I don't really like the new name of this show -- Fanatic Authentic. This is not a phrase that rolls off the tongue. I propose they rename the show something a little more catchy, something a little more fluid, like Big Al's Sports Spectacular. That way they can get a local chubby guy as a mascot and dub him Big Al. He can walk around the show, pose for photos with patrons, give out some cards to kids, and make sure everyone is having a good time. What the hell does Fanatic Authentic mean? I don't get it. Big Al's is a better way to go.
It has been a while since I have had a really good rant, so I would like to take the opportunity to rant about national dealers. There are a large number of dealers at these big shows that are just absolute tools. The Stephens Center puts out a number of carts in the room for dealers to use loading in and out. A bunch of these out of town schmucks take these carts and leave them by their tables the whole show! What the hell? Maybe one of the 250 other dealers in the room may want to use the complimentary cart as well? This is another reason we need a mascot Big Al so he can donk these guys on the head and distribute the carts.
Then there are the tools that hog all the space. This problem also falls on the promoters who do not clearly mark the spots. But there are guys that take advantage and use up more of their share of space. The guys set up behind us this weekend are taking a good two feet that should belong to us. Every dealer should have an equal amount of space. We are all paying the same price. But there are always scumbags that take your space at this show. It sure would be nice if the promoters actually managed this show and made sure every dealer is getting the space they actually paid for.
Then there is this total pud from Texas set up next to us selling pennants. He missed the March show which was really nice. He's back this weekend. He is such a whiny little pud. Last year he complained that I moved our tables out a half-foot or so into the aisle. I did not understand why he was complaining because it did not effect his set up in any way. This afternoon he was complaining that Mark Smith stood in his booth while talking to me. What the hell? The show hadn't opened, there was no customers at his booth. He was complaining we were blocking his merchandise. From who? This guy is a dick.
Okay, enough rant. Once I finally got all my gear into the room, set up took a little while because I had to tie my binders down to the tables. There are many thieves at this bigger shows so I need to take extra precautions.
Gizmo came around a few times early on wanting to buy me out. I like Giz but I don't want to wholesale out my inventory. A lot of folks from Milwaukee also arrived early on. My booth is the designated coat rack. Anyone who wants to drop of their coat at my tables, feel free to do so.
Quite a few people I know dropped by the booth. It seemed like most folks had some sort of comment on my shaved head. Does it look that weird? I've shaved my head many times before and never had so many comments. I also had to explain myself to quite a few of the Orland regulars. They did not quite understand why I am no longer doing the Orland show. I do not think I was treated fairly by the Orland promoter so I am no longer attending. I am still setting up somewhere each and every weekend, just not in Orland. Come see me elsewhere!
It was nice to get reacquainted with my boothmates Bob and Dave. We have been setting up together at the big shows for a good number of years now. Dave had a box of cards for me. It seemed like Dave had some nice sales early on but not much action during the bulk of the show. Bob seemed to have steady sales all night long. My sales were slow. I sold a bunch of graded cards that a good number of small sales from my binders. I'm pretty sure one guy stole some cards. He went through five or six binders. I saw him pull out some cards. I turned to talk to my friend Larry then turned back and saw him zip up his coat pocket and walk away. He probably stole $5 or so in cards. Another dealer mentioned that he had some cards stolen Thursday night which is really scary. I have never heard of anyone having cards stolen after setting up early on Thursday night. As I write this late Friday night, I am a bit concerned about my cards at the show.
Speaking of my buddy Larry. He brought me a nice group of cards including some Parkhurst Hockey from the 1950s. I also picked up some cards from Junior. I was pretty happy with my pick-ups on this night but a little disappointed in my sales. Saturday is usually my best day at this show and I'm hopeful I have my typical Saturday. Leaving the show was really difficult tonight. The Rosemont area with dozens of new restaurants and shopping is an absolute mob scene. A normal five-minute drive from the parking lot to the highway took close to an hour tonight -- it sucked! Quite a few guys commented that they had a tough time getting into Rosemont because of the traffic. I hope tomorrow is little easier getting in and out of Rosemont.
On a sad note, I got word that Mike Rodell died yesterday. I talked about Mike in my last blog. The world lost a good one yesterday. Mike was the best of the best. I will miss him dearly. I am amazed how many true superstars we seem to be losing to that awful disease cancer. I can't find the words to describe how much I hate cancer and losing all these great friends long before their time is due. My heart goes out to Mike's family. If anyone has any stories about Mike that they would like to share here, please do so.
I am looking forward to Day Two of Big Al Sports Spectacular. See you tomorow!!