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.  🙂

Road Trip Packs III – The end of the Trilogy.

The second day of driving was great, we finally got out of Texas.  Anyone that has had to drive from one end of Texas to another knows that this takes a total commitment in patience and perserverance…long stretches of nothingness and not a whole lot of beauty along the way unless you like the color brown.

Our second stop was Montrose, Colorado which didn’t have a Wal Mart or Target close by and frankly I was really exhausted from the day of driving…so I didn’t pick anything up that night.  Our third day of driving took us through the remainder of Colorado, Utah and we stopped in Twin Falls, Idaho.  I’ve never been to Utah or Idaho and would definitely love to go back for a visit sometime and see all the beautiful rock formations and landscapes…that will be a road trip for the future and a great way to have some family time during the summer.  By the way, if anyone has stayed in Twin Falls, Idaho I would love to know more about the town.  It seemed like a really great place as we sort of passed through.  The gorge with the waterfalls was quite amazing…and the golf courses looked like they would be great to play.

Enough about non card things.  After we checked in I located the nearest Wal Mart and strolled in around 11:30 and picked up a couple more packs of Topps Archives Football and some Archives Baseball.

Archives is doing some tall boys for the baseball version and this guy is becoming a very very special player.  Not the best photo ever of him, but the card design is cool and classic.  Glad to see Miggy  get his career and hopefully his life straight after the DUI a couple of years ago…always room for redemption.

13 TA Miguel Cabrera Mini

Pablo is way too big, like scary big.  When his career winds down, he’s going to have some serious health issues with his ballooning weight.  Look at that guy busting the bottom button loose…and that face!  Obesity in America is a serious thing and seriously needs to be addressed.  I hope the Giants are hooking this kid up with a nutritionist and a 24 hour personal trainer.  That much weight is bad for the joints and not to mention his heart.  Let’s get fit America!

13 TA Pablo Sandoval

The Griff card is pretty amazing.  Look into those youthful eyes.  So much hope and promise in that young face.  Griffey was never one of my favorite players, but I always loved the way he played.  Now living in the Northwest, his importance to the game and the way he played is magnified, especially with the constant PED issues the MLB has had the past several years.  I LOVE THIS CARD.

13 TA Ken Griffey Jr

I also LOVE THIS CARD.  I would have been happy with the die cut…but now i get a transparent “stained glass” card!  I guess these cards were issued at a time when I wasn’t collecting so therefore I have no recollection of them…but they are awesome.  Love that Topps has included them in the set this year.

13 TA Roberto Clemente Gallery of Heroes

Now for the Football version of Archives.  The first card out of the pack was this Adrian Peterson in the 1985 Topps version.  I’ve said many times here that this is one of my all time favorite sets, along with the 1986 Topps baseball…it’s probably the black border thing and the superfonts.  AP came back nicely from his ACL tear, here’s hoping RG3 can do the same…or better! – HTTR!

13 TA Adrian Peterson

I also pulled this Arian Foster.  Loved that two of the prominent running backs were in the ’85 Topps version.

13 TA Arian Foster

There was also this nice looking Gronk mini card.  Wonder if he still hangs out with BiBi?

13 TA Rob Gronkowski Mini

Last up.  This little gem.  A Cornelius Bennett auto.  The autograph is pretty sweet and you can never go wrong with an autograph from a great NFL Linebacker that played in 4 Super Bowls.

13 TA Cornelius Bennett Autograph

 

Box Break: 2012 Panini Prizm

Prizm has had a huge impact on the hobby this year starting with the basketball version, to football and now to baseball.  I picked up the football box a while ago and am just now getting around to reviewing it.  Spoiler alert, i really liked what i saw.

My favorite part of the box is that the cover image of RG3 was removable and created a nice box topper, top box-er of sorts.

12 PP Robert Griffin III Box Cover

Card Design – 5 of 5

The cards for this set are awesome.  Panini did a great job of bringing in the shininess that we like and adding in some texture as well.  The cards have a feel of something from the future and the future is really cool…and shiny.  Everything pops in the card and has a great thickness with the card stock used.

12 PP Andrew Luck Rookie

Photography – 5 of 5

Each image appears to jump out of the card.  The players blend in and out of the border of the card and each picture has a bit of a 3D affect to them.  Again, there is minimal processing and a very high image quality.  The best part for me is the slight recess that traces the border of the player putting the focus on their intensity and emotion.

12 PP Jarius Wright Rookie

Hits – 3 of 5

The hits for me were terrible, but hey, the base cards are great and I don’t think you buy this brand for the hits.  You buy them for the quality of card along with the strong visual and textural quality of each card.  There were a couple of nice inserts in the box that offered a wide variety of players from Page to Peyton.

