Monday, September 15, 2014

Box Break: 2014 Panini Elite Football


..hey guys!

...I think we've got a good one!

Last Year, I broke a box of Elite, and was very, very impressed. Not just with the base set. I was impressed with the EFFORT. Panini could have brought back a treasured Donruss product and severely screwed it up. They could have totally mailed it in. But they didn't. They made it exactly like what an Elite set would be like if Donruss was still making it.

My mystery contact heard I liked Elite. They gave me another box. How very, very kind of them.

20 packs. 5 cards for pack. Relics should be abound.

Pack One. No real star power, save for maybe Schaub. The silly thing is they gave Schaub a new uniform, while Jared Allen's still in his old uniform with a new team next to his name.

You get to see the base set here, and I'll be honest in saying I don't like it as much as last year's. It's still pretty sleek though, and does have the kind of Elite quality, or at least a 2004-2005 Elite quality. Maybe it'll grow on me.

Antonio Brown is our insert here, which is an Elite Series insert. They look pretty cool. Nice use of color and foil.

Pack Two- Cam Newton and Drew Brees are the stars here. I rather wish I didn't pull the second from the left, especially this week.

Two packs, two Steelers inserts. This one's a rookie parallel of Dre Archer, numbered to 299, I believe.

Pack Three. Jackson, Wayne and Bush are all really nice pulls, though Jackson missed the meeting where the other three decided to lean to their right.

This is a Face 2 Face insert. Tony Romo and Eli Manning are indeed in a division standoff. Not exactly sure if it's going to be one that matters this season, but oh well.

Pack Four: Wow, this is cool. The two teams who played in Super Bowl I on the left. The two who played in the last Super Bowl on the right. Kind of cool. Lacy is also a very nice pull, as is Manning.

...this is one of the coolest inserts I've ever pulled. Even if it's of Gronk. I do not care. This card is literally transparent. And it's a freaking brick.

You can see my stacks of cards from through this card. It is that clear.

...only sucky part is that I can't fit it into a binder page very easily.

Pack 5- Boldin, Brown and Welker are all great pulls. Welker also didn't get the 'lean to the left' memo. I understand, it may have to do with his suspension.

This is another cool insert set, Legends of the Fall, and here's a black-and-white Vincent Jackson.

Hang on...there's something else in this pack...

This is a game-used card of A.J. McCarron, who was a pretty big deal in college ball, now the backup QB for the Bengals. That's a pretty good cut of jersey, first of all. I like that. Second of all, it looks like McCarron's going to be their Matt Barkely this season, basically taking a bench job for shoulder soreness, and because the Bengals seem to think that Jason Campbell is a good idea for a backup. I hope he gets playing time somewhere.

Pack Six: Marshall, Ivory, Smith and Gronk are all really good pulls. Ivory especially, after his awesome Sunday.

Passing the Torch is a returning insert set from last year. On the front is the legend, in this case Marshall Faulk...
And on the back is the guy they're comparing him to, in this case Zac Stacy. Good concept, decent enough execution.

Pack 7: Luck, Tannehill and Jones are the highlights here. Julio Jones must have lost his ball.

Our insert is an Elite Series of Colin Kaepernick. Hopefully he'll have another nice season.

Pack 8- Murray and Fitzgerald are the stars here.

Our parallel is a Michael Campanero, numbered to...I believe 999? I can't see that far in.
This is a Turn of the Century parallel, and those are #d to 199. Deone Bucannon is our guy here.

Pack 9- Jordy Nelson is really the only standout here, as the other three aren't household names. Then again, neither really is Jordy. Unless it's my household, I guess.

Face 2 Face insert of Steve Smith and Aqib Talib. And yet evidently Smith was good enough to warrant the photoshop job, while Talib wasn't.

Pack 10- Ooh, good, they decided to piss me off and throw a Redskins uniform on DeSean. Man, Panini is just trying to piss me off, aren't they.

This is another Turn of the Century insert of Steve Johnson, who missed the cutoff for a Photoshop job. Numbered to 199. Pretty nice, I think. more card in the pack... golly, is this a relic of someone I've actually heard of???

...someone from a team that doesn't piss me off?

Someone that's actually a really nice player??

This is a Gridiron Kings relic of Derrick Johnson. Even better, that is a big 'ol red swatch of jersey, which is a nice one. Johnson is sadly injured right now, but he's a great player, and this is a nice pull, especially considering the rookies I usually end up pulling from this.

Pack 11- Wow, this is a really nice one. Two of the greats of the league...and two players whose rookie cards were really big in 2010.

Speaking of Calvin Johnson, here he is again, on a Face 2 Face insert...with a guy he's not even in the same division as. Ah well, at least the thought was there.

Pack 12- Jimmy Graham and AJ Green are the heavy hitters here.

What box I open wouldn't be complete without me pulling a numbered card of a Cowboy. Jeez, they must get tons of Eagles hits down in Dallas.

Pack 13 features two of my favorite Philadelphia Eagles, and one of my favorite former Packers. THAT is how you rebound from a Cowboys relic.

And there's a Legends of the Fall insert of Mike Wallace, who seems to have found his footing in Miami.

...This is relatively nice, I guess. Chris Smith of the Jags auto. You know, this would be a lot nicer if they didn't just cut the guy a few hours ago. Man, it's like they were waiting for me to write the post in order to cut him. Man.

Pack 14- Doug Martin is the headliner here.

FINALLY we get an ON-CARD AUTO! That's very nice. I appreciate when Panini has on-card autos. This guy is supposedly going to be used as a WR/RB hybrid for Kansas City, which sort of bodes well. He's also hurt this week, but he's expected to get playing time. Cool. Man, my only good hits in this box have been Chiefs.

Pack 15- Foster and Charles are the biggest stars here. Again, this set is pretty nice, as the photos are crisp.

Well, there goes all my shit-talking. I finally got an insert card of one of my favorite players, Shady McCoy. Well done, Panini.

Pack 16- There are three Quarterbacks on this page. Only two of them are any good.

Our passing the torch insert is of Drew Brees. I believe Peyton Manning is on the back. I forgot to scan the back.

Pack 17- Dalton, McFadden and Colston are all great.

Face 2 Face of Marshawn Lynch and NaVarro Bowman. My, that's quite a coincidence. You see, these two guys actually pl...nevermind, it's too meta.

Pack 18- Manuel and Cruz are great. Moreno just got hurt.

This is another really awesome insert of Cam Newton, it's a Profiles insert. The helmet portion has been stamped out like a netting. It's really, really cool.

Pack 19- Two of the best QBs in the game right now in the same pack. That's not to say Bowe and Austin aren't also awesome.

Here's a Legends of the Fall insert of Peyton Manning, one of the best Quarterbacks of my generation.

Pack 20- Johnson and Sherman should be the bigger names here.

This is an Aspirations die-cut parallel of Julio Jones, numbered to 89, which is a pretty nice pull.

Overall: Not as good as the 2013 release, but I was still very impressed. Very well done, Panini. This box made me regain my respect for you.

Grade: B

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