Card collecting is a dying hobby these days. It’s been dying for years, actually, and when it comes to collecting football cards, it’s nearly non-existent in the general population. Baseball and basketball cards have always been more popular in the hobby world, and you could even possibly argue that football is at the very bottom of the “Big Four” professional sports in terms of card collecting.
Now that we’re into 2013, it’s even more of a rarity to come across a young child that collects football cards these days. It’s a shame, really. Considering I grew up loving football cards, and still happen to have a very hefty collection. In an attempt to offer coverage that other NFL-based websites do not cover, we here at All-Out Blitz will be adding one more dimension: football cards.
Sure, we aren’t qualified as professionals or experts in the sports cards world, but I have personally been collecting long enough where I now find myself capable of breaking down which cards are worth spending your cash on, and which aren’t. This introduction article is based more on my personal experience and opinion, and is just the first of many articles to come about football cards––card set reviews, most popular cards to buy, most expensive cards, rankings and lists, etc. etc.
Buying my first card set (and binder to keep them in, of course) at the age of eight years old, I have accumulated just over 4,000 cards––professional football, alone. In addition to the football cards, I also was a pretty avid baseball card collector, racking up between 2,000 and 3,000 MLB cards. For the past 13+ years, I have spent my fair share of money in adding to my collection. I think that in itself is enough to make me a valid source for football card information.
Sources to Use
I use to go out and buy Beckett Football magazines, which is the No. 1 go-to print source for all things football (cards). Beckett’s website is also a very valuable source for news, price guides and card reviews. Beckett covers all the major sports, and has complete coverage on even the most unpopular of sports, such as soccer, tennis, racing, golf, MMA and wrestling. It’s pretty amazing, really.
If you’re looking for a site to buy cards online, however, Beckett wouldn’t be the first website I’d recommend. Beckett is mostly for price guides and complete set reviews, as well as announcements. If you’re looking for a specific card that you’d like to purchase without going to a local card store, check out footballcardshop.com. At FootballCardShop you can sort by individual player, team, card company, card/team set and find a very specific card. To be honest, I’ve used it to find a specific card or player, and have also used it just to browse. It’s the perfect place for either one.
Another website I recently stumbled upon is Cardboard Connection. Like Beckett, CBC is a great source for card/card set reviews. They also have great analysis of cards and great opinion pieces. In terms of feature articles, I’d rank CBC ahead of Beckett. It’s a great site to check out if you’re a beginner collector and are just getting started. They offer “How To” guides to all things football cards: pricing, grading, organization, autograph cards,
So remember: Beckett for card information, news/reviews, Cardboard Connection for features and rankings, and FootballCardShop for purchasing cards online. Write that down!
Why I collect
Honestly, I’m not really sure why I collect. I don’t have any friends that do and, as I said above, it’s a dying hobby. Not to mention it can get pretty pricey. But once you get into it, it’s hard to get out of it. Which is evident in the fact that I’ve been at it for 13 years now, and still going strong. Pricing some of the more expensive cards that I own has always been a fulfilling thing to do, and visiting sports card and memorabilia shops/card shows is always an adventure.
Best-Known Card Manufacturers
The above card manufacturers are some of the better-known names out there today. If I were to guess which company I had the most cards of, I’d probably go with Topps. If you’re a beginner, I suggest you do a little research, including card pricing and reading various reviews, in order to figure out which company’s cards you’d like to purchase first. Form your own opinion on whose cards you like the most.
Some of the countless rookie cards I own:
1993 Topps Draft Pick Jerome Bettis
1995 Score Summit Edition Kordell Stewart
1995 Collector’s Edge Warren Sapp
1997 Score Draft Class Corey Dillon
1999 Upper Deck Draft Class Daunte Culpepper
2000 Victory Tom Brady
2001 Topps Chad Johnson
2004 Topps Premier Prospects Ben Roethlisberger
2006 Fleer Futures Mario Williams
2006 Fleer Futures Vince Young
2006 Press Pass Legends Matt Leinart
2007 Topps Adrian Peterson
2007 Fleer Ultra Fresh Faces LaRon Landry
2007 Press Pass Calvin Johnson
2007 Upper Deck Joe Thomas
2007 Score Hot Rookie Greg Olsen
2008 Press Pass SE Chris Johnson
2008 Press Pass SE Insider Insight Darren McFadden
2008 Press Pass SE Insider Insight Joe Flacco
My collection doesn’t exactly have some of the most expensive rookie cards out there (when I was in my early collecting days I went for the cheaper packs of cards), but it’s a solid collection with hundreds of star player rookie cards. If I were to look the price up for each one, I’m sure the total value would easily eclipse $1,000.
Hopefully this introduction to NFL card collecting has peaked your interest––even if it did so rather mildly. Because there will be plenty more coverage as the 2013 NFL season wears on.