Sports Guy Goes to the National

ESPN columnist Bill Simmons, "The Sports Guy", is bullish on the National Sports Collectors Convention.

We knew from his trip to Upper Deck headquarters awhile back that columnist Bill Simmons was somewhat of a friend to the sports collecting world. He got a kick out of seeing the card company, but it turns out that was just the warm-up for his latest safari–which might just be the greatest public relations score that organizers of the National Sports Collectors Convention have ever had.

Some snootier writers may scoff, but Simmons was willing to get into the trenches at the National last weekend, spending a couple of days inside the I-X Center in Cleveland. An on again, off again collector with eclectic tastes and a passion for hoops, Simmons and a friend immersed themselves in the thousands of items on display and came away like the rest of us–overwhelmed.

Witness one memorable paragraph from his page one story on Wednesday:

Here’s the micro report card: If you love sports, you have to go. You have to. You just have to. You have to. You will see things you never knew about. You will see things you never imagined. You will see things you barely remembered. You will see things that make you smile and things that make you angry. You will see things that you will want, and you will be surprised by how much you want them. You will be constantly blown away. You will be overstimulated. You will never be bored.

Simmons’ column came with a huge bonus though–even for those of us who were there. A picture blog with some of his usual witty comments on the items–and those who sell them.

It’s worth the time to check out both.

Also roaming the aisles, Paul Lukas, who writes the UniWatch blog on the worldwide leader and devoted his latest effort to the National too.