For 21 years now Contenders Football has been chugging along. What started as a simple design from Playoff in 1993 has matured over the years probably topping out with the 1998 design, which included the iconic Playoff Ticket rookie autographs led by Peyton Manning, began to change with the Donruss takeover a decade ago. Donruss tried to build off of the 1998 set with little luck but they were able produce a pleasant design. Panini’s takeover of the product has brought around a nice return to the popular late 90s designs with the exception of the autograph inserts.
Panini has been previewing some images over the past few weeks and what they put up today us just jaw dropping and not in the good way. The cards are an amalgamation of the popular ticket design, artistic flair and for some reason a liberal use of grunge brushes, torn paper edging and a dropped shadow effect. I am pretty disappointed, I think had they not used so much artistic options it could have come out nicely.