Recently for my school newspaper I published an article talking about my school's vaccination mandate and how athletes felt about it. This has been a very controversial topics even in professional sports as many athletes wish to not get vaccinated due to possible side effects that could prevent them from playing.
After a one year hiatus of the National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) due to the pandemic, the National Card convention opened up with a bang this summer in Chicago. I was fortunate enough to attend three days of the show. I have gone every year since 2016, and it was such a shock to see how far the hobby has come since then. Before, it was mainly men that would show up to the shows, but this year, I noticed younger children as well as families showing up to attend the convention. I believe this to be partially due to the increasing popularity of sports cards. Most recently, a Patrick Mahomes football card sold for $4.3 million, a record high for any football card. This card was on display at the convention, and people were lining up to get a glance. Although there was not an exact head count, it was reported that over 100,000 tickets to attend the convention were sold. Normally only around 50,000-60,000 people attend the show on average. This is a huge increase, and it definitely was noticeable while walking around from each table. Walking around the show, I could feel the energy from everybody as people bargained for deals or worked out trades on the side. Words can't really explain how hectic the show was. I had a great time talking with old card friends and helping out PC Sportscards at their booth. To reinforce how healthy the hobby is, after the show closed, in the small lobby at the Loews hotel, easily a thousand people would go and set up their cards for sale. It practically became a smaller card convention outside the national card convention. As a seller of one of the highest priced cards recently, it was interesting as some dealers would ask me why I even bothered to show up. They assumed that because I sold a card for nearly two million dollars that I am too high end for the show, but for me, I enjoy talking to new collectors and conversing with card buddies that I have known ever since I started to delve deep into cards. Overall, to say I was amazed by the convention would be an understatement, and I hope to see just as many people if not more next year at the convention in Atlantic City.
Recently, the NCAA is finally allowing college athletes to collect money off their name and likeness. This is one of the most significant rule changes since the beginning of the NCAA 115 years ago. Although the ruling has just been passed, this change has been in the talks for many years. Prior to the ruling, athletes have been banned from being paid to promote goods, and doing so would result in a termination of their scholarship and them getting banned from ever playing collegiate level sports. Although the NCAA had indicated that they had no intention of changing the ruling to allow athletes to get paid, pressure from powerful states such as California in 2019 changed the NCAA’s plans. Compared to making nothing before, some college superstars could be making millions now overnight. In my opinion, I think this is great that the NCAA is finally changing their rules as it brings in more exciting players into college sports. Recently, due to the inability to make money in college, many popular basketball stars such as Lamelo Ball opted to play overseas rather than attend college. Additionally, the NBA sought an opportunity to bring more popularity to their development league and offered promising high school players to join their league rather than go to college which proved to be enticing enough to make many top recruits accept the NBA’s offer. Most recently, with Bryce Young receiving endorsement offers of seven figures, it will be interesting to see how these young athletes are able to progress with all the newly added distractions that endorsements and money can bring. Recently, we have seen more and more athletes beginning to buy their own sports cards. It will be interesting to see if college players decide to join this trend due to the inflow of money that they used to never be able to receive before.