Giridiron Gear Is Live, Ugly

Back in 2006, I discovered Gridiron Gear as a cool set with cards that featured rookie patches and autos for a great price. The design was very cool, everything fit well, and I was more than excited to see that Laurence Maroney and a few of the other targets I had were being featured on some of the coolest cards around.
When 2007 Gridiron Gear was released, there were a ton of people who were touting it as one of the best looking products of the year. I was one of those people. The cards looked great, the subsets were fresh, and the Gridiron Gems looked top of the line. A Simple, white background, as well as nice placement of the swatches, all combined to make a great looking card. It was a build on the 2006 set that I was collecting, but looked even better with the clear sticker.
Then 2008 rolled around, and the design trends that are running rampant through Panini’s product lines today, started to show up and become the rule instead of the exception. Busy backgrounds, oddly placed swatches that broke the border of the card, and a complete disregard for the elements that made 2007 great. I didnt even buy a single pack out of protest.
Now we are getting 2009 Gridiron Gear, and again, the set is going in the wrong direction. Floating swatches are back, though this time they are shaped weirdly and dont really fit. The background is still busy, and looks like a giant pac-man eating the windows. The player is again covered up by the relics, and nothing really looks right. When you look back at how cool 2006 and 2007 was, this is an abomination.
Really, this is only one part of the set, but the other parts are just rehashes. Plastic helmets are back, player timelines are back, and Gridiron Gear continues its slide. The set is filled with ugly cards, and I am disappointed that once again, I am prevented from collecting one of my favorite sets because the cards were Panini-nized.

The Revenge Of The Panini: Brett Favre Is Coming To Threads, Star Wars Cons Across The USA

Today our favorite grilled sandwich card company has announced that Brett Favre’s first uniformed Vikings card will be in the retail version of Threads. It will be hitting stores like Target and Wal Mart, which makes the Threads blasters that much more likely to sell, but leaves hobby collectors to wait until Absolute or later.

There is one problem though. It looks like this:

Yes, he is wearing his Vikings gear from last week’s preseason game, but the card looks like Panini took a Storm Trooper costume, a referee’s shirt and a zebra hide, put it in a blender, and then used the extract to paint by number. What a busy fucking design.

SCU Breaks: 2005 DLP Signature Baseball and 2008 Premier Football



SCU Breaks is back with two different boxes I would like to bust. For the baseball fans who love the old non-grilled sandwich version of DLP, I have decided that 2005 Donruss signature series is going to be the first baseball break I have done in long time here. The second product is an old favorite of mine, 2008 Premier Football, so no introduction needed there.

Signature series may be one that people havent seen before, so ill explain what you get. Four packs with eight hits, 5 cards per pack. Almost like a pricier version of Absolute, as you will get two auto cards per pack, with at least one dual, triple or quad per box. There are also jersey autos and cuts among other things, so this product should be a pretty good box to break for a group. It will be $16.50 for 2 random teams, standard group break stuff will apply. I will random the teams and break on Youtube, you will get to keep all the cards from the teams you get. Duals will be randomed for the teams involved.

From Donruss:

Configuration: 4 packs per box. 5 cards per pack.


As for the Premier, it isnt as pricey so we will break 2 boxes, $22 bucks a spot for the hits we get out of the boxes. Same rules as above, should be a good break now that it has dropped in price a little. In this product, there was one A list auto per case, so we pretty much have a 1 in 5 chance that we will pull something good. Last time I busted this, I pulled a Matt Ryan rookie jersey auto and a 1/1 Early Doucet auto out of 1 box.

Payments through paypal must be sent to to secure your spot, buy as many as you like. I will be sending your cards to the account listed on the transaction, so make sure its correct before you submit payment. We have had that problem before with disasterous results.

Team random will be done before the break, I will order the boxes as soon as I get all the spots paid and filled.

Slots are as follows:

2005 Donruss Signatures (2 teams per slot):

1. babootsna (PAID)
2. Andrew (PAID)
3. Psad (PAID)
4. Brian (PAID)
5. arfmax (PAID)
6. Motherscratcher (PAID)
7. Darkship (PAID)
8. Sewingmachineguy (PAID)
9. Sewingmachineguy(PAID)
10. Jared (PAID)

2008 Premier Football 2 Boxes (2 teams per slot):

1. Gellman (HOST)
2. Andrew (PAID)
3. Psad (PAID)
4. JB201 (PAID)
5. Brian (PAID)
6. Arfmax (PAID)
7. Erik (PAID)
8. Erik (PAID)
9. Darkship (PAID)
10. Jason (PAID)


Product Review: 2009 Philadelphia Football

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of watching a case break of Upper Deck’s first retro football product in a long time. Philadelphia hits stores today, and it should be a pretty popular release, a la O-Pee-Chee in baseball. Collectors love retro products, and this one should get them pretty excited, mainly due to the way the boxes are structured. Even though my friend’s case wasn’t great, it was enormously fun to open, which from early reports, seems to be the case (pun intended).


