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

April 01, 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: