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Short Story: Panini America Begins Leaking 2012 Contenders Football SP Quantities

February 9, 2013

Contenders Variations Main

Almost immediately following the celebrated release of 2012 Contenders Football earlier this week, the annual frenzy commenced as collectors across North America began scrambling to determine the relative scarcity of the set’s ample selection of Rookie Ticket SPs and variations.

It’s a captivating phenomenon that takes place every year and explains, for instance, how a base Rookie Ticket of New England Patriots speedster Jeff Demps can sell for $21.95 on Wednesday while another sells for $76.01 just one day later. Indeed, it didn’t take savvy researchers long to figure out just how short Demps’ RC is. (For the record, it’s limited to 99 copies, while his variation is limited to just 25 copies.)

Although it took some consistent groveling from yours truly late Friday afternoon, I finally managed to coax the first of what promises to be many 2012 Contenders Football SP lists from Panini America Production Manager Carlos Torrez. This one is by no means complete, but it does provide a tip-of-the-iceberg illustration of Contenders’ scarcest Rookie Tickets and RC variations.

Card # Player Team Pos. Qty.
167 Michael Brockers St. Louis Rams DT 38
131 Dont’a Hightower New England Patriots LB 47
120 Courtney Upshaw Baltimore Ravens LB 57
135 Jeff Demps New England Patriots RB 99
168 Michael Smith Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB 99
Card # Player Team Pos. Qty.
124 David DeCastro Pittsburgh Steelers G 10
131 Dont’a Hightower New England Patriots LB 10
132 Dontari Poe Kansas City Chiefs DT 25
135 Jeff Demps New England Patriots RB 25
137 Fletcher Cox Philadelphia Eagles DT 25
138 George Iloka Cincinnati Bengals S 25
141 Harrison Smith Minnesota Vikings S 25
157 LaVon Brazill Indianapolis Colts WR 25
159 Luke Kuechly Carolina Panthers LB 25
163 Marvin Jones Cincinnati Bengals WR 25
167 Michael Brockers St. Louis Rams DT 25
168 Michael Smith Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB 25
179 Riley Reiff Detroit Lions OT 25
196 Whitney Mercilus Houston Texans LB 25
225 Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB 25


Oh, and if you’re looking for a surefire visual tell-tale to differentiate the base Rookie Tickets from the variations, you can find it on the backs of the cards (check out the image below). The base versions include each player’s draft, college, height and weight information. The variations do not.

Contenders Variations Backs

Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance as we’ll have much more to share in the coming days. Below, you’ll find a few examples of the cards listed above.

53 Comments leave one →
  1. ugameck permalink
    February 9, 2013 9:12 am

    Is Blair Walsh an insanely short print? I hope not!

    • February 9, 2013 9:16 am

      I haven’t seen the rest of the list but I don’t think he’s “insanely” short.

      • Mcease permalink
        February 9, 2013 10:15 am

        So this isn’t all of the list? There could be others that are numbered to 10?

  2. February 9, 2013 9:21 am

    When should we expect a complete list, 1 week, 2 weeks?

  3. February 9, 2013 9:37 am

    Love seeing Kuechly getting some national attention!

  4. Marcus S. permalink
    February 9, 2013 9:39 am

    Any clue on the SP run of legendary contenders autos? I pulled the Junior Seau and I would think that has to be a super SP.

    • SGP FB Guy permalink
      February 9, 2013 4:29 pm

      ALL Legendary Contenders Autographs are limited to 5 copies!

  5. mwash1983 permalink
    February 9, 2013 9:41 am

    What about the Rookie Ink On Card Autos, do you have that list?

    • SGP FB Guy permalink
      February 9, 2013 4:30 pm

      Rookie Ink – 75 of each player except for Andrew Luck and RGIII – they are limited to 25 copies.

  6. February 9, 2013 10:32 am

    Any word on Justin Tucker as an SSP? I’ve yet to see one.

  7. February 9, 2013 11:37 am

    Is the variation always rarer than the regular one?

    • February 9, 2013 2:03 pm

      Good question. I’ll find out.

    • SGP FB Guy permalink
      February 9, 2013 4:38 pm

      Except for Courtney Upshaw – Super Bowl XLVII Champion linebacker.

      • eli26 permalink
        February 10, 2013 1:00 pm

        How many of the courtney upshaw variants?

  8. Mark permalink
    February 9, 2013 11:58 am

    which Luke is the SP?

  9. Jeremy permalink
    February 9, 2013 1:08 pm

    Just pulled a Dont’a Hightower Variation SP. WOOOOOOOOO Thanks for the teaser.

