Box Break: 2013 Topps Magic Football

It’s been a while since i’ve picked up a box of cards.  I have been doing my best to stay away from boxes of cards unless I plan to put the set together since I have terrible luck with the ‘hits’.  I’m not a hit chaser and don’t plan to be one either…but I do love opening packs of cards.  It takes me back to being a happy go lucky kid with $5 in my pocket riding my bike to the Stop’n Go for a few packs of 1986 Topps or Garbage Pail Kids and tall bottle of coke…man, those were the days.  Back when $5 could get you way more than 8 cards to a pack.

As you can see from the title, the box is Magic Football from this year.  Unlike the last couple of years, the rookie class isn’t too exciting…but I love this brand and here we go!

Card Design: 3.5 of 5

Just like the past couple of years, the base card design is pretty simple.

13 TM Josh Gordon

Topps does it’s best to give these cards a sort of retro look with the banner and stars.  Nobody really does that anymore, do they?  seems like a throwback to the 50’s.  I’ve always felt like Magic is Topps version of Heritage for football, minus the copying of vintage designs.  Instead of copying them verbatim, they take bits and pieces of the cards to create a ‘new throwback’ look, which i love.

13 TM Marshawn Lynch

I also like that they used a good solid card stock with no glossy finish.  I’m kind of old school like that.  The glossy cards are great and have a time and place, but i really enjoy a card that isn’t slippery or covered with texture.  Just some nice smooth cardboard with a little friction.  Such a weird comment…

Photography: 4 of 5

Photography, yes, photography.  The photos are highly over processed and in most cases i despise this.  Technology is a great thing, but a heavy hand can ruin a great photo.

13 TM Josh Freeman

I was quite impressed that Topps was able to get a photo (almost looks photoshopped, eh?) of Josh Freeman’s short lived stint with the Vikings (is he coming back to the Vikings next year?) As i’ve mentioned in previous posts, I enjoy photography and my wife is a professional photographer, so we have our fair share of HDR imagery discussion in our home.  Fun huh?

13 TM Jawan Jamison

This fairly new form of photo processing is everywhere now and definitely has its place…and I think sports card photography is that place.

13 TM Alfred Morris

The photos on these cards always look really sharp and you can see a lot of texture and depth on each card…i guess for some, this may make up for the lack of glossy-ness.

Look at that smile!  And those Tattoos!

13 TM Brandon Jenkins

Look at those crazy eyes!  And that old school mesh jersey top!

13 TM Roger Craig

Hits: 3 of 5

As i’ve mentioned, I do not by boxes for the hits.  I am not that type of collector.  Magic does offer three autographs in their boxes along with the occasional relic or memorabilia card.  The autographs are stickers though…ugh stickers…better than redemptions, but man an on card autograph is so great!  Since the rookie class wasn’t too stellar this year, the autographs weren’t that stellar either.

Brandon Myers – New York Giants

13 TM Brandon Myers Autograph

Kayvon Webster – Denver Broncos

13 TM Kayvon Webster Autograph

Khaseem Greene – Chicago Bears

13 TM Khaseem Greene Autograph

Magic is owned by Topps, so they fill your box up with little hits and parallels and a whole bunch of other shit that makes collectors want to collect things they don’t really want to collect.  Like some micro cards with Drew Brees and Arian Foster on them.

13 TM Brees Foster 1948 Minis

or how about some receiver action with Cal bookends of Keenan Allen and DeSean Jackson sandwiching Anquan Boldin from the base white mini.

13 TM Allen Bolden Jackson Mini

How about some green border minis with these three dudes.

13 TM Hunt Wheaton Holmes Green Border Mini

Or what about these black border minis!

13 TM Gates LaFell Black Border Mini

and a Hall of Famer Blue Border mini!

13 TM Andre Reed Blue Border Mini

I could have done without these groovy Aerial Attack inserts…but my wife loves Cam, so here honey.

13 TM Cam Newton Aerial Attack

The colors on this thing…holy crap…ho-lee-crap.

13 TM Adrian Peterson Ground and Pound

The Rookie Enchantments are back, but aren’t that enchanting.

