There comes a time in your life when you look at some of the stuff you've accumulated and think "What the heck?"

My wife, Kelly, in between working at the hospital and working at the newspaper, decorated my Man Cave (wait 'till I tell her no girls are allowed).

That was very nice of her, and it got me thinking about how much time and money I have devoted to this stuff.

My stuff is mostly sports memorabilia.

I might feel a little better about my collection if I knew anyone else who collected this stuff.

I know there are collectors out there because there are people making a lot of money selling this stuff to people like me.

I have always collected, from baseball cards to autographed pictures and baseballs to sports figurines.

These figurines, or dolls as my daughter, Claire, calls them, are what I look at and shake my head at sometimes.

If you're a collector of anything tractors, toys, guns, antiques you understand the thrill is in the chase.

Once you acquire something, you have to move on to the next piece to maintain the excitement. Finding what you're looking for is almost a letdown.

My problem is I always have been the one who came back with stories about the ones that got away.

When I was a kid collecting baseball cards, it was my friends who came up with the cards I wanted.

I was the one who ended up with 10 baseball cards of Joe Foy. Ever heard of him? That's my point.

No offense to any Joe Foy fans out there, but when I opened a pack of cards and shoved a piece of the worst-tasting gum ever produced into my mouth, I wasn't real excited to see Joe staring back at me.

As I got older, I never got the collecting bug out of my system. Sometimes when you're collecting, you forget that you need room to house all this stuff.

For years, my collections were tucked away in basements, closets, garages, just about any place but on display.

That changed, for the most part, when we moved to Humphrey, Neb.

My wife made room downstairs, and while some things still remain in boxes, a lot of it is out and displayed.

I look at this stuff, and most of it still looks cool to me. But I wouldn't be opposed to selling if someone would make me an offer I couldn't refuse, but in all likelihood, I'll keep it.

Sometimes I look at all this stuff and wonder what the fascination was. I guess it was sports, and it was an extension of the baseball cards I chased as a kid.

You know what they say about guys: Our toys just get bigger and more expensive.

Most of these toys are still in their boxes, which probably makes me even more nerdy.

Someday, my kids will look through all this stuff, shake their heads and wonder what the heck Dad was thinking buying it.

Not sure I have an answer even now, but it looks great in the Man Cave.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.