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View Full Version : Whose Going to Step Into GAI's Shoes or Is It Just the Big Two?


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11-11-2007, 01:39 PM
Posted By: <b>peter chao</b><p>There's a lot of speculation regarding GAI's fate. If GAI doesn't make it, will it be simply the Big Two for the foreseeable future?<br /><br />Peter C.

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11-11-2007, 01:44 PM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>GAI's shoes? You mean those size 2 booties? I for one think that this is PRO's time to shine.

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11-11-2007, 01:49 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>Give me time. My current slabbing technology is plastic sandwhich bags and a stapler. And the stapler is borrowed.

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11-11-2007, 01:51 PM
Posted By: <b>JK</b><p>I think its just the big two who will divy up GAI's market share. Beckett may grab a few new customers as well.

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11-11-2007, 01:54 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>I think it will boil down to the big two, with PSA getting most of the post-war market and set registry guys, and SGC becoming dominant in vintage cards.

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11-11-2007, 01:55 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>Beckett now doing autographed cards with JSA is a gateway to the vintage and Pre-War market, as many of the submitted autographed cards will be vintage or at least of vintage players.

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11-11-2007, 01:55 PM
Posted By: <b>Frank Evanov</b><p>GAI's market share has dwindled to the point that there's very little to divvy up.<br><br>Frank

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11-11-2007, 02:23 PM
Posted By: <b>Gil</b><p>Id take a Cycleback stapled sandwich bag with a A in magic marker anyday over anything the current slabbers offer. And please keep your opinion of numbers to yourselves, afterall, doesn't my criteria and preferences count?

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11-11-2007, 02:41 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>My holders are are top quality, in that if the card is loose the collector can simply microwave it 10-15 seconds.

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11-11-2007, 02:47 PM
Posted By: <b>Richard Dwyer</b><p>Whose gonna slab T206 boxes now?

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11-11-2007, 02:56 PM
Posted By: <b>peter chao</b><p>David C.,<br /><br />Now if you got together with Kevin S., that would be a dynamite combination.<br /><br />Peter C.

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11-11-2007, 03:00 PM
Posted By: <b>Bob</b><p>So is GAI going down for the count, or is all this still just speculation? Also there has been a lot of mention about the white label holders but the cards I had graded in August still had the old silver holder labels.

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11-11-2007, 03:12 PM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>Bob, I think it's pretty clear that GAI is gone forever.

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11-11-2007, 03:26 PM
Posted By: <b>Larry</b><p>Bob- The white label change was for the last 3 months or so and are still up on e bay, and supposedly, Mike Baker personally graded these cards....<br /><br />It is a real shame that GAI will not be around as they were, it still was better to have a choice of graders, especially since Mike was a very good one. Even if you do not grade cards, you have to admit it was nice and special seeing Mike, Danny & Company at each card show, they are very personable and helpful guys.<br /><br />If GAI was ever to try and make a comeback, it would be hard to recover the trust they lost at this point. This could have and should been able to take care of their problems much better, just to keep the name from falling downhill so rapidly, even just keeping the phone line open with a forwarding message recording that they are attemting to restructure and all cards will be returned to the person that submitted them would have given them time to work out this problem and been most professional...I really feel sad about this.

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11-11-2007, 03:50 PM
Posted By: <b>Charlie Barokas</b><p>I spoke with Mike Baker yesterday. I do not want to put any words in his mouth. But the way I understood it from him, they will be back open for business this Monday. I believe they signed or are going to sign a new 3-year lease very shortly. <br /><br />First and foremost it is his intention and passion to make sure all outstanding cards/packs/autos are graded or immediately returned to customers. I know Mike has already reached out to many concerned customers. <br /><br />Secondly, Mike intends to square up with any and all creditors to press forward with a clean balance sheet.<br /><br />Mike Baker is a winner. He has undoublty made some mistakes. But he intends to work extremely hard to make things right as quickly as possible. <br /><br />GAI might not survive but Baker is commited to giving it one last shot. Don't count him and GAI out just yet.<br /><br />CB

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11-11-2007, 04:03 PM
Posted By: <b>Paul</b><p>Mike Baker is a stand-up guy, and I'm willing to wager that whatever F***-ups there are, or have been at Global, are not of his doing, were never of his intention, or even within his control.

