Novelty or Nonsense

I'm sure most of you have been wondering where I've been the last month or so. No doubt with more important things to do, you probably concluded. Perhaps I was reading about Barry Bonds injecting himself with an assortment of steroids, maybe tracking pitch counts at the world baseball classic, or even watching the madness that is college basketball in March. Nope. Actually I was busy bidding on an Adam Morrison used gauze pad.

Now before you think any less of me, just remember that it could be worse. I could have been the pathetic loser who bid on the non-used gauze pad that was ALMOST used by Morrison, but fell cleanly to the court instead. But that would have been just plain silly. This brings me to my question, which is, what constitutes a sports collectible anyway?.Im sure that I'm not the only person who has been noticing that people will try and sell just about anything online these days, whether it be used Band-Aids, or potato chips in the shape of Mother Theresa.

But it seems to me that some people seem to be missing the point of what a collectible truly is, especially when it comes to sports collectibles. Sports collectibles have seemingly gone the way of most everything else in the world today, and to quote P Diddy, or Piddy Diddy, or Puffa Diddy Puff Puff Pass, or whatever the hell he calls himself these days, "its all about the Benjamin's baby." Not only did people used to have some pride in what they were selling to you, the consumer, but the buyer used to have some pride too.

Apparently now, thanks to the internet and the ability to satisfy our needs for instant gratification, anyone can buy just about anything at the drop of a hat.Remember when collectors on eBay and other auction sites were serious memorabilia collectors who were passionate about what they bought and sold to one another? It seems to me that the collectibles they bought and sold had meaning to them beyond simply dollar signs. They stood for the memories that the collectible conjured up inside of them. Maybe it was that Earl Campbell signed Longhorn's mini helmet, which reminded you of the proud tradition of Texas football and more importantly the coveted Heisman Trophy. Or that Mickey Mantle signed baseball, reminiscent of Yankee dynasties of the past.

That's the feeling that sports collectibles always provided for me. And are we forgetting what made these items valuable to begin with? Its all about the athlete, the item, and TIME. Apparently some people are under the impression that they can ignore some of those components and just sell a used piece of material simply because it touched the skin of someone they consider to be famous.

I can't figure out if it's a simple case of stupidity or just a severe lack of self esteem which requires these people to want to own "a piece" of an athlete so badly that they don't care what they're buying or who it touched, just as long as people recognize the athletes name long enough to allow themselves to brag to their friends about what they now own. Frankly I'm not sure who in their right mind would think more highly of someone who purchased a used gauze pad, but then again I don't understand a lot of things about people in today's world.So the question remains, what can be done to put a stop to the embarrassment that is sham sports collectibles? For one thing, I say make the seller pay a non-refundable final value fee.

People know a sham when they see one, and as is often the case, these items will be bid up into the millions of dollars before being pulled by the auction site because they realize how ridiculous and "unauthentic" these items are. I say the auction site needs to charge the seller a percentage of what the bid was before the item got pulled. You think people might stop selling this garbage online if they know it will cost them thousands of dollars in fees, while getting nothing in return from the buyer? You're damn right they would stop. If people want to waste there time goofing around and selling peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or Jay Leno look-a-like potato chips that's there problem, but when this nonsense infringes on the world of sports collectibles, that's where I draw the line. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go bid on some Adam Morrison used Kleenex.

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By: Dick Richards


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