Monday, June 26, 2017

Dub Mentality: An Archives Post

In the blog world, there are not a ton of big college football fans. I mean, there are a few, of course -- and I won't try to list them for fear of leaving someone who should be obvious out. But, for about as long as I have been writing my blog (almost three-and-a-half years now!), I have not really come across any Georgia fans.

This year, though, I did. He's a popular man in the Twittersphere and the Blog World who goes by the nickname of Dub Mentality. He's a good south Georgia guy who is a Bulldog fan. Well, I say that, but he may consider himself as not being from south Georgia. You have to remember that to us big city people in Atlanta, everything south of about I-16 and Macon is considered south Georgia. 

Dub loves to open packs. If you check out his Twitter feed or his blog, it's filled with pack openings from current products to some extent but mostly he loves what some would call "junk wax."

His other love is music, specifically a band that I have listened to a little bit but not a lot: The Deftones. So, let's dig into some Deftones and show off the cards that Dub sent my way -- and a couple of things I sent to him that I got at a recent card show.

A website I found called this the best Deftones song at the same time as calling it the more commercially successful single. Yup, I have heard it, so it must have been reasonably successful on commercial alternative radio in the early 2000s. It may also be the most viewed video on YouTube.

In an interview cited in its Wikipedia entry, the band described the process of writing this song as a turning point for them -- when they really started working as a unit. To summarize what was said, they stopped making songs about themselves specifically and started incorporating their own storylines and dialogue into the music to make it a little less personal and more able to have multiple interpretations. 

Dub sent me some 2017 Topps Archives. This is the Ryan Braun 1960 Topps version. I don't particularly like the color choices for this card. First, you have an orange background on the bottom and a blue left side. That's just ugly because it is Florida or Auburn colors, and nothing good has come from those schools other than my wife graduating from Auburn in 1996. Plus, Braun's name is hard to read on that background. The red letters on an orange background is hard on the eyes.

Next up is an even earlier song from Deftones: "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)." This was the Deftones first alternative hit, making it to number 29 on the mainstream rock tracks. The Deftones get cited frequently as employing loud-soft dynamics in their music. I get that, definitely. Nirvana really made that a "thing" in the 1990s with Nevermind, and other bands grabbed it and ran with it. 

The good thing to me is that the Deftones are nowhere near as obnoxious sounding as one of their cohorts in the "nu metal" world, Limp Bizkit. Limp Bizkit was catchy for a moment, but they got so full of themselves, and Fred Durst is such a complete tool, that they were simply unlistenable after a while to me.

The other two Brewers in the Archives base set are Orlando Arcia and Jonathan Villar. While Topps got close with its reproduction of the 1982 design, it didn't get all the way there. Let's compare briefly.

As you can see, the coloration is close -- but the orange on the current version is brighter. That may be a variation in printing on the Vuke card. So be it. It's not bad. The real issue -- and it is a minor one, really -- is the font used for the team and player names. It could be seen as picking nits, but the real 1982 set had a bolded font versus the Archives version.

Like I said, it's picking nits. 

The backs of the cards (which I did not scan) are far worse than the original, though. The print on the back of the Archives versions are damn near impossible to read. The originals weren't great -- trust me -- but the Archives ones are very bad. 

In all, I still like the idea of Archives. The problems with it are numerous, as I've mentioned before -- set composition and overloading with the usual suspects in teams and including Zack Hample as an autograph...well, just weird. Apparently, as an aside, Hample is buying up his autographs off eBay. For what purpose, only Hample knows.

Time for a more recent Deftones song. This one is called "Leathers." This song came off their album Koi No Yokan. This song is a lot harder than the previous two in this post. It comes across as angrier -- more visceral. This was the first song off the album, though it was not released as a single. 

I could definitely see this being one to listen to if you were frustrated and wanted to let off steam or, conversely, where you wanted to get fired up for a football game. It might be a little much if you were going out to play a round of golf, though.


Dub was kind enough to throw in a Milwaukee Brave for me in Warren Spahn. I think the 1992 portion of the Archives set is generally well done. Some folks have complained about the card stock being thin, but have you ever picked up a 1992 Topps card? They are on thin card stock. It was the first year that Topps went to the white stock. It took Upper Deck and its high quality cardstock and photography to convince Topps -- read as, Topps lost market share -- to change to the white card stock. 

I think this card looks good and "right" in part because Topps had incorporated the trademark superscript on the team names in its 1992 sets. Being picky, though: Topps did not follow the coloration here properly. I don't know if it is because Spahnie is a Milwaukee Brave here, but the 1992 set had the team name for the Braves on a bluish-purple background.

So, not bad, but not correct.

Finally, we have "My Own Summer (Shove It)." The website Loudwire -- from which I pulled the list of the best Deftones Songs -- calls this song essentially the archetypical Deftones song. As the website put it: "Most songs in the Deftones catalog are exercises in tension building. They build you up to break you down, like the Marine Corps!"

I don't know about the Marines. I will say that this song does remind me a bit of Tool, which I was listening to a decent amount in law school because a woman I was trying to date really liked Tool. My dating attempts did not go all that well, but she did give me a nice business card holder as a graduation gift that still sits on my office desk today. Of course, I should have followed up after she gave me that gift, but hey -- I have long been an idiot when it comes to women. 

I am not an idiot, though, when it comes to getting free autographs -- or at least nearly free. To thank Dub both for the Archives cards and for tipping me off about a small card show at which the Braves shown here, Alejandro Peña, signed autographs, I paid $6 total for the card and the photo above and got them signed. 

I mean, for $6, I'd get just about anyone's autograph.

Well, other than Zack Hample, that is.

Many thanks go out to Dub Mentality for the great cards. If you want to read a blog of a guy who really has a great attitude about collecting and life, be sure to check out his blog at

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