By now, if you pay any attention the inner workings of the hobby, you are probably aware that Panini has signed an exclusive contract with NFL Players Inc., but there are still several options available to card companies which will transpire over the next couple of years and we will see how football card collecting will evolve. For now we have two years of Topps continuing to produce football cards as they have done for six decades.
The 2014 Topps football card release is now in stores and similar to baseball is going to be bought by many collectors for whom it is a late summer tradition. The design is again similar to the company’s flagship baseball product with 36 10-card packs per box. Each box is guaranteed one autograph or relic card with at least one rookie card in each pack. That is an important difference between baseball and football as baseball definitely has a greater emphasis on mixing yesterday and today while the football release doesn’t have as many retired player elements. However, Topps does once again highlight some of its past designs with some of the inserts such as the 1963 minis.
Topps is also gaining some media attention for including fantasy football information included with this year’s issue.
Gold Parallels (#d to 2014): Ed Dickson, Stephen Hill, Reggie Wayne
Camo Parallel (#d to 399): Robert Quinn
Power Player Parallels: Tom Brady, Reggie Bush, Eric Decker
1963 minis: Reggie Bush, Joe Flacco, Nick Foles. Matt Forte, Julio Jones, Luke Kuechly, E.J.Manuel, Clay Matthews, Zach Mettenberger, Aaron Murray, Philip Rivers, Sammy Watkins
1000 Yard Club: Keenan Allen, Dez Bryant. Julian Edelman, T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Chris Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, Demaryius Thomas
4000 Yard Club: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford
Punt Pass and Kick Champions: Madison Bradley A couple of notes about this set. Man I wish back in the day they did this set as in 1971 a young Andy Reid, with his name misspelled was a contestant and actually appeared on ABC Monday Night Football as a ginormous 13-year-old. Also, major football card dealer A.J. Firestone's daughter has won the competition in the past and I wish there were cards of her to sign because wouldn't that be cool to pick up as part of a trip to the National.
Play 60: Wesley Hill (Kid): Kelvin Beachum
Unleashed: A.J. Green, Robert Griffin III, Adrian Paterson, Patrick Peterson. Aldon Smith, Ndamukong Suh, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Kendall Wright
Fantasy Football Strategies: Dez Bryant, Victor Cruz, Matt Forte, Rob Gronkowski, Cam Newton, Jason Witten
Relic card: Jace Amaro
We hit the relic card rather than the autograph but we did land a Clowney black parallel. As we stated, perhaps a few more cards of former greats in the insert sets might not be a bad idea but otherwise Topps Football is the same brand we’ve known over the last several years.
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