Should We Be Excited for 2014 Elite Football?

Yes, yes we all know that Elite is coming. But should we care? Were the last few years of Elite so bad that we should just give up all hope now? At this point, after another QC gallery posted by Panini, im not sure its that simple. There are some reasons why this Elite might in fact be one of the best in recent memory. However, there are lingering reasons why it will be disappointing as well.

Rookie Base Autographs and Parallels

If there is one hugely redeeming part of 2014 Elite, its the addition of on card autographs for the RPS guys on their base rookies. Although we have yet to see any information on print runs, we can assume there will be a lot based on the boxes Panini broke. This alone is a big win, but to also include sticker autos with the updated Premiere shots instead of “00” airbrush seems like a good thing at this point. When you look at the extreme die cutting of the parallels, I get a little scared how those will come out of the packs, but its not awful. Definitely not as bad as some years.

Previous Years:

2012 Elite Andrew Luck Auto Base RC

2013 Elite Cordarrelle Patterson Base Auto RC

2012 Elite Ryan Tannehill Die Cut Gold Auto

2013 Elite EJ Manuel Die Cut Black Auto 1/1

This Year:

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 8.04.29 PM Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 8.04.38 PM

Verdict: Big Upgrade

New Breed Auto Relics

Although I really like the design of this series more than last year, the picture series they chose is horrendous. Like worse than horrendous. Panini has had a habit of bringing the rookies indoors during the beautiful conditions at the rookie premiere to take these stupid pictures, and I cannot understand why they would waste that time. Action shots are plentiful, or at least could be more plentiful if these poor decisions werent continually made. 2012 was obviously the best year for this set, but Panini never knows when they have something going well. Trash now.

Previous Years:

2012 Elite Russell Wilson New Breed Auto Relic

2013 Elite Geno Smith New Breed Auto Relic

This Year:

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 8.04.21 PM panini-america-2014-elite-football-qc-97

Verdict: Enormous Downgrade

Passing the Torch Dual Autos

Here is what I dont understand. Why do companies make dual sided cards? It makes them impossible to appreciate when on display, and hides 50% of the content. Not cool. However, the design of these cards is nice, even though they will be the toughest pulls in the product. I know the big names will garner huge prices on the secondary market as always, but someone needs to let them know that the past should not dictate today. They may have been dual sided before, but it shouldnt be the case.

Previous Years:

2012 Elite Peyton Manning / Andrew Luck Dual Passing the Torch Auto

2013 Elite Patrick Peterson / Devin Hester Dual Passing the Torch Auto

This Year:

BsghrjUCYAANUpG BsghriGCcAAqHqw

Verdict: Upgrade

Down and Distance Relics

Cool idea for a card, as I have said before, but they chose to resurrect a set that celebrates the most unimportant part of football. Sure, down and distance has an effect on the real game, but does it need to be celebrated? Fuck no. Its like creating a card series celebrating pitch counts in baseball. The twirling relics are gimmicky but cool, too bad they couldnt figure out a better way to use them.

Previous Years:

2012 Elite Hakeem Nicks Down and Distance Auto

2013 Elite Drew Brees Down and Distance Spinning Relic

This Year:

panini-america-2014-elite-football-qc-104 panini-america-2014-elite-football-qc-102

Verdict: Slight Upgrade?

Acetate Cards

If there is one thing that Panini excels at, its acetate cards. They do them very well, and this year is no different. I think some of the series are definitely better than others, but overall they look really nice. I didnt see many (if any) of the acetate on card autographs in these boxes which scares the hell out of me, but box breaking was never a strong suit for Panini products at or around 100 bucks.

Previous Years:

2012 Elite Robert Griffin III Auto Acetate

2013 Elite Eddie Lacy Inscriptions Auto

This Year:

panini-america-2014-elite-football-qc-52 panini-america-2014-elite-football-qc-111

Verdict: Upgrade

Am I going to be busting a few boxes of Elite? Yeah, ill probably try a box because I am a sucker for on card – but I am likely going to wait until I see some of the breaks first. Its improved, no doubt, but still so many questions about decision making on some of these things.

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