  10. Irving Minera permalink
    February 9, 2013 1:13 pm

    That kid Greg Zuerlein surely demands a lot of cash…

  11. Syd Raymond permalink
    February 9, 2013 1:25 pm

    How about St Luis Ram, Daryl Richardson?

  12. Bobby champlin permalink
    February 9, 2013 1:58 pm

    Bought 2 boxes, got 12 auto rookies but no on card at all. Thought it was supposed to be at least 2 per box. All lineman and other no names. Should have at least 1 good hit per box. Not happy

  13. Shannan Werder permalink
    February 9, 2013 3:44 pm

    Do all players have a Variation version? In particular Miles Burris? Thanks guys for the great product!

    • SGP FB Guy permalink
      February 9, 2013 4:36 pm

      Except for Rookie Tickets 236-245 – NO VARIATIONS!

      • ekalb permalink
        February 10, 2013 2:43 am

        Sweet thank you. What a shame, no second auto of Miles Burris. Oh well hopefully he will feature in at least one other product this year!

  14. Scott permalink
    February 9, 2013 4:14 pm

    HI Tracy, is there any chance you can put up photos of the base autos or the variations next to them? It’s easy to tell by the back but most sellers on ebay don’t put pics of the back up. I am building the base set to start so I don’t want to buy the variations. Thanks!

  15. Greg P permalink
    February 9, 2013 4:16 pm

    I opened 2 boxes yesterday and pulled two cracked ice autos and a luck thanks Panini keep the hits coming!!!!!!

  16. Rob permalink
    February 9, 2013 7:25 pm

    I pulled a Luck Rookie Ink.How many are there?I put it on ebay.

    • February 9, 2013 7:26 pm

      There are 25 copies of the Luck Rookie Ink.

      • mwash1983 permalink
        February 9, 2013 11:53 pm

        What’s the run for the LaMar Miller Rookie Ink?

  17. Jeremy permalink
    February 9, 2013 7:33 pm

    Any print run verification for Kellen Moore both variations?

  18. Matt permalink
    February 9, 2013 7:35 pm

    Great looking cards!

  19. February 9, 2013 11:25 pm

    Ahh a very nice way to tell!

  20. Steve permalink
    February 10, 2013 9:30 am

    Quite frankly, haven’t seen ANY Michael Smith and very few Marvin Jones…

  21. scott gonnering permalink
    February 11, 2013 9:24 am

    legendary auto sp?? are there any?? I have a Ted Hendricks legendary auto.. none on ebay.. SP??

  22. josh permalink
    February 11, 2013 11:07 am

    Why is Oliver Vernon so hard to find? I have one but have only seen 8 on eBay total sold and active listings.

    • Jeremy permalink
      February 11, 2013 11:22 am

      You might wanna try spelling his name right. You will find a few more.

  23. ken permalink
    February 11, 2013 11:11 am

    any idea when releasing the rest of the variation short print numberings?

    • Todd permalink
      February 11, 2013 2:00 pm

      I’m waiting for an update as well. I have a Bryce Brown variation and would like to know if it is on the SP or SSP list.

      • SGP FB Guy permalink
        February 11, 2013 2:15 pm

        The remaining list will be released by end of week!

      • Todd permalink
        February 11, 2013 4:22 pm

        Will Bryce Brown variation be on that SP list?

  24. Nathan permalink
    February 11, 2013 7:19 pm

    Is Blair Walsh a retail exclusive since none of his have hit ebay or any other sites yet, or just one of the lower numbered SPs? Also, since he falls in the 236-245 range, does he just lack the photo variation SP, or the /99 Playoff, /20 Ice, /1 Championship, and /1 plates as well?

  25. eli26 permalink
    February 12, 2013 4:25 pm

    So how in the hell are they going to list courtney upshaws regular run but not the variant? Lol does anyone know what run is on his variant? Or is it 57 all together?

    • Mcease permalink
      February 16, 2013 1:28 pm

      What is the count on the Upshaw variation auto. Pleople are selling it on ebay as the /57 card. Is that true?

      • eli26 permalink
        February 17, 2013 10:37 am

        I have no idea I am still trying to find out


  1. The Offical Contenders SP thread - Blowout Cards Forums
  2. 2012 Contenders SPs - Early speculation - Page 5 - Blowout Cards Forums
  3. Initial Contenders checklist SP released - Blowout Cards Forums
  4. Live - 2012 Contenders Case - Page 2 - Blowout Cards Forums
  5. Panini America Releases More SP, Variation Quantities for 2012 Contenders Football « The Official Panini America Blog
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