I like to watch football. Thanksgiving football is especially nice. However, I don’t buy a lot of football cards. Actually, I buy almost zero football cards. I did pick up a blaster of the new Topps Gridiron Legends cards because I’ve been thinking about something that I’ve heard over and over in the media lately.
The Indianapolis Colts have the inside track on the #1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft. At 0-10, they have a two game “lead” over the Panthers and Rams as the worst team in football this year. I’m not a Colts fan, but I don’t understand all the hand-wringing over whether they should take the highly touted Andrew Luck as the #1 pick in the draft. Everyone seems worried that the injured Peyton Manning will be upset if the Colts take Luck. If I’m the Colts and Luck is as good as everyone says he is, I take Luck and I’m sitting happy for another 12-15 years. Don’t take my word for it. There’s current history to back this up.
Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best QB in the NFL today, was drafted in 2005. He was Brett Favre’s backup in 2005 and when Favre decided to continue playing, Rodgers continued as backup in ’06 and ’07. He spent a full three seasons watching, learning and studying. He took over as the Packer’s starter in 2008, spent 2 years refining what he had learned while watching and led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory in 2010. He’s playing even better this year.
This brings us back to Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and the Colts. I don’t understand why they can’t follow the model the Packers did. Draft Luck. Let him watch and learn from a living legend. He can study film, soak up every bit of experience and knowledge possible and be ready to take the reins when Manning finally hangs it up (or gets pushed out the door like Favre). This could keep the Colts at the top of the AFC for another decade or more. It makes sense to me, but I haven’t heard anyone mention that scenario as a possibility.
Again, I know this is primarily a baseball blog and that’s what most of you care about, but here is a breakdown of the contents of my Topps Gridiron Legends blaster. It contained 7 packs with the ever popular “Free Bonus Pack!!” Six cards per pack gives me a total of 48 cards. The base set has 165 cards with 30 Legends, 55 Rookies and 80 Veterans.
Austin Pettis, Rams RC
Jamie Harper, Titans RC
Joe Montana, 49ers
Larry Fitzgerald Gridiron Legacies (1:4 packs)
Emmitt Smith, Cowboys blue parallel (1:1 packs. These are thicker than the base cards and come one per pack. The only thing “blue” is the background behind the player is a shade of blue)
LeSean McCoy, Eagles
Greg Salas, Rams RC
Rob Housler, Cardinals RC
Howie Long, Raiders
Vincent Brown Aspiring Legacies (1:5 packs)
Josh Freeman blue parallel, Bucs
Brandon Marshall, Dolphins
Cecil Shorts, Panthers RC
Dion Lewis, Eagles RC
Vernon Davis, 49ers
Junior Seau, Chargers
Aaron Rodgers blue parallel, Packers
Joe Flacco, Ravens
Ryan Williams, Cardinals RC
Andy Dalton, Bengals RC
Percy Harvin, Vikings
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
Mike Williams blue parallel, Bucs
Reggie Wayne, Colts
That was the first pack without a Legend.
AJ Green, Bengals RC
Ray Lewis, Ravens
Wes Welker, Patriots
Art Monk Gridiron Legacies (1:4 packs)
LeSean McCoy blue parallel, Eagles
Matt Cassell, Chiefs
That was the first pack with only one rookie.
Jordan Todman, Chargers RC
Chris Johnson, Titans
Troy Polamalu, Steelers
Peyton Hillis green parallel #45/150 (1:44 packs—the background has a slight green tint)
Thomas Jones blue parallel, Chiefs
Antonio Gates, Chargers
Jimmy Smith, Ravens RC
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Cam Newton Aspiring Legacies (1:5 packs)
Matt Forte blue parallel, Bears
Joe Namath, Jets
Pack 8 Super Duper Free Bonus Pack!!! Yea, right.
JJ Watt, Texans RC
Bart Starr, Packers
Franco Harris, Steelers
Kurt Warner/Sam Bradford Legendary Combos (1:10 packs)
Mike Wallace blue parallel, Steelers
Phil Simms, Giants
Ok, that pack was loaded with Legends, although I don’t think Phil Simms qualifies as a Legend. Nothing earth shattering came out of the blaster, but it has some nice cards and the base cards are nice and clean. I wouldn’t mind having some of these signed. I got 34/165 base cards (20.6%) and 14 inserts/parallels. My youngest son has expressed an interest in collecting football cards (he has to be different than big brother) so I think we may try to put together the base set. The non-Cowboy inserts/parallels are available for trade if anyone is interested. If you have any base cards from this set, let me know!! If you read this far…God bless you!