Soccer(Football) Philately: An Introduction
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Cutoff Date
The stamps presented on this website will primarily end with those issued in the year 2004. Establishing 2004 as the cutoff date makes sense for 4 reasons 1) philatelic, 2) technologic, 3) thematic, and 4) personal. When I first began collecting soccer stamps my goal had always been to collect every soccer stamp issue printed. This was a feasible goal for many years. But as the years progressed, the need for establishing a cutoff date became more and more clear.

  1. Establishing 2004 as the cutoff date makes sense from a philatelic perspective. While there were some stamp issuing entities in the 1970's and 1980's issuing stamps primarily for the purposes of revenue, the problem seems to have taken off in the 1990's and is rampant today. Omnibus minisheet issues, imperf issues, special collector issues, popular topic issues, and liberal stamp issuing policies are the halmarks of a majority of the countries today. This is indicative that a shift postage stamps as a utilitarian prepayment for a service to a revenue source has taken place. From a philatelic perspective, collecting through the year of 2004 will allow the collection to display this transition. To be sure, there are still a few countries which have not followed suit, but this leads to the next reason for a cutoff date.

  2. Establishing 2004 as the cutoff date makes sense from a technologic perspective. The shift from stamps issued for postage to stamps issued for revenue has taken place primarily for one reason, a change in the way we communicate via technology. With the internet, email, cell phones, and texting, our predominate way of communicating has ceased being via letters. This results directly in a smaller demand for stamps, but even this small demand is further diluted by print to order postage and meters. Technologically speaking, the postage stamp is the technology of a bygone era. There will always be a small need for them, but not like in the past. The year of 2004 carries us into the new millenium and allows the collection to display the effects of a technologic transition on soccer stamps.

  3. Establishing 2004 as the cutoff date makes sense from a thematic perspective. There are three reasons why the year 2004 is a logical choice as a cutoff date. First, it is the 80th anniversary of the first soccer stamp issue, the Victory of Samothrace issue from Uruguay. Second, it also coincides with the 100th anniversary of FIFA, the worldwide soccer federation. And finally, it carries us through the first major championships of the new millenium, the 2002 World Cup and the 2004 European Championships. For these reasons, 2004 will be the cutoff date for the data presented on this website.

  4. Finally, establishing 2004 as the cutoff date makes sense from a personal perspective. It has probably not escaped notice that updates to the website have been sporadic at best. There are many reasons for this, such as other responsibilities and lack of time. But another reason has been my waning interest in stamp collecting resulting both from lack of time and inability to keep up with all the new issues. Establishing a cutoff date allows me to have a firm goal, a light at the end of the tunnel, and a renewed sense of purpose and focus. It will reduce the time spent in trying to track down and document new issues. It will allow me to focus more on my favorite parts of the hobby, commercially used covers. In short, it has renewed my interest in the hobby. For of these reasons a cutoff date became necessary and the year 2004 seemed to be the logical choice.

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Lester Williams
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