There were a few reasons behind my retirement from the forums.
Despite what my past writings have conveyed, the whole "book value" trading system was far from the only one.
I know I say it over and over again around here, but the way we swap cardboard around here does indeed blow the forums right out of the water.
But, perhaps more than that, what I've come to love most about the blogosphere are the general attitudes of all the people involved.
Sure, over the past year or so, I've heard both extremely positive and shockingly negative views of certain sets or tactics on the part of Topps.
But I've never heard that scathing point of view be discussed about the general hobby as a whole.
Whether you've sworn off 2013 Topps completely or open two cases of the stuff, the people of the blogosphere are here to support you.
No matter who or what you collect, the blogosphere is an encouraging place.
Sadly, I can't say that same train of thought is always present on the forums.
Now, let me preface this by saying that most of the forum members I've met are in the hobby for the right reasons. Most were nothing but accommodating to me during my time there.
Still, there were a few, well...curmudgeons that managed to spoil the party every now and then.
One prime example of this took place right before I ceased my forum trading all together.
I happened to notice that someone posted a new topic entitled, "The Most Useless Cards".
That should've been a red flag.
The term "useless" is one I stay away from when discussing cardboard. What seems insignificant to me might be a prized possession of another collection.
But I digress.
Anyways, in his exact words, here's what the forum member had to say on the matter.
"I'd go Willow Cove cards..."
No, I didn't devote a single second to solving this year's A&G "code". But the cards were actually pretty neat. And I'm sure there were tons of collectors who'd argue against the fact that they were "useless".
"...then cancelled redemption cards..."
The expired "Golden Giveaway" cards in my binders right now would like to argue with this one.
But it was the last part of his thoughts that really set me off.
"...then commons of pretty much anything from 1987 to 1992."
Listen, I'm generally a calm guy. Especially when it comes to cardboard.
But using the term "useless" to describe an entire era of the hobby just isn't right.
Hundreds of thousands of young collectors grew up with those so-called "useless" cards. There are quite a few of them in the blogosphere right now.
And, although I didn't start collecting until the late '90s, I've always found the overproduction era to be a treasure trove of goodies, just waiting to appreciated.
Heck, this theme is still going strong after over a year of existence. Even though we're already 55 "gems" into this thing, I don't see it stopping anytime soon.
If you don't like cards from 1987 to '92, that's fine.
But don't say they're useless.
Don't say that my serene "sunset" card of Bruce Sutter, one of the game's greatest innovators, is as good as garbage.
If you do, I sure as heck won't listen.
They're all special to me.