Saturday, August 31, 2019

Georgia Bulldogs 2019 Season Preview

Georgia is good, really good and last year's 11-3 finish was really disappointing.  An in season loss to LSU and a close loss to Alabama in the conference championship were heartbreaking.  By the time the loss to Texas in the Sugar Bowl came along it was tough to care anymore.  Two years from a National Championship game appearance Georgia is ranked #3 in many polls headed into the season.  With Jake Fromm (30 TD/6 Int) returning there's no reason to believe Georgia can't compete again this year at the highest level.

The rest of the offense is good to really good to great.  There's no reason they can't contend come season's end.  Notre Dame and Florida loom as big games during the season.  The Bulldogs will need to put their stamp on the season by beating those teams.  Though a loss may still get them in the SEC Championship that's not where you want to be.  You want to be that elite team.  Be undefeated when you meet who we assume will be Alabama.  Get to the playoffs and take care of business.  Easier said than done but now is the time.  Fromm is at the top of his game, the Bulldogs offensive line is excellent and the offense as a whole should be able to pound teams into submission.  It is great seeing Georgia's rise to prominence but it is so hard seeing them come up short. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Michigan Wolverines 2019 Football Preview

The 2019 Michigan Wolverines football season brings with it hope and optimism.  Of course every season does.  Last year a week one loss to Notre Dame cast a shadow over the season and for what seems like forever Blue again lost to Ohio State.  That was followed up by a humiliating loss to Florida in the Peach Bowl.  The defense was good against lesser opponents but not against really good teams.  The offense was good but against the really good teams it also struggled.  

Shea Patterson is a good quarterback but hasn't taken his talent to the next level.  This year a new offensive coordinator brings with him an up tempo scheme.  This could really go well or really go bad.  The offense may score a ton of points but if it doesn't work out well the defense could see a lot of time on the field which would be bad.

I like Jim Harbaught and hope this year goes well but the natives will get restless if this is a down year or Michigan can't beat Ohio State.  The schedule isn't easy but they are good enough to get to the Ohio State game undefeated.  Hopefully that is how it plays out and the Wolverines get that much needed victory.  Ohio State is going through their own change with a new coach which comes with it the unknown.  We'll see how it plays out but maybe the new offense will provide the team with the spark it needs to go to the next level.  Game 1 is tomorrow so there is still hope...

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Random Wax: 2016-2017 Hoops Basketball Cards

I was surprised to see I only had one 2016-2017 Hoops basketball card post and that was from the hobby box I purchased in 2017.  This is a design I'm liking today though in 2017 I think I was a bit more luke warm.  This Damian Lillard was the obvious choice to lead us off.  He had an outstanding year leading the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals and for being the face of the franchise, and a great player,  received a max extension from Portland.
   That Kyle Lowry is an Orange Explosion parallel #/75 while the Jaylen Brown is a blue parallel.  Some pretty nice cards and both of these rookies have become big parts of their respective teams including Pascal Siakam winning a championship this year with the Raptors.  He was huge averaging 17 points and 7 rebounds in the playoffs for Toronto.
  More stars that help this pack really pop.  Embiid would play his first season for 76ers in 2016-2017 and Khris Middleton wasn't really on any of our radars back then.  And Klay Thompson was about to win his 2nd ring.
I like all three of these photos.  Vince Carter will finish out his career with the Atlanta Hawks this year and is surely headed to the hall after his retirement.
This was a great pack and that was lots of fun.  Tons of star power and I'm digging the design.  I'll look for more of these for sure!
30 – Total Cards
4 – RC
1 – End 2 End
1 – Blue Parallel
1 – Orange Explosion Parallel #/75

