By Kyle Gilbraith aka TheNati#22
Vontaze Burfict was the highest rated inside linebacker coming out of high school in 2009. A legitimate 5 star recruit and one of the highest rated recruits to ever sign a letter of intent with Arizona State University. After an All-American type sophomore season where he was ASU’s first 1st team All-America since Terrell Suggs he struggled to stay in shape and keep his focus on the field and in the class room. It was also a challenge to make eligible grades to continue his career but he did manage to get his GPA high enough to continue playing. His junior year in college was plagued by inconsistent play and penalties which cost his team some significant losses. Vontaze chose to forgo his senior year and entered into the NFL draft where he was once projected to be a 1st round pick.
That all changed after an awful showing at the NFL scouting combine. By his own admission his performance was average. Not only was he out of shape which led to a 5.09 second 40 yard dash, the slowest of any linebacker to run. His interviews with teams went just as bad. He blamed his coaches for his poor junior year, tested positive for marijuana and showed an all around lack of maturity and questionable work ethic which led to all 32 teams passing on him in the draft. He did not get down on himself though. Rather he switched trainers sought out advice from current NFL linebacker Nick Barnett and continued to work.
His fortune quickly turned when shortly after the draft the Cincinnati Bengals decided to give him a chance as an undrafted rookie free agent, keeping their reputation of giving talented players with checkered backgrounds a chance to prove themselves. After fighting his way to a spot on the 53 man roster and struggling to get playing time at the start of the season Burfict took his chance to claim the starting job when then starter Thomas Howard went down with a torn ACL. He then started 14 games and led a top 10 defense to the playoffs while also leading the team in tackles. He was also in the running for defensive rookie of the year. Which he later lost out on.
It may be a little early to say that the Bengals struck gold on what could be one of the biggest draft oversights in recent memory but it is clear that Vontaze Burfict is on a mission to prove his naysayers wrong. Having always been a physically talented and instinctual player, the chance the Bengals gave him was not wasted. He showed why he was once rated the best inside linebacker and a potential early round draft choice. Entering his second year and backed with a young group of talented core players I really believe his career is looking very promising. Against the 2 biggest division rivals in the AFC north he had some of his finest games. Racking up 18 tackles in the finale against the Ravens and 15 tackles in the mid season match with the Steelers.
Vontaze Burfict has quickly become one of my favorite players to watch and to collect. I usually collect defensive players because my funds are not up to par with the high end guys like A.J. Green and top end national treasures of Andy Dalton. I am usually looking to spend $50 or so here and there and usually make a couple purchases a month. I am very happy that I now have a defensive player with unlimited potential to collect from my favorite team. I hope that he and the Bengals continue to grow as a unit and keep us fans entertained for years to come.
His story is that of a true underdog. Growing up in a rough neighborhood, having a father that was in a gang, dealing drugs and in prison for most of his life, he stayed the course looking to make the most of the chances he was given. His story should be an inspiration to many. Showing that we all have bumps in the road and we will all have our doubters, it is what we do with our opportunities and what we learn from our trials that define us.
By Mason Hermann aka antropov14
Two years ago, I sustained an injury that required back surgery to correct it. While recovering in Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto at the age of 14, after surgery, a children’s clown entertainer came along with his bag of tricks to keep patients’ spirits up, and provide a distraction to the situation at hand. As I was on the older end of patients, I normally wouldn’t be entertained by watching a clown, but I was tired and sore, and this was definitely a great way to pass some time. Furthermore, only about five days later I would discover just how important this clown really turned out to be, and the lesson he taught I will remember forever.
The clown came in and did the usual routine, a few jokes, tricks, and put on a little act, but seeing that I was older than most, he had something special up his sleeve for me. I was astounded even in my sleepy state to see him pull out a deck of hockey cards from his bag of tricks and a roll of tape. Now fully attentive, I watched as he showed me how to make a simple wallet out of six cards and clear packaging tape. He let me choose my favourite six cards that he had, and helped me tape it up (the IV in each hand made this a little difficult for me). I was so thrilled at what had just happened I ended up remembering about some hockey cards that I had brought to the hospital from home.
