Panini’s Certified Football is one of those products that polarize collectors, either you like it or you do not, there is no in-between when it comes to fans.
This is a product that can trace its heritage back to the Select Certified Football sets of the late 1990s, which saw a resurgence of sorts when Leaf brought it back 10 years later before Panini took the torch in 2010. Over the past 15 years very little has changed since those early Select Certified sets and this release is no different.
The box contains 10 packs with 5 cards per packs. There are 4 hits (memorabilia or autographs), with at least one being an autograph, plus three parallel cards. I actually pulled 53 cards from the box instead of the expected 50 cards so I had 3 bonus cards, one being an extra Mirror parallel.
The set contains 350 cards and is made up of a 150 card base set and 4 SP subsets. The short-print subsets are the 50-card Immortals subset (#/999), the 50-card Immortals Materials set, the 65-card New Generations RC subset (#/999) and the 35-card Freshman Fabrics subset (#/499). These cards are sequentially numbered so they are all part of the set. Most cards in the set have 5 parallels; Mirror Red (#/250), Mirror Blue (#/100), Mirror Gold (#/25), Mirror Emerald (#/5) and Mirror Black (1/1).
I pulled a decent selection of young players and established players. Suh and Cutler, the two least liked players in the NFL based on a recent poll. The refelective surfaces make the base cards difficult to scan so the cards look dirty and scratched in the pictures but the cards are actually quite clean and shiny.
Pulling a group of Cardinals and Seahawks players always makes a box break a fun encounter. Beanie Wells is out for at least another month but Patrick Peterson, who is a Cards CB, has proven his worth as a KR/PR specialist in his first two seasons and finally a pair of wide receivers coming out of Seattle with Baldwin and Rice.
The card backs are pretty basic and includes the player’s bio info, a short write up along with two lines of stats, last year’s stats and lifetime totals.
I pulled two base set parallels, a Mirror Red Miles Austin (#/250) and a Mirror Blue Roddy White (#/100).
I pulled two Immortals, Drew Bledsoe and a Mirror Red Emmitt Smith (#/250).
I pulled two New Generations, Luke Kuechly and Zack Brown
I close out with my hits;
The problem with using foil board is that the cards chip easily around the edges. Around the die-cut there is chipping on all 4 sides, it looks like the blades may have been dull. Additionally, below the “B” in Bowe’s name is a scrape where something pulled across the surface. I am not too upset about this, I am not a Bowe fan and not like this would really affect the value of a card that may be worth a dollar or two.
Fabric of the Game relic Michael Egnew (#/199)
The back of the card lists that this relic is from a jersey worn by Egnew on May 19, 2012 at the NFL Rookie Premiere. I am not a fan of event worn relics but I do like that Panini lists the exact time that this jersey relic was worn, though we all know that players put on probably 15-20 jerseys during their time at the Rookie Premiere.
Mirror Blue Reggie Bush autograph (#/49)
Ahhh Reggie Bush, if only I had pulled this 6 years ago I could be raking in a tidy profit.
You have to admit, Reggie has had resurgence in Miami, he produced his first 1,000 rushing season last year along with nearly 300 yards receiving and he is in a good position to repeat it again this season.
Certified Rookie Materials Ryan Tannehill (#/299)Tannehill may not be the best of the rookie QBs this season but he is definitely not among the worst. In 6 games the Dolphins are 3-3 and have already reached half as many wins as last year’s 6-10 team. Considering that the AFC is horrendous this year, the Dolphins at 3-3 are right in the middle of a playoff race that is anyone’s game.
I was fortunate enough to have won this box in Panini’s daily contest as part of their 2-year Blogoversary Countdown last week so I appreciate that Panini made this possible. It was a wonderful surprise and since I open one, maybe 2, boxes a year this really made my day. Not the best box I have opened but considering that it was free I enjoyed having the chance to do a box break courtesy of Panini.
I thought it was funny that as a Seahawks fan and collector I would break a box that contained 3 hits from the Miami Dolphins; the teams are literally the furthest teams physically from each other in the NFL nation.