Sick Pickups!

The title is true, but not in the douchey overused term that is used way too much in this hobby today.  My whole family was sick, including me.  The wife and baby had the H1N1, aka swine flu and luckily i avoided it.  There has been a minor breakout of this strand of flu in Portland and SW Washington…but i somehow missed out, I guess I’m just strong like that!

The sick pickup part comes in to play with an evening visit to Target to get a few physical mending supplies like juices, fruits and drugs.  I’ve been avoiding retail packs for a while now because of the unlikeliness of getting anything worthwhile.  I ended up buying a few packs just to see what the cards look like, knowing I wouldn’t be happy with any of them.  I guess I was delirious and more than happy to fill my slightly sick body with new shiny football cards.  Here are some fun scans of what i spent my hard earned loot on.

The first pack was Absolute Football from the fine folks over at Panini.  I pulled two QB’s that I have a lot of respect for, even though i can’t stand either of their teams.  The Cowboys dislike should be obvious…they are the hated rivals.

13 AF Tony Romo

The Seahawks one may not be as clear for you.  I find their fans to be a little over the top.  I’ve been to football games in Dallas, Houston, Seattle, New Orleans and DC.  The fans in Seattle are hands down the most belligerent and a little too handsy for my liking.  Plus they act as though they’ve won 3 Super Bowls.  They haven’t, but the Redskins have.  Now, that’s not to take anything away from Wilson.  I think he is great.  I actually love the kid.  He’s modest and works really hard and I believe he is going to become one of the leagues great QB’s.  He’s also an underdog which I always love.

13 AF Russell Wilson

I also managed to pull a serial numbered Phillip Thomas card.

13 PP Phillip Thomas 411:499

Next up is Topps Prime.  The base cards of this set are decent.  I feel that the photos are way too tight on the players and would love to see a full photo of the athletes…maybe that sounds weird if you read it out loud, but I think you know what i mean.  Is it me or is Milliner’s smile a little goofy?

13 TP Rob Gronkowski Dee Milliner

Jordan Reed!  I have the hobby version of this card, now the thinner retail version is in my sole possession.

13 TP Jordan Reed

Ok, so this next card really caught me off guard.  Is this seriously the best photo Topps could get of Matt Ryan?  I have to believe there are at least 15 other photos that could have been used, but they chose this shot.  He’s even staring in to the camera while giving his center the business!  I’m sure Mrs. Ryan is none too happy about the photo immortalized on card stock…at least it’s not a butt fumble card…Mr. Sanchez…

13 TP Matt Ryan

The final pack was PRIZM.  YES!  I loved Prizm last year and I think this years cards are equally as nice.  Love the quality of the card, the texture and photography of them as well.  Target has a small rack pack that came with 3 red parallel cards, and here are two of them.  Both are often injured RB’s.  These red cards have a nice sparkle to them, almost like a disco ball or some fancy pop star sequence…very shimmery when viewed in person.

13 PP Ryan Mathews Red Target Parallel

Spankee, if you like the Wilson…it’s yours.

13 PP David Wilson Red Target Parallel

Here are two more cards.  Michael Vick.  He would look good in the Burgundy and Gold next year as a backup to RGIII and could teach him how to survive in the NFL.  Maybe teach him how to slide too?  Or just run out of bound before being tackled?  #justsayin

13 PP Michael Vick

Kenjon Barner.  Showing this one because he’s a Duck and so am I…sort of.

13 PP Kenjon Barner

The last two cards came from the Prizm pack.  I’m guessing they are not part of any Prizm insert or chase set as they have none of the qualities of Prizm.  BUT, they do have a QR code on the back that takes you to an online video.  Unfortunately Kenny Stills doesn’t explain his hair in the interview which I think is a huge missed opportunity.  Terrance Williams broke my heart this afternoon, but that’s nothing new.

13 PP Kenny Stills Terrance Williams

Box Break: 2012 Panini Crown Royale

Time goes so fast sometimes.  Work deadlines and doing my best job to be a good husband and father, sometimes my hobbies get pushed aside.  It’s all worth it, but sometimes i do like a little me time to open some overpriced packs and look at all the shiny new cards money can buy.

As part of my recent shopping binge of football cards, i ordered a few boxes from Panini and am finally getting around to the last three on the four* box order.  The asterisk will be explained in the next posting…betcha can’t wait, huh?!