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11-11-2007, 04:13 PM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>Charlie, wasn't there some claim on this forum that GAI never paid a single month of rent on its last lease? I hope for their sake that their new landlord doesn't read the boards....<br /><br />Just a show of hands: who here would send cards into GAI for grading starting Monday?

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11-11-2007, 04:22 PM
Posted By: <b>Tony Galovich</b><p>I've known Mike Baker & Steve Rocchi long before their days at PSA & have never heard a bad word about them<br />I hope this mess get's cleared up with no one suffering any loses<br />But they are in a deep hole & I don't know if they have a shovel big enuff to dig themselves out of this situation<br />They have probably lost most of their credibility with too many people to ever become more than a bit player in their industry at best

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11-11-2007, 04:24 PM
Posted By: <b>Charlie Barokas</b><p>Jeff,<br /><br />I think the answers to those questions will be forthcoming from GAI. I believe they are deliquent on 3 months and that the first six months were free in exchange for some service provided by GAI.<br /><br />If they are smart their first priority will not be new submissions but rather to close any and all loose ends with existing material in for grading and or debts owed to customers or creditors.<br /><br />It will be a tough road back to establishing credibility. However, according to Mike they are up to the challenge.<br /><br />I don't believe it benefits anyone in the hobby for them to go away. I am rooting for them to succeed. <br /><br />CB

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11-11-2007, 04:26 PM
Posted By: <b>Tom Nieves</b><p>.

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11-11-2007, 04:35 PM
Posted By: <b>Fred C</b><p>There's always a lot of discussion about which "slab" can attain the highest selling price. For example, two identical cards in the same grade (PSA5 and SGC60). It's been said that the PSA5 card might get a few more dollars than the SGC60 graded card. With that in mind how much of a discount does a card have for being encapsulated in a GAI holder VS a PSA or SGC holder? That would be a huge metric in quantifying just where GAI stands vs PSA and SGC. The next question would be, would it be worth it to have your cards graded by GAI? <br /><br /> <br /><br /><br />

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11-11-2007, 05:01 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Even though the people running GAI may be of strong character, they simply have too many hurdles to overcome to ever be a major player. They were number three before any of this happened; now they will lose even more ground.<br /><br />The best thing they can do is offer 30 days of free submissions, or some other promotion, just to get people to even think about them again. Otherwise, why would anybody submit cards to them? They've taken a huge hit in an already very competitive marketplace.

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11-11-2007, 05:03 PM
Posted By: <b>Larry</b><p>To Charlie-<br /><br />That was great news, I am very pleased you were able to make progress and promote something that counts to everyone's advantage....<br /><br />personally, I am very appreciative and respectful to Mike Baker and if he can come up with a sound program and clean up the loose ends, he deserves a forum that is supportive, if not just for the positive things he adds to the hobby. It would be a great start if he personally speaks to all dealers and collectors that always were there in his corner about what direction he now wishes to undertake, trust is a two way path.

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11-11-2007, 05:22 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>Even PSA advocates on the PSA board say it's in their best interests to have healthy competition, if only to keep their company on its toes. Most collectors, no matter what brand they collect, think it's a good thing for GAI to stay in business and be run well. Believe it or not, the majority of PSA collectors don't look forward to a time when PSA becomes is a monopoly.

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11-11-2007, 05:46 PM
Posted By: <b>Brian</b><p>&lt;&lt;they will be back open for business this Monday&gt;&gt;<br /><br /><br />Priceless.