13 TM Mike Glennon Rookie Enchantment

Markus Wheaton for all of you Steeler fans out there.

13 TM Markus Wheaton Rookie Enchantment

and a Cordarelle Patterson card.

13 TM Cordarelle Patterson Rookie Enchantment

Desmond Trufant, a man that Steve Smith respects.

13 TM Desmond Trufant Rookie Enchantment

Review

All in all, i love the cards.  I was really hoping to put together a set, but after seeing the 330 card set checklist and heavy dose of SP cards i’m not sure that’s gonna happen.  I need to think about it.  My collection is a bit chaotic right now and this won’t help with the chaos.  I really wish Topps went a little lighter on the SP’s.  A box of these guys won’t set you back too much, but if you plan on putting the set together you could be dropping well over $100 on this set and i’m not sure that’s worth it for this group of cards.

13 TM Jordan Reed

and a MINI!

13 TM Jordan Reed Mini

Bacarri Rambo…the best name ever.

13 TM Bacarri Rambo

Hope you enjoyed the review…my pack breakdown for 2014 Topps will be up soon.  I’m waiting for everyone else to release theirs before I put my thoughts out there.  🙂

Panini Redemption, a story.

Just like you, I hate redemption cards.  Why?  Well, let me tell you a story…

On June 17th of 2012 i purchased a box of Panini Rookie Signatures from my local card shop, The Sports Room.  When i opened the box in front of Rick he quickly noticed my disappointment in the cards i pulled, and of course the freakin 80pt white card with a scratch off code.  I pulled a redemption card, which meant I didn’t get my full hit on the small box of cards i purchased.  Not to mention it was of Dre Kirkpatrick, the Bengals (then) rookie cornerback.  Nothing against Dre, i’m sure he’s a wonderful kid with a great family and loving parents but i’m not super excited about a Bengals CB.  Now, if it was Dr. Dre, that would be a different story, sign me up for that auto.  No big deal though, i’ll post it to ebay when i get the card back…if, i get the card back.

As time slowly dragged on I began to wonder if i would ever get my Dre card in the mail.

Dre Day never came.  But there will always be this.

A few months later, and by a few months later, i mean 10 of them, I stopped back in to Ricks’ shop.  He asked me if I ever received my redemption card and I told him, ‘nope!’  He then informed me that i should give them a call and ask for my card, or better yet, ask for a Redskin.  I thought he was crazy, you mean I can actually ask for my own redemption card!  WONDERFUL!!  Not wanting to talk to someone over the phone (if you knew me, this would make sense…) i sent them an email.  A wonderfully worded email of course that very politely asked for a replacement card of Washington Redskin…an RGIII would be great.  That was on April 8th of this year.  This is when i got the ‘players schedule crap and being busy…’ blah blah blah.  I get it.  These guys are professional athletes and can’t be bothered half the time.  The thing is, if you don’t have an autograph session with them locked up, don’t put them in your packs and boxes!

Anyways, more time flies by and so i decide to give them a call.  Scary.  I very politely ask for a Redskin card and they oblige.  I get an email that my Phillip Thomas Spectrum Autograph is on its way!

AWESOME!  HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! #HTTR

I start tracking the card, excited to write a post about the card and whattayaknow?  The card is sent to freakin Ohio.  Ohio!  Who the hell lives in Ohio…Westernville, Ohio?  Who lives there?  Seriously, who?  Not me.  This kid lives in Portland F****N Oregon.  There is a shirt that says that.  Ok, time for some more phone calls and emails over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Then today, after 512 days from the initial purchase.  I am the proud owner of a shiny, non serial numbered sticker autographed rainbow-y Phillip Thomas Rookie Card.  Nice.  I am happy.  All good things come to those who can wait…and wait…and wait…

13 PP Phillip Thomas Extra Points Auto Spectrum F

Most of you may not know this, but Phillip Thomas caught a lisfranc injury this preseason and was placed on injured reserve before the season started.  The whole lisfranc injury is interesting to me.  It sounds so harmless, like it was named after some sweet old lady that fell down the stairs to her root cellar and got a small fracture on foot.  “OH NO, I LISFRANCED MYSELF!

