Do you have any Panini World Cup sticker book stickers you don’t want? Do you feel generous and want to send them to me? Wait a minute…Is that wrong to ask? Am I being too pushy? I feel like I’ve committed some kind of horrible sin against you, gentle reader. Let me explain.
Writing about baseball cards has been incredibly cathartic for me over the past year or so. It’s allowed me to not only readdress a passion that held me captive for so many years, but it’s allowed me to reawaken that passion and approach it from an entirely new angle. I’ve started to buy cards again, but not in the way that I would’ve when I was a kid: now I look at the cards for what they are, what they’re trying to accomplish and what the writers and artists, the players and the manufacturers were trying to get away with. It’s been very liberating. But it’s also reawakened a side of me (I will call it the ‘über-nerd’ side of me) that I haven’t seen in a while; one that doesn’t just obsessively collect baseball cards and scan box scores and makes up statistical value systems in his head, but someone who follows that obsession to, er, even more obsessive lengths.
Case in point, I was excited for the World Cup. Once every four years. USA might be good. Namesake Henry’s fucking awesome. That kind of thing. So when I saw a guy on the subway one morning perusing a blank Panini World Cup sticker book I knew I had to get me one too. I originally thought that that would be a good way to learn all the names, and upon buying the sticker book, Angola immediately became my favorite team, and Flavio became my favorite player. Okay, so, sticker book in hand, I started looking around for where I might find some of the stickers. ‘Looking around’ became ‘searching eBay late at night’ very quickly and after I priced out the stickers, I knew that I was getting in deep. A box of 1000 stickers (100 packs of 5 stickers) was $50 on average, before shipping. Yikes. But then. Ah, but then. But then I took a walk through Elmhurst underneath the 7 train along Roosevelt Avenue (incorrectly called ‘Roosevelt Boulevard’ on a recent episode of Ugly Betty) and found a soccer jersey store that sold the stickers. So here I am, 27 years old, giddy that I found a place somewhat near where I live that sells packs of stickers for a child’s sticker album. Über-nerd took over and I cleaned the guy out.
Writing about cards has brought me back into the card world and it’s been fun. But at times the overbearing über-nerd trapped inside of me has popped up like an ungainly pimple. And while I no longer condone his actions, I just have to ask: aren’t these foil team logos awesome? And don’t you love them so much you want to give your copies of them to me for free?