Saturday, December 17, 2016

Color conquers all

My falling out with the NFL has been ongoing since I started this blog, probably even before that, going back to the turn of the century.

I've documented my disconnect with the sport several times on this blog. It's quite the difference from when I followed the NFL avidly during the 1980s and 1990s. I still like watching the game and I much prefer it to the college football version. But the inability of the Bills to make the playoffs, combined with the NFL taking itself so seriously, and its players taking themselves so seriously, and the league being the stage for the worst behavior of humanity, and the terrible way it goes about tackling various problems, has sapped any enthusiasm I have for the sport.

Because of this, I have bought very few football cards in the last two decades. I never bought that many to begin with, but there are certain years in which I sought them out regularly. These days I buy maybe a pack once every three years.

But you saw a pack of -- is that actually Panini Donruss? -- football cards at the top of this post, so that must mean something, right?

It sure does. Panini, of all companies, suckered me into buying a pack of its 2016 product. I first saw these cards on Tony's Sports Pub, and I instantly thought they were sharp-looking. As you know, I love colorful cards. And Panini Donruss executed a bit of genius. It took a much-dismissed card design -- 1990 Donruss baseball -- and did with it what '90 Donruss should have done. It color-coded the borders with the respective teams.

If 1990 Donruss had done that, it would have been the best junk wax set ever issued.

I had to check out some 2016 Panini Donruss football cards for myself.

I'll show you the whole pack here. I'm not going to comment on each card, because the less said about some of these individuals the better. Also, I'm a baseball fan, so I don't know who some of these people are.

Here they are. More commentary at the end.

Those are great-looking cards. Love the team color-coding, love the racing stripes on each card. And, yay, I got a Buffalo Bill!

The Rated Rookie cards use a 1987 Donruss theme. Football cards still have the cheesy rookie poses that baseball got rid of awhile ago, I could do without those. I also could do without the retro press proof parallels, which are just there to keep you from completing the set.

But overall, when I fan these cards out, I'm smiling.

As you know, Topps lost its NFL license. That's probably not good, but I just didn't care for the look of a lot of modern day Topps NFL cards. Panini isn't the answer (they still can't do backs, I don't know why that's so difficult for them to master), but they got me -- a guy who frowns practically every time he sees NFL news -- to buy a pack of NFL cards. So that's definitely something.

Just another example of color conquering all.


  1. Very good points on how nice the color coding looks and how much that would have improved 1990 Donruss. Some of those early Score sets did a nice job breaking things up by color a bit (if not by team). I'm not looking forward to a Panini NFL monopoly just like I hate the Topps MLB monopoly because I don't want football cards to stagnate as much as they have with baseball.

  2. Let's hope they use this design for 2017 Donruss Baseball.

  3. I still don't know what to do with my Topps Seahawks team set collection. I mean, I'll keep all that I have (and continue building it); but as far as new product? I don't care much for this Donruss product, so I might go with the base Score for a team set. And you're right- they can't do the backs of cards for crap. And that should be the easiest aspect of producing a card!

  4. that Mark Barron card may be too much color.

    agree on the Rated Rookie cards...the poses are a little odd and forced.

  5. I agree 100% on your thought on both the NFL and this set. I still consider Green Bay my favorite team but I've watched fewer and fewer games each year and I dont collect the cards or know the rosters nearly as well as I used to. I dont even have a John Kuhn card, and last I heard "Kuuuuhn!" was on the Saints. Not sure if he's playing or what, but that is a cool card. Wake, Charles, and Johnson are nice color-matching cards as well.

  6. I liked this year's Donruss football. It is a good lower-priced set. And, yes, the color coding of the cards to the team uniforms are awesome! They even have the lighter orange on the retired Ozzie Newsome that the Browns used back then compared to the brighter orange you see on the current player cards.

    I'm sure I can dig up a few Bills for you.

  7. Thanks for the shout out ;)As for the cards,they really pop out of the wrapper.Those 16 card packs are probably the best value ,too.Love that watkins!

  8. I agree. This is a nice looking set. Hope they follow through with baseball. And you nabbed a Brady