Saturday, June 5, 2010

Draw is full!

Nice work to everybody for getting the draw for the World Cup competition filled up nice and flawlessly. All 32 spots have been filled and all the teams and corresponding readers are now located on the right side column of the blog. Each of you has three entries at this time and over the month you will have the chance to earn more. Stay tuned for some special "contests within the contest" where you will be able to earn additional entries for you chance at some (great?) prizes!

In the meantime, enjoy this

and then this!

Friday, June 4, 2010

And here we go! Contest time!

I gotta get me one of these! This is the official soccer ball of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Update 1:20 PM Pacific - Draw is full! Competition begins Friday. Good luck!

The name "JABULANI" originates from the indigenous language isiZulu, one of the eleven official languages of the Republic of South Africa, which is spoken by almost 25% of the population. Literally translated, "JABULANI" means "to celebrate". Football is a passion that unites the world. The name of the new match ball appropriately pays tribute to the passionate football celebration international fans will enjoy in South Africa next summer.

Welcome to JD's Wildcardz 2010 FIFA World Cup contest! Not everybody can be so nuts about the World Cup as myself, so I hope that entering the contest will help inspire you to check out some of the month-long competition, or at the very least make it a little more tolerable!

For those of you that took place in my Winter Olympic contest, the format of this contest will be very similar. Here is the format...

1. I have typed in the names of all 32 competing countries into and created a randomized list and assigned number 1-32 to each of the competing teams. Your job is simple. Choose a number! Please make sure to leave your comment in this post only so I can reference the list easily. Also, PLEASE make sure that your number has not already been taken. As I receive the numbers, I will create a list in the sidebar of my blog and assign you to your team!

2. How do you earn points (entries)? Just for signing up you get 3 entries. Then once the competition gets started your team will earn 3 entries for every win and one entry for every tie. Also, you will earn additional entries for every goal that your team scores. The big payoff is if your team makes the elimination round of 16. You will earn 5 bonus entries for making "the show" as well as continue to earn more entries for wins and goals as bracket play continues. The further your team goes, the more entries you can earn.

3. What are the entries for? Just like last competition, each entry will earn you one spot in a drawing. If you earn 15 entries, you will be entered in the list 15 times. Don't be discouraged if you don't pull a top-tier team. There was major parody in the Olympic competition! All it takes is one entry and you can win the Grand prize!

4. So what are those prizes, anyways? I will award 1st-3rd prizes based on the first three (non-repeated) names on the list. Prizes are as-of-yet undetermined, but I have the entire month to snag some goodies for you, so rest assured, it will be worth your time to...pick a number!

Easiest contest ever! Jump on in and get your team today!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's coming...........

Tomorrow marks seven days and counting until 2010 FIFA World Cup. You will soon be aware that I go FIFA World Cup BANANAS every four years. Once every four years I shut down my fandom of baseball, basketball, and bathing, and dedicated every waking and non-waking moment to this glorious international competition. I have been known to hang tournament draws and banners at my desk, and have become the unofficial "water cooler" for the casual non-soccer fans curious about the competition.

Truth be told, I only follow soccer during the World Cup. I cannot get into league play, and IMHO the talent gets spread pretty thin with all the available leagues. This is the opportunity to see the best of the best representing their country and playing styles. This is the opportunity to see crazy haircuts, flair fires, chanting fans, drums, yellow cards, red cards, and an international spectacle like no other.

And I go to the nines. I WILL watch every single minute (minus potty breaks) of every single game (though mostly on a tape-delay basis, and through the beauty of DVR technology). I will think it, speak it, and inevitably purchase a World Cup video game that I will suck so bad at that I will never play it one moment after the Cup ends.

The time zone gets a little tricky. The last World Cup was mostly ruined due to the fact that most of the games ran during the morning of my work day. People knew that I was following along so they would run up to my desk and ask me my thoughts on a game that I had not seen yet, or blurt out a score...mostly accidental, some just to get under my craw!

