Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 COMC purchases: serial-numbered WINserts

Michigan's win over Penn State this past Saturday was such a thumping I wish I had an Alan Branch card to show off so I'd have an excuse to post my favorite image.  Aw, hell, who needs a card to justify it?  BOOM
Let's celebrate by posting some more of my COMC pickups; just two posts left after this one!

Today I'm featuring eight serial-numbered football inserts:
Jamar Adams 2008 Donruss Gridiron Gear Gold Holofoil X's (#033/100)
Here's a numbered parallel of former DB Jamar Adams' '08 Gridiron Gear RC.  As with a Henne I recently posted, this set has both an "X" and "O" version, both numbered to 100.
Elvis Grbac 1998 Black Diamond Rookies Triple (#0143/1500)
Ah yes, one of my favorite late 90s sets for parallels--I really liked how UD split these up into different colors and numbering:  Doubles were red and numbered to 3000 while Quadruples were green and limited to 150.  Grbac is pictured here in his first of four seasons with the Chiefs, and in '97 he had gone 8-2 with a loss in the playoffs.
Brian Griese 2001 Donruss Elite Primary Colors (#305/975)
One good 90s Michigan QB deserves another!  Griese's color commentary skills may leave a bit to be desired, but he was a very good college starter that enjoyed a solid pro career.  Here he is on a nice shiny insert from 2001 Donruss.  The Primary Colors insert included Blue and Yellow versions as well as a die-cut parallel of those three variations.
Mike Hart 2008 Stadium Club Premiere Edition (#19/50)
Hey hey, a new card for my Mike Hart PC!  Card #105 is this 2008 Stadium Club parallel that's a nice throwback to the product's stamped inserts from the 90s.  Better yet, these are actually numbered, with these Premiere Edition cards limited to just 50.  Ah, it really takes me back to the days when Topps meant fun designs instead of repetitive crap and ignored redemptions.
Taylor Lewan 2014 Topps Valor Valor (#59/99)
Count me among the folks that don't get Topps' Valor product.  I snagged this card because it was a cheap numbered insert of one of my guys, but the theme is just kinda confusing.  Speaking of Lewan-related things that make no sense to me, while I get former Buckeye and not-awful TV guy Kirk Herbstreit criticizing the Titans OT for a costly penalty, posting "You're an absolute fraud bro!!" on Twitter lowers my opinion of him to that of people who post comments on Youtube, which is currently the following:
Image result for i can typing
David Terrell 2001 Quantum Leaf Rookie Revolution (#3189/4000)
Anthony Thomas 2001 Quantum Leaf Rookie Revolution (#1575/4000)
I always enjoy posting cards of these guys together, as is tradition.  
It's a great day for Michigan, and therefore the world!  Quantum Leaf was an interesting Donruss product that was produced only in 2000 and 2001, and these inserts actually aren't representative of the set as they look more like some of Donruss' other insert offerings, with the bonus of college uniforms.
LaMarr Woodley 2007 Leaf Rookies and Stars Longevity Ruby (#021/199)
Nope, no Alan Branch today, but I do have a fun card of another beastly defensive star in Woodley.  This here is a Ruby parallel out of 2007's Rookies and Stars Longevity product, which itself is kind of a parallel to the base Rookies and Stars set.  I don't get it either.  Anyway, the combination that results from the parallel color and the Steelers' black and yellow unis is pretty cool in my opinion.  Plus this is our fourth parallel of a RC today, so we got that going for us too.

Just two COMC posts left, one football and one baseball, plus I still have a couple cool eBay pickups I'm pretty excited about!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #4: vs. Penn State

No logo for today's opponent--Penn State is a program without shame, one that continues to show no remorse for one of the most tragic and embarrassing chapters in college football history.  Its continued denial of the truth and reverence of a man (who was just a man) who ignored multiple violations of children are disgusting, and they prove that, if any program ever deserved the death penalty, it's the one from Happy Valley.  May those that blindly support Joe Paterno and continue to hurl abuse at the victims of Jerry Sandusky one day see the light.
Aside from those harsh realities--college football is one of those things that kind of let you escape reality in a way--Penn State heads to Ann Arbor for a 3:30 matchup against the 3-0 Wolverines.  I hope Harbaugh's squad puts a major beatdown on the Nittany Lions in response to comments made by their delusional fans about Jim's coaching ability, Penn State's "superiority", and the usual clock conspiracy theories.  In short, the image I hope to see when the clock says 00:00 is Penn State lying on the ground, defeated like Anthony Morelli, as Michigan, in Alan Branch's role, walks away in victory.  Beat Penn State.

