The second thing I purchased at the 2011 NSCC: a Foot Locker/NFL toy chest from the 1960s for my son's bedroom. The price? $110. I couldn't resist. And this wasn't even a collector's beard purchase — he might actually use this thing. Or so I keep telling myself. As for my favorite almost-purchases
This O.J. doll was going for $115. A little too rich for my blood. If I didn't buy this doll, it's only because I loved it too much.
My buddy Jacoby attended the NSCC with me: We both laughed at the way the football was bursting out of this signed Favre picture. Anything that involves the words "Favre" and "bursting" is funny now. It just is.
I never seriously thought about buying this program from 1983's Billy Martin Roast, but I did love thinking of a dais of Billy, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Moose Skowron and many other Yankees from that era, and how they probably broke the "collective blood-alcohol level" and "most inappropriate collection of jokes" records for a roast. What a shame that YouTube didn't exist back then.
Even if $300 was too pricey for this admittedly awesome fight poster, I want you to think about the concept itself: Why did we drift away from overpowering heavyweights fighting five schlubs in one night, and why can't we drift back?
You knew this was coming: I've been joking about these signed Ryan/Ventura photos for years, even predicting two years ago that Robin Ventura is eventually going to snap, fly to Texas and fight Ryan again just to salvage his honor. Well, if this doesn't get Ventura fired up, nothing will: Ryan signed this particular photo "Don't mess with Texas." He keeps upping the ante. It's like he WANTS Ventura to come after him. These are the things you learn at the National Sports Collectors Convention. Until next year.1
Bill Simmons is the Editor in Chief of Grantland and the author of the recent New York Times no. 1 best-seller The Book of Basketball, now out in paperback with new material and a revised Hall of Fame Pyramid. For every Simmons column and podcast, log on to Grantland. Follow him on Twitter and check out his new home on Facebook.
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