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11-11-2007, 05:53 PM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>What Barry said is right on. Too little, too late and they were in a hole before all of these problems started. I've heard about GAI customer service problems for years. And how can they offer free submissions when they don't even have the money to pay a single dollar in rent? I don't know the GAI guys at all but common sense needs to rule over emotional attachments and, in this case, GAI's goose is cooked.

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11-11-2007, 05:57 PM
Posted By: <b>Al C.risafulli</b><p>Brian, you beat me to it.<br /><br />-Al

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11-11-2007, 06:06 PM
Posted By: <b>Mark L</b><p>If they want to start over, their best bet is to start a service with an entirely new name. All they really need are 3 new letters.

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11-11-2007, 06:12 PM
Posted By: <b>Kenneth A. Cohen</b><p>To echo Jeff's sentiments, I think PRO will take up the slack and soak up market share with innovative offerings such as this.<br /><br /><a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/1912-NNO-TY-COBB-DESPERATE-SLIDE-FOR-THIRD-T202-PRO-5-5_W0QQitemZ160178348622QQihZ006QQcategoryZ86837QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://cgi.ebay.com/1912-NNO-TY-COBB-DESPERATE-SLIDE-FOR-THIRD-T202-PRO-5-5_W0QQitemZ160178348622QQihZ006QQcategoryZ86837QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem</a>

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11-11-2007, 06:18 PM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>Ken, I actually saw that listing a few hours ago and nearly started a thread dedicated to it. I'm still trying to figure out what in the hell they are doing over there. And how is it that PRO manages to chug along and GAI can't pay a dollar in rent or return a phone call?

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11-11-2007, 06:21 PM
Posted By: <b>Rick McQuillan</b><p>Kenneth, I can't believe this card only got a 5.5. It should be at least a 9! And a starting bid of only $5325! Wow! Now if they can only find the rest of the card they can make some real money.<br /><br />Rick

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11-11-2007, 06:26 PM
Posted By: <b>Bob Pomilla</b><p>Well, now that this auction has been "outed", there's no telling what this will go for.

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11-11-2007, 07:03 PM
Posted By: <b>Kenneth A. Cohen</b><p>Yea Jeff. I was thinking of stating a thread on it as well. Inasmuch as Ebay offers so many comical opportunities to start threads, I'm always afraid of flooding the forum with them. I think PRO has obviously carved a niche as a refuge of altered cards and other junk.

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11-11-2007, 07:14 PM
Posted By: <b>Charlie Barokas</b><p>I agree with everything that has been said. GAI has dropped the ball in a major way and they are bordering on not being able to recover the good will they once had.<br /><br />And I am not a GAI apologist. I shared many criticisms with Mike.<br /><br />I am willing to take him at his word that he/they will follow up on any and all oustanding submissions. And that they will press forward to try and regain some respect in the market place.<br /><br />I am impressed with the fact that Mike has chosen to stay and fight rather than resign. It is the difficult choice to stay and fight it would have been much easy to resign.<br /><br />It is a Joke to compare cards graded by Mike Baker with "PRO". <br /><br /><br />CB

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11-11-2007, 07:17 PM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>Charlie, it <EM>was</EM> a joke -- more a joke on the idea of the thread than on GAI.* The point is that the ending of GAI's business is hardly causing shockwaves in the accounting offices of SGC and PSA.

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11-11-2007, 07:29 PM
Posted By: <b>Tom Nieves</b><p>.

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11-11-2007, 09:02 PM
Posted By: <b>Bob</b><p>Jeff- Even though many on here didn't use GAI, many did. I know I was about 50-50 with GAI and SGC (the key word being "was"). I know I don't have 50,000 cards to slab like Jim but I did send a lot in to GAI which will now be going to SGC.

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11-11-2007, 09:19 PM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>Bob, I have a handful of GAI cards that I had been meaning to cross over to SGC one of these days.&nbsp; The value of GAI's cards have been going down in value over the past year due mainly to their sporadically bad grading and perceived problems.&nbsp; Now cards slabbed by GAI will be worth even less.&nbsp; I suppose if you have plans to ever sell your cards it does make sense to get them out of the GAI slabs.

