Sunday, January 19, 2014

Waxin' Wax

One awesome thing I got for Christmas was a whole bunch of wax.  Given the stuff I typically collect singles usually make more sense, but I like to mix it up and break some wax now and then because stuff always seems cooler when it's personally pack pulled.

The first pack was actually in my stocking from my wife.  She'll grab me a pack now and then, but it's always totally random and often non sports.  This one was no different, as it features the show My Little Pony:
I actually haven't watched any of the new show yet despite Cardboard Junkie's awesome posts about it and everything I've heard about brony culture, so as a result I don't really know any of the subjects on these cards.  The tattoo is obviously my favorite and I'm hoping to get some of my students to wear a butterfly with me...we'll see.  That Phoenix-y guy is pretty cool too though.  Weirdly I don't see any derpiness in this pack at all!

Now with Seneca Wallace cards getting hard to find, I was hoping for a box to possibly pull a Seneca of my own.  And the family came through, with a box of 2007 Topps Total!  I was so pumped to maybe pull a Seneca and there's so many varieties that my odds felt great.

Well...I didn't pull any...not even a base lol...but it was still fun.

Here's what a pack front looks like and some of the key rookies in the set that I pulled:
Kinda nuts that the best RB and best WR in the NFL came from the same draft.  Also that they're both only going into year 8 next year (I'm not talking about Bowe but he's pretty good too!)

One thing I noticed with a few cards was that the air brushing job on guys that switched teams is pretty awful.  Here's the five I found the worst...I think Duckett wins but Henry's helmet is terrible and Bell and McGahee are bad as well:
I didn't mention Welker but his aur brushing is pretty bad.  But it's still a neat card as it's his first card as a Patriots WR.  Pretty neat since his stats on the back show how unheralded Welker was before coming to New England and becoming one of the league's best slot guys.

One of the best things about Total is the wide array of subjects involved...especially on the triple cards.  Here's a few that stood out to me:
Starting in the left row, I liked getting a Cleo Lemon card as he's a former scrub QB favorite.  The middle card features Dane Looker, who had a small stint with the Patriots that I remembered and was a 2004 Madden regular as well.  The Ravens card in the bottom left is notable because it taught me a name I had never seen before (which is rare in the mid 00's) in Ronnie Prude.  In 2006 he didn't play a lot but made the most of that time with 9 tackles and 2 interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.  That's pretty good, and probably why he got this card.  But in 2007 he was kind of forgettable and in two years he was out of the NFL.  Neat to know about him though.

The Texans card in the top right is there because I love Samkon Gado.  He and Lemon are actually guys I've pondered collecting before, but with Gado he's kind of expensive due to his Packers tenure so I always passed (maybe someday).  The card below him features QB Craig Nall, who was a Madden guy as well even though back then he backed up Brett Favre rather than J.P. Losman.  And then the last two cards are just neat special teams cards.  I love the Browns one for Josh Cribbs (of course) and having Phil Dawson, who ties in neatly with Andy Lee on the next card since they're the active kicker/punter duo in San Francisco these days.

Sometimes the random guys in Total show up on their own card, or a card with just two guys.  Here are a few of those:
Simms, Huard, Walter, and Bollinger...not exactly future HOF enshrinees, but pretty much all Madden guys (Walter wasn't around long enough) and memories that teams have been forced to go with stopgap quarterbacks for a long time.  Samie Parker is a WR I had pretty much forgotten, and Morency is neat because he symbolizes the Packers-Texans RB movement of the era.  Ahman Green was a Packer and became a Texan, and Morency was actually traded to the Packers from the Texans for the aforementioned Gado.  It was a weird time.

The last two cards are just cool defenders in uniforms people don't typically associate them with, Warren Sapp with the Raiders and Willie McGinest with the Browns.  Good stuff.

I got a lot of inserts in this box...I think I like the Award Winners (in the middle) the most:
It's still weird to me that Hank Baskett got one of the cards though.  Such a strange career for that guy, including all the reality show Kendra stuff.  The Brady is eventually headed Dennis' way.

It wouldn't be Total though without the color parallels.  Gold is the rarest here, then silver, then red, then blue.  I actually beat the odds on gold and pulled as many as I did silver, including two in one pack!  So that was neat:
The best card these days is probably the Ahman Bradshaw silver, but I'm also a fan of the Tony Gonzalez gold.

Here are my favorite blues and reds (since I got a lot of each):
The Alstott is just awesome, and the box was a bit Colt crazy what with the Mathis card and the special teams.  I grabbed some Claytons here and there was a gold Clayton above as well.  And ain't nothing wrong with a blue Cutler!

So that was a pretty awesome box to break.  36 packs all told, and by the time I finished opening all those I was kind of packed out for a bit.  So the other 6 packs I got on Christmas, which are these ones:
will be saved for another day.  Not sure if I want to start a pack/box stash for a crazy pack opening day someday, or if I want to do a group break someday, or what.  But I'll think of something fun in the meantime while the 24 year old 1990 Topps gum continues to age nicely!

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