Sunday, October 13, 2013
After work last night, I went to Walmart for a few essentials and snagged a rack pack of this year's A&G because if I'm actually trying to complete this set, I need to buy some of the set's cards more often than, oh, once every 35 days.
When I got home around 2:30 a.m., I opened the pack, saw this card, practically jumped, and said "bluh!" out loud to no one. I wasn't taken aback because it was the middle of the night -- I do that night thing all the time, you know. Nor was it because of the corner ding at the top right. I didn't even notice the ding because of ALL THE MUSCLES AND VEINS!
I've never understood why people distort themselves so drastically. If you've got to be competitive after your college career (Phil Heath apparently used to play football), mow your lawn better than the next guy. Don't freak out the whole block.
This card made me think about how A&G can take me -- and other collectors -- out of our comfort zone. If we collect just baseball or football or sports in general, we are used to the people on the cards being a certain way. They're generally athletic, have a certain body type, wear clothes specific to the sport and do things that we enjoy. We identify with these people, that's why we collect their cards.
But in A&G, you can pull a card of a biathlete or a sheep-shearer or a geographic area. You may have no interest in that person or thing or even heard of what you're pulling, but there it is -- it's in A&G. Some people choose to shun A&G for this reason. Some people love it and are endlessly fascinated with what they might find. I'm pretty much in the middle. I love the quirkiness, but sometimes there are cards that make me go, "BLUH!"
I put together the top 10 most "Bluhiest" A&G cards from the point when I started collecting A&G, which was in 2008. I hope I don't sound too harsh here. I may not understand their activities, but it's more about my reaction. Why am I so repulsed by this card?
So let's see other "Bluh!" A&G moments. Let's see if someone can knock off Mr. Veins and Muscles. I have my doubts.
10. Joey Chestnut, 2008
There is nothing about the image that is unappealing to me. But I see that stack of hot dogs and I can see what he's famous for in my head. I have philosophical issues with eating contests, so I can't even watch them. But then you got to throw hot dogs in there? I practically contemplate my sanity when I eat one of those things in a leisurely manner. Maybe that's why he stuffs them down. He doesn't want to think about what he's eating.
9. Stuart Scott, 2010
I used to know a lot more people in broadcasting than I do now. Going to college with broadcasting majors and then rubbing elbows with fellow broadcasters during events, you got an idea of the way to go about a job that was similar to what I did, but not really. I didn't find many people who liked Scott's style. And that was comforting because I didn't either. Yet, there he is --- still. ESPN, you so crazy.
8. Ken Blackburn, 2010
I hope no dads get offended. I'm a dad, too, and I probably look more like Mr. Blackburn than any professional baseball player. But I don't want to collect cards of dads in their dad shirt with a very dad-like activity of paper airplanes -- no matter how good he is at it. It'd be like putting me, in my very night owl shirt participating in my very night owl hobby of collecting cards, on a card. Nobody wants to see that.
7. Ryan Kennelly, 2010
I know somebody who lifts enormous weights as a hobby. I don't fully understand why he does it, but he's a cool guy. I'm sure Ryan Kennelly is, too. I don't even mind the muscles even though '90s baseball cards did a disservice to collectors everywhere when they showed players sans jersey top. What I mind in the tongue.
6. Dirk Hayhurst, 2011
Yes, I know Hayhurst is a "garfoose" here and that he devised this character to help create something as wonderful as the special needs kids that he encountered. That's terrific. I just have a thing about people painting their faces and wearing antlers on their head when they're over the age of 25. That and the fact that this guy used to be a Baseball Player! (P.S.: I was not impressed by Hayhurst on TBS).
5. Clay Buchholz, 2008
The only ballplayer on the list. Not to single out Buchholz -- which I already have -- if there were close-up A&G cards of Devin Mesoraco or Asdrubal Cabrera, I'd probably go "bluh!" when I saw their cards, too. Clay's been known to make a non-baseball fan wince. I've experienced it. And I understand. Buchholz comes off a lot better on some of his other cards.... like when he's farther away.
4. Lucy, 2010
I'm not freaked out by skeletons. I've come across your average skeleton standing in a doctor's office or in an anatomy or anthropology setting. But this skeleton is not standing. It is WALKING. "Bluh!"
3. Tom Knapp, 2010
Perhaps this is just me again, but I usually don't like opening a pack of cards and finding someone pointing a gun in my general direction. That tends to make me jumpy.
2. Wawra, 2010
I acknowledge that actually being Wawra and eating fire and having the nickname "Master of Hellfire" has got to be pretty cool. But looking at this card, all I'm doing is trying really hard not to look into his eyes. I suggest you do the same.
1. Phil Heath, 2013
Sorry, not even that enormous gold medal is making me see the veins less.
Congratulations Phil Heath card, you're the bluhiest A&G card in my collection.
Now I've got to do some pushups.