Monday, September 19, 2016

2016 COMC purchases: how about Henne?

Fresh off an exciting weekend of college football, let's get back to some  COMC cards!

Today's subject is one of Michigan's more successful QBs, especially in terms of counting stats.  Of course, that hasn't really translated to the NFL for journeyman backup Chad Henne of the Jaguars.  Still, I'm always glad when it's clear he alone hasn't been the issue when running Jacksonville's offense as supposed heir apparent Blake Bortles has been pretty underwhelming after two weeks.  What's the harm in giving Henne a shot?

Anyway, here's a nine-spot of new Hennes for this late summer Ann Arbor evening.

First up is a group of six inserts and one base card, all of the serial-numbered variety:

Chad Henne 2008 Upper Deck Draft Edition Bronze (#103/175)
Chad Henne 2010 Panini Gridiron Gear Silver X's (#066/250)

Chad Henne 2010 Panini Plates and Patches City Limits (#077/299)
Chad Henne 2010 Topps Gold (#0149/2010)

Chad Henne 2010 Topps Triple Threads (#0660/1350)
Chad Henne 2010 Topps Triple Threads Sepia (#301/499)
Chad Henne 2011 Prestige Xtra Points Red (#067/100)
I've talked about my enjoyment of the '08 UD Draft set, and that parallel is actually the lone Michigan uni card in today's post.  Panini produced Silver, Gold, and Platinum versions of both "X's" and "O's" inserts in 2010, with each letter getting the same numbering per parallel.  The City Limits card out of Plates and patches is the only non-parallel insert of this group.  The comfortingly familiar Topps Gold makes another appearance here out of the 2010 set.  From the same year I grabbed Henne's base and Sepia parallels from the higher-end Triple Threads product.  And finally, I scored a Red Xtra Points parallel, with its pretty nifty looks, out of 2011 Prestige.  Not a bad bunch!

I also have a pair of hits to show off separately from the rest of my football PC additions you'll see in a future post:

Chad Henne 2008 SPx Rookie Materials AFC/NFC Triple 50 triple jersey (#11/50)

Chad Henne 2008 SPx Rookie Materials NFL Letters Dual 199 dual jersey (#038/199)
As I think most people know, there's lots and lots of different versions of these Rookie Materials cards from 2008 SPx when taking into account the lettering/symbols plus number and types of relics, and finally the serial numbering!  Both of these are plain white relics, but at least each has multiple swatches.  That and I don't believe either ended up costing me much more than a buck.

Besides bumping my Henne PC total to 188 (almost another milestone!), I did manage to reach past another somewhat interesting mark, cresting the 90-hit count for a new total of 91, easily thwarting all pretenders to the football collection throne.  Only baseball's Rich Hill is more represented in my overall sports hits collection with 124 as of this post.  Given the sheer number of Michigan Football players I chase in these collections it's fun to have a focus on a single player sometimes, and Henne has just kinda naturally taken up that number one spot.

Stay tuned for some more COMC cards and a pair of very interesting eBay buys!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #3: vs. Colorado

The Wolverines will put their sterling 2-0 record on the line this afternoon in their final non-conference matchup with the Buffaloes of Colorado.  Colorado has the same record, having defeated...well, nobody, really.  Meanwhile, Michigan was perfect the last two weeks against...uh...well nobody either, as it turns out.  This game should at least be somewhat interesting in that it'll be the toughest test for both teams to-date.

Another large point spread in favor of Michigan belies the fact that this could actually be a decent game, though it's still one that Michigan should be able to handle in the end despite some injuries whose severity are pretty much unknown; would those guys be playing if we were in the conference portion of the schedule?