Starting off, the cards look good for a retro set, something that is evident in the original Philadelphia design. They incorporated uncropped game shots into the base cards, which is always a good thing, preventing the players from looking like they are fatheads stuck onto a wall. The border design is also very simple and is not a focus of the card in general, just the way I like it.

I also think that the National Chicle minis and normal sized cards are EXTREMELY well done. They look great, and really capture the essence of the originals. These are going to be a popular set for people to collect, and I think UD got that when creating the cards. Even though the set itself is sparsely populated with non-set collector offerings, these cards should be pleasing to everyone.

As good as the National Chicle cards look, its pretty ridiculous that non-auto’ed cards of the rookies still show them in their college uniforms. Its now August, and we still havent had a post-premiere product from upper deck, despite multiple sets from both Topps and Grilled Italian Sandwich. I understand that when you do everything hard signed, the NFL uniforms are pretty much impossible at this point without breaking stalker laws, but the other stuff is about as inexcusable as it can get.

When it comes to the rest of the product, I couldn’t help but get a little bored with everything. To someone like me who has no clue why retro sets continue to be produced, I just don’t get why this product isnt just an insert set in base UD. Topps has taken their base product and ramped it up with things that made it more worthwhile for collectors, why not do the same thing with the awesome looking cards from this set? Put the National Chicle minis at one per box, with an auto per case, put the base cards as one per pack or something. No need to waste a spot that something like SP Game Used edition could have taken. Set collecting in baseball is much, much, much, MUCH different than set collecting in football, mainly because of the history of the hobby. Football doesn’t have as large of a history, and I don’t like it being forced on me.

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Autograph Cards

Before I go into anything, I want to say how great the autograph cards in this set look. If you think about the Goudey ‘Graph set in baseball, this is very similar. The autos are all on card, signed on full game shots or national chicle cards, and I think I may buy a few – even if I don’t collect the players. UD has also taken notice of people like Albert Haynesworth, who hasn’t had autographs ever (I think), as well as Jared Allen and the like. For this I give an ovation to the checklist people, because defense is a forgotten side of the ball in this sport. If you arent a rookie linebacker or top pick, you don’t have many cards outside of your rookie year. People like Haynesworth and Allen are primed to be two of the most popular players on their respective teams, which means that autographs in products are definitely warranted.

The National Chicle autographs are also ridiculously cool, and were a big focus of the coverage at the NFL Rookie Premiere. UD took on card signatures a step further by adding great inscriptions and making those cards some of the most collectible of the year. When we busted the case last night, we were hoping to pull one, but alas, our Vontae Davis was not inscribed. Regardless of the signature inscription, it was still one of the better signed rookie cards I have seen in a long time. I cant wait for some of the Sanchez and Stafford ones to pop up, as their inscriptions were pretty extensive.

So far, Philadelphia has been the best looking product in terms of autographs this year, and it didn’t take any manu-letters, no gimmicks, no graffiti under a bridge design. Its just a photo on card, signed by the player. That’s all it takes.

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Relic Cards

Philadelphia promises a relic or two per box, and they are pretty good looking for relic cards. They don’t have floating swatches as far as I can tell, and even play to the set collector side of people by doing them the way they did. Instead of naming it some ridiculous name like other products in the past, they just took the base design and added the swatch. Because of this, the Philadelphia Fabrics subset looks better than 99% of the rest of the jersey cards out there. Good for them.

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Value to the Collector

I have said a million times that on card signatures will always be valuable for any collector, especially ones that are as good as the ones in Philadelphia. Add in that this will be the set collector’s dream set, and you make the SPs and everything similar in the set that much more valuable. As Philadelphia is already pretty cheap, I can see the box prices staying put or even going up as time passes.

The autographs with the inscriptions will also hold their astronomical value, without a doubt. Anytime you can get extras out of a player with low numbered outcomes, you will have a card that will not lose value, even though they
are not in pro uniforms.

I would say, if you have the choice between buying a box of jumbo Topps, a box of classics, and a box of this, Philadelphia should pull out a convincing win. There is a lot to chase in this product, and it should hold at least until Mayo comes out. Then once people see the sticker autos on mayo, it will become evident how important this set is for retro collectors.

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Overall Impressions

Philadelphia, as far as retro sets go, is an exercise in less is more. A simplistic design, a deep auto checklist, and a good price will give staying power to this product. It looks as if this will be that one product that people go back to when the lull hits in January. Although it has some major issues with rookies, and a little bit of boredom for people like me, the hits make everything all better.

I wouldn’t say rush to the store to buy a case, but definitely set your snipes on eBay. It’s a great way to get some auto cards from your favorite rookies that look amazing, and collecting the set for the set collectors should be a blast.

Average Rating =

2009 Product Leaderboard (SO FAR)

1(t). UD Philadelphia Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). Topps Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). UD Icons Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). UD Heroes Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
1(t). UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
6(t). Donruss Classics (2/5 GELLMANS)
6(t). Donruss Elite (2/5 GELLMANS)
6(t). Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
6(t). Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)
10. Score Inscriptions Football (1/5 GELLMANS)