As David Letterman often says, I wouldn't give Upper Deck's troubles to a monkey on a rock. If you're an avid card collector or dealer, their troubles are well-documented. I'm just beginning to plug back into the hobby, but based on the blogs and message board posts of those who have remained close to the hobby over the past decade, I can come to two conclusions about Upper Deck.
First, most collectors seem to be pretty passionate about Upper Deck's product across multiple sports, with a few exceptions. Second, the company's CEO, Richard McWilliam, seems to be portrayed as a incurable egomaniac......a trait you rarely ever see in a big corporate CEO :-)
The past year has been brutal for the company with multiple lawsuits and ultimate settlements costing tens of millions of dollars, but a silver lining seems to be on the horizon.
Just as it appeared Upper Deck might be in danger of losing licensing for producing cards for the second major sport in as many years, the NFL Players Association's marketing arm announced yesterday that they would renew Upper Deck's license for two more years through 2011.
The loss of the Major League Baseball license and subsequent settlement with Topps over the alleged breach of the MLBPA agreement certainly knocked Upper Deck to the canvas, but the fact that football will still be part of the equation is welcome news to those in the hobby.
If this were a heavyweight fight, Upper Deck is still certainly down, but as of yesterday, any cries of "no mas" are definitely premature.