Some fans worried about Michigan's performance in an as-expected victory over Central Florida last week, but coach Jim Harbaugh's confidence and the usual caveats about hiding most of the playbook until playing conference foes makes me think things are just fine until I'm convinced otherwise.  This may not be a shutout for Michigan, but I really don't see the close game a few people seem to be fearing.  Look for the Wolverines to continue looking ship shape with some momentum going into the matchup with Penn State next weekend.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #2: vs. UCF

So.  That game against Hawaii went about as well as it could have for Michigan, with the exception of a couple possible injuries.  New starting QB Wilton Speight found his confidence and rhythm after throwing a pick on his first pass, the O-line made some great holes for the backs, the D performed as advertised, and lots and lots of backups (including freshmen!) got to play.
This week we're back for a noon kickoff against Central Florida, a team that went winless last year as they were outscored 452-157.  Hey, you never know what to expect when you schedule teams a few years in advance.
Anyway, rain is in the forecast and on the ground here in Ann Arbor, so I don't expect as much of a points explosion this week as coach Jim Harbaugh looks to keep his players healthy.  That likely means more PT for the backups and freshmen, which sounds great to me!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

2016 trade package #14: Fuji is a Super trader!

I'm sure everyone is already aware that Mark from the Chronicles of Fuji runs one of the best collecting blogs out there.  I'm also 100% positive that those of you who've received cards from him--which is a lot of you--have a good idea of how amazing of a trade partner he is.

This week's evidence:  a one-card trade package.  How good could it be?  I'd call it SUPER:
Mario Manningham 2008 SPx triple jersey auto RC (#456/599)
As in "Super" Mario Manningham, who won a Super Bowl in 2011-12 thanks, in part, to his super catch:
I give credit to folks like Mark who remember to dig up Wolverines for me even when they have to go to the trouble of remembering who's an alum when they're pictured in NFL uniforms.  Though I suppose Mario's last name is part of this here blog's title.

Anyway, this is a great card of one of the best WRs I've been privileged to watch during my Michigan fandom.  The SPx brand was one of UD's best when it came to putting out fun, higher-end RCs featuring relics and autographs like this one, which also triples as a rookie card!  I also have such a card of fellow 2008 draftee Jake Long, and I hope to track down the other guys eventually.

Fuji, thanks again for your generosity and another contribution towards helping me achieve my favorite impossible goal:  too many Manninghams!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #1: vs. Hawaii

The longer I've been a fan of both baseball and college football, the more I think the offseason for the latter is harder to get through.  Baseball has its hot stove period to retain fans' interest after the World Series, with all its high-profile free agent signings and trades, some of the blockbuster variety.  Just weeks later the magic words "pitchers and catchers report" are spoken, and then just like that a new season dawns.

College football, meanwhile, gives us the drama of last-minute recruiting with signing day in February, then maybe a spring game.  Then you're essentially out of luck except for the few teases you get during summer/fall practice season.  When the first game of the year finally rolls around, you're ready.
I'm ready.  Boy am I.  After what can only be considered a success of a 10-3 season in 2015 (losses to hated rivals MSU and OSU aside), especially thanks to a resounding bowl blowout, excitement is at a fever pitch here in Ann Arbor.  It's year two of Jim Harbaugh football, and expectations really can't get much higher for a team that starts the year in the top 10 and is a major threat to reach the playoff.
Harbaugh's oversized personality and savant-like ability to coach are big reasons for that, but there's plenty of talent to rely on.  Despite plugging in another new QB, likely Wilton Speight, a guy recruited by the former regime, an all-world trio of targets--WRs Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh, and college's top TE Jake Butt--promises some video game-like numbers.
And then there's the defense, led by a line that's almost as large and scary as Charlie Weis at a buffet (miss you, Coach FrontButt!), including #1 overall recruit/bear wearing a human's skin Rashan Gary.  Plus a secondary starring future first-rounder Jourdan Lewis.
And both of those groups, along with special teams, will be enhanced by jack of all trades wunderkind Jabrill Peppers.
Oh yes, this team will be good.  I can't wait to see just how good, but at least I have very little time left to wait.

Speaking of waiting, the Wolverines await the Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii, a team that admirably competes despite the insane distances they have to travel, not to mention they just opened their season in Australia.  You almost feel bad for them until you remember, "Heeeeyyy, wait a minute, they get to live in Hawaii!"  The less said about their loss to Cal in Sydney last week, the better.

Michigan, meanwhile, opens up 2016 with the first of five straight home contests on their way to hopeful conference and playoff glory.  No need for a blowout here--just shake off the rust, try some things out, and get the kids a bit of experience, all while avoiding injury.

Happy 2016 college football season and