There's a pack of cards sitting on my television that I'm trying really hard not to open. The fact is, they don't belong to me. But I don't know who's cards they are yet.
We call it footy tipping over here, and this year I've gotten my class involved in a tipping competition. A couple of weeks ago, I hit upon the genius idea of giving a pack of footy cards to the kid who gets the most picks right each week. Not a bad idea, really. That pack on my TV is going to go to this week's winner.
What I didn't realise is that they would jump into things with such gusto. Even the kids who I didn't think had any real desire for footy, much less cards with footy players on them, want to win the packs. Why? Because, every morning for the past two weeks, the kids in my class get out their card collections and start trading. To see the look on their faces, and the different strategies they employ, is really quite a hoot. Some try to get all the players from their favorite team. Others want all the best players. And one kid is obsessed with the insert sets and is willing to trade plenty of commons to get an insert card. Does all of this sound familiar?
I guess what I'm trying to say is that in some small way, I like to think I'm contributing to the hobby in my little corner of the world. Next year, most of the kids in my class will go off to high school, and they'll probably forget all about their cards. They may even throw them away or give them to a younger sibling or cousin. But there will probably be one or two who either keeps on collecting, or does what many of us did - remember years later how much fun cards can be, and get back into it. They might even help the next generation get started.