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April Drools: Appreciating Panini America’s Most Fantastically Filthy Mail Day Ever

April 1, 2011

I got a text message from my boss — Panini America VP of Marketing Jason Howarth — earlier this morning. It included an image of a Tim Tebow game-worn jersey.

Turns out Howarth happened to be all the way across the office in Acquisitions right as the most pristinely pungent package of game-battered NFL jerseys and NHL sweaters you’ve ever seen was delivered to Joe White and Alex Carbajal.

It took me all of about 90 seconds to bolt over to their little corner of the world so I could soak up the savagely soiled ambiance. It was sheer sartorial serendipity, this batch of game-worn history-makers scheduled to grace Panini America NFL and NHL trading card releases in 2011 and beyond.

For those who remember our post on that well-worn Knowshon Moreno jersey from the 2010 season, know this: That thing has nothing on the Philip Rivers jersey you’ll see below (in both photo and video form). you’ll also notice a marked jersey from Rivers’ teammate, Ryan Mathews. That one has the honor of smelling more game-worn than any piece of memorabilia we’ve ever received. From my perspective, that’s a good thing.

You’ll see so much more too, like . . .

  • Game-worn rookie-year jerseys from the aforementioned Tebow and 2010 NFL Rookie of the Year Sam Bradford.
  • Supremely smallish “new-wave” Reebok jerseys from Maurice Jones-Drew and Hakeem Nicks that seriously cut down on the swatch yield of game-worn jerseys (that, by the way, is a bad thing).
  • A trio of sweaters worn by Chicago Blackhawks superstars Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.
  • A pair of sweaters worn by Pittsburgh Penguins stalwarts Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal, the latter donned during the 2011 NHL Winter Classic.
  • Rarely seen inside-the-shoulder alterations on the Jones-Drew and Johnny Knox jerseys conceivably devised to enhance the stickiness of the jerseys to their respective players’ shoulder pads.

Did I go a little crazy with the photographs? Perhaps, but when you’re privy to a special delivery like this, you have to act swiftly and abundantly. After all, the next time we get the chance to appreciate these gems, they’ll be in a decidedly different format.

Here’s hoping you soak up the splendor that follows just like I did — and please stick around to watch the video, too.

Now for a video so dirty you’ll likely want to wash your hands after viewing:


19 Comments leave one →
  1. sportsmktgguy permalink
    April 1, 2011 5:51 pm

    You left out the most important part of the story. Joe, Alex and myself all wagered to see how long it would take you to get over there. Sadly, I lost. Joe had you at under 3 minutes and he won hands down!

  2. marty mercurio permalink
    April 1, 2011 7:14 pm

    WOW!!! sick stuff. i was hoping you could arrange for me to come out to your headquaters for when you cut this up. i feel i am a good enough buyer of your product to be chossen for something like that to watch frist hand on how this is done. WOW!!!!! sick again. i have the red bow from the headress in a card and was wanting to get my hands on another one.

  3. KZed permalink
    April 1, 2011 7:22 pm

    That Rivers is FILTHY in ALL definitions of the word, and the Tebow shows all the wear of a clipboard holder LOL!!!
    Oh and THack, once again you show just how much you know of hockey. Hossa is pronounced with a hard “O”, like donut or, you know, Tebow..

  4. Gellman permalink
    April 1, 2011 7:58 pm

    Good to see Panini using GAME worn jerseys while UD puts extra patches on EVENT worn stuff for their high end products.

  5. April 1, 2011 8:40 pm

    Great to see some of the stuff that the GU cards are made out of dirt and all :D.

  6. April 1, 2011 9:42 pm

    Where do the jerseys and sweaters come from? The team, the league, individual players?

    • April 1, 2011 10:09 pm

      In short, yes, yes and yes. They come from various sources, but most often they come from the team, the player, the league or from league-approved vendors.

  7. Melissa permalink
    April 1, 2011 9:59 pm

    Why don’t you ever give away full jerseys instead of chopping them up?

    • April 1, 2011 10:07 pm

      We’ve certainly entertained thoughts along those lines, but one of our goals for cutting any jersey up is to get fans and collectors as close to their favorite players as possible; we do that by sharing these pieces of history with thousands of folks as opposed to having the jersey locked away in a private collection, perhaps never to be seen again.

  8. April 2, 2011 3:01 am

    Ahhhhhhhhh! Now that’s what we love to see. True game-worn, battle scarred jerseys with a funk about them. Like a fine Camembert. Sublime!!!!

  9. April 2, 2011 7:48 am

    Have you guys ever made a letter patch card with a hyphen piece from a name like “Jones-Drew”.

  10. James Huesing permalink
    April 2, 2011 9:39 pm

    Hey what are you guys going to do with the autographs on the Sam Bradford and James Harrison jerseys? Its not like have a small chunk of a cut up jersey signed by Sam Bradford is something you would want to frame. Is it small enough to make a cut auto card? If nobody else wants it I can always take it 😀

  11. WhenIsaySEA! permalink
    April 3, 2011 12:09 pm

    Supremely filthy! Man, it’s going to be fun to pull some of them suuuuuper dirty spots! Its going to be very cool, heck if you add in the grass and dirt, an normally one color swatch can now be a 3 color swatch. Nice to see some awesomely dirty jerseys going into these cards, it sure beats even worn.

  12. Barrie G permalink
    April 5, 2011 11:13 am

    I am SHOCKED you guys show the actual memorabilia you cut up! I know you have even made us privy to the Letters of Authenticity on occasion as well.

    Why do you continue to LISTEN to collectors and do what WE ask for? What is wrong with you? Are you guys trying to get new customers and keep the hobby alive?

    The audacity of Panini!

    (Could I have made that any more heavily laden with sarcasm?)

  13. dan schertz permalink
    April 9, 2011 8:40 pm

    I got a suggestion for the signed numbers. Should use them as a booklet card so can have the full auto on one card. wouldn’t that be a sweet bradford card?


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