So what do you do when business gets busier, family life gets confined to four walls, and a pandemic hits??? Find a new hobby of course!
A little background... about two years ago, a light bulb went on in my son's head and he became obsessed with football... playing it, reading about it, and the biggest obsession of all... collecting football cards. As his dad, we asked me a lot of questions about how to start collecting cards and given my exhaustive background doing the same as a kid with baseball cards, Batman cards, and "Wacky Packs" (look them up...they were a lot of fun as a kid), I shared with him some thoughts on the matter. After a short while, I realized times certainly have changed since I used to walk 10 blocks in the Bronx to purchase my trading cards... now the central hub for buying these pieces of cardboard was no longer "Cappy's" newspaper stand ... it was indeed Ebay. Since he was only 8, it was up to good old "Dad" to help him find what he was looking for and figure out what the best football cards to buy were... little did I know that my card-collecting saga was just beginning...
After spending hours with him talking about football cards, searching the internet for the best brands and deals, I began to come across players in all sports that I loved watching growing up. First, it was Joe Namath (probably because my first "in-person" football game was indeed a Jets game in the dead of winter ... and he was the QB the last time the Jets were relevant. Then I came across a Larry Johnson (from the New York Knicks) card ... it had his signature and a piece of the jersey he wore the night he hit the famous "4 Point Play" ... and I had to have it because I remember that game clearly and how excited my friends and I were when it happened. Stories like this kept happening until I realized that my passion for collecting cards was re-born.
As my son's collection began to grow... so did mine. In fact we trade cards on a regular basis (although it always seems he gets the better deal :)). The passion has now spread to my wife and daughter as well... we all watch "breaks" once a week and root to receive cards from the teams that we purchased (a "break" is where you bid on your favorite teams and, if you win, you receive all the cards from that particular team from an unopened box that someone else has in their possession).
I tried to figure out what it is about collecting cards that has re-kindled my desire to do it and I've come up with the following possible reasons in no particular order:
They bring my son and I a little closer
They help bring me back to a simpler time when everything wasn't so complicated and "politicized"
They remind me of great times with friends watching specific games and how, for a short while at least, everyone was "in the moment" together
They can truly be beautiful works of art
They are just nice to hold
Some can be great investments (at least that's what I keep telling myself :))
If you had told me a few years ago that I'd be collecting sports cards again after a 45 year break, I would have thought you were crazy... but times have changed and I guess I appreciate the simpler things a little more now. Hopefully you do too...
WARNING: If the "trading card bug" gets you as well, my advice to you is to start slow, focus on one brand, enjoy the ride, and realize that this hobby can be rough on your wallet!
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