Sunday, August 25, 2019

2019 Topps Archives

I'm a big Archives fan and was looking forward to the 2019 Topps Archives so I was happy to see these in my local Wal-Mart this morning.  This year's set brings back the designs of 1958, 1975 and 1993.  None are real high as favorite designs go but any time we can throw past and present players on older looks I'm in.  Unlike Heritage we have variety in case you aren't enamored with one or more of the designs and that helps me with this set each year.
  The '75 design is colorful and one I've always liked.  Pulling Deion was a big plus here though the fact it is not an action shot is pretty disappointing.  
There are different All-Star cards in the set to include this 1958 Sports Magazine All-Star Mookie Betts as well as designs from '75 and '93.  The '93 base card design isn't bad but has always screamed for a logo and the player's position.  The great Nick Markakis shown here.  Mr. Consistent was up to 2341 hits prior to going down with an injury last month.
My least favorite of the designs the '58 but it is still a good representation of the original and will appeal to many collectors.  This was a fun pack with plenty of stars, retired greats and Atlanta Braves (and Josh Donaldson isn't even shown).  I'll look at more in the future for sure.

Is it bad that this is my favorite card of the pack?  I really like the design and I'm sure having Ronald Acuna Jr. on the front doesn't hurt.

18 – Total Cards
1 – Topps Magazine
1 - 1958 Sports Magazine All-Star
6 – 1958
6 – Retired Greats
5 – 1975
5 – 1993

Friday, August 23, 2019

2019 Diamond Kings Baseball

While I'm not a fan of the no logo thing I do find I like the Diamond Kings cards year in and year out and finally found a pack of the 2019 Diamond Kings cards.  I enjoy the art/painting feel of these as highlighted by this Johnny Bench card.  They do a good job minimizing the lack of logo.  It isn't always possible of course but still I like the looks of this set.
    You really get a sense of these cards being from days gone by.  The design also gives plenty of room for the photos to shine.  As always Panini shies away from the fielding photos.    
The current players aren't out of place but they have a different vibe to me when looking at them in this format.  I still like them but just different is all.  Goldy and Perez will go directly to the personal collection.  Nice additions.  The backs are fine with decent write-ups  
I liked the Hall of Fame and Team Heroes inserts but the DK 205 falls a bit flat.  I'm not saying it's not a good card just not a design I'm hugely fond of.  
I like the Squires card design.  I'm not really sure if it is a nod to something or they just thought Squires was a cool name.
The DiMaggio red framed card is a nice touch. I don't normally like the frames per se but even though it doesn't jive with the Yankees' team colors I like it.  The price point on these will keep me from buying more packs but I'll definitely look for singles and and inserts.  I really enjoy seeing the retired greats in sets and there are some nice looking inserts here to be had that I didn't pull.

20 – Total Cards
6 – RC
6 – Retired Greats
2 – Team Heroes
1 – DK 205
1 – Squires
1 – Red Frame Parallel
1 – Hall of Fame Heroes


Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Free State of Jones Movie Review

The Matthew McConaughey movie Free State of Jones is the last of the movies I'll look at this week.  Set during the Civil War, and based on real world events, the movie follows a Confederate deserter who goes back home.  Not happy with how folks are being treated he starts his own revolution in his county and surrounding area.  The Confederate Army had to try and deal with this uprising best they could considering there was a full scale war on with the North.  Small areas or counties revolting actually happened in a few areas of the South which was something I was unaware of until I did some reading.  Matthew McConaughey does a good job in the lead roll and the movie as a whole was very good.  It seemed a bit slow in parts but this isn't a Civil War movie per se nor is it an action movie though there is action in it.  The story is presented well and didn't seem to stray too far from the truth though plenty of liberties are taken as there always are when a movies like these are done.  I also learned a few things along the way.  Me and pop again enjoyed this one and I'd recommend it for folks to watch.  The trailer can be seen here

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Accountant Movie Review

The 2016 Ben Affleck movie The Accountant is another movie we enjoyed.  I don’t remember the reviews being that great but folks I know who watched it were pretty high on the movie.  Affleck plays a math savant who works as an accountant for some of the world’s baddest criminals.  The movie shows the Treasury Department’s pursuit of Affleck’s character.  There’s a twist near the end which was a nice surprise.  Affleck does a good job with his character and the supporting cast includes Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons and Jon Bernthal all of whom do a really good job.  I know accounting doesn't sound that exciting but this action movie has plenty of action to keep you entertained.  This is another good movie to watch that I’ll recommend to folks. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Legend of Ben Hall Movie Review

