Monday, February 8, 2016

First Ever College Basketball Game

On Sunday I got to do something I have never done before. That thing was go see a college basketball game. Why up until Sunday it had never happened is a mystery as we have the Oregon State Beavers within twenty miles, and getting tickets for them is real easy. Despite that it had never happened before, but odds are it might be happening on a more regular basis now.

After doing the guys weekend I had mentioned to a few people including the wife that there were still a few sporting events I hadn't gone to. Those events were college basketball, NHL, MLS, NFL, and NASCAR. When making that mention I thought it would be cool to eventually knock all, but one off the list. While I'd love to do a game of NFL. There are a ton of other things I could do with what it would cost to get nose-bleed seats to an NFL game. Sorry NFL, but you are a league that is just to rich for this cat's blood.

Hearing the list the wife talked to a co-worker who goes to Oregon Ducks games, and he asked if I wanted to do a game this year? All on board he went out, and bought tickets. Little did we know at the time it was Super Bowl weekend, and my favorite team the Broncos would be playing. All was cool in the end though as the game started at 1, and I listened to the first quarter while heading home.

This was the view from our seats, and I didn't zoom in the phone's camera for this shot. Personally they were great seats,and we got to see all the action quite well.

I watched the Utah Utes warming up as the reason he picked this particular game is my being a fan of the Utes. As time got closer the team took over the full court when the Ducks went in to get dressed for the game.

As you can tell the Utes bench was on our side of the court.The thing I thought was most crazy about the game is I think both teams used maybe one timeout, and two at most. They were showing the game on ESPN 2 so TV timeouts were the norm.

For the game itself. Things were close until the second half when the Ducks took over. Utah just couldn't seem to get any closer than nine points, and trailed by almost twenty at one point. In the end the scoreboard shows it all.

Some interesting things I have learned from not just this game, but the Huskies football game my friend, and myself did in the fall.

When it comes to sporting events I have always been a fan of showing up before the doors open, and touring the place. In college basketball there isn't a whole lot to see so you basically end up sitting in your seat waiting for the game to start. This might be different in other places, but here in the Northwest this seems to be the normal thing. At the football game we could walk around, and check out people's tailgating murals to kill time. There wasn't any of that at the game so it was sit, and wait for the hour until game time.

At the two games I've been to the view for the college game is simply more amazing than the pros. A few years back we went to some Blazers games, and once sat close to the area we were at Sunday. Those seats didn't give the same views we had in Eugene. The college venues seem to be built so that you almost feel like you are on top of the action. I know in both Eugene, and Seattle where I saw the two games the playing surface was dug down.  The hole seems to help give off that vibe of being almost on the field, or in this case court.

Overall I had a great time, and we talked about maybe catching a game or two next season. Odds are we won't be doing Utah, but two other teams so for those games I'll just root for the Ducks.  

Saturday, January 30, 2016

First Show of 2016- Childhood Memories

Not long ago Mark Hoyle had sent me these cards that got only a tiny bit of a mention in the post.

The reason was a much bigger storm was brewing, and those cards were just the first wave. Rather than get into that storm during the post option number two, and hitting it full force now was the logical choice.

After getting back into cards, and I don't mean the ten or so years ago that I claimed was a return. That time frame was only setting up for the day this blog started, and I seriously got back into collecting. Since full on returning I have had numerous people mention that building an older set was an even more thrilling hunt than the cards I currently collect.

The problem is while the cards design is important to me, I'm not into the classic design most are. Don't get me wrong as I have the 1957 American Airlines magazine I bought awhile back, and a 1973 Dodgers scorecard that has a very classic look to it. Just in The Cat's world those 1957 cards don't get me all excited like some people. For some reason I like the ticket, credit card, drivers license, mascot, stadium style cards that have been done since the early 90's. You would think building these sets, and subsets would have no challenge, but in a world where I don't buy any off of ebay, or have a COMC account it has been a challenge.

All this was fun, and good though until recently. Going through cards I started to think about those people saying I should build something older, and that would represent more of a challenge than the current stuff on the wants. That I have been told is why most start the older sets as to some it goes back to acquiring the cards they had as children, and destroyed during those years.

For me we didn't do baseball cards, and run them into tire spokes. In our corner of the world we only collected football, and Star Wars cards for many a year. While I enjoy Star Wars the passion to attempt the sets from my childhood has zero appeal. For us though football was king, and it all came down to the game we played.

I mentioned this once last year in a post that around the age of ten. It could have been earlier, but we will say ten as I can't recall what the real age was. We dreamed up the idea of a football game using our cards. We played this game for the next four to six years. Initially the game was brutal on the cards as many fell victim to the accordion effect. This was when making a tackle our cards would end up head on instead of the side to side method. We used our hands to move the cards, and the action would be so fast we reacted more than thought about what was happening.

This all gave way to another idea that my friend dreamed up one day. To save the cards from the brutality we were inflicting on them. We would set the cards up, and flip a die on them as a form of a pass. This was the day our little game changed from a running league to a passing league. If it landed on the offense it was a catch. Landing on the defense was an interception, and the new offense took over from that point. The card damage was now being minimized as sometimes cards would get bent in the scrum to lay them out favorable to our play. More than anything the quarterback was the card who was really taking the hit. Flipping a die with a card 20-50 inches, and hoping it lands on your card can mess up a card. Much like the real game we were evolving in our thinking.

