Earlier this year, Panini released Immaculate basketball with game used shoe relics of popular players in a few different formats. Even though I am not a fan of the design, its clear that collectors were drooling over the cards, paying a ton of money to get the best ones. Today, 13-14 Exquisite Basketball was released, containing their own version of these cards – with one major difference.
Check out the auctions and see if you can spot it. Here are Panini’s shoe cards:
Here are Upper Deck’s:
In case you missed it, Upper Deck’s language on the back makes it very clear that no player has ever touched these shoes. In fact, I wouldnt be shocked if someone trucked it over to the local Foot Locker and picked up a few pairs to make the cards.
The back of the card says “From a shoe brand typically worn by” as the defining statement. This is accompanied by an official disclaimer language at the bottoms stating that the relics are not player worn, event worn, or game worn. Im sorry, but this kind of takes manufactured relic cards to a new level. Upper Deck is not hiding what these cards are.
Previously we have seen that there are embroidered patches and relics that are used to make cards, but just cutting up and inserting shoes without purpose is something I am questioning big time. I have never liked the manu-patch format to begin with, but to take it to the level of manu-relics is a odd and comical. I mean Exquisite planning is done a year in advance and no one thought to get the players to slip on the shoes for a second or two during a signing? Cmon.
Yes, I realize I just advocated for more event used material, but that is the nature of my thought process these days. Gotta love when our standards are that fucking low. I love what Upper Deck has managed to do in terms of design for many of their products, continuing to surprise me with what they put out. However, not only do these cards look like they are straight out of Panini Design School 101, but the relics have zero meaning. None. Exquisite has always been about the best of the best, but these are just horrible.
Im sorry, but this just takes the cake. In next year’s Exquisite, I hear they are planning relics from “Lids store purchased hats typically worn by XXXXXXXX.”