Before I left for Toronto, I ended up going through my collection and sorting out about 150 base and insert cards and packaging them up in groups of 10-12 cards and putting them in my suitcase. I was planning to give them to a patient in a waiting room, or donate them to give out to other children who were to come in the future. I knew this was the perfect opportunity for me to give back and I knew this was a sign. I asked for someone to get the cards from my bag and give them to the clown. He accepted them graciously and was thrilled to add to his stock so that many other kids could be making wallets with him on his rounds in the hospital.
He absolutely made my day, and I know that I also made his. I felt overjoyed at how perfectly this opportunity was presented, and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.
The real significance and lesson truly comes full circle a few days later, on the way home from Toronto. After staying in hospital for three days, and in a hotel for a few more, I was feeling ready for the car trip home. I had been regularly making small trips around the hotel with my walker, building up my strength again little by little each day. We departed in the morning and proceeded to make our trip home.
Along the way, I knew of a card shop that I had never visited before and I was feeling strong enough to stop in for a few minutes and get moving to stretch my back and legs. Prior to the surgery, I had not been out of the house for two weeks so as not to get sick, as then the surgery would have been cancelled. I was excited to see something new and different. The shop owner was astounded to see how eager I was, even in my condition to be looking around and searching through some cards. After a little time chatting and the purchase of a Rick DiPietro pad save card from ITG (still one of my favorite cards to date) and one pack of SP Authentic, I was ready to get back in the car and head home. I said goodbye to the owner and turned for my walker and was heading out when he called me back.
To my astonishment, he reached down to a stack of 2008-09 UD Series Two boxes (the full 24 packs), and handed me one. I was speechless. It was a genuine gesture and an extremely generous one at that. I thanked him profusely and then we continued home.
Only later in discussion did the idea hit me. It was only days prior that I had myself given away some cards as a genuine gesture of kindness, and karma was repaying me back. It was the only good reason I could think of. I had only spent $15 on the pack and card I bought, and the owner ended up giving me a box worth $40 just like that. I truly see what people mean by karma and I know that even the smallest contributions and kindness will go a long way. This really was an eye opener for me, and it stood out so clearly that I know I will never forget this collecting story. I had a great trip home from there, opening my box in the car, and being thrilled when I pulled a Shanahan jersey card. I still have that card in my collection today, and I will always have that story with me forever.
My card wallet from Sick Kids Hospital
By Ryan Kalmoe aka SWOWannabe
If you’re at all like me and the vast majority of collectors, the only zeros in your checking account balance is what it shows after you’ve paid your bills for the month. It can be a very difficult to manage your finances, especially with a family. Every expert will agree, however, that the age-old adage “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” holds true in every regard – if at all possible we should have some sort of entertainment budget each month. The problem is that because it’s more fun to buy baseball cards than pay insurance premiums, it can be all too easy to overspend on our favorite hobby which can lead to stress and other negative consequences in other aspects of our lives. I’m here to share with you several of my strategies and secrets to enjoying the hobby on a budget. You’re certainly welcome to try any and all of them yourself. With a little patience, a little work, and a little luck, you can see your collection grow without seeing your wallet shrink!
The first area many people miss out on is the opportunity to win free cards from contests. Contests are held daily in some form throughout the collecting world. Topps frequently holds contests on Twitter, along with several other independent sources. Panini usually has at least one contest a week on their blog. There are contests right here on Sports Card Forum that you can enter. The amount of work required varies, as do the rewards. Topps and Panini, for example, give away memorabilia and autographed cards alongside entire boxes of product. Other contests may have a single card up for grabs, and most commonly here on SCF you can win Card Cash. Check your local card shop, too, as many of them run contests at varying intervals with prizes. My old card shop had a bonus lottery-style drawing at the end of each month for an assortment of packs. My current card shop has Pack Wars on a monthly basis where you can win a wide range of prizes. This month there is an unopened 2012 Black Friday promotional pack, a John Kerry cut autograph, and several other excellent prizes to be won.
Now, entering contests may seem like common sense. However, most people do not enter these contests. Let me reiterate – most people DO NOT ENTER. They dismiss the contest as too much work, or why bother if it is an easy contest because they’ll never win? I can’t guarantee that you will win if you enter. I can guarantee that you will not win if you do not enter. I’ve had varying degrees of success with contests in my short two years of collecting. My best win was a 2012 Elite autograph of Ryan Tannehill with a twist – it was a personal edition of the card unavailable in packs. I’ve since traded the card for baseball cards, since I don’t collect football cards.
