Remember that time I said that I might have non-baseball cards on the site? Bam:
Topps Magic, which was released a number of weeks ago is a football card set that occupies a niche that has been rather unexplored recently. All the cards are of players in their college football uniforms, with no mention of the professional ranks. For me, there couldn't be a more appealing idea. I don't care about pro football. I mean, I'll watch it, and root for things here and there and bemoan the futility of the Lions and wish them well and be secretly upset when they lose, but I am a college football guy. I was born and raised in Ann Arbor. I went to Michigan. My blood bleeds blue.
So, in recognition of a set that I am eversoclose to pulling the trigger on eBay for, I give you the Ultimate Checklist of the Michigan Wolverines in 2009 Topps Magic.
Now, before I get to the list, there is something to note. Every card in the base set has a mini parallel, a mini black parallel and an autographed parallel. That's right. Every card is autographed. I can't decide if that is really cool or not, but it is what it is. Not all autographs were made the same though, as some are more limited than others. For the short-printed autographs, their print runs will be in parentheses. No parenthesis, no short print. Got it? Okay:
141 Adrian Arrington
142 BJ Askew (Auto/100)
143 Jason Avant (Auto/150)
145 Tom Brady (Auto/25)
146 Steve Breaston
147 Braylon Edwards (Auto/25)
148 Leon Hall (Auto/100)
150 Mike Hart (Auto/150)
151 Chad Henne (Auto/150)
152 Drew Henson (Auto/100)
153 Steve Hutchinson (Auto/25)
154 Marlin Jackson SP (Auto/150)
155 Ty Law (Auto/100)
156 Mario Manningham (Auto/150)
157 LaMarr Woodley (Auto/150)
AD-BE Tom Brady & Braylon Edwards "Alumni" (Auto/25)
AT-LBE Ty Law, Tom Bradey, Braylon Edwards "Alumni Autographs Triple" (/25)
Magic Thrills Inserts
MT4 2005 Rose Bowl (Vince Young)
MT6 2000 Rose Bowl (Tom Brady)
MT19 2009 Capital One Bowl (Mike Hart)
I guess getting repeatedly crushed at the hands of USC doesn't make for a good card. I remember all of those bowl games vividly, including the incredible 2005 Rose Bowl that Michigan lost on a last second field goal by Dusty Mangum--one of the greatest Texas names you'll ever see. Just throwing it out there, but Steve Breaston could have been on that card, seeing as how he set a Rose Bowl record for All Purpose Yards in that game. I guess it pays to win though. The other two cards--the OT win vs. Alabama (on a missed extra point!) and the unexpected crushing of Florida in Lloyd Carr's last game both bring back the happy memories.
Back to the base set-- you're telling me that all but two of the autographed versions are short printed? Hmm...well that would be a fun set to try and compile. In case you were curious, here's what the autographs look like.
Of course, that is the simple formula of base card + sticker. Not to say that I have a major problem with that, and I think that an all-autographed set would be really awesome, it would just be too hard and expensive to pull off. I've heard that some guy named Brady commands a pretty penny (as of this moment, Braylon Edwards is sitting just shy of $80 as well).
In case it wasn't obvious, I'm a big fan of this set. I mean, how could you not like a set with Pittsburgh's resident destroyer in full winged helmet?
However, this is not a great set. There is a reason that I haven't sacrificed $12 or so to get all of my Michigan favorites. That reason, of course, is that they are missing some of the favorites. Why is BJ Askew in this set? He was a bit player at Michigan. Decidedly NOT football card worthy. Neither is Drew Henson, who despite being incredible at Michigan (and incredibly well loved) he was such a total bust at LIFE that we don't want to associate ourselves with him. This is certainly not the case where a great college player washes out but he's still a hero back in the college town. Nope. We have real heroes, thank you. Stay out of my football cards.
Glaring (GLARING) omissions are twofold: Charles Woodson and 2008 #1 pick Jake Long. Henne and Hart are in the set, why isn't Long? He was awesome. The omission of Charles Woodson borders on malpractice. He is the most beloved Michigan football player of all time. He has had a great career and is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate. Sure, you could have thrown in players like Larry Foote (Steelers, Lions in 2009), Prescott Burgess (Ravens), or World Traveler Extraordinaire Dhani Jones, but leaving those two out really undermines the set for me.
That said, with football season gearing up, I might only be a win over (much hated) Notre Dame from picking up the 2009 edition of these cards. If all goes well, may their 2010 edition be fruitful and multiply, with some more of Michigan's 31 (!) NFL players next time.