A Visit to the 2014 National Sports Collectors Convention, Part 5

Summer TV Winners and Losers

A Visit to the 2014 National Sports Collectors Convention, Part 6

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 | PART 6

THINGS WE ACTUALLY BOUGHT FOR OURSELVES

14881450193_dcd67d60c1_o

RB: Just when you think you’ve seen David Jacoby at his giddiest, he stumbles on a 21 Jump Street box and hugs it tight and vows to never let go, all with the Kool-Aidiest of smiles.

BS: After Rem took down a Family Matters box and Jacoby grabbed this 21 Jump Street box, I felt inadequate about my ability to find the right purchase of a box of cards from a ridiculous 1990s TV show … and then … well …

14881475013_aee83057c1_o

BS: I choose me!

14674917678_04c4163fa2_o

BS: Rem bought one and I bought one. I can’t wait to bring these to Colorado or Washington.

RB: I don’t know what he speaks of; never even heard of those two progressive states.

14674858490_234074fdda_o

BS: Only five dollars.

RB: Should have been a five-dollar admission fee just to look at them.

BS: It’s impossible to explain how crazy these were, so here’s a little video of us flipping through them. Yes, there’s a Ron Goldman rookie AND a Nicole Brown Simpson rookie in here.

14861531065_974a205671_o

BS: We’ve come a long way from this era to the John Hollinger–Tom Haberstroh–Kirk Goldsberry era.

14881407353_e764941444_o

BS: We bullied House (again, a lifelong fan of the Washington Professional Football Team) into turning his son into his own personal Collecting Beard by buying this poster for his room. I actually screamed the words, “If they made this for the 1972 Patriots, I wouldn’t even hesitate for a second, much less act like such a freaking wuss about it! What are you waiting for????”

RB: College hazing really has nothing on collectors convention hazing.

BS: The collectors convention — where you can openly challenge your friends’ manhood at any given time and it’s totally OK.

14861178702_2e39254501_o

BS: I thought Rem’s convention experience peaked when he bought this vintage Dartmouth jacket for a scant sixty bucks. Even said the words, “I don’t think I have ever seen Rem happier.” But nope, it didn’t peak then.

14700347458_6c04179d67_o

14700315489_73e56054fa_o

BS: Because later, we saw this game-worn (and signed) MC Hammer jersey from a Deion Sanders celebrity softball game. An overwhelmed Rem called it “the most Atlanta-y thing ever.”

RB: If you ever want to see this jersey, just find me. Because I will always be wearing it. Forever. Amen.

AND FINALLY, THE UNINTENTIONAL COMEDY AWARDS

14706577428_6073bfd527_o

RB: Johnny Hero, such a cautionary tale for Johnny Football, especially considering the rise and fall of Johnny Hero (so sad).

BS: “Bend Johnny into any sports action position.” Um … is it OK if I pass on that offer?

14861560805_f026fffc35_o

RB: I want a real snow globe with Kiss inside. That’s now the only thing I want.

BS: I don’t know if “Merry Kissmas” is the worst band-related pun of all time, but let’s agree that it’s definitely in the top five. Although, to be clear, I DID almost buy both of these.

14674947248_305ed3f773_o

BS: “Hey, everyone … I know I’m getting traded in about three weeks, but, um … can we pretend that this situation isn’t phenomenally and historically awkward, and just concentrate on some of Panini’s wonderful products, please?”

RB: That’s the look on my face whenever I have to pose for pictures and I don’t want to and I’m hungry and I want a panini but then I find out I’m pushing trading cards and not grilled sandwiches.

14674833590_6ab39088e1_o

RB: Another reason why collectors should occasionally read the news.

BS: I don’t know what to say other than we noticed this, we all laughed, and then we saw the price ($250!!!!) and had a second round of laughs. Thanks for everything, Hope Solo. Now please don’t get mad at us.

14870191296_20e2503544_o

BS: Thought about buying this, then adding a set of deer antlers spraying liquid into Ray’s wide-open mouth.

RB: I think this is beautiful. I never thought I’d see Ray Lewis get the Lisa Frank treatment. Very rare. Very splendid.

14675024087_7691b92a34_o

BS: Please, take a long look at the hilariously staged positions for each player on the 1958-59 Dayton Flyers, then ask yourself why Nike doesn’t make a retro poster of its current NBA stars emulating these same positions. Because there’s no good answer. There really isn’t.

RB: Instructions from director: “Hey, everyone, three … two … one … ACT LIKE YOU’RE HAILING A CAB BUT ARE ALSO A LITTLE SCARED OF THE BIG CITY.”

14675072937_edc3706a58_o

BS: That’s Harlan, one of our talented Grantland dudes from the audio/video side. He left the convention a little earlier than us on Thursday to fly to Los Angeles; we were flying to Boston, so we said good-bye to him at the convention. Or so we thought. Because, two hours later, we were walking through the Cleveland airport toward our gate and saw Harlan, with his eyes closed and his headphones on, getting a massage from a disgusting airport massage chair. This was the single funniest thing that’s happened to me in 2014. God bless the collectors convention.

RB: I’d pay $100 to see Harlan asleep in a massage chair every time I went to an airport. $100 each time.

14858478181_8793e7b544_o

BS: That’s right, just $3,500 for a framed Jeter jersey that includes a bizarre drawing of Jeter wearing Matt Dillon’s fake chompers from There’s Something About Mary.

RB: It’s like the artist did the Deter Jeter hat tip, pulled the brim over his or her eyes, and then started painting Derek Jeter.

14674904329_5e7cef1a6f_o

BS: Why didn’t one of us buy this Adam Morrison game-worn Bobcats jersey? I don’t have a good answer for you. I really don’t. No comment.

RB: Inexcusable, especially since I could always use an extra tarp whenever I go camping.

14674901898_1308c0ef01_o

BS: Here is 2014’s winner of the coveted Mantle-Berra Yoo-Hoo Award, given annually to the inadvertently funniest collectors convention item that made us laugh like Beavis and Butt-Head for more than 10 seconds.

RB: I’m still laughing, because I accidentally typed out “Old Baseball Penis That Looked Like a Bat.” That’s funny to me.

BS: I’d like to thank this bat for inspiring me to Google the words “old-school circumcised wooden baseball bat.” Nothing came up. But that’s about to change. Until 2015!!!! 

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5 | PART 6

Filed Under: The Year of Cleveland, National Sports Collectors Convention, Cleveland, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, The Munsters, Topps, Spirits of St. Louis, Detoit Tigers, Ronald Regan, Nolan Ryan, Robin Ventura, Entourage, LeBron James, Mickey Mantle, Star Wars, Johnny Manziel, Pete Rose, James Bond, Cheers, Friends, Wayne Gretzky, OJ Simpson, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Bear Bryant, The Masters, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Grantland Rice, Halloween, Andre the Giant, 90210, 21 Jump Street, hope solo, Dayton Flyers, Muhammad Ali

screen-shot-2014-01-07-at-7-03-08-am

Bill Simmons is the editor-in-chief of Grantland and the author of the New York Times no. 1 best seller The Book of Basketball. For every Simmons column and podcast, click here.

Archive @ BillSimmons