This brings me to another point about contests. Just because the prize isn’t up your alley doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enter. I’ll enter contests for football, basketball, hockey, even soccer and golf cards. If you manage to win, someone somewhere will likely want the card and you’ll be able to trade it for something you do collect, or you can sell it to them in an absolute worst-case scenario. You may think it isn’t fair to be ‘stealing’ these sports cards from hobbyists that actually collect that sport. It is a noble thought, but I view myself more as a general sports card collector than just a baseball card collector. Besides, there are plenty of people that collect more than one sport and it never hurts to have more than just your primary sport to expand the number of hobbyists you’re able to trade with.
Contests are the first and easiest way to make your collecting budget go farther. They’re hopefully free to enter, and if you enter enough of them you’re bound to win eventually. Perseverance is key. Don’t get discouraged after a few (or even more than a few) contests that you don’t win. While you mathematically can win them all, it is highly unlikely that you will win even the majority of them. Just be excited when you do win and keep entering!
Wait, what? Free money? Yes, if you’re on a cardboard budget there are ways to drum up extra revenue without doing much more than your daily activities. You could apply this to any aspect of your life – groceries, clothing, etc. I choose to use the extra money on baseball cards. Most of the extra revenue comes in the form of gift cards to various locations – Amazon.com, Target, etc. If you’re on a strict $20 a month budget for baseball cards, coming up with an extra $200 a year in gift cards through various programs can really expand your collection in a hurry.
One way to earn these gift cards are through certain reputable sites that essentially pay you to be a consumer. There are two that I use and can attest to their legitimacy. Bing.com and Swagbucks both have rewards programs for using their search engines. You won’t see instant gratification with them, but with a little bit of presence and perseverance, you can very easily earn a $5 Amazon gift card each month from those sites. There is the potential to earn much more, but it depends on the amount of effort you put forth. There are other rewards available on Swagbucks, namely Paypal. Who doesn’t love Paypal? To date I have personally earned over $300 in absolutely 100% free gift cards between these two sites. Some months I put a lot of effort into earning more gift cards while other months I’ve done next to nothing. The sites themselves are fairly self-explanatory as to how to earn their points and how to redeem the points for gift cards. If you’re curious how they can do that, they have sponsors that pay them to target advertisements at consumers like you and I. Instead of keeping that revenue for themselves, they share it amongst their users to attract users in the first place. So it is up to you if you want to line Google’s pockets or your own for using the internet.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a Smartphone, there are a few Apps that will let you earn free gift cards. They vary depending on the platform you are on, but the three that I use on my Android are Shopkicks, Checkpoints, and Nielsen Mobile Rewards. Shopkicks and Checkpoints are apps that will give you points for walking into certain stores with the option to scan items with your smart phone for additional points. Again, it is targeted advertisement with revenue sharing. If you’re going to Target anyways, why not earn some gift cards while you’re at it? Nielsen Mobile Rewards is another animal altogether. By downloading the program you’re consenting to let Nielsen’s application collect data on your phone usage for use in their research. If you’re not comfortable with that, don’t use the application. I’m a pretty easy-going guy and don’t mind if someone is observing that I occasionally search the internet for a place to eat, use my map a lot because I get lost, and make about 1 phone call a month. Again ,it is up to you, but the program is a lot easier to use since it just runs in the background and each month you get points as long as it remains installed on your phone. I’m closing in on redeeming for a $50 Amazon gift card after roughly a year of use.
There are other rewards programs that can be used, I’m just sharing with you a few that I’ve found and have had success with. I’ve used one of my hotel loyalty programs to earn gift cards and I could use the points I earn for using my credit card each month. The opportunities are out there, and maybe you already do all of these things but choose to use your gift cards on something other than baseball cards. That’s great. If you don’t, consider looking into one or all of these programs and before you know it you’ll be checking out at Target with a blaster of 2013 Allen and Ginter and having the cashier scan a gift card you just redeemed for on your phone. It is a pretty awesome feeling.