13 PP Phillip Thomas Extra Points Auto Spectrum B

This got me wondering’ as i tend to do, my mind floats off into multiple tangents.  So i wiki’d the Lisfranc injury and it sounds painful as hell.  But wait, it gets better.  Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin was a pioneering gynecologist.  I guess if you get a foot injury named after you and your daily task is to study vaginas, that’s pretty pioneering…or possibly just weird?  He also removed rectums and amputated cervixes, so there’s that…jack of all trades i guess.

good night.

the PDX Fantasy Draft

Hey kids, big draft tonight in the PDX Fantasy League.  Wish me luck.  The wife wants me to go RG3 for the 6th pick.  Not sure i have it in me to do that…but we will see…:)

-HTTR

1st pick (6) – LeSean McCoy RB…I love this pick, this is the guy I wanted but wasn’t sure he would make it to pick 6.

2nd pick (23) – Robert Griffin III QB…ok, this is really the guy i wanted but couldn’t justify taking him in the first round, kind of wished i had waited until the 3rd, but i wasn’t sure he would make it that far.  Might have been a reach in this league at 23.

3rd pick (34) – Jimmy Graham TE…got a top ranked TE and i love the guy.  plus he doesn’t seem like the murdering type.

4th pick (51) – Montee Ball RB…this is a gamble, i don’t know much about the kid and i know the Broncos have a litany of running backs, plus Peyton likes to throw TD’s, not hand them off.

5th pick (62) – Pierre Garcon WR…love getting Garcon in the 5th.  Hope he can stay healthy and have another great year.

6th pick (79) – Anquan Boldin WR…i was thinking with all of the injuries, i couldn’t go wrong with Boldin, not to mention he is a great receiver of balls to the hands.

7th pick (90) – Seahawks DEF/ST…ok, this was a huge reach.  i’ve never taken a defense this high before.  the only reason i went for it was because of the junk that was still out there…that i didn’t want to mess with.  so i decided i would go for the #1 defense and see what happens.

8th pick (107) – Alshon Jeffery WR…lots of upside here, hope it pans out.

9th pick (118) – Kendall Wright WR…lots of upside here, hope it pans out…and that Locker can get him the ball.

10th pick (135) – Roy Helu RB…I’ve loved Helu since his rookie year, hope he can bounce back from the achilles last year.  he’s looked great so far, the only problem is how many touches will he get?

11th pick (146) – Mohamed Sanu WR…ever since he threw a bomb of a touchdown against my Redskins, i’ve kind of been following this kid.

12th pick (163) – Josh Brown K…i always wait until the very end to pick up a kicker and drop them as soon as they have a bye week.  kickers get no love from me.

All in all, i am really happy with my draft and feel pretty confident.  I’m a little thin at RB which i am every season…so we will see!

2013 Topps S2 – Packs 3 and 4

For the first couple of cards, I’m going to stick with the twofers…and it goes a little something like this, HIT IT!

As usual, I’m late for the bus on this one.  I just wanted to add my two cents on the whole celebration card that Topps seems to be putting out more and more each season.  I like the concept, and sometimes it works brilliantly as it does with the Francisco Cervelli card.  Then there are other times when it doesn’t work well, like this Derek Norris card.  It’s more of an Oakland A’s team card and I fully expected to see some team leader stats on the back of the piece of card stock.  If the camera man was a couple of inches to the right, nobody would know who this card is for, including the wonderful mlb-baby-making parents of Mr. Norris!  I would have thought it was for Reddick or that little dude squatting in the middle of the card.  Get it together Topps!

13 T Francisco Cervelli Derek Norris

Here are a couple more celebration cards.  Am I the only one that thinks Homer Bailey and Christian Bale are twins lost at birth?  Maybe they should be doing those cheesy State Farm Chris Paul commercials.  This is a good example of a celebration card.  You can see his Batman looking face and yet, he is still sharing a personal moment with Chris Heisey after his no-no last year.  The Ryan Ludwick card on the other hand is all kinds of terrible.  Not only is his face nowhere to be seen, his nameplate on the back is blurry!!!  At the very least this should have been a Jay Bruce card because his unbridled enthusiasm is…unbridled (first time using that word on the blog and i drop it twice!).

