Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quality Control Of Panini 2010 Certified Football Cards Instills Confidence.

Panini has released a video on its blog, The Knight's Lance, that just may be the smartest move ever made by a card company, and might be one of the most reassuring videos about a company you'll ever watch.  Sounds like hyperbole, but this is no exaggeration.

The video is straight forward and simple in its concept.   Tracy Hackler walks into a Quality Control session for Panini 2010 Certified Football cards, being conducted by Panini America's Football brand manager, Carlos Torrez and Product Development Director, Ben Ecklar.  But this is not just the two of them going over card designs, or checking individual cards, sent from the factory, for manufacturing defects.  They are sitting in a conference room busting open a case of product AFTER its already been fully packaged and is ready to go to market.

If you've been collecting long enough, odds dictate that you will open a box that is short a hit or contains dinged cards.  For some of us lately, it happens a little too often.  To point where you start to think "Is anyone checking these boxes?  Do they even care?"

As a customer, you expect a company to do Quality Control checks all the way through the manufacturing process, but to see that Quality Control is still being conducted right at the point of customer delivery, essentially role playing the experience of a collector busting open a box, really gives you the sense that for Panini, ensuring their cards arrive to the customer in good condition and with the correct number of hits is AS important as the design of the cards.

Do I think that every box coming from Panini will now be perfect?  Of course not.  Mistakes will happen even when a company is diligent.  But it is clear from this video that Panini does care and they are putting forth as much effort as can be reasonably expected of a company, if not more, to ensure that we receive a quality product. To witness this on video, instead of being given the standard company PR line that they care about their customers, makes you feel completely confident in your purchase and that Panini truly stands behind what they sell.  That's the brilliance of this simple and straight forward video.  As with all things, transparency leads to confidence.

To see this video for yourself, use this link to visit their blog.  The video is just after the gallery.

Friday, November 5, 2010

NFL Network announces their picks for the top 10 NFL players of All-Time

The NFL Network just announced there picks for the top ten NFL players of All-Time.   Here they are;
10. Dick Butkus

9. Don Hutson

8. Peyton Manning

7. Reggie White

6. Johnny Unitas

5. Walter Payton

4. Joe Montana

3. Lawrence Taylor

2. Jim Brown

and at Number One,  Jerry Rice

So the question is... do you think they got it right?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sparky Anderson has died at the age of 76

Unfortunately, not unexpected under the conditions I reported on in yesterday's post, linked here, Sparky Anderson passed away today.  He was 76.  Our hearts go out to the entire Anderson family at this time.

Sneak Peek at 2010 Panini Certified Football Card Inserts Rookie Mirror Black

Panini is doing something right.  Seems like everyday they are announcing an insert to be included in one of their sets that is awesome.  Today is no exception.  They will be hard to get a hold of because they are 1/1's, but these Rookie Mirror Blacks, Jahvid Best and Sam Bradford, look great.   To see a whole gallery of them head over to Panini using this link.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sparky Anderson placed in hospice care.

This is not the kind of news you like reporting.  The family of Sparky Anderson released a statement today that Sparky has been placed in hospice care.  Anderson has been suffering from complications resulting from dementia. 

George Lee "Sparky" Anderson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.  He managed the Big Red Machine, becoming World Series Champions in 1975 and 1976, and managed the Detroit Tigers for 17 seasons where he holds the team's record for most seasons and wins. Anderson also played second base for one season,in 1959, with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Anderson was always a humble man, living in a modest home in Thousand Oaks, California.  He was also uneasy with taking credit for his teams' success.  During his Hall of Fame induction ceremony speech he said; "The players are the ones who earn their way into Hall of Fame," and finished with; "Managers like me, we just ride in on their backs."

For someone who made his living using his mind, it is particually upsetting that Anderson and his family have been dealing with dementia.  A family spokesperson Dan Ewald said “It’s the type of ailment that takes a toll over time,”

Also in the released statement; "The Anderson family — wife, Carol; sons Lee and Albert; and daughter Shirley Englebrecht – “wishes to express appreciation to all friends and fans for the support and kindness they have shown throughout Sparky’s career and retirement.”"

Our hearts go out to Sparky and the entire Anderson Family.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Minnesota Vikings waive Randy Moss or Moss' Weekend in New England

I wrote in my post "Randy Moss and Tom Brady in a girl fight" that the New England Patriots traded Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for about a pack of gum.  Well...  it looks like the Patriots got the better end of the deal.

Less than a month after the trade, the Vikings have waived Randy Moss.

Fitting that I chose to feature Moss' 1999 Donruss Rookies and Stars "Slide Show" Football card.  The only thing that could have been better is if there where a line of inserts called "Downward spirals."

Could it have anything to do with his weird press conference after yesterday's game?  Randy might as well have been singing Barry Manilow's "Weekend In New England."   Please play this video as you read quotes from Moss' conference, it will help you understand the true feelings behind his words.

On his former coach, "Bill Belichick is the best coach in football history"

About how good the Patriots are as a team, "Man, I miss them guys, man.  I miss the team" and "It was hard for me to come here and play."

Questioning Brad Childress's decision to go for it on four and goal instead of kicking a field goal, "I wish we could have had that three at the end of the half.  Maybe could have been different, maybe not..."

Slamming the entire coaching staff for not listening to him during the week of prep for the game "The bad part about it -- you have six days to prepare for a team, and on the seventh day, that Sunday, meaning today, I guess they come over to me and say, 'Dag, Moss, you was right about a couple plays and a couple schemes they were going to run.' It hurts as a player that you put a lot of hard work in all week, and toward the end of the week, Sunday, when you get on the field, that's when they acknowledge about the hard work you put in throughout the week. That's actually a disappointment."  

His love letter to New England and the Patriots at the end of the conference, "I don't know how many more times I'll be in New England again.  But I leave coach Belichick and those guys with a salute; "I love you guys.  I miss you.  I'm out." 

Do you think this is the kind of stuff the coaching staff of the Vikings and its players want to hear after a loss, let alone from a guy who's been with them for less than 4 weeks?

Well... Randy Moss has no need to pine for New England anymore.  The Vikings left him there, literally.  Didn't even bother to fly him back to get his stuff in Minnesota.  Being put on waivers can affect free agency for Moss next year, so, for now, Randy Moss is in complete limbo.  To quote the song "We've started a story who's end must now wait."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Is it time for Brett Favre to retire?

Brett Favre is putting up good stats today, very impressive for someone with a damaged ankle.  In his 292nd consecutive start, there is no question that Favre has earned his right to stay on the field if he feels he can still play.  But as I sit here watching the Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots game, I can't help but wait for what I term  "The Favre Meltdown." That point late in the game where he tries to live up to what he thinks is still his image, the invincible quarterback.  It's an ugly point late  in the game where he tosses a wobbly football into a sea of opposing defenders, gets picked and costs the Vikes the game.  Yes, its cynical, some bad mojo for sure, but it seems like Standard Operating Procedure at this point in Favre's career.

I'm not against veteran players trying to extend their careers, George Blanda is a prime example.  But something bothers me with the way Brett Favre has handled himself since his first retirement.  I'm starting to feel that if Favre tries to extend through the end of the season, he might do more damage than good to himself and the Vikings.   I respect the man for what he has done as a quarterback in the past, but I'm uncomfortable watching him play at this point.  To me, its tarnishing his career's impact.

So what do you think?  Should Favre stick it out or has he overstayed his welcome?

Reminder about our giveaway

Just before today's games start, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone that we have a contest running right now.  You still have time to get in on the giveaway.  To check out the details, please use this link.  Happy Football Sunday.  Hope this week's games are better than last week.