This one is by far the hardest. Finding a budget and sticking to it. It may be easy for some collectors and more difficult for others. A kid with an allowance each month is going to have a lot easier time sticking to his budget than an adult who could potentially spend a lot of money on cards but needs to practice self-restraint. Figure out what is a reasonable amount of money each month to spend on cards and stick to that. If you have problems sticking to that, consider either using only cash and setting aside a certain amount each month and when it’s gone it is gone, or setting up a completely separate checking account with a fixed amount allocated to it each month. I use a free online checking account that gets a small direct deposit each month. When it is gone, no more cards until next pay day! Also, it can help if you set a goal for yourself and save a portion of your budget each month. If your goal is to purchase a hobby box of a certain product, plan your budget out several months in advance, allocating a certain amount each month towards that box.
You can also look into selling some of your collection if you’re looking for creative ways to stretch your budget. Don’t buy cards thinking you’re going to turn a profit, that’s counter to the entire spirit of the hobby. However, if you are lucky enough to pull a nice autograph from a star player and don’t have anyone to trade it to, many people prefer to only deal with monetary transactions for cards. Since the money came from cards, it’s only fair to me that I be allowed to put that back into the purchase of more cards. It isn’t a strategy I use often, but if I find I have some higher value cards I have a problem trading, I’ll just sell them to make it easier. Then I can go and purchase something that I may want.
So there you have it. This article is by no means the be all, end all of how to collect on a budget. But if you’re like me and aren’t fortunate enough to be able to afford a case of every new product that comes out, maybe you can utilize some of these tips to pick up an extra blaster here or there, or win a free card from time to time. Often there isn’t a significant time commitment, so you don’t have a whole lot to lose, if anything. So give one or all of the aforementioned suggestions a try!*
*Disclaimer: If you are underaged, do not sign up for or download any of these apps without your parent’s consent!
The Ryan Tannehill Personal Edition autograph I won from a contest off of the Knight’s Lance, Panini America’s official blog.
Part of my entry for the annual Gint-a-Cuffs contest. Alas, I did not win this year. I took second to last. But, you have to enter to win!
By John Osborne aka lzjp16
Baseball card collecting was a hobby my best friend and I enjoyed. With the limited money we earned weekly doing various chores and begging our parents, we’d head to the local Walmart and splurge on a pack or two of cheap baseball cards. After ripping the packs open, the 1 year old Beckett or Tuff-Stuff came out and we’d search all over for our cards. Eventually, my step-brother, who is a few months younger than me, moved in with my family. We became inseparable and he became my best friend. Eventually he joined the hobby so he could spend more time with me.
He never really got into the hobby but he was always willing to hang out with us and buy a few packs so he wouldn’t be left out. One day, we realized that the local K-Mart was closing and we decided to venture inside with our parents. We stumbled upon 3 sealed plastic packages. It was an off brand baseball card company but the packages contained one auto from one of the major sports. They were $9.99 a piece, which was a lot of money for us, yet somehow we managed to annoy our parents long enough to get them to buy myself, my brother, and my friend a package for each of us.
We got in the car and began trying to pry the plastic apart. Even now, this is a very tough task to do. First my friend opened up his package to view a football auto, no one important but we were happy. My turn, I pull a Jeff Shantz auto, a hockey player for the Calgary Flames. Yes, I still remember the guy’s name and what the card looks like, even though this was 10+ years ago. We did not collect hockey nor even watch it. I was pissed. My friend and brother were laughing hysterically at me. I kept trying telling them that my auto of the hockey player was an All-Star, HOF bound, and etc., I had no clue; I just wanted to make myself feel better. Looking at eBay prices now, to say the least, the card is near worthless.
Then, it was my brother’s turn. We weren’t expecting much, but he pulls a RC Auto of non-other than Mr. Peyton Manning. I was shocked, in awe, and jealous. Little did we know what the card was worth and how good Manning truly would become. We put the card away as soon as we got home and eventually we lost interest in the hobby for a few years. Hard times had fallen on my family and card collecting was the last thing on my mind.
A year or so later, I was rummaging through my brothers stuff when I stumbled upon his Manning auto. A few hours beforehand, we had just gotten into an argument and had a “play” fight since he hit me in the head with a bat, a plastic one. Out of jealousy, anger, and wanting to get even, I ripped the card up and threw it away like ripping up a detention slip, which I did quite frequently. At the moment, I didn’t know what I had just done but I was even, I was happy.