The Legend of Ben Hall is another movie I didn’t know anything about and picked it up on the cheap in a Wal-Mart bargain bin.  About an Australian bushranger on the run this movie stars Jack Martin.  It is a good western about Hall and the small band with him who conduct raids across New South Wales in the 1860’s.  This movie is based on the real life Ben Hall.  Pop and I both really enjoyed the movie and for the price you can’t beat it.  If you like westerns you should check it out.  The trailer can be seen here.  Another movie I’ll recommend.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Starring Chris Pine , Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster and Gil Birmingham Hell or High Water is about two bank robber brothers and the Texas Rangers chasing them in small West Texas towns.  I knew nothing about this movie prior to buying the Blu-Ray/DVD combo for $4.99 on Amazon.  This is an excellent movie and my pop enjoyed the movie as much as I did.  While centered around bank robberies the actors really do star here.  Chris Pine and Jeff bridges do the heavy lifting but Ben Foster and Gil Birmingham hold their own with each of the leads.  The characters are what you enjoy as they tell this tale and that is due to a good story and acting.  While it was made in 2016 the movie really has a throwback feel to it.  As always I’m not great at analyzing movies but I can say I recommend this movie to everyone.  Trailer can be seen here.  On a side note. I grew up in Southeast New Mexico and lived there part of my adult life as well.  Some of the scenes were shot in Clovis, New Mexico where I lived for 10 years.  Pretty cool seeing scenes from a home town as well as the surrounding area I’m pretty familiar with.  Nice little connection to the movie that I didn’t know about until after the movie though a few scenes look way familiar and now I know why – I’d driven those streets before.  I’ll do a few more quick hits on movies this week to catch up. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

2019 Donruss Racing NASCAR Blaster with Relic

Been wanting to check out the 2019 Donruss NASCAR cards and finally got the chance. I really like these cards.  In the past this set wasn't always a hit with me but I love the variety this year.  I kicked this post off with this Kurt Busch Contenders card which I really like as opposed to a base, which are good too, but this take on Panini's Contenders brand really stood out to me.  Plenty of color while working in the driver and his car nicely.  They did miss an opportunity as the Section/Row/Seat is the same for every driver as opposed to how it is done in Panini's basketball and football Contenders offerings where it is specific info to each player.
The base cards have many different cards with this being the base design.  These pictured include a standard card, nickname variation, and legends card.  I like the design which we've seen across Panini sports this year and I think it works well with racing.
Here we have Classics, Race Kings and Originals inserts.  I like all three of these.  Classics is a nod to the football design by Panini and Originals is not one I've seen before but I like it.  The Race Kings cards are always a favorite of mine.  This year they went in a different direction with full body shots of drivers.  I'm good with it though I prefer the more traditional take a little more.  Rusty is my all-time favorite driver so I was happy to pull him.
A few of the Retro 1986 cards.  Not a favorite design of mine but I'm fine with them overall.  The Terry Labonte is a black parallel #/199.
The Next In Line cards showcase young drivers while the Retro Rated Rookie cards take a look back at drivers during their younger days.  I like that.  While this isn't the greatest Michael Waltrip photo he does get props for the hair.  The Austin Dillon is a nice Optic card that is one of four in the box. 
A couple of the car cards.  I always like photos of cars and these ring the bell.
Just a few more cards for grins.  Speaking of you don't see Kyle Busch smiling that often and that quasi smile might be as close as you get.  Past champions Richard Petty and Dale Jarrett look good in their way back photos.
Speaking of The King Richard Petty these are all pretty sweet cards. You can't go wrong with Petty who dominated the sport for so long.
My relic was this Ryan Newman Race Day Relics.  Nice design but wouldn't have minded a different driver.  Still I can't complain.  Again I really enjoyed this box in particular the variety that really made this a fun blaster.  I'll definitely look for more of these as I can.  Seems like there are plenty of drivers and inserts here still to chase and I'm up for it.  The boys are in Bristol tonight at 6:30 EST.

