13 October 2013

Pack of the Day 33: 2013 Panini Rookies & Stars Football Rack Pack

With it being football day and all, I thought I would bust open a rack pack of Panini's 2013 Rookies & Stars NFL product. I have posted once about this stuff previously, when I bought a couple of packs to try out something new. Since then I believe I have bought 4 new rack packs, and that's about all. Each rack pack has 40 cards in it. In my experience this is made up of 2 inserts, 4 SP rookie cards, and 34 base cards.

Here's a sampling of what I got in today's pack, along with my commentary about stuff, at no cost to you (well, no cost except for your time and maybe some brain cells).

Seeing Greg Jennings in a uniform other than the Packers is a little bit jarring. Even though I knew he had moved over there and there was a little jawing back and forth about it that made the sports news pages, I hadn't actually seen any pictures of it until now. I am not attached to the Packers or Jennings in any way, but I still think of him as a Green Bay receiver.

How bad has Eli Manning been this year? Ermagersh, it's painful to see his stat line every week, especially since I drafted him in my Fantasy Football league this year. He's had one good week this year. You know it's a bad year when you're thinking about picking up an Oakland Raiders QB to improve your roster. He's got street cred built on a couple of Super Bowl victories, but how long before you blow up this team and start over?

Doug Martin played for Boise State here in Idaho, so I thought I'd toss his card on the scanner for this post. Tampa Bay has had plenty of drama this season, shipping Josh Freeman out of town to be picked up by the Vikings.  And I don't have much to say about Eddie Lacy except that I've shuffled him on and off my fantasy roster a few times this year without playing him, either because of injury or matchup problems.

The first insert in the pack was this Crusade Blue card of Tavon Austin. I like this insert design. It's shiny as all heck and all of the different color variations look pretty darn good. So far this season Austin has been a bit of a bust, but things change fairly fast in the league. He went early in the draft, so there must be some talent there. He's currently losing snaps to this guy, Austin Pettis, a player who was supposed to be fading out and being overtaken by Austin this year after not producing much during his time in the league so far.

The highlight of the pack for me has to be pulling an insert of the Denver Broncos QB, Peyton Manning, who is on pace to set the single-season record book on fire. Of course, there are still a lot of games to play and injuries and momentum shifts can put an end to these kinds of runs in a hurry, but so far the Broncos have been ridiculous. I wish I would have drafted this Manning brother in my fantasy league. In some weeks he alone scores more points than entire teams.

I love the design of this set. Everything about the front of the cards appeals to me. The card-backs feature a nice photo and logo of the player's team, but it unfortunately cuts out space for statistics. I like to see a player's full career, year-by-year, on the back of my trading cards. This set features 2012 stats and career totals along with a few blurbs featuring key stats, honors, or nicknames.

I like that the set is smaller in scope, restricting itself to the eponymous Rookies & Stars of the NFL. What I don't like is the collation and the short-printed rookies. I think I bought my 2nd and 3rd rack packs together, and only got something like 7 new cards for the Stars portion of the set. Out of 72 base cards I got like 65 doubles. It was disappointing and it took me a while to get another pack. Today's pack filled in a lot of the gaps, but then I run into the short-printed rookies problem. The first 100 cards are the Stars, and the second 100 cards are the Rookies. I have 84/100 of the Stars and 19/100 of the Rookies. How many flippin' doubles am I going to have to absorb from the Stars before I get all the Rookies? That I don't like. I guess they need to get their money from me and all the other suckers out there.

Pros: Card Design, Crusade Insert Set, Checklist

Cons: Collation, Too Many Short-Prints

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