blogs this week and maybe next will be discussed in the nest blog, just working on my collection some and should have a progress report soon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

They promise the moon...

They're always coming and going and going and coming... and always too soon.-Lil Von Shtupp (Blazing Saddles)

It's currently 2:20 AM, and I just spent the night sorting ball cards.  I needed to do it so its fine, but I missed out on quite a few things while doing so.  One of those things was the announcement that the St. Louis Rams are no longer the St. Louis Rams. I thought I would write a bit about my thoughts on this, as they are in my local vicinity (until the Mayflower semis start packing up to go out west via I-70 that is.

Let me start by saying for the most part, i won't miss the Rams, and I especially won't miss them playing in the Edward Jones Dome, and I won't miss owner Stan Kroenke.  I'll start with the dome.  If I remember right, I was at an event a couple years after they opened at the dome. I know it was under 5 years after opening, and at that time I thought it was crappy.  The transportation seemed bad there too.  Whenever I saw it on TV, it looked worse.  If there was any hope of staying in St. Louis, they needed a new stadium, and it needed to be built at least 10-15 years ago.  Sure it would have likely had the shortest lifespan of any professional sports team (among teams that stayed in that city for that long), but it would have been a huge step in the city keeping the team.  This new stadium proposal seemed a bit rushed and didn't make a lot of sense to me.  I also didn't like the location.  For starters, if it flooded, it was in danger to begin with.  Second, they would need to clear cut a lot of stuff to build it, when they could have just built it next to the Dome in the open lots they have there that they don't use.  However, I'm not sure I would trust whoever would be in charge of the new stadium in keeping up with the upkeep.  I mean how does a dome get so dated within a decade of being built (I mean I know its 2 decades old now, but it was outdated in 2005).  I would have serious doubts about that.  As for the design, I did like that.  I also liked the idea of giving it multi use in case they brought in a MLS team.  I think though I would have tried to add a retractable roof to the stadium just so it could please the NFL's Super Bowl committee, though to be honest, I never got why they were afraid of a little rain or snow during the Super Bowl.  My biggest complaint about the new stadium though is financing.  I'm not sure where the money was coming from, but if the state did manage to include funding, now that they have no team, maybe the state could move that money to the roads.

As for Stan Kroenke, I've never liked him.  Like most multi-millionaire in the vicinity of Missouri, I don't care for any of them, especially if they have the stench of "Walmart Money".  Don't take that wrong, I have nothing against Walmart per se, it just seems those with "Walmart Money" seem like they expect to control everything (which I guess most millionaires do, but they tend to bother me more than others).  Kroenke is married to Ann Walton (daughter of Bud Walton, co-founder of Walmart).  To be truthful, most of Stan's money is actually Ann's money.  Stan may be Missouri bred, but the way has shamelessly humiliated St. Louis last week to gain an upper hand allowing him to move was cold-hearted and the final nail in my decision to never care for him again.  He also has a hand in the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche (his son Josh runs them, Josh being a former Mizzou basketball player), and this gives me a chances to never root for them either.  Stan came out late last night saying it was bittersweet, but he was doing what was best for the Rams and the league.

Maybe what is best for the Rams is a new owner, not a new city.  I mean the Rams aren't 90's Bengals bad, but when was the last time the Rams were relevant?  Their last playoff run had them somehow make it in with a losing record.  They had a mediocre yet losing year, and to be honest, besides Todd Gurley and a couple other players, I don't see them improving without spending money on a good quarterback and several other pieces.  As much of a Jeff Fisher fan I am, I also think its time to cut him loose too.  He can't get it done in St. Lou... L.A.... Anahei.... wherever they play next year.  Not all may be his fault, but to be honest, maybe cutting him loose could benefit both him and the Rams.  Fisher could get a job elsewhere (or sit out a year and work with ESPN, letting him pick wherever he wanted to go), and gives the Rams a fresh coach in a fresh city.

