So today, I hit up the local Target for some much-needed wax. I was fully expecting to find 2013 Topps Football, because last year this time, it was out, and I picked up two boxes full.
However, I found none. No Topps Football from this year was at Target. They had Bowman, but screw Bowman.
So, in frustration, I decided to buy two $5 rack packs of 2013 Panini/Score Football. Why? Because I had ripped a box of Panini Certified this year, and it was one of the best boxes I had ripped this year. And by this point, I was already convinced that Panini was putting more effort than Topps into card-making. In the box of Certified, I got a stellar base set, some nice parallels, and hits of players I had heard of. I mean, Topps does that every once and a while (I may have spoken too soon; find out why in tomorrow's post).
But Panini actually tries. And if today's rip doesn't convince you, then nothing will.
38- Martellus Bennett.
73- Ndamukong Suh.
Okay, really quickly, here's a few things I like about this set already.
1. Simple design of base set. It doesn't have too many bells and whistles, and that's WHY it's so good. Topps has to model its design after a facemask, and throw foil and crap all over the set, but Panini just gives you some pennants and a bit of foil, and it's executed 100 times better. Which brings me to my next point.
2. It's cleaner than Topps. What I mean by this is the photography is not only better, but it POPS more than Topps does. Topps can give you good photography, but it doesn't stick out. It sorta blurs together. I ripped a box of flagship Topps last month, and all of the base cards were sorta dull, and the colors were dilluted. It didn't stick out the way these ones do.
3. Better photography. Topps can give you a guy running, or a guy making a pass. Panini gives you a moment in time of a guy jumping, or a guy dodging a pass, and it's impressive. It's also crisp, clean photography.
fine, back to the cards.
215- Pierre Garcon.
okay, fine, one more.
4. Better card backs. No photos, but a cool little helmet insignia with career stats. It's clean, it's simple, and it works.
130- Drew Brees. Always nice to get a Brees. Future HOFer.
61- Peyton MANNING! Another surefire Hall of Famer. And a great leader.
88- ANDREW LUCK. Manning followed by the guy who replaced him. Great selection. Also, amazing photo.
164- Nick Foles, your Philadelphia Eagles' starting Quarterback.
5. You can get four QBs in a row in a pack. You can't get that in a Topps pack, unless it's truncated by a BS insert.
16- Jacoby Jones. Met him back in March. Commented on my height. Great guy, glad he got so far on Dancing with the Stars.
139- Victor CRUUUUUUUZ! Man, they love this guy in New York.
210- Nate Washington. Four Elite QBs followed by Three Elite WRs. Nice.
111- Lamar Miller.
207- Jake Locker. Still not sold on this guy.
10- Steven Jackson. I'm mixed on Panini not Shopping Jackson into a Falcons uni. True, it's how they did it back in the day, but I'm not 100% there on it.
122- Jared Allen. Hate this guy. Love this photo.
25- Scott Chandler.
172- Sam Bradford, a slumping QB.
6. Not too many people I've never heard of. Topps does cards of bit players and people that are just popping up, which is great if you like a wide range of players, but not so great if you like finding stars in packs.
53- D'Qwell Jackson, a member of the rebuilding-but-still-probably-bound-for-last-place Browns.
251- Jake Locker Airmail.
247- Phillip Rivers Airmail.
7. Inserts are not only included in the base set, but include full stats. This is something Topps would NEVER do. Never in a million years.
393- Logan Ryan Rookie Star.
372- Jasper Collins Rookie Star. Never heard of either, but I like the rookie design.
291- Ben Roethlisberger The Franchise. I like these too.
295- Marshawn Lynch The Franchise.
303- Cam Newton The Franchise, still a great QB.
314- Eric Berry The Franchise. The first three, yeah. Berry, not really a franchise player.
260- Ed Dickson Road to the Super Bowl. These are nice.
8. Keep in mind, that is the first half of the first pack. And that was 26 cards, already more than you'd get in a rack pack of Topps. So another advantage- 52 cards for $5. That is SO MUCH BETTER than Topps. Hell, for Archives, you get 64 cards for $20 dollars, which isn't fair. 52 for $5 is much better.
216- Santana Moss.
62- Demaryius Thomas, who I have a game-used rookie of.
89- Reggie Wayne. He's still going?
165- Ben Roethlisberger.
