Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Its Possible That The NFL May Be Down To 2 Next Year

Earlier on Twitter today, Steven Judd, of former Sports Card File fame, commented that he had heard the NFL was cutting a license from one of its three manufacturers for 2010. Considering that all three licenses are up for renewal next year, that isnt a stretch. Now, none of this is confirmed, and it could just be rabble-rousing, but after reviewing the situation, its definitely plausible.

Im sure a lot of you would expect me to say that getting rid of Panini would be a great idea for the NFL, but actually I would hate it if they left. Cutting the choices of collectors in any way is a completely ass backwards fucking idea, even if that means that my hatred for Panini football would no longer be required. See, thats the beauty of it all, as more choices equals more hobby variety, so that if someone like me hates Panini, I still have more to fall back on.

Everyone knows that Upper Deck football is my favorite, because in my opinion, their quality of products (design, content, hard signed cards) is absolutely and utterly unmatched by either of the other two brands. There just is no substitute for me. However, other collectors disagree completely, and they have just as much at stake in this. The actual reality of this type of situation is that no-one wins, and every collector loses. I may despise Prestige, Absolute, and others, but I do like some of Panini's stuff. If Panini is forced out, for example, I would lose out on those products, as well as the notion that my hatred could change with the design evolution that each brand goes through.

Then again, if Upper Deck is forced out, I will be too. At that point, there is no reason for me to continue collecting new stuff, as I buy 90% UD with the exception of the Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome stuff. Theunfortunate part remains that I wont be the only one in this situation. The Gellman haters out there would love to see me squirm at a future without licensed UD football, but its not just me. There thousands out there just like me, if not more hardcore for Exquisite, SPA, and the rest of the UD slate.

I commented before that there NEVER should have been an exclusive license in Basketball, and there NEVER should have been an exclusive license in Baseball. To think that the one place where exclusivity is NON-EXISTANT, they are cutting back on stuff, is a completely fucking asinine notion. All politics aside, limiting exposure of any commodity is a horrible idea, which leads me to believe that there is another agenda at work.

Guys, this is bad if its true, very fucking bad, no matter which brand gets the axe. The industry part of this hobby will be in worse shape than it already is with this crap, and its sad to see it come to this point. Personally, I see one of two outcomes: 1) UD is forced out of yet another sport, and resorts to unlicensed and college branded football products. 2) Panini realizes that they cant support an NBA and NFL brand, so they focus everything on Basketball and drop the license without being forced out. Either way, I see Topps as safe, as for some reason they are thought of as never expendable, despite producing abominations like Sterling, Triple Threads, and Lettermen.

Hopefully, none of this comes to fruition and we are back at square one come 2010.


  1. Ditto. Well said. Here are my 2 cents http://tinyurl.com/yzm8zr6

  2. Ditto. Well said. My 2 cents http://tinyurl.com/yzm8zr6

  3. I could see Topps being let go.

    According to the Better Business Bureau: http://nepa.app.bbb.org/report/10014615





  4. It's either gonna be Topps or UD with the amount of Success Panini is having right now they are here to stay...

  5. I dont think Panini is having all that much success, at least from initial numbers provided to me by a local distributor. Topps is the best earner right now, UD a close second. Again, both chromes have been out, and UD still hasnt released SPA yet. Once that happens, Panini will be a distant third.

  6. Holy poop, the BBB has huge files on all three companies. That is beyond horrible.

  7. As far as football goes Panini has dominated completely so far this year. Just look at the forums what ppl are breaking, Absolute, LCM and Limited are the hot products so far.

    Topps chrome also seems really popular, but UD has yet to release one decent product so far. There is no doubt that UD is the company with least success this year so far. However UD has most of their well recognized products still to come, like Exquisite, Premier, SPA, Ultimate and Black. It might very well be UD that is standing strongest when the season is over, but right now it's Panini.

    Topps just doesn't have too many products that seems popular all together. It's Topps and Bowman Chrome (Bowman Chrome looks like shit this year). Then they have Bowman Sterling and TTT, both which are overrated like few.

    What speaks for UD would be that the previews of NT and Contenders have been pretty scary and might knock Panini of the throne. UD Black looks like a nice design but the manufactured american flag cards (oh lord those can easily ruin the whole products, stupid card) and the fact that they use college unis will hold this product from major success.

  8. Lars, I couldnt disagree with you more. First, Flagship UD was great this year, especially with the Premier cards added to it. Philadelphia football was also really good for an extremely cheap price. It was also completely on card.

    So far, Panini has produced set after set filled with oddly placed swatches and rainbow foilboard with sticker autos. Limited had some nice elements, but overall was just a set filled with smoke and mirrors. Absolute was everyone's golden child, but it was a rehash of last year with no creativity and filled with event used pro-bowl jerseys that were disguised to be game worn.

    I have bought only a few things this year due to boredom. Topps Chrome (4 boxes, 4 blasters, 10 percy harvin cards, 1 peterson card), Philadelphia (1 box, 1 peterson auto), Limited (1 percy harvin REDEMPTION), and Upper Deck flagship (3 boxes, multiple packs).

    See, its just been a down year all around, but as you said, all of UD's best products are yet to come. On top of all of that, most of UDs products have been completely on card, where topps and Panini's have been stickers.

    When all is said and done, UD will be on top as always, Topps will be second, and Panini will be a distant third.

  9. How good you think a product is equals a personal opinion. If you look at the procuts being broken so far this year the UD products ewuals epic fail. All that matters is sale numbers.

    Do I agree with you that the Panini products are not all that good? Yes to some extent I do, I wouldn't buy any of their products released so far. However the general collector optinion is very different, people love the "foil" cards. But what you and me thinks doesn't matter as it's not the norm.