Sunday, May 24, 2015

Do we choose the players, or do they choose us ?

Here are a couple of autos I picked up for $4 each off ebay last week

The first one, because Michael Cooper is one of the all time best defensive players, who spent his entire career with a Lakers team that brought him 5 rings. Not too shabby.

The second one because...this one's a little bit trickier. He's better known for having played for 12 different teams in 14 seasons (yes, that's a record) and for never being happy about where he was playing. His numbers aren't that ridiculous, but considering his stats from his highlight years with Jason Kidd and Jamal Mashburn, he was an overall disappointment and his years in the nba were marred by injuries. But I still collect his cards, and his auto was very high on my want list (good thing it's very high only on MY want list, which means you can find them dirt cheap).

Here's why.
During one of my trips to the US over 20 years ago, I found myself in a JC Penny with a friend of mine and his grandmother. Who, for some reason, absolutely wanted to buy me something too, because she didn't feel it was right that her grandson could get some clothes, and not that French guy she had never seen before. I'm a very polite and well mannered guy (well, for a French, that is), so I assured her it was ok, but she really insisted. I was looking at some sports stuff and jerseys (of course), and she came up to me basically telling me to choose one, that she'd be very happy to pay for it. Weeeeeell okaaaaaay, if you insist. There wasn't that much choice, so I narrowed it down to Pippen and...Jim Jackson. He had hardly played until then because of a contract dispute, but he seemed solid. Pippen, of course, was Pippen. I decided to go with the lesser known player, mainly because I knew I'd never find that jersey in France (Bulls stuff was of course everywhere) and I'd be able to show off on French playgrounds (yeah, right).

I still have that jersey. I even wear it from time to time. And when I wear it during pick up games with my friends, they'll always say 'oh right, you have Jim Jackson's jersey, why on earth did you buy that ?'. I guess they'll be impressed another time.

And I have a bunch of my PC that are just really random and have nothing to do with the skills of said players. I used to collect Danny Tartabull and Royce Clayton cards, and I can't even remember why. I also collected Pooh Richardson cards, but that's mainly because of his nickname. Pooh. That's really cool.

Speaking of choosing players for strange reasons, you may have noticed that I added Warren Moon to my PC (and Lawrence Taylor but that's because I kinda collect Giants cards). The reason behind that dates back to 1988. We all went to get ice cream with my parents and two brothers (we were living in NY back then) and Baskin Robbins were having a special offer. You chose 3 flavors, and they'd put your ice cream in a football mini helmet. We each picked one, and needless to say, we knew absolutely nothing about football. I'm not even sure we knew football even existed. So this was random at its fullest. My older brothe chose the Eagles. My younger brother the Bengals. And I went with the Oilers. And when I finally did catch up with football a few years later, the big star QB was Warren Moon. I ended up even seeing their meltdown against the Bills during the playoffs in 93 (famously known as 'The comeback'), so I'm not sure I chose that wisely. This does not mean I'm a Titans fan, let's not go overboard here. It's not their logo that I picked randomly, after all...

And yes, the hoarder that I am still has that helmet, 27 years later.


  1. I think it is like this for anyone who is following a sport or team or player from afar. When it comes to English Football, for example, I always check for two results: Manchester United and Accrington Stanley. Why Stanley? One day when I was home sick, I watched them upset AFC Bournemouth in a 2nd Round FA Cup match when Stanley was in the Conference and Bournemouth were in League 1 (the third tier). Now, next year, Bournemouth are in the Premier League...and Stanley are in League 2 -- one step up from where they were. But I still check only because of that sick day 12 years ago.

    Great post!

    1. When it comes to soccer, I support PSG because, well, I've always lived in the Paris area (it's like supporting the Yankees : not easy everyday). With Premier League, I really like Manchester United mainly because that's where Cantona had his best years...20 years ago.

      So yeah, I agree with you entirely

  2. Great post. I love it when we learn about why collect the things they collect.

  3. Very nice! Do you still eat ice cream out of the helmet. No matter what I'm going to assume you do.