9. A whole bunch of sideways action shots. I love these. Topps very rarely does these. I mean, they do them, but it's just some guy raising his arms up, or some other guy sitting on the sidelines. These are full on action shots, and I love these.
17- Ray Rice.
140- Brandon Myers.
79- DuJuan Harris. Another Packer I've never heard of.
44- BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Hooray for Law Firm!
174- Lance Kendricks. That is an awesome throwback.
1- John Skelton. I don't love that THIS GUY gets the Hero Card treatment. You could have done Fitzgerald. He's a Cardinal!
144- Mark Sanchez. PFFFFFHAHAHAHAHA!
26- Tarvaris Jackson. An eternal backup.
173- Jared Cook
95- Blaine Gabbert. Why the Jags haven't given up on this guy yet we'll never know.
205- Ronde Barber.
10. Final Tribute Cards. Topps rarely does these the year after players retire. This one for Barber is perfect. Score for Panini.
199- Richard Sherman
105- Tony Moeaki.
250- Josh Freeman Airmail. Other people wouldn't consider that a great Hero Card, but I do.
238- Christian Ponder Airmail. He's lucky the Vikes didn't sign Tebow.
259- Dennis Johnson Star Rookie
374- John Simon Star Rookie
270- Steve Johnson The Franchise.
280- Reggie Wayne The Franchise.
323- Jonathan Dwyer The Franchise.
327- Russell Wilson The Franchise. All except Dwyer fit.
266- Justin Tucker Road to the Super Bowl.
PACK 2. It took THAT LONG to get to Pack 2. This is a good thing.
142- Andre Brown
81- Jermichael Finley. Didn't the Pack release him?
46- Geno Atkins. Will unsurprisingly be overshadowed by another Geno.
186- COLIN KAEPERNICK! The man of the hour!
94- Antoine Bethea
132- Lance Moore.
217- Alfred Morris.
63- Eric Decker. A lot of quick young players to start.
90- T.Y. Hilton
107- Derrick Johnson
184- Antonio Gates
97- Justin Blackmon.
146- Stephen Hill
28- Steve Smith. Yeah, THAT Steve Smith.
175- Chris Givens.
2- Larry Fitzgerald. Should have been #1.
114- Davone Bess
236- Alex Smith AIRMAIL. He's gonna have a lot of work to do this season for Kansas City.
230- Peyton Manning AIRMAIL.
382- Josh Boyce Rookie Stars.
24- Hot Rookies of Knile Davis.
277- Calvin Johnson Jr. The Franchise. Dunno if we needed the Jr. part.
287- Eli Manning The Franchise.
330- Alfred Morris The Franchise. Not necessarily. Try RG3.
307- DaMarco Murray The Franchise. Close.
261- Ray Lewis Road to the Super Bowl. Much better.
187- Michael Crabtree
123- TOM BRADY. Where's Matt Cassel now? Oh yeah...hi, Tebow!
66- Ronnie Hillman.
218- Fred Davis.
64- Willis McGahee.
91- Vick Ballard
167- Antonio Brown
19- Dennis Pitta.
98- Maurice Jones-Drew, the sole reason Jacksonville fans have to leave their houses.
147- Joe McKnight. Okay, I lied, there are some specialists on the checklist.
29- Brandon LaFell.
176- Isaiah Pead. Heheh...Pead.
3- Andre Roberts
115- Ryan Tannehill. Okay, he'll at least do okay.
11- Jacquizz Rodgers
113- Cameron Wake. What a boring wire.
212- Shonn Greene, not yet shopped into a Jets uni.
249- Russell Wilson Airmail.
225- Cam Netwon Airmail
337- Andre Ellington Star Rookie
332- Aaron Mellette Star Rookie. This one's red. Dunno if that means anything.
267- Larry Fitzgerald The Franchise
273- AJ Green The Franchise
301- Torrey Smith The Franchise. No, not really.
310- Randall Cobb The Franchise. Nah.
254- Anquan Boldin Road to the Super Bowl.
11. Small base set. It's like 350 cards. Topps has 500. I like the smaller set.
So in conclusion, those are ELEVEN REASONS why Panini is kicking Topps' ass. Eleven Good Reasons, too. I really hope you take that into consideration when you go for Football Cards.
I just wish someone would give them a baseball license.