Gallery: Panini America’s Wild Wednesday at the 2013 NFLPA Rookie Premiere

May 16, 2013

Panini America 2013 NFLPA Rookie Premiere Wednesday (62)

LOS ANGELES — Full of the pomp, circumstance and fun that has come to earmark one of the sports card industry’s most important events, the entertaining spectacle that is the 2013 NFLPA Rookie Premiere kicked off with a bang Wednesday afternoon inside the Panini America Player Lounge. In all, 18 of the 40 top NFL rookies assembled at this year’s event made their through the Panini America room, signing on-card autographs for upcoming products such as 2013 Prestige Football and 2013 Elite Football.

Headlining Wednesday’s guest list: New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, St. Louis Rams receivers¬†Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o, Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball and San Francicso 49ers teammates Marcus Lattimore and Quinton Patton.

During a highly productive three-hour stint Wednesday afternoon, the rookies filled the Panini America room with a healthy buzz, casual conversation, an abundance of laughs and an air of unmistakable stardom.

One of my favorite moments from Day One: Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael suggesting that he sign some of his 2013 Prestige Football NFL Passport autographs with the team-color green Staedtler pen initially reserved for his Elite Inscriptions. The result was an overly attractive green-ink version that will be limited to just 33 cards.

The following gallery provides some unique behind-the-scenes flavor to Wednesday’s proceedings. Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance all week long for continued coverage of the 2013 NFLPA Rookie Premiere, including a complete recap of Thursday’s big events.