Over the last few years I've really become a fan of the NFL. Having a team in your own backyard helps. When the 2011 cards started to hit one set/design really caught my eye - 2011 Panini Threads.
I've bought a random pack of Threads in the past, but this year's design lived up to it's name. Just take a look at the base card's design and you'll see what I mean.
The whole set is presented with horizontal photos which I like. What I thought was nice about the front design is the stitching and the team's colors used on the vertical stripes.
The back design is nice too as it carries over the stitched look and the team's colors. I do have one minor complaint though. The photo - it's the same one used on the front.
The base set is comprised of 150 cards. Most teams have 3 players representing their colors. Player selection is pretty good, but there are some players in their old uniforms such as Carson Palmer. Oh well. The rookies are present and make up card #s 151-250. Cards #251-300 are autographed manufactured letter patches of select rookies. Why they are numbered as part of the set and not their own set I'll never understand. Trying to put this 300 card set together will be really difficult not to mention expensive so I'm happy w/ the base set of 150.
There are lots of inserts to be had in both the regular and serially numbered variety. Lots and lots of autos and jersey cards as well. Each hobby box guarantees 4 hits with one of the hits being an auto. My box had mixed results. We'll start off with the different levels of Century Proof parallels. You can't really tell when I scanned the card's front that it was different than the base card so I scanned the back instead. This way you can at least see the serial numbering.
Santonio Holmes Silver #152/250
Richard Gordon RC Silver #136/250
Kris Durham RC Gold #081/100
Jimmy Clausen Platinum #01/25
These are pretty decent looking parallels, but the only one I'm keeping is the Clausen card just because it's a Carolina Panthers card.
Delone Carter #019/300
I know some people love these cards while others hate anything that is manufactured. I'm on the fence about them personally. I was hoping to hit pay dirt and pull a Cam Newton (or A.J. Green), but oh well. Any Colts fans interested?
Buck Buchanan #085/100
Heritage Collection has 15 cards...most of players that I'm not all that familiar with. I'm baseball first so I don't have the knowledge of the NFL that I do of MLB. Apparently these cards also come in the different levels of Century Proofs.
Not a bad looking design, but there are other inserts that caught my eye more. All but the Ed Reed/Darrelle Revis card are available for trade.
I'm not always a fan of multi-player cards, but when they are all teammates it helps.
The 2010 All Rookie Team cards have a simple design, but I was happy to pull the Tim Tebow card.
I like the look of these Star Factor cards. The Phillips Rivers will go into my small NC State football collection.
The Gridiron Kings set is probably my favorite insert set. The cards have a canvas like feel to them and feature some nice paintings of the players. These have a UD Masterpieces vibe going on. I'm thinking this would be a fun set to build so I'll be piecing together a want list soon.
These also come with different colored paper frame variations such as this Hines Ward which is #d 40/50. I don't know all the different colors and levels of numbering for these. Surely there is a Steelers fan reading this that would want this beautiful card.
Brandon Jacobs #117/299
Like a lot of Panini's different insert sets this one also has game-used jersey variations. I guess it was fitting that my card is of a player in next week's Super Bowl. While it's a really nice looking card I'll be looking for a new home for it.
Maurice Jones-Drew #238/299
The Gameday Jerseys set is another beautiful design that Panini has crafted. There are some good names in this 25 card set. I was happy to pull this guy as he was a beast in my Fantasy team this year. I have already acquired the Jonathan Stewart in this set so I'm looking to trade Jones-Drew for Carson Palmer if anyone is interested.
I left the best card for last...well at least in my opinion. I knew the box would give me on average 3 jersey cards. I just wasn't sure what type of jersey cards I'd get. Some of the packs contained thick dummy cards to throw off pack searchers so I never knew for sure what to expect when I would pick up a thicker pack out of the box. This cool card is numbered #22/25 as well. I looked on eBay (both current and past auctions) and this card hasn't been up on the auction block yet. I don't normally care about card values, but I was surprised to see no one else has put up one of the other 24 of this card up for auction/sale.
According to the checklist included in the box there were a few other insert sets that I didn't get to see first hand: Rookie Collections Materials - Combo Materials - Quad Materials, Rookie Signature Combos - Triples - Quads and Franchise Fabrics.
All in all I've got to say that Panini has done an excellent job with this set and I'm happy w/ the outcome of my box. If it hadn't been for the Tebow I may have been a little disappointed, but pulling that card put a smile on my face. I am building the base set and I believe I only lack 2-3 cards. I'll be putting up a want list soon and adding all the RCs and inserts shown here to my trade list very very soon.