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11-11-2007, 09:39 PM
Posted By: <b>Bob</b><p>You're probably right Jeff. I tried to sell a really nice E96 Herzog in a GAI holder and was absolutely floored that no one BINed it or even made a minimum bid. I have never had that happen before. Nada. I saw a mangled Herzog (the horizontal card in the set) in a PSA 1 holder about 6 months ago sell for more than my BIN! I guess if I go to sell some of the cards in GAI holders I will hope that there will be some bidders out there who really like the card regardless of the fact GAI graded it and will buy the card for the card. I won't be parting with my many GAI E94s but I do have a lot of really nice T210s and Tattoo Orbits in GAI holders. Luckily I am still working on the T210 set and have finished the TOs with no intention of selling them, so I won't have to worry about selling those.

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11-12-2007, 12:53 AM
Posted By: <b>Sean C</b><p>1). Would anyone submit anything to them, after the way that they've handled this current situation and their utter lack of customer service to those with items currently in house?<br />2). Would anyone be able to trust them on anything? After 3 no-shows at major regional conventions, contradictory statements by one of their VPs as to their reasons for moving, new office locations, and general black hole of any vital information as to what is going on, they have a MAJOR credibility gap. In a business where reputation is everything, their reputation is shot. <br />3). Would they be able to obtain the proper business licenses that they apparently have not obtained in the past? I can't imagine that they would be able to do so without paying some sort of fine. <br />4). on top of all of this, there are all of the pre-existing issues with GAI (lost items, the bad Tiger Woods, David Wright, and Michael Jordan autographed items, etc.).<br /><br />Even if they do start back up, it would just be throwing good money after bad. They need to realize that they need to move on.

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11-12-2007, 02:44 AM
Posted By: <b>Kevin Saucier</b><p>I also talked with Mike Baker Friday night and can confirm everything exactly as Charlie stated. Hope it all works well for them. <br /><br />I'll still submit cards to them and visit occationally. For the most part, I'm not in the hobby for investment purposes. I usually just collect anything that catches my eye when I'm not researching alterations. When my card go to Global I know that Mike is personally grading them and that's comforting. <br /><br /><br />Kevin

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11-12-2007, 07:16 AM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>I suppose if you want to give GAI money out of loyalty and knowing that you're losing money on potential resales then I guess it makes sense.&nbsp; But loyalty is a two way street and GAI seems to have not understood that for a long time.&nbsp; Considering what's left, how can anyone not just send their cards to SGC?

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11-12-2007, 07:47 AM
Posted By: <b>JimCrandell</b><p>Jeff,<br /><br />You are completely dismissing PSA?<br /><br />I doubt whether prices for GAI cards will weaken further. Holding them up will be the buyers who will break them out and resubmit to psa or sgc.<br /><br />Kevin--perhaps this is an opportunity for you and Mike to start your own company here? Mike has to realize that this is going to be near impossible to come back from under the GAI name. While he is a part owner, I think everyone realizes that the problems are more as a result of others at GAI(although as part owner he bears some responsibility) and I don't think would follow him to a new company.

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11-12-2007, 09:32 AM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>Jim, no, I'm not dismissing PSA. I think that the people that traditionally submitted prewar cards to GAI did so due to Baker and the fact that GAI was not the factory that PSA was. SGC just seems to be the more obvious destination for cards with all that in mind.

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11-12-2007, 09:56 AM
Posted By: <b>Ed Ivey</b><p>I'm with Jeff. The Big One: SGC.

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11-12-2007, 10:20 AM
Posted By: <b>Ted Holden</b><p>This just in from Beckett's newsletter.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.beckett.com/estore/news/?eskin=beckett&a=8942&s=1&utm_source=111107hobbyemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Featured%20Story" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://www.beckett.com/estore/news/?eskin=beckett&a=8942&s=1&utm_source=111107hobbyemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Featured%20Story</a><br /><br />Compelled by growing posts filled with allegedly inaccurate information on industry message boards, GAI vice president of business development Steve Sipe reiterated Thursday afternoon that the California-based sports memorabilia grading and authentication company is not shutting its doors.<br /><br />"The company is not going out of business," Sipe said adamantly. "Everybody's stuff is safe in a secure location. Our old landlord, we were negotiating, and the guy said 'you gotta be out,' gave us a notice and that's how it happened. It's just been a debacle."<br /><br />According to Sipe, negotiations for the company's new lease lasted longer than anticipated, causing a delay in GAI's ability to reestablish phone and internet connections.<br /><br />"Our IT guy is doing everything he can to get this thing fixed so the Web site's up," Sipe said. "We've got to have a location to be able to put the phone in and get it going. If you don't have a location to transfer it to so people can be in the building answering phones, what can you do?"<br /><br />Collectors seeking information from GAI about their orders have for the past few days been unable to contact the company either by phone (disconnected) or via its Website, which was inoperable as of Thursday afternoon. Emails to the company went unanswered.<br /><br />Sipe said he felt it necessary to reemphasize the company's stance today in an effort to put GAI's many customers at ease, all of whom have entrusted the company with varying parts of their collections.<br /><br />"I'm just trying to help people understand that [GAI] is not going anywhere and that they're stuff is fine," he said. "The company's still there, it just had to move. Otherwise, I would let you know. Hopefully, by tomorrow, this will all be a passing moment.<br /><br />"We'll get through it. I'm sure there are some upset people. I personally just wanted to take this upon myself because there's nothing worse than no information."<br /><br /><br><br>Texas Ted<br />

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11-12-2007, 10:48 AM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>Yeah, those landlords can be really difficult when tenants go nine months without paying a penny in rent. Bastards.

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11-12-2007, 10:57 AM
Posted By: <b>JimB</b><p>"Mike has to realize that this is going to be near impossible to come back from under the GAI name. While he is a part owner, I think everyone realizes that the problems are more as a result of others at GAI(although as part owner he bears some responsibility) and I don't think would follow him to a new company."<br /><br />I don't think people realize anything yet, since we have hardly heard a word - at least an honest, transparent word - from GAI, Baker, or anyone involved. They have not told us what happened. They said they were moving offices because a church next door wanted their space and they obliged, but the truth is they were evicted for not paying the rent. They said they were moving six doors down, and that was a lie. I don't know Baker (I have met him at shows and he seems like a nice guy, but don't really know him) and he may very well be innocent in all of this and survive. But I think it is way too early to tell. We need to know what happened first.<br />JimB

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11-12-2007, 11:12 AM
Posted By: <b>Charlie Barokas</b><p>"Yeah, Charlie, I'm sure GAI is going to get a business license on a holiday weekend and be back up and running by Monday. Could you be any more gullible? Keep listening to the carnival barker."<br /><br />Tom,<br /><br />No not gullible. I thought it was necessary to inject some information directly from Mike Baker to the conversation.<br /><br />Do they really need a business license to go in the office Monday...to get organized and start the process of reassuring those with material in their vault that it is safe. I think that is step one. Not soliciting new submissions.<br /><br /><br />Oh, and anyone that wants to sell GAI pre-war graded cards at "PRO" prices, please email me ASAP.<br /><br />CB

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11-12-2007, 12:21 PM
Posted By: <b>Jeff Lichtman</b><p>Charlie, how about you buy all of my GAI-graded cards at a price of recent SGC and PSA sales in the same grade?

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11-14-2007, 12:29 PM
Posted By: <b>Ricky Y</b><p>GAI did have the market for grading packs..but I know they had issues with the items getting lost or not returned on a timely basis. So they dropped the ball on that one too...too bad. <br /><br />Ricky Y

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11-14-2007, 12:37 PM
Posted By: <b>Brian</b><p>Is it Monday yet?