13 T Homer Bailey Ryan Ludwick

Alright, enough whining.  These making their mark cards are nice and the player selection is great.  I love that they went with the young future superstars for this subset.  Both of these guys are great players…and I kind of have a baseball crush on Manny Machado…the kid is all kinds of awesome.  I’m no Orioles fan and have no idea when he will make the move to short, if ever, but he is going to become their rock for the next 10-15 years like Jeter has been for the Yankees.

13 T Manny Machado Yoenis Cespedes Making their Mark

Bryce Harper.  Stud.  Kind of want to do a player collection of him.  I think this kid is great and i’m sure i’ve mentioned it here before, but I would love for Bryce to be my sons favorite ballplayer.  If everyone played all out each play like he did, the game would be so much more fun to watch day in and day out.

13 T Bryce Harper Chase it Down

Here is a nice little cut to the chase Ernie Banks card.  You can’t ever go wrong with Mr. Banks and some die cut action.

13 T Ernie Banks Cut to the Chase

Last card for the night was my autograph hit from the box.  Alex Cobb chasing history.  I’m going to chase some whiskey with a little sleep.  Goodnight collectors of the internets.

13 T Alex Cobb Chasing History Auto

 

Road Trip Packs II

The next pack along the road was actually a blaster of 2013 Leaf Draft from Wal-Mart.  Purchased at 12:30am.  This was actually the first group of cards I purchased on the trip and were picked up on a midnight run for ‘snacks’…plus I was really curious what type of Wal-Martians I could find around 1am on a Friday night…and just like the box of cards, the Wal-Martians were just ok.

This is a product I buy a few packs of each year in hopes of getting the Redskins draft picks…the value of these cards is minimal and the quality of them is about the same, but if you like a specific college or NFL team, it’s nice to get the players first (or last) card depending on your perspective.  I’ve never picked up a blaster box of these guys before, so I’m not sure if this is typical, but the package came with 2 autographs in top loaders and placed in a team bag.  I thought that was pretty cool.  No need to open any packs to see what your hits were.  They were just there!  I also thought it was pretty cool that Leaf managed to package them so nicely to keep them in as close to mint condition as possible.

The first auto was Markus Wheaton.  A receiver from Oregon State who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round.  Not a bad auto considering what else I could have pulled.

13 LD Markus Wheaton AutographThe second auto was of Sean Porter, whom quite ironically is from Schertz, Texas and went to Samuel Clemens.  The box of cards was purchased in little ol’ Schertz, Texas.  Porter is an A&M product and played Linebacker during his four year career.  He was drafted in the fourth round by the Cincinnati Bengals.

13 LD Sean Porter Autograph

Next up are the Redskins players.

Jordan Reed TE – 3rd round from Florida.  Early reports from the couple of practices he participated in were really high on this kid.  It sounds like he can become a big time playmaker at Tight End and hopefully compliment Fred Davis for years to come.

13 LD Jordan Reed

Brandon Jenkins DE – 5th round from Florida State.  When healthy, he was pretty much a beast at FSU and could have gone much earlier had he indeed been healthy.  If Jenkins is able to rebound, he should be a nice compliment to Orakpo and Kerrigan next year and hopefully the next 5 years.

13 LD Brandon Jenkins

Jawan Jamison RB – 7th round from Rutgers.  Mike Shanahan has a way of hitting on running backs.  Here’s hoping Jamison can be another one. He too was injured but has a huge upside…but injuries tend to derail the greatest of athletes, especially if they limit opportunities in practice and games.

13 LD Jawan Jamison

Although the cards were not that impressive, I was pretty happy with what i pulled.  If anyone out there has a desire to trade for the autos, please let me know…could be nice for a Bengals or Steelers collector!

Panini Limited: Revisited

So, I couldn’t help myself.  Dave and Adam’s Cardworld had a great deal on their 2012 Limited boxes so i picked up one more.  That made three total, as i bought one direct from Panini and somehow received an extra box from them.

