For many of the most dedicated football card collectors on the planet, this glorious Week 3 Sunday of the 2013 NFL season is a day you've been eagerly anticipating for months. It's a day that, in hindsight, might be remembered as something of Christmas in September. It's the day, after all, that we unveil the new Rookie Card designs for Panini America's 2013 Contenders Football.
For many of the most dedicated football card collectors on the planet, this glorious Week 3 Sunday of the 2013 NFL season is a day you’ve been eagerly anticipating for months. It’s a day that, in hindsight, might be remembered as something of Christmas in September. It’s the day, after all, that we unveil the new Rookie Card designs for Panini America’s 2013 Contenders Football.
One of the most important and revered football brands in NFL trading card history turns 21 this season, carrying with it another splendid rendition of the landmark Rookie Ticket design and a few new additions to the autograph roster that will surprise even the most tenured Contenders collectors. Get all of the details after the jump.
One of the most pressing questions regarding any new Contenders Rookie Ticket design is a simple one: Vertical or horizontal? In the decorated 15-year history of Contenders’ autographed Rookie Tickets, the cards have sported a vertically oriented design 11 times, with just 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2011 featuring a horizontal design.
(Speaking of rookie tickets, the one to have later today is the one that lets you watch EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills battle Geno Smith and the New York Jets. That’s this week’s #PaniniWildCard game so stay tuned to the Panini America Twitter feed beginning today at noon CST for more information.)
For 2013, Panini America keeps with the brand’s vertical-format roots on cards that boast crisp action photography, a bold team-color scheme, subtle foil touches and plenty of short-printed variations (including Cracked Ice, Holofoil and photo variation versions). 2013 Contenders Football also includes a radically reimagined Rookie Ink insert design that instantly ranks among the most unique of the season.
More breaking news for 2013 Contenders Football: Panini America has added two new rookie-dedicated autograph inserts in NFLPA Rookie Premiere Autographs and a Contenders version of Pen Pals.
Without further ado, then, we present the world-premiere unveiling of the 2013 Contenders Football Rookie Ticket designs. Most of what you’re about to see is unsigned at this point, but at the end of the gallery you’ll also find autographed versions of some of the earliest arrivals, including Eddie Lacy and Marquise Goodwin.
Enjoy the gallery and stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for additional coverage of 2013 Contenders Football.