Leaf Certified Materials, now Panini Certified has been around forever. The Fabric of the Game subset has produced some amazing cards across the span of the product’s existence, and it is usually a celebrated part of the football calendar. Over the last few years, Certified has gone from a celebrated product to “meh” to absolutely terrible, and this year’s set may be the worst thing I have ever seen to come out of Panini’s house. Although we only have a few cards from the set, the common theme and design of the product is so bad, that I actually laughed.
The fact that Panini is willing to stake one of their most popular sets on a shitty design like Certified showcases this year, makes me wonder if the people over there are even trying with football anymore. If this year’s National Treasures Basketball is any indication, its not like they are focusing on the Basketball designs either, so this begs a very important question: WHO HIRED THIS BUSH LEAGUE DESIGN TEAM? Jesus, this is just terrible.
Starting with the base cards, it looks like someone was carrying the printing plates and dropped them on the floor on the way to the press. The result looks like a fractured mirror and it looks absolutely horrid. When you add in jersey and autograph in typical Panini fashion, like they did for the rice, it becomes a complete and utter Dexter McClusterfuck.
Oddly enough, the only cards that anyone cares about are not present in this preview, and those are the freshmen fabric cards. Last year’s werent a complete disaster like 2008, but they still left a lot to be desired. I figure these will shape up more like the 2008 than anything, if not a hell of a lot worse.
Lastly, the Fabric of the Game cards don’t look terrible, but that isnt the point. They are basically the 2009 design with minor tweaks, and that is BEYOND frustrating. It shows that Panini is getting very lazy with their updates, and its going to be a long time before we get any sort of innovation again.
Panini, you are heading the way of worry faster than I can say Ndamukong Suh, and that is a pretty scary situation for football collectors who depend on good looking cards to build their collection.