It has been over 10 years since those events and even now, he has no idea what happened to the card. I don’t think he remembers having the card at all. He’s completely out of the hobby while, I rekindled my passion for the hobby and going stronger than ever, also spending so much more money. My brother later gave me all his cards; I just wish the Manning was one of them though. Karma, I guess. Even now, I’m going to keep cursing at myself whenever I think about the card of Mr. Manning.
This has to be the biggest blunder and ultimate foolish act I have ever done in my entire life. Not too sure how much the card goes for but it has to bring in a pretty penny. The fact that I was that foolish and stupid still amazes me. Luckily, it didn’t harm my relationship with my brother, which meant the world to me when I was younger. When I have kids, hopefully they don’t do that to my cards when they’re angry at me.
My brother and I kind of lost touch once he moved back to California. We became completely different people and he turned to drugs, partying, and all the bad stuff I try to avoid. I love him with all my heart but I haven’t seen him for 2 years. Last time I saw him, I nearly knocked him out for arguing and yelling at my parents. I surely do miss him and hopefully he can turn his life around. One day, when money isn’t an issue for me being a college student, I hope I can obtain one of those Manning RC autos, visit him and tell him what happened to the old one. Hopefully this can rekindle our friendship and our bond. Maybe a good laugh is what he needs.
By Eric Fritz aka emfritz10
Ever since I was a young child, I was always enamored with the sport of basketball. Growing up in Indiana, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. This is where the “Milan Miracle” took place, where Reggie Miller single-handedly brought New York to its knees, where Indiana University built its legacy, and Butler made two improbable NCAA runs. This is also where my love of basketball cards began in the late 1990s.
There has been a lot of talk about how the hobby has changed, especially in the past 15 years since I began collecting. The proliferation of game-used, ultra rare inserts/autos, and high-end products certainly has influenced a shift in the collecting demographic. My local hobby shop, once dominated by youth, is now mostly comprised of adults at least 30 or older. By no means am I saying this is a bad thing. However, how will the hobby thrive in the future if I (25 years old) am among its youngest consumers?
For my sociology senior thesis in 2010, I decided to investigate if these recent developments (fewer youth in the hobby and the growing number of high-end product offerings) had an effect as to “why” we collect sports trading cards today. I will admit that my previous experience in the hobby made me biased. I hypothesized that most collectors nowadays were only interested in making profit or looking for the latest card from the Beckett “Hot List.” I had seen people spend hundreds of dollars on Upper Deck Exquisite or Ultimate Collection, just to lament about how they didn’t pull the ultra rare LeBron James auto/patch/refractor/RC/numbered to 10. All the while, they couldn’t appreciate the artistic quality of the cards or the fact that they just pulled 15 autographs from some of the most skilled basketball players in the world.
To figure out “why” individuals collect sports trading cards, I traveled to several card shows across the Midwest and researched articles found in newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals. The vast majority of the sociology and economic literature mentioned how capitalism had influenced everything that was dysfunctional about the industry: including the lawsuits between card companies, the greed of counterfeit operations, how eBay had put card shops out of business and the fact that people often do not collect for the love of the hobby anymore. These findings certainly were in the back of my mind and seemed to confirm my initial hypothesis.
Upon arrival at the first hobby show, I was immediately inundated with flyers, coupons, and business cards of local retail shops. Some of the stores had advertisements with bold lettering and incentives such as “spend 100 dollars and get a free replica jersey.” Negotiating with some of the shop owners reminded me of an episode of Pawn Stars. These initial interactions convinced me that the hobby may very well be in serious decline. That was until I encountered a few individuals during my travels.
Toward the end of the first show, I decided to purchase an item for my personal collection. I instantly became fixated on a Topps American Pie John F. Kennedy Jr. card containing remnants of the Berlin Wall and commemorating his 1963 visit there. This historic speech assured the citizens of West Berlin of America’s support in their fight against Communism. The card to me was absolutely priceless and I thought it would be cool to show off to my sociology professors!
I had observed the owner for most of the day and he appeared cold and calculated on the surface. My initial interaction with him was impersonal and purely-business. After pondering his offer for a few minutes, the owner stepped away and let his son run the store for a little bit. I was touched by what his son told me that day. “My father has two of those [JFK] cards. He really enjoys them and sees them as a piece of history. Instead of selling them both, he held onto one of them to pass on to me when I get older.” It was at this moment I realized that I had judged this man too quickly. I labeled him as a greedy collectibles retailer, but not as a caring father. Shortly after, I witnessed another father and son at a nearby booth. The son was looking to purchase a lot of cards that cost about 10 cents each and had a bag of coins. He asked his son to find the coins he needed to make the purchase and they slowly counted them out together. It was absolutely amazing to see this man use the hobby as a way to teach his son math skills. These two examples demonstrated the power of trading cards to bond a parent and child.