Crown Royale unopened

I know i’m probably a little late on some of these, but my thing of late has not been timeliness but rather tardiness.  So i’m going to review a box that has been out for a few weeks now…and they call it Crown Royale, pardon me while i pour some Royal Crowne in my glass…The 4 pack box contains 5 cards each and should apparently only be opened by anybody that is over the age 9.  The base set consists of 285 cards that contain 150 commons, 100 rookies and 35 rookie silhouettes.  I guess that’s great news if you are in to that sort of thing…collecting this set isn’t for me though.  I’m only looking for a good set of hits (wordplay!)  As i type, i’m looking at the underside of the box and seeing some crazy amounts of insert series.  Blue. Silver. Red. Rookies. Legends…and for some reason, Purple.  I’m not one to judge, only observe.  With that off my chest, here is my review of the 2012 Crown Royale cards from Panini.

Card Design – 3.5 of 5

I’ve always been enamored with die cut cards and the Crown Royale brand has been out for quite a few years now, but this is my first ever box of these guys.  The first thing i notice is how freakin awkward it is sorting through them out of the pack!  They were slipping through my fingers and sliding down my hand…crazy.  As most collectors do, i attempt to be extremely cautious with the cards from the get go, but when they are sliding all over the place, makes it a little difficult…especially when you toss in a random ‘normal’ card.  No cards were dropped though, so no harm no foul.  Although the cards are initially attractive to me, upon further review i find them a little odd.  I think the crown is just too much of a visual distraction that player gets lost in the card.  Not to mention, die cuts always present their own issues with dinged corners and such.  Nice cards, but not my cup of bourbon.

P4 Ray Lewis

Photography – 3.5 of 5

Panini always seems to have great photos for their cards and do a fantastic job of focusing on the player that the card is for.  My biggest complaint though is that all of these phenomenal athletes have been disembowled from their waist down, even Ray Lewis could get Jesus to bail him out on this one…but seriously…i understand that most of the cards are landscape oriented and it demands these types of photos to make the concept work, but even the portrait cards have chopped waists.  All i’m saying is that i really love legs and feet, but that’s something i need to deal with at another time…on my own.  Is anyone else disturbed by the veins in Andre Johnson’s arms?

P1 Andre Johnson Majestic Motion

Hits – 4.5 of 5

This is tough for me, and I realize that this is the case with all sets but if you don’t like the hits you get you probably won’t like the hits.  I didn’t pull anyone I really care about, so i need to be objective about this one.  The hits with the product are really nice.  They are nice and clean.  All of the guys i pulled were rookies, so not much to complain about there.  The Ronnie Hillman card is pretty spectacular with the multi color patch and autograph.  As with the majority of product out there, the autos are not on card, at least the ones i pulled.  Normally i don’t have an issue with this as i understand these guys are busy and it’s significantly easier to have the players sign sheets of stickers rather than single cards.  BUT when you get guys signing off the sticker like the Janoris Jenkins card it’s a little disheartening and a sad sight for such a beautiful card.  I also take issue with the placement of the auto sticker on the Ronnie Hillman card…it’s a little sloppy for an mid tier product.  All together though, the hits are nice…just would have been nice if one was a Redskin…just saying.  Alfred Morris or Kirk Cousins would have been nice…or an RGIII!

David Wilson Rookie Royalty 93 of 149

P4 David Wilson Jersey Rookie Royalty1

Janoris Jenkins 6 of 25

P3 Janoris Jenkins Auto 6:25

Quinton Coples 14 of 25

P1 Quintin Couples Auto 14:25

Ronnie Hillman 345 of 349

P2 Ronnie Hillman Auto Patch 345:349

Review

As a complete product i don’t have too much to complain about.  Most of my input is based on personal preference rather than flaws in the product.  I do like the cards and getting 4 packs to open with nice hits was a lot of fun to open.  I enjoy the single pack boxes, but it’s always nice to have a couple chances for a real BIG hit…always hold out hope as we do with this hobby.  The next pack could be the big one!  I can’t see buying another box of Crown Royale this year unless i get a great deal on a box, but I wold definitely look to pick one up next year assuming the budget can handle this product.  Another nice job by Panini. -HTTR!