12 PL Andy Dalton 383:399

I really liked the cards initially and thought i’d give it another go.  I was pleased with this box as it yielded some nice new cards for me, although nothing to add to my PC.

12 PL Steven Jackson 326:399

The design of this set has been one of my favorites, next to the Prime Signatures by Panini this year.

12 PL Juron Criner 73:299

Look at this guy, Jim Otto.  I’m sure this legend is super proud of this card too.

12 PL Jim Otto 337:349

The hits were nice, two autographs from two young and talented players along with a gigantic jumbo patch of LaMichael James, with the safety strip at the lower left corner.

12 PL Dont'a Hightower Auto 10:25

12 PL LaMichael James Jumbo Patch 37:99Alshon Jeffery is going to be a beast, look at his intensity!  This card should be blown up, framed and hung up on a wall next to my degree.

12 PL Alshon Jeffery Membership Auto 61:99

Box Break: 2012 Panini Absolute Football

I am way behind on reviewing some of the boxes I have opened in the past few months, mostly focusing on cards that i’ve picked up at card shows.  I have a few lined up, so here is the first one.  Panini Absolute Football.

Like most of Panini’s cards now, you can buy a retail version and a hobby version but the quality is quite different.  As a set collector this would drive me insane, but since i don’t plan on putting this set together, it’s no worries to me.  I do think this is a great way to differentiate between a hobby card and something you can pick up at Target, good for the hobby and collectors in my opinion, but allows the fringe collectors to afford different brands of cards.

12 PA Santana Moss

Card Design – 4 of 5

The base card for Absolute is pretty clean.  Photo of the player on the front along with his name and position as well as the team name along the bottom.  The greatness of these cards for me is the vertical gradation in the colors from left to right, or right to left depending on your culture.  The gradation gives them a nice light show or a cardboard Pink Floyd laser show look to the card.  Groovy.

12 PA Aaron Hernandez

The one thing i’m not liking about these cards is the card stock.  Seems really thin for the amount of money these guys cost.  I also wasn’t crazy about the overall packaging by Panini.  You get the display box, and a pack box…with a cello wrapped cards inside.  That’s quite a bit of packaging for a box of cards, wouldn’t you agree?

12 PA Ray Lewis

Living in the Pacific NW, all the extra wrapping is heavily frowned upon.  Yes, we are those people that bring their bags to the grocery store and ride our bikes to work in the rain.  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Photography – 4 of 5

Panini has the waist up photos locked down.  They do a great job of focusing on the player, allowing them to take up most of the photo space available on the card.  All the cards i’ve seen appear to be game action photos and give you a good view of their eyes.  No over processing or out of control editing for these cards either.  Another good job by Panini.

12 PA Frank Gore

Hits – 4 of 5

No Redskin hits here, but when you get any card autographed and numbered to 10 it’s a good thing, and it’s an even greater thing when that player is AJ Green.  This may be one of the best hits i’ve had in a long while.  It is a sticker auto, but i will let that slide for a perennial pro bowler card numbered to 10!  Not really a Bengals fan or an AJ collector, but the guy has proven to be a beast in his first couple of seasons.

12 PA AJ Green Spectrum Auto 3:10

The other hits were fairly nice as well.  Brandon Weeden came through with a nice looking jersey card but he looks completely unimpressed in this photo…or thoroughly confused, you be the judge?

12 PA Brandon Weeden War Room Jersey 4:49

I Like the Terrance Ganaway autograph, it has a nice flair to it.  The card itself has a ton of great color in person and is very attractive (much better than the scan!)

12 PA Terrance Ganaway Spectrum Auto 46:299

Review

I was pretty happy with the box i received.  Nice hits and i really love the design of these cards.  If i have a few extra bucks to spend on cards laying around next year, i can see myself picking up a box for 2013.  Although, with my desire to spend less on boxes and packs I doubt i can justify the cost for the value.

12 PA Vick Ballard 215:399

Opening each pack was cool, although i think it was a bit excessive packaging.  It was nice that i could open one or two as i wanted, can’t have everything i guess.  I think Panini can do a better job of their future packaging.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.