Still wanting more the die came into play, and we would run full plays using the die to determine movement f each card. If a receiver became open the flip was still used, but had become more challenging than before. Instead of a four to six cards to land on you had the one card. Two problems with this started to arise that couldn't really be cured. The first was that plays started to take way longer than previous games. The second is we were getting older, and playing football games with our cards was becoming something we did when there wasn't a better option.

Luckily around that time our local gas, and goodies market got in some Fleer Action Football cards. This would be another game-changer that kept the game going if only for a very short time. Now instead of just the Broncos versus Raiders we could do full seasons as we would each run half the league's teams. All we needed was the offense card, and defense card from a team, and we were set. The die came back into play as we had what each number represented. Games became much faster than ever imagined, and could be played on very little space unlike laying out full on teams.

With age we started getting into baseball cards, and doing other things. Instead of playing with cards we preferred the method of actually playing a game of football. The snow had always stopped us before, but now it just made the real life game even better. Basketball came into play, but collecting the cards just never caught on with any of us.

Having only 88 cards in these sets I had gotten into building the set, and had actually built them from two years. Sadly I was young, and had laminated them to keep them in perfect shape. The good news though is I do have some that were never laminated, and will be pulling those out to see if it is a full set, or in need of completion.
That leads me to why all these cards you see here were bought at the recent card show. Once I can motivate myself again I am going to try, and build these sets. While to some the 1950's sets are cool. I like the memories these cards represent, and so I want to see if I can build the entire series. A wantlist will be appearing once the motivation has happened.

The hardest part will be doing the research on all the stickers. Luckily I can say other than the cards sent to me by Mark Hoyle in our trade. All the other cards above, and the stickers were bought for a mere five cents, or one shiny nickel. Not a bad way to get back into trying to build some sets that I've thought about every so often, but just never pulled the trigger on recollecting. I do have a head start on a couple as for some odd reason they have traveled all these years with me. The stickers though are another story as they were used when we got them. I mean what kid doesn't love a sticker??

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

First Show of 2016- Set Fillers, and Player Collections

With 2016 still in its first month you can only imagine my excitement when the wife gave the clear for me to hit the Mall 205 card show. Originally I was undecided on whether to go or wait until another couple months before making the journey. After arriving I found that it would be a great show for the collecting.

Starting things off were some Seattle Mariners cards from what believe to be one of the stadium giveaway card sets. The cards above are just a small sampling of the cards I got from a couple different years of these. At ten cents, or 15 for a dollar I wasn't paying attention to the deal. Sadly it cost me as I should have just cleaned all of these out, and then seen what I could do about finishing them eventually.

Second up came the players I collect cards. Gray, and Blackmon aren't currently on the list of players I collect, but odds are they will be in the near future. During guys weekend in Seattle, Gray took pictures not with just myself, but a few others as well. He seems like a classy guy that made a fan out of this cat.

Arenado, and Trout are mainstays on the player collecting that I don't see going anywhere soon. The Ian Happ cards were just something I saw, and as a fan of the Bearcats just ended up buying. Ironically Happ played for the Emeralds last summer. and I knew this, but didn't think about it when buying the cards.

From there the set needs got some loving as well. Much like all the player cards above these were all bought for either ten cents, or a shiny nickel each. Hitting some Authentix was possibly my favorite find of all the cards on this post. The 2004 Studio Stars is something I need to get a list together for in the near future.

Overall it was a great show, and was fun to run into Rod from Padrographs who I hadn't seen since our first meeting. We talked for a minute as he was on another mission. The above cards weren't the total extent of the purchases from this cat. Next up will be some fun cards that I was so pumped to find.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hoyle No Longer Means Just Playing Cards Anymore

There was a time frame in my early 20's where we played all sorts of different card games. The longest running became a game we knew as Nerts. To play each person needed their own deck of cards that you could tell belong to each specific player. Not getting to much into the game I will say it was very rough on the cards . So rough that we would go through a new deck every two months at the most.

During this time frame some of us would look for what we thought were cool looking designs on decks of cards. I was the one who traveled the state the most so some of my decks had things like coastal towns, or tourist attractions on them.

What does any of this have to do with baseball cards? No, it doesn't mean that someone out there sent me a playing card from various decks of cards. I collect many a thing, but that isn't one of them so you would be wrong in that guess. What it does mean that I noticed something about most of the cards we had for games that used playing cards. The name Hoyle appeared on so many of those playing card decks that when the name Hoyle comes up I can't help, but think of playing cards.

This all leads me into why the choice of a post title. When first contacted by Mark Hoyle I couldn't help, but think of the playing card brand. As I would learn upon getting the mailer sent my direction by Mark. This Hoyle doesn't deal in just playing cards. This Hoyle deals in so much more than just cards, and showed this cat in a huge way.

Have to love a potpourri of sports schedules from various years.

In this day an age of computer style ticket stubs it's cool to see a classic looking ticket stub. Doing a little more research I learned that the Gulls were the 2014 NECBL Champions. Hopefully this ticket didn't go to waste as who doesn't like to watch a Championship winning team play?

Mark didn't just stick to other fun items. As you can see above he dropped a couple Mariners my direction. Not just any Mariners will do for Mark. He hit me up with legendary names to Mariners fans in Johnson, and Martinez.

Closing out Mark went in the direction that was a total surprise. When asking what he could send in return I mentioned these type of cards as a possibility. To see five of them in the mailer was a huge surprise that I never expected. Even more surprising was they were from earlier years than I would have imagined them coming from.

Thank you so much Mark for some great schedules, a ticket stub, baseball cards, and some sweet football cards. Who would have ever imagined that clearing out some unwanted cards would bring in some fantastic cards like these?