Friday, March 25, 2016

Card Madness 2016, Pt. 5

Let's get ready for Round 2!  We are down to 16 teams in this year's edition of Card Madness.  Our "Sweet 16" Round is
  • Denver vs. Indianapolis
  • Jacksonville vs. Baltimore
  • New England vs. Oakland
  • San Diego vs. Houston
  • Dallas vs. Detroit
  • New York Giants vs. Minnesota
  • San Francisco vs. Atlanta
  • Tampa Bay vs. Washington
The full bracket can be accessed here.

Round 2 Matchup: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens

2012 Topps Prime #70 Justin Blackmon

Player: 1 Blackmon looked like a player--for awhile.  Now he looks like a guy who blew his chance.  Still suspended by the NFL, with little hope of coming back.
Design: 3 Topps Prime is one of my favorite each year.  It's like football's Stadium Club--trademarked by a simple design and focused on high-quality photography.
Photo: 3 It's clear.  It's colorful.  Just add some real action and it's a perfect score.
Back: 2 I like the way Prime captures a moment of highlights for the player.  It's a nice touch.
Condition: 3

2015 Topps #266 Terrence MaGee

Player: 1 As a rookie, MaGee rushed twice for 5 yards.
Design: 2 It's a circuit board.  That's what this design reminds me of.  Add in the paper-thin cardstock, and I'm not impressed with this year's Topps.
Photo: 2 As I wasn't too familiar with the player, it would have been nice to see him in a pose that made his position a little clearer.  I actually thought he was a corner, for some reason.
Back: 2
Condition: 3

Final Score: Jacksonville 12, Baltimore 10

Round 2 Matchup: New England Patriots vs. Oakland Raiders

2013 Topps Strata #6 Danny Amendola

Player: 2 I think Amendola is good, but not great.  I get the feeling that people think the Pats can plug him in, like Welker to Edelman to Amendola would be seamless.  I think Amendola is inferior to the first two.
Design: 3
Photo: 2 Is it just me, or does his left arm look weird in the tricep area?  It almost appears that Topps cut his arm off.
Back: 2
Condition: 3

 1991 Pro Set #545 Ethan Horton

Player: 1 Not much to say about him.  He did manage to stick around in the league for awhile.
Design: 2 It's clean, simple, and features full-bleed photography.  But it just looks so cheap.  Not that I've ever had a problem with that, of course.
Photo: 4 Awesome photo of the guy finding the end zone.  By the way, if you want to see some cool football card photos, check out some of Horton's other cards.  From his cards alone, you would think he was a human highlight reel.
Back: 3
Condition: 3

Final Score: Oakland 13, New England 12
Got to say, I really wouldn't have guessed this outcome before breaking down the scores.  But I love the arms in the air celebration.

Round 2 Matchup: Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit Lions

2015 Prestige #204 Antwan Goodley

Player: 1 Recorded zero stats as an undrafted rookie.  He has signed with Seattle, but I don't know if he's on the active roster or not.
Design: 4 As I mentioned before, I'm a fan of this set.  But really, really love the college photos with the NFL logos.  And the player's draft position on the front of the card is a great touch.  I would like to see it more.
Photo: 3 I notice the grass flying up as he runs (in the bottom right corner).  That's pretty cool.
Back: 2 The back is more of the same from the front, but in black and white.
Condition: 3

 1995 Collector's Choice #44 Mel Gray

Player: 4 He was only a return specialist, but he was an All-Decade guy.
Design: 3 I like these Did You Know? cards.  It definitely looks like a mid-90s card, though. 
Photo: 3 Gray doing what he does best: starting a runback.  Clear action shot is a winner.
Back: 3 Features a new picture, which is good.  But better--there is trivia on the back!  I am a trivia nerd.  And a football card nerd.  I'm in heaven.
Condition: 2 There is a slight ding in one corner.

Final Score: Detroit 15, Dallas 13

Round 2 Matchup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Redskins

As far as individual players go, this is my favorite matchup so far.  Two great defenders who are among my all-time favorites to watch.

1995 Collector's Choice #214 Hardy Nickerson

Player: 5
Design: 4 The name design is interesting.  I like the mix of all lower case and all caps, and the first name smaller and sitting right on top of the last name.  It's appealing, different, and still easy to read.  The white border is nice, too.
Photo: 2 Just a guy in his stance.
Back: 3 But the picture on the back is great.  Hardy Nickerson all over the ball carrier.  The photo on the back takes up the top half of the card, with the stat box beneath.  This set has some great design elements, and I think it hits on the back.
Condition: 3

1999 Collector's Edge Fury #152 Champ Bailey

Player: 5 Corners sometimes get the reputation of being brash, cocky, trash-talking loudmouths.  Champ Bailey is one of two cornerbacks to enter the league in the late 90s--Charles Woodson--that will always have my respect because of the way they handled themselves with dignity and class.
Design: 4 I like just about everything about this design.  The player name, team name, and position are all on the front and big enough to read without taking too much space from the picture.  Collector's Edge was a weird company, and I don't think I'll ever figure out how to tell their brands apart, but their cards were generally pretty good.
Photo: 3 Classic pose here reminds of some vintage cards.  But check out the scoreboard in the back: 23 yards to go? If you're going to put random numbers on the scoreboard so it will be lit up, why not make it seem more like real game situation.  What's wrong with 1st and 10?
Back: 1 The back is extremely boring, with very little vital info or stats.
Condition: 2 To my chagrin, one of my favorite cards in my collection has a dinged corner that I hadn't noticed before.
Extra: 1 Rookie card of an all-time great gets an extra point.

Final Score: Tampa Bay 17, Washington 16
I'm actually kind of surprised by this.  At first glance, I would think that a mid-end rookie card of Champ Bailey would beat a common cheapo brand of Hardy Nickerson, but I think the condition and the back did the Champ in.

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