Some folks are tired of hearing about it. Whether from multiple YouTube channels creating videos about it or articles like this. The National again!? Jeez-Oh-Pete's Batman enough already! Says those who didn't attend.
But for those who did attend, we understand your frustration. However, please extend us a little bit of grace. We'll need the next year to catch our breath from this one.
"The greatest show on earth" was the tagline for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which ran between 1871-2017. But as a hobby enthusiast, I have deemed The 43rd Annual National Sports Collectors Convention "the greatest show on earth."
In my 35 years of hobby involvement, I have never experienced a card show like I did in the summer of 2023. It not only met my expectations but far exceeded them.
Similar to a Circus
It's hard to explain, really. There was something extraordinary about it, magical if you believe in that sort of thing.
In hindsight, it was very similar to a circus. It was a large public event set up to entertain. Another definition of circus is - anything resembling such public entertainment as an event or activity that is wildly active, disordered, and sensational.
Yes! That sums it up nicely for me. Amidst all the bells and whistles of the corporate booths, the buzz of hobby chatter coming from all around, the sites, the smells, and of course, amidst all the people who were there, the thousands of people who were there. It was wildly active.
The negotiations, the conversations, the laughter, and the agony of "the feet." Disorganized? Maybe to some, but yet something about it all was wildly sensational.
Yet. We Still Try
Like you, I consume lots of hobby content on YouTube, podcasts, or written articles. A common theme is raising its voice.
Despite the euphoric atmosphere that generated nothing but intense happiness, confidence in the hobby, and a sense of well-being among our hobby friends. Yet, we still try to find and focus on the negative.
This post isn't a positivity speech. It's a checkpoint for what is our human nature, myself included.
What I'm picking up on with specific content creation is, "It was a fantastic show, but..." It was a great show but the air conditioning. It was a great show, but it needed to be more organized. It was a great show, but the prices were too high.
One person says the heat was unbearable, and the other says it wasn't that bad.
One person says it was unorganized. The other makes a case of how logistically impossible it would be to section things off by genre.
Another may say the prices were too high, yet another claim they got great deals.
The greatest card show event known to mankind, and yet there are some who, in the middle of this sensational, historical event, question the business dealings of The National. Demand to know who's on the Board of Directors? Where does the money go? Etc.
I'm from the east coast originally, and we would answer this line of disrespectful questioning with a resounding, "Mind your own business!"
The One Thing I'm Not Hearing
Despite my complaints or the complaints of others, the one thing I'm not hearing is, thank you.
So to my union brothers and sisters picking up our mess all week, and to the team of workers who set up and tore down all those tables and chairs, thank you!
To security keeping an eye on the merchandise, to the crews out in the parking garage, and the food and beverage folks serving up grub, thank you!
To all the corporate companies and workers who participated with the hobbyist, thank you for all you do and all the giveaways!
Dealers, I didn't forget about you. Without your dedication, none of this would be possible. Thank you!
To the village of Rosemont, IL. Your hospitality is second to none. Thank you!
To the Director of Marketing, Ray Schulte, thank you! To the management team, you went out with a bang. Thank you!
And to the Board of Directors, you folks had to approve this circus. Thank you for giving the hobby the greatest show on earth!
Until next month,