How to avoid this in 2010? Going covert. You will not see a single banner, bracket, group schedule or wallpaper at my desk. Black ops. As far as they are concerned, I am just another lousy baseball fan :)

Much more to come throughout the month of June regarding World Cup. You've been warned.

Okay, now to reward those who have stuck with my rambling thus far...TOMORROW I will be announcing the "JD's Wildcardz 2010 FIFA World Cup" contest! This is going to be run very similar to my Winter Olympics contest in which I will randomize all 32 World Cup teams, the first 32 readers will pick a number and be assigned a team and that team will earn you entries towards an outlandish prize!

I am finalizing the rules in my noggin at the moment, but will have it all sorted out by the 'morrow, so be sure to drop in and get yourself in on the action. And if you think that even a contest won't get you interested to watch World Cup, remember that we all watch BASEBALL!

Speaking of World Cup...Today, by incredible timing, my little boy Jacoby is due for a haircut. Man, is he ever due. He has adopted the wavy curl of my wife's hair, and when it gets a tad longer it starts to wave a bit. Really though, he wears it quite well, he kinda looks like he should have a surfboard in one hand and a bikini babe in the other. A lady-killer at 18 months I tell ya.

I had always joked about getting Jacoby "prepped" for World Cup with a soccer-style haircut. Talk about impeccable timing. For your viewing pleasure I have gathered a sampling of possible Jacoby haircut styles....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A good ol' fashioned box bust

It is very easy to get caught up in the allure of the baseball card collecting hobby. What once started off as a nice, easy "i'm going to collect full Topps sets for my son" collecting idea has oft spiralled into delusions of silks and printing plates, and cut-auto books, and superfractors....

Being one with an addictive personality, I can easily get sucked into the allure of the big hit. At times the money has flowed freely, and the cardboard piles have grown throughout the house. I really hate it when I get an entire box and just fly though about 98% of the cards looking for the "hits". It often time makes you wonder why you don't just by the hit off of Ebay if you are going to disrespect the rest of the cards.

That is why I am glad that the Hobby brings us Allen and Ginter. Every now and again I will open a product that can be surprising fun to check out ALL of the cards, and then go back later and look a little closer. Topps Chicle was one of the surprisingly fun rips this year, as was Goodwin Champions last year. Some people may complain about the artsy cards, or the non-sports cards inclusions in some of these products, but for me personally, I can only stand so many variations on the same players image over and over again. I swear that John Smoltz only had one photo taken in his career, and they just keep photoshopping new uniforms on him. We see this with other players as well. Koji, anyone? It's nice to shake things up with an inventor, or an animal, or a world-champion.

So when I wandered into Cranky's store the other day, my mission was to grab a box of something that I would truly enjoy and not just throw to the side. Cranky recently acquired several boxes of 2007, 2008, and 2009 Allen and Ginter. I have pretty much played out 2009, had recently ripped one box of 2007, but had yet to sample Ginter 2008, the Jason Wong edition!

It was a great box! regardless of the plate hit, I believe that 2008 Ginter really hit it on the head with great artistry, great subjects, and a few extra surprises here and there. I did NOT have the same thoughts about the 2007 set...I felt that only some of the cards were truly acceptional, and the Dick Perez "1/1" sketch cards were pretty sketchy and pretty ugly to boot. I thought that a lot of the cards had a faded look to them, and also the florescent colors of the hit frames further added to the faded quality.

Bring on 2008! As mentioned before, this was one fun rip and it started right from the get-go with my box-topper.
Awesome card, by far the best cabinet card I have pulled from any Ginter boxes to date. I could see Howard peeking through the wrapper and had delusions of a sweeping autograph across the cabinet card, but alas it is just the standard card. Still, this bodes well for the box!

Here are my two hits. One you already know about. I have always wanted a B&W plate, and even though it is a Yankee, it could be worse, it could be Shin-Shoo Choo or Kendry Morales. Big Z was my other hit. The frames are MUCH better for this set. They still have the tradition Jimmy Buffet look to them, but the cards pop so much more, especially the plate.