12 PP Peyton Manning Brilliance Alan Page Dec Dom

The Luke Kuechly auto is really cool and he seems to be one of the next great linebackers in the NFL.

12 PP Luke Kuechly Rookie Auto 201:299

There was a redemption

12 PP Isaiah Pead Auto Redemption

and there was a parallel die cut

12 PP Stephen Hill Rookie Red

Review

This is a great product and something i will be picking up next year.  I’m not a fan of the baseball version since i can’t get over the lack of logos or photoshopped hats and jerseys.  The quantity and quality of cards was great and i was able to get some of the base Redskins cards in my box.

12 PP Fred Davis Pierre Garcon 12 PP Brian Orakpo London Fletcher

One Dollar and Five Cents Pt. III: QB Carousel

I stopped by Marv’s table over the weekend to go through his nickel box of football cards and ended up buying 100 cards for a whopping $4.  Thanks for the deal Marv!

As I was going through the cards, i kept pulling QB’s and thinking to myself…’what in the hell is going on here!’  I’ve seen the charts and understand the numbers of QB’s that the Redskins have had since their last Super Bowl winning QB, Mark Rypien…but DAMN!  To see it through a card collector’s eyes was a little overwhelming and as a fan, quite disappointing.  It’s no wonder why the Redskins have had so little success in the past 20+ seasons.  I realize it doesn’t begin and end with the QB, but that’s one major part of the ‘Why’.

Here’s one group starting with Rypien.  Shuler…ugghhh…and Frerotte.  Gus actually had a pretty good NFL career and saw some success with the Minnesota Vikings as well as the Redskins.  Just not enough to be a franchise QB

00 Mark Rypien Heath Shuler Gus Frerotte

The next group included Brad Johnson.  He had varying degrees of success before and after his Redskins career and nearly got the Redskins to the NFC Championship game in 1999…but not close enough.  Jeff George was a freaking disaster and appeared visibly unaffected by his inability to complete a pass to one of his teammates.  Todd Husak…i don’t even remember him…

00 Brad Johnson Jeff George Todd Husak

Now for the really dark days.  Sage Rosenfels never got a start for the Redskins and i’m not sure if he had any games played in the NFL and I don’t really care to look it up.  Patrick Ramsey.  The poor kid.  I was really excited when the Redskins drafted him and thought he could be a franchise QB…unfortunately, the team around him, especially the O Line was terrible and he got knocked around like a punching bag which hindered his career as it would anyone.  Tim Hasselbeck.  The thing i know about him is that he’s one of the generalist talking heads at ESPN and his wife is quite obnoxious, although cute, but still obnoxious.

00 Sage Rosenfels Patrick Ramsey Tim Hasselbeck

Brighter days are ahead with this next group.  Brunell led the Redskins to the playoffs in 2005, well not really because he was terrible and could barely complete a pass.  That team made the playoff because of the defense and the running of Clinton Portis.  Insert Jason Campbell.  I really, really thought he would be the guy and was extremely excited about him starting at QB.  But, similar to Ramsey, he was in a very unstable environment which ended up stunting his growth.  You can’t expect a guy to learn a new offense every season of his career and have any ounce of success.  He has bounced around the past few years and never really gotten a fair shot a starting job.  I’m hoping he can be the guy in Cleveland this year.  The Browns have done a great job of rebuilding their franchise and I think he can perform better than Weeden at this point.  Palmer…that’s it.

00 Mark Brunell Jason Campbell Jordan Palmer

Here is a list of the men that have taken a snap from center since Mark Rypien was injured and eventually released from the Redskins in 1994.

Rich Gannon – 4 games

Cary Conklin – 2 games

Heath Shuler – 13 games

John Friesz – 4 games

Gus Frerotte – 49 games

Jeff Hostetler – 3 games

Trent Green – 14 games

Brad Johnson – 27 games

Jeff George – 7 games

Tony Banks – 14 games

Shane Matthews – 7 games

Patrick Ramsey – 24 games

Danny Wuerffel – 4 games

Tim Hasselbeck – 5 games

Mark Brunell – 33 games

Jason Campbell – 52 games

Todd Collins – 3 games

Donovan McNabb – 13 games

Rex Grossman – 16 games

John Beck – 3 games

RG3 – 15 games

Kirk Cousins – 1 game

That’s 20 QB’s that have bridged the gap between Rypien and Griffin.  This hopefully makes it clear why us Redskins fans are so overly infatuated with Robert Griffin III.  He’s brought some stability to a very unstable position…now, if he can stay healthy…but, if he can’t?  I will take my chances with Kirk Cousins…or at least welcome a first rounder or two for Captain Kirk next season.