Examining My Favorite Autograph from the 2011 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere . . .

May 23, 2011

Over the course of four days at the just-completed 2011 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles, the Panini America events team acquired seemingly countless autographs from the 36 future NFL superstars who participated in the marquee event. Those autographs will highlight the company’s stacked roster of football brands all season long.

But one signature in particular stands out — and unlike all of the others, this one will never appear in a Panini America football product.

No, my favorite autograph from the weekend was the last one we acquired. It was signed late on Saturday night by profusely talented Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones just seconds after he and Panini America CEO Mark Warsop soundly defeated Topps’ Clay Luraschi and the Tennessee Titans’ Jamie Harper to win the inaugural 2011 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere Cues & Cocktails billiards tournament.

Jones signed the official Cues & Cocktails bracket not long after Warsop’s stirring tournament-winning bank shot.

To be sure, Warsop’s shot — and Jones’ poignant penmanship — provided the perfect ending to an overwhelmingly winning weekend.