Thursday, August 31, 2023

2022 Panini Select Draft Picks Value Pack


To mark the return of college football, I picked up a pack of football cards in college uniforms. It would be a lot more timely if this was the 2023 set, but this was the best thing I could find at the time.

57 - Terrell Davis - The cards are a mix of pro stars (past and present) in their college uniforms and players entering their rookie NFL seasons. Terrell Davis will always remind me of the turn of the millennium.

15 - Kenneth Walker III - Walker had a terrific rookie season in Seattle. Each base card, incidentally, has blue borders, which is typical for the retail versions of Select cards from recent years. Hobby versions usually have a regular silver chrome finish.

72 - Clinton Portis - If you've never seen it, I highly recommend the old 30 for 30 episode about "The U".

29 - Derrick Henry - Henry has had a lengthy career (for a pro running back) in Tennessee.

86 - Travon Walker - The backs are typical boring Panini fare. They all have the NFLPA license. I'm not sure if this year's set includes any current college players on NIL deals or not. There's a good chance it's the same setup.

44 - Lamar Jackson - Here's Jackson doing what he's probably best known for.

151 - Ray Lewis Red Lazer Prizm - It's weird seeing Ray Lewis in his college uniform, since I have his Ravens gear burned into my memory.

4 - Garrett Wilson Red Lazer Prizm - Thanks, Panini, for making me type "lazer" with a Z for some reason. (And... prizm with a Z for some reason.)

SC-UNC - Sam Howell / Dyami Brown / Mitchell Trubisky Select Company - If you collect college cards by the school, this has to be an intriguing insert design. I wouldn't mind owning a few Oregon Ducks cards like this.

EN-CS - Carson Strong En Fuego - Strong may have been "en fuego" in college, but he's already moved on from the prospects of a pro career as he's gotten into coaching.

129 - Davante Adams - This is a very Bulldog-heavy pack.

186 - Roquan Smith - So many Bulldogs. Most of them have been of the Georgia variety, like this one.

144 - Cooper Kupp - There probably aren't a ton of Eastern Washington cards out there, and I'd bet that Cooper Kupp is on most of them.

102 - Malik Willis - I cannot stand to see or hear the word "liberty" because of that stupid insurance company and their annoying TV commercials.

160 - Stefon Diggs - We go out with Diggs and a dose of the weird uniform.

Enjoy the season, everyone!

Monday, August 21, 2023

1994 Fleer Football

I'm not much of a football collector, but I think I love everything about this set. It takes a very underrated design (1994 Fleer baseball) and elevates it a notch. I even love the wrapper. It's football, as you can plainly see!

213 - Rohn Stark - You never see punter cards anymore, let alone ones with this good of a close up action shot. This really makes me want to bust out some Tecmo Super Bowl.

275 - Mark Higgs - In addition to the player name and position, you get a gold foil stamped logo and a facsimile signature. 

122 - Kevin Smith - You also get two full color photos on the back.

107 - Troy Aikman - A familiar face.

294 - Chris Hinton - Okay... one nit to pick here. The horizontally oriented photos still have the player name/logo/etc. on the short side of the card, but everything else is facing the other direction. I wasn't sure how to display this scan and I'm still not.

199 - John Baylor - Not to be confused with John Taylor, I guess.

268 - Gene Atkins

12 - Jerome Bettis Rookie of the Year - The Bus had an entire insert set dedicated to himself, as Fleer was wont to do in the '90s. (My favorite one was the Clyde Drexler insert set in 1992-93 Fleer Ultra basketball.)

463 - Kurt Gouveia

437 - Cortez Kennedy - Another Hall of Famer, and another football player who died way too young.

451 - Craig Erickson - Check that sassy Bucs logo.

389 - Levon Kirkland

335 - Carlton Bailey - Bailey has a huge signature.

164 - Edgar Bennett - Here's another one of those dastardly horizontal photos.

318 - Morten Andersen - We end things with a legendary kicker.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

2023 Leaf Heroes of Wrestling

Despite my vow to abstain from Leaf products for the immediate future, I had Heroes of Wrestling staring at me at Target, so here we are.

Like most current Leaf products, it's a hit in a toploader, a pack, and a lot of empty space in a normal sized blaster box. The pack is a 10 card set of "Heroes of Wrestling" and each box contains the same pack. The hits are autos at 1 per box/pack.

Let's look at the 10-card pack/set first.

Chris Jericho and Bret Hart are the first two "heroes" in our set. Jericho's face is a little weird but both good choices for the set and obviously recognizable.

Next we have Hulk Hogan and Cody Rhodes. It seems pretty logical Hogan would be in a set like this, and I can see mixing present and past main eventers making sense. Not sure why we decided to give Hogan a comically large head, but that's okay, some might argue it depicts him accurately in a metaphorical sense. 
Ted Dibiase and Steve Austin, the latter of which also has a comically large head, are next. Austin's drawing is mirrored for some reason. 
Admittedly I am getting a little confused at this point. Not at the idea that Kane or Cena aren't worthy of this pack, but isn't the Kane character WWE intellectual property? What exactly is the licensing deal here?

Now I am more confused. Flair makes perfect sense. But... we are choosing Sasha Banks (which I am fairly confident is *also* WWE intellectual property) as our sole female wrestler for this set? Clearly licensing isn't a thing Leaf is thinking about here, based on the inclusion of current talent from WWE, AEW, NJPW, and other promotions, so in a time where women's wrestling is at it's all-time peak... we're going to call Sasha Banks by her WWE name in an unlicensed set and declare her the sole female hero of wrestling worthy of this set? Alright. You confuse me, Leaf.

Anyway here is our hit:

My hit from this box is IWGP Champion SANADA. Cool choice for this set, having appeared in AEW's Forbidden Door as New Japan talent.