These are sweet. I did NOT pull the empire state building, but am looking for it if anybody has an extra. Pluto, the shunned planet rocks, and the Golden Gate Bridge is classic looking. Were there any other location cards in that set?

These State cards replace the creepy Dick Perez sketches of 2007. These are the 1 per pack hits. The images of the players are the same as their base card, but it is still an interesting concept. I have already jumped on Ebay to order up my Jacoby/Oregon card.

Lots of nice looking base to choose from here, but the Longoria RC is the big winner of the set, along with several other classic cards.

Here is the code card of the box. I like the themes and the stories on the back, which I believe played into the code itself. I learned of a 2004 ALCS code card that I cannot find anywhere. If somebody has an extra, I would love to trade for it.

Now the fun stuff. I love the oddie cards and by far the most shocking pull of the box...

Bigfoot! Man, I had forgotten all about Bigfoot! Memories of childhood came flooding back. I am VERY curious what the bigfoot relic card looked like if anybody can share that with me!

And of course the minis. Now that I have proper storage sleeves for these I have warmed up to them. These are the notables including a shark card from a secret subset (more on this card in a future post) Kerri Strug (who every time I see I remember the Chris Katan SNL skit) and a classic #7.

I had a lot of fun with this one, which makes me ready for at least a box or two of the 2010 product, hitting the shelves soon. One gripe I have on Ginter is just how amazingly difficult it is to gather the subsets...some are seeded only 1 in 12 packs, which is outrageous considering how much a box is, but I guess it is about the thrill of the chase!

Northwest Passage Sweet 16 Worst Autos EVER!

Hi folks, Mike back here. I telepathically connected with the Drewbie and sensed a disturbance that the next round of the worst auto contest is well underway. Getting down to the nitty-gritty here and we have some seriously illegible autographs from which you must choose, but choose wisely, the WORST of each matchup. The polls will be open on my sidebar, so vote early, vote often, and stay off drugs.

Here is your Sweet 16 matchups for the Northwest Passage division.

Ubaldo Jimenez v Fernando Martinez

Geronimo Gil v Erick Aybar

Wow, these are beauties for sure. Have fun.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Double 1:1 Sunday

Well, that sure did not take long!

McNuggets and A Topps Pack Sunday

Today Jacoby and I did a variation of the "Pizza and a Blaster". Our version?

Mcdonald's and a jumbo pack.
...and a box of 2008 Ginter.

First a review on the McDonalds chicken nuggets. I was almost embarrassed to try to feed some to Jacoby when I realized how chewy the outer crust was. I think this patch may have been sitting on the heat tray for quite some time. You take the crust off though and Oila! Healthy protein meal! I took one for the team and ate a good portion of the 20 nuggets. You will note on the box that "My handsome reward awaits". That reward? Heartburn.

Now on to the blaster pack itself. Turns out that Jacoby picked a winner! Below are a couple of the base cards.
Cool! A Kosuke "Abe in the grass" variation card!

I jumped back a little when I examined this card a little closer. Check out the cold, calculating stare of Yuniesky

Gives ya the willies, eh?
On to the hits of the package. I noticed right off that there was something different about this package when I hit two consecutive million card contest cards, then two peak performances. I wasn't expecting the next card...

Buster Posey 3D...something. I knew nothing of this insert set, but it is something different and always cool to get a Buster Posey.
Then something else cool showed up in the pack. Did you know that in order to make this...

you need this...

Cool! My first printing plate pull! I am glad that it is a team card and also a landscape shot to boot.
Not a bad little jumbo pack. I am still not in too much of a hurry to grab a box yet though. I think I will ride the wave awhile and see where the price goes first. this was fun though. I missed that mustardy topps ink smell...
I'll report back on the Ginter box soon. The toploader was Ryan Howard, so off to a good start!