Here is the thing. Football has been empty with out Topps Flagship, more so with the absence of Topps Chrome. No matter what Panini pulls out of their ass, they wont be able to come close the success that was had with the best non premium sets that any sport has had, period. Donruss is Panini’s knock off version of Topps’ base set, but unlike their counterpart, it seems like an afterthought rather than something that they actually decided to put some time into.
Topps Flagship had great looking cards EVERY fucking year, without fail, and its no surprise why it became the staple of the early part of the calendar for nearly half a century. Donruss isnt a bad set, save one tremendously enormous failure, but it isnt really a good set either. It was cheap fodder over the last few years and it looks like cheap fodder again. Sad that Panini overpaid their way into an NFL exclusive because the first 3/4ths of the year are so much more terrible without Topps’ massively successful sets.
What makes me the most upset is the rated rookie cards, which last year were laden with craptacular posed photos in an empty stadium. Instead of editing some of the action shots from the rookie premiere into faux-game shots, they took the cheap and lazy way out, using photos similar to everyone’s favorite dance battle participant. From the preview released yesterday, it looks like they didnt decide to remove their heads from their collective asses, choosing the same type of photo we got last year. Not only does this dampen an already slow moving set, but it puts another terrible mark on Optic, which will likely be released with the same pictures later this year.
Last year, Panini’s ineptitude in building good looking cards was masked by Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott running roughshod over the hobby. This year, there will likely be nothing to hide their shitty photo choices or terrible card design, leaving their horrendous products sitting spread eagle on the casting couch for everyone to see.
Bottom line, there is NO PLACE for these stupid ass pictures in my opinion. Using unedited photos that show no dynamic action is a method that showcases how little Panini cares about anything than running their presses overtime to get as many boxes onto the market, regardless of what it does to the resale value of their cards. When there isnt a record breaking rookie class to supplement their wares, the hobby will be left to pick up the pieces of their shattered calendar, something that never has to happen.