Artistic Impressions: Top NFL Rookies Get Creative for Unique Panini America Cards

July 30, 2012

Most folks would agree that the 35 NFL players who attended May’s 2012 NFLPA Rookie Premiere have football down to an art form. Their real art forms, though, are every bit as interesting, compelling, revealing and fun to look at.

Andrew Luck, the Picasso, is no match for Andrew Luck, the passer, but his rendition of Lucas Oil Stadium is pretty darn impressive. Robert Griffin III likely won’t draw comparisons to Vincent van Gogh, but he will draw a colorfully poignant tree. And while Brandon Weeden is no Andy Warhol, his use of color is, dare we say, impeccable.

Indeed, you can learn a lot about a player by handing him a blank 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 cardboard canvas and telling him to “sketch something.” That’s essentially what Panini America officials did in late May, and the resulting original sketch cards, as you’ll soon see, are equal parts inspirational, elementary, fascinating and funny.

To complete the masterpieces, each player autographed the back of his sketch. And each of these hand-drawn originals — and more like them — will be randomly inserted as instant-win prizes in Panini America’s wrapper-redemption program during the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention, which begins Wednesday at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The one-of-a-kind works of art are personal and personality-bearing, dripping with pearls of wisdom and hinting at the optimism of the future. Some of our personal favorites? Luck’s Lucas Oil Stadium rendition, both of Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin’s pirates and anything created by New York Giants running back David Wilson.

Check them out for yourself below.