Is the sneaker game a wrap?

The game might be over, but there has been no better time to be a sneakerhead.

On my post about the TS1 x Fragments the other day - about how I said I didn’t care about losing the raffle (but cared enough to enter $$$$$$$) - I saw a comment from my dude @fonzmoney where he said ‘98% of the sneaker game is a wrap. Travis people said 3,000,000 bots entered!’

I googled it. It was tweeted. Apparently, it’s official:

By any stretch of the imagination, that’s a really high number. Considering production numbers probably sit around 10k units, that is a REALLY HIGH NUMBER.

In a completely useless estimation, let’s see if we can figure a few things out…The last article headline I saw put 2 bots at 57k entries total, resulting in 200 pairs secured. So if each bot puts in 30k entries, and that nets out to 100 pairs…that means that even with a bot - one’s chances of hitting on a pair would be 1 in 300. EVEN WITH A BOT. But let’s say that that’s your actual chances, without a bot. And with total stock at around 8k units, let’s assume that they caught all of the bots (except the ones who put in 57k entries and walked away with 200 pairs)…we can almost extrapolate that with a 300 to 1 chance, there would have been 2,340,000 real raffle entries to purchase these shoes. And if you followed my math, just know that there is virtually no hard evidence to the estimations I just made so the numbers are most certainly off and reading that might have been a complete waste of time. But it’s kind of how I make sense of things. Completely wrong or slightly right, 2M sounds like a pretty good ballpark figure to me.

Regardless of whether or not that number that I derived above has any credence, it still shows you the scope of the game y’all are playing. A 1 in 300 chance to 10x your money ($150 turns to about $1.5k today) actually does sound kind of bad. If you look up California Lottery scratchers - you can actually see that the $5 ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ scratcher gives you a 1:219 chance to 10x the cost of the ticket, but the ‘$50 or $100!’ scratcher gives you a 1:43 chance to 10x your initial gamble. There are probably HUNDREDS of these games in California alone, and I’m sure there are probably several thousand different scratchers available all across the country. Some with better odds, some with worse, but I’d assume most 10x’ers are better than 1 in 300.

I was 18 the first time I walked into a Casino with the intention of gambling. I had no idea what I was doing, but my older cousin and I found ourselves in Reno, Nevada, and he told me he’d show me how to gamble. I had no clue what games existed, I had no clue how to play poker or blackjack or anything other than war. We walked into the Silver Club with $9 between us and somehow we walked out with around $180. My cousin was (and is) a beast at card games and I want to say I played a few hands but I was mostly just watching him rack up the singles while explaining everything to me along the way. Even though it was a crazy adrenaline rush and it’s given me a story to tell 20+ years later, I still never really cared much for gambling…why?

I never developed a high enough risk tolerance. My preferred level of risk was always on the low side. I have this one friend who (stupidly) tries to bet me ALL the time. And 99% of the time, I reject the bet (smartly). Because 99% of the time, I’m not 100% sure of the answer. But the remaining 1% of the time - I go ALL in. And my friend (stupidly), always bites. And that 1% of the time…it is the only time that I am 100% sure that I am 100% correct. So every time I actually bet against this friend, I win. And every time we do a post mortem - I tell my friend ‘I only bet when I know I am 100% correct.’ Yet this friend continues to throw out bets like they’re going out of style. But that’s where I am on the ‘risk’ scale.

Anyway. The point of this section: I’m not a psychologist, but I would venture to guess that the SNKRS app activates the same brain activity that gambling activates. Losing (‘taking an L’) isn’t the same as losing your money, but it definitely feels like you’re losing out on something. Winning is akin to ‘winning’ cash, since it seems the rush of 10x’ing your money is what we’re all doing this for…right? I mean, are you honestly going to tell me you’re beastin’ for that 36-year-old silhouette because you ‘like the colors?’

And I dunno about you, but I have little interest in playing this game. I’m much more interested in spending my time in other ways.

Back to Fonzmoney’s comment: If I’ve got a 1 in 300 chance to 10x my initial cost, then the sneaker ‘GAME’ might be a wrap (because the chances of me 10x’ing should be lower), but the actual physical sneakers that are available right now make me believe that there has never been a better time to be a real sneakerhead. There are SO many dope GR’s and under-the-radar releases and slightly used pairs and pairs that hit sales racks available at the push of a button and you don’t even have to leave your home!. There are pairs for EVERYONE from ALL walks of life - dope sneakers are available to anyone in the country at a fraction of the cost they once were. It’s like a neverending buffet of ever-evolving dopeness…sneakerheads today got OPTIONS.

When I first started ‘collecting’ sneakers, maybe - just MAYBE - Jordan brand would drop 4 retro’s a year. A YEAR! From what I understand - for the past 4-5 years, they have been releasing a new retro EVERY TWO DAYS for an average of 180 different retros a year. I remember the first time I saw a widely available Jordan 4 Retro - it was that white/green colorway and the desert was so dry and I was so thirsty for a pair of 4’s that I almost bought a pair. That was the only Jordan 4 to come out in a good 10-year span. We really didn’t have all that many options.

Nike and their business practices are certainly giving people a bad picture of a very small sliver of the whole thing, but they’re still selling Monarchs to dads at an alarming rate, and you can find them on shelves all over the country…

Customizers (Mache, JWDanklefs), sole swappers (Govrn, Kscustoms), designers (Salehe Bembury, VOID Equipment, Boyworldwide, Sia Collective) just tryna make dope shit - I certainly don’t think it’s a wrap…

When I was a kid, it used to be a struggle…a STRUGGLE to find a pair of shoes that I actually thought looked cool enough to wear. There was never enough in store, there was enough in stock, there wasn’t enough droppin. My high school basketball team settled on the Converse All Star Legends because no one could agree on a better-looking pair of team shoes that everyone could afford.

I know that sometimes I get angry, and I lash out at the hypebeasts and the Travis Scott creations and the media outlets that are pushing these bullshit narratives, but I usually come back to earth when I get a few days to think about what it is that made me fall in love with this stuff in the first place. And it’s mostly the shoes. The shoes are at the core of alllll of this stuff. Without the shoes would we even be here?

If we’re being honest with ourselves, what is it that makes everything tick? What is it that interests us? Why can’t we stay away?