At another show, I began talking to a card trader who was in his early 30s. We negotiated for several minutes about a Danny Granger card and ultimately, I was frustrated that we could not reach a deal. Once again, I assumed this man was just another greedy card trader. I then posed a simple question to him: why do you collect sports trading cards? He replied, “ I’ve been collecting for about ten years now. I buy so much more than I sell and I estimate that in the long run I have probably lost thousands of dollars doing this. But I’m not really concerned with making money, I just love coming to these shows and talking “hobby” with all the other guys.” Once again, I was simply amazed how my first impression was so misguided.
My experiences at these trading card shows taught me a valuable lesson about humanity. Never judge anyone at face value, but rather take a few minutes to get to know them. It is these encounters that have restored my faith in the hobby and make me believe that it will survive long into the future.
By Joe Abney aka stlcardinalsfan
I consider myself an average collector, a buy a couple packs here and there type of guy. Like most people on Sportscardforum.com I’ve been collecting cards since I was a kid, and have switched interests several times. My current interest being the St. Louis Cardinals. Being on the forum since 2009 and amongst the online collecting community, I have started to see a disturbing trend. It’s starting to seem like I am one of the few guys who actually still gets excited over base cards.
I know base cards aren’t always something special or worth the most dough, most people just consider them fillers, but I always always always get excited when I see a St. Louis Cardinals player in the packs I buy. Yeah its really exciting to pull an autograph or game used card but the odds of getting those in just regular retail packs is crazy. Just for an example, I have been collecting for over 10 years steady….in between 2001 and 2011 I only pulled 1 game used 2001 UD legendary Jose Canseco, and 1 autograph 2001 Topps archives Carl Erskine, however in 2012 I pulled 3 autographs and 2 game used In just a single month! 2011 lineage Ripken game used, 2011 lineage Gallardo game used, 2011 platinum Bryce Harper auto, 2011 platinum Morales auto/game used, and finally a 2011 Ginter Starlin Castro auto……all out of retail packs at Wal-Mart. The Harper auto I pulled was the highest book valued card in the set and the highest book valued card I had ever pulled, being at one time over $200. When I pulled it, I automatically shouted obscenities over excitement because I knew what I had pulled…but later that day the excitement wore off and I was stuck with a card of a guy I didn’t care for, who hadn’t even debuted in the majors yet, and who could be a major flop. The next day I sold it online for $125, and with that money I bought more retail packs and several blaster boxes. Out of that lot I ended up getting several base cards of some Cardinals players that I love watching.
I think I know why I am so partial to base cards. It might have to do with growing up in the 90s. If you remember back then, the game used cards and autograph cards were a rare thing and didn’t even really start to come around until the later 90s. If you somehow found one they had a ridiculous resale value. I remember busting a box of 1999 victory with my little brother and being stoked to find all of the Cardinals cards and the Mark McGwire cards (which I still have today). Take the same scenario today, someone busts a random box of cards and they don’t get at least 3 game used or autographs they get upset and call Topps to complain about being ripped off. The mass production of game used and autographed cards has desensitized the hobby. The more and more you see autographs and game used the more and more you want them, and when you start getting them more and more they start to become just another game used or auto card in your junk pile or trade bait pile.
With this desensitization I think people have started to lose focus on why they collect cards, and the reason why card collecting is still around. I believe it’s not about the big profit and busting cases of cards turning cards around for money. The card industry was and is focused on fun! It is supposed to be fun to bust a pack of cards and find your favorite player, team, or missing cards to complete your set you’ve been working on all season. I still look at the hobby in this way, that’s why I still have loads of fun snagging a couple Cardinals base cards I don’t have for a nickel or game used or autos for a buck. in a way, I’m getting the better deal because I’m getting a card of a guy I like for such a good price….but on the other hand you are making a couple bucks off of me. I guess it can be looked at either way, but all in all I’m stuck as a low end collector in this crazy world of major mojo.