I'm not mad the Rams are leaving.  I feel bad for St. Louis because despite fielding .500 teams for quite a while, they did have a fanbase.  A fanbase that eroded thanks in part to bad teams, just like any other team would have.  I know a few people who temporarily switched from Chiefs to Rams fans when the Chiefs had a few down years earlier this decade.  If the Rams would have played better, they might have kept those fans.  Plus you know, a better stadium.  Columbia is 100 or so miles from St. Louis and most are Cardinals fans.  If Rams PR were smart, they would have made inroads in Columbia to convert some Chiefs fans to Rams fans.  Especially since Kroenke has many ties to Columbia.  Shoot one rumor a few years ago was a possibility of the Rams playing some games in Columbia while the fixed/rebuilt the dome.  It would have been a huge chance to gain more fans across Missouri.  Instead it just showed how little Stan wanted to stay in St. Louis.

Of course, the city of St. Louis isn't free from blame in this either.  The town proudly proclaims its a "baseball town".  That's fine and all, but it would be better stated to be a "sports town".  Especially with 3 major sports teams in town.  Is it possible the city couldn't sustain 3 sports teams?  Maybe, but I think it could.  Sure hockey intersects with football, and baseball does too in the later months, but football is once a week, I think if a good product was provided, a good fanbase could be achieved.  Look at Kansas City for example.  They was able to host Monday Night Football last year to a sellout, a MLB playoff game to a sellout, and a MLS soccer game to a sellout all in the same week.  Sure those were special circumstances (and some argue Sporting KC is NOT in KC but rather a suburb of KCK) but the point is, each of those teams fielded good teams and the fans were behind them.  Until the last couple years, the Royals attendance was not the greatest, but I never heard David Glass (another Walmart Money man) threaten to move the team.  Fans were vocal about how changes needed to be made, and he finally made some changes.  Maybe St. Louis fans needed to do the same.  Chiefs fans did the same thing a couple years ago, and since they have been a lot better and the fans have been a lot happier.  St. Louis seems to just turn their backs on their teams instead of supporting them.  This isn't a knock on Cardinals fans, but they are very vocal, positive or negative, and I think it helps the team in terms of how the management fields the teams and their success.  Blues fans are very supportive even though they've never won a title.  Rams fans aren't supportive unless they have a winning team.  That isn't always bad, but it says to people that maybe they don't want a team as bad as we thought, thus allowing Kroenke to move out (in addition to the clause St. Louis stupidly agreed to allowing him to move if the Dome was a top 5 stadium in 20 years, which it was NEVER a top 5 stadium).  So St. Louis can blame themselves too.

As for Los Angeles, I'm not made at them, if I was them, I'd want a team too.  I'm not sure what two teams does really (is San Diego does move too), but it should be every major cities goal to field a professional sports team, especially a NFL team, which would bring in the most money.  LA has gone 20 years without football, so gaining a team they lost 20 years ago should help with a built in fanbase, which is always helpful.  Also if the owner foots most (or is it all) of the bill on the new Stadium, I would be happy too.  I hope for the fans of LA's sake, they do well, but I'm not losing sleep over it in any way.

In the end what hurts me the most is the lost revenue the state will gain had they been able to keep the Rams.  Beyond that, eh, this will be great because now there is less chance the Chiefs games will be bumped locally for Rams games (didn't happen often, but it did occasionally).

I'm not sure what happens next for St. Louis, but I hope they do fix the dome some, and they are able to book it more now since (as some have said) the football team won't be playing there.  Maybe a future National Sports Cards Convention could come to St. Louis now.

I know this seemed more like a rant, but I just wanted to share my thoughts, thanks for reading if you did, let me know what you think.

Friday, January 8, 2016

My friend give the best gifts

Last year my best friend gave me a ton or Royals cards.  At this point, I am almost finished sorting them (well, kinda, 39 cards left than another resort, which should go much faster).  As I stated on my goals for 2016 post, the fun starts after I sort the Royals cards, which has really motivated me this week.  I also have wiped most of my collection off of Trading Card Database, so I can start fresh.  That will also allow me to make cards I'm up for trading on there.  After I work on that a bit, I will update my trade lists.