03 October 2014

What eBay Hath Wrought 115: Manti Te'o Prime Something or Other

I got this card on eBay around the same time I bought a discounted Chargers slot in a group break of 2014 Topps Prime that netted me 0 cards. This particular group break operation does usually send you a Hobby pack of something when you strike out though, so I've still got that coming to me. (The package arrived in the time since I wrote this, and there was nothing in the pack, so as my three year-old would say, "I have nuffing!")

Anyway, I don't think Te'o was included in 2014 Prime. Defensive players can be superstars, but it is pretty rare. And Te'o isn't really made up of superstar stuff. He was in all the 2013 products because he was a highly-publicized rookie and card companies need a buttload of rookies to sign things and wear shirts so they have cheap relics and autos to stuff high-end boxes with.

But I like him for a few reasons. One is his pop culture cred. His big claim to fame is having an online girlfriend who turned out to be a male acquaintance running an elaborate prank on him. After the guy ended the hoax by pretending that the girlfriend had died, Te'o used that as motivation in his college football career, a story that was picked up and run hard by the media. At some point Te'o found out that he had been hoodwinked, but he had so much attention and investment in the story that he kept the charade going until Deadspin uncovered the truth and exposed the truth on their site. Te'o had to come clean and admit that he was embarrassed and had lied to cover it all up. This event combined with his team's poor play in the championship game against Alabama led to his fall from a pretty certain first-round pick to a second-rounder.

I spent a couple of years living in San Diego as a missionary, so I have a very small affinity for the Chargers as long as they don't do well against the Broncos. Omaha! *four Chargers jump offsides* Te'o is a member of the same church as I am, so having a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to root for is a pretty cool thing. On to the card!

This is from 2013 Topps Prime, and features four swatches of memorabilia as well as a sticker autograph. I am assuming that the Level V designation has something to do with that 4+1 configuration. It is serially-numbered # 14 / 50. The swatches are cool, but I do kind of wonder how a player wears a football. Is it like a football purse that unzips along the lacing? Do they string the footballs together and wear them around their necks? I would think that Player-Used Memorabilia would be a better phrase to use when there are football pieces embedded in the card.

The scan of the back of this card was lost in the same error that ate the scan of the back of Josh Reddick's card from my last post. It has a little more information than the Reddick card did. In addition to the Congratulations! message, it has Te'o's height, weight, college, and draft information.

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