51 – Total Cards
13 – Retro 1986
11 – Retired Greats
5 – Silver Parallel
4 - Optic
3 – Cars
3 – Legends
3 – Retro Rated Rookie
2 – Race Kings
2 – Optic Red Wave Parallels
1 – Icons
1 – Originals
1 - Contenders
1 – Classics Set
1 – Next In Line
1 – Race Day Relics
1 – Decades of Speed
1 – Black Parallel #/199

Friday, August 9, 2019

2019 Donruss Elite Football Cards

This 2019 Donruss Elite football pack is heavy on star power but you won't find many inserts here.  These cards fall into the shiny category.  Not necessarily my thing but the design isn't bad.  The photos are also pretty good.  I probably won't search out more packs of these as the price point for these is a bit tough at $10 for a "value pack".  I guess you are paying for making them shiny.
Like I said you'll see plenty of stars here which is always a good thing.  The pack was all base cards except for one insert.  
The photos really focus on the individual player.  Seems like they made a point of that when choosing what to put on the cards.
I actually like the backs better than the fronts.  They aren't shiny and nice and colorful.  The photo is a duplicate of the front.  My pack had three pink parallels.  Why do we need pink parallels for football cards?  
I do like the Dual Threats Larry Fitzgerald below though the photo ends up being pretty small.  The 2019 Donruss Elite are nice cards but this is a brand I won't go search out.

30 - Total Cards
3 - Pink Parallel
1 - Dual Threats

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

2019 Topps Baseball Stickers

Topps changed things up with their 2019 Topps baseball stickers.   They are the now the size of a standard card and have a trading card on the back of the sticker.  This Aaron Judge is the sticker part of this card.  The albums have more pages this year as well and that is probably to accommodate the larger stickers.  
Three more stickers shown here.  I like the base designs quite a bit.  I would like to see this on a regular card.  The card stock is pretty thin but I like what Topps did this year.  
These are the backs of the three stickers above them and are the trading card.  The design is a bit busy but it is nice to have something left when you take the sticker off.

This is the back of the Aaron Judge sticker.  There were a total of four cards in my pack.  I'm pretty happy with these stickers/cards and may grab some more considering I really like that sticker design.

4 - Total Stickers/Cards
1 - Homerun Derby
1 - 150 Years
1 - Retired Great

Sunday, August 4, 2019

2019 Prestige Football

Wal-Mart had the 2019 Prestige football cards and this week the NFL preseason is in full swing with the Hall of Fame game so football it is today.  This design is a bit plain compared to years past.  
  I like the photos and the design does provide plenty of room for the photos to shine.  It kind of looks like Big Ben is trying to avoid the Prestige logo on his card.  Maybe that logo could go somewhere else on the card.
The Prestigious Pros and Banner Season inserts really didn't do much for me.
I love old school so the Old School insert of Mark Gastineau is a great pull.  Man I remember him back in the day.  Such a force.  This will definitely a set I will chase.  Unfortunately he is the only retired great in the pack.
The backs are fairly standard fair but they are colorful which is nice.
Prestige isn't like Score where you'll find a bunch of inserts.  This pack was heavy on base cards.  That isn't a negative for me per se.  The photos are nice but otherwise but not a lot here to bring me back.  I can still see me picking up more of these.
This Blue-Chip Recruits is my favorite insert.  We get to see a player in his college uni and the design works for me.
30 – Total Cards
6 – RC
2 – Green Parallels
1 – Old School
1 - Retired Greats
1 – Banner Season
1 – Prestigious Pros
1 – Blue-Chip Recruits