Returning King: Panini America Planning to Bring Back Gridiron Kings Football in 2015

Bolstered by the regal return of Diamond Kings Baseball as a standalone brand earlier this year after more than a decade away, Panini America officials recently announced that the art-card renaissance is crossing over to the NFL, too. In early October, the fabled Gridiron Kings Football makes its resounding comeback as a standalone brand for the first time since 2003, and it will exhibit the unique artistic flair that has drawn critical acclaim in years past.

Each 12-pack hobby box of 2015 Gridiron Kings Football will deliver one autograph, one memorabilia card, one Blue Frame base card, seven Rookie Cards, three Red Frame Rookie Cards, one Blue Frame Rookie Card, one Red Frame Limited Lithos, two All-Time Stat Kings, one Red Frame All-Time Stat Kings and five additional inserts or parallels.

via Returning King: Panini America Planning to Bring Back Gridiron Kings Football in 2015.

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2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football Is Almost Here!

Following months of anticipation, 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football is ready to hit the field. A packout process that began late last week has completed. Product has been overwrapped, boxed, cased and shipped. Next Wednesday, it will arrive in hobby shops across North America packing a distinctively Contenders feel (including Cracked Ice parallels and autograph variations) a wealth of impact-rich designs, great photography and a loaded autograph roster.

Each hobby box of 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football will deliver at least five autographs, 48 Game Day Tickets, 24 School Colors, 24 Old School Colors and a collectible array of additional inserts from a lineup that includes Collegiate Connections, Class Reunion, Passing Grades and Rush Week.

via The Panini America Quality Control Gallery: 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football | The Official Panini America Blog.

2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football from Panini America

Each hobby box of 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football (eight cards per pack, 24 packs per box) will deliver, on average, six autographs and 48 inserts or parallels. The product will feature autographs from the top players included in the 2015 NFL Draft as well as autographs from several NFL players featured in their college uniforms.

via 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football Takes Top NFL Stars Back to School (Gallery).

2015 Industry Summit Black Boxes

The 2015 Industry Summit is set to officially kick off tomorrow in Las Vegas as registered guests — retailers, distributors, card manufacturers, league officials — settle in for three straight days of meaningful meetings, round table discussions, new product reveals and spirited interaction that aims to have a positive industry impact in the coming year.

As has become its custom, Panini America will take a leading role in the Industry Summit once again this year, headlined by the company’s annual Tuesday address. But it’s what happens after that address — the distribution of the company’s fabled Black Boxes — that’s likely to steal its share of Summit headlines. Earlier this week we brought you a revealing first look at this year’s Black Box breakdown. Today, we’re digging a little deeper.

via Panini America Offers One More Peek Inside 2015 Industry Summit Black Boxes (Gallery).

Panini America Provides Detailed First Look at 2014 Black Friday Promotion (Gallery) | The Official Panini America Blog

For the fourth straight year, Panini America will bring the nationwide shopping frenzy of Black Friday to local hobby shops all over the country with another of its now-legendary wrapper-redemption programs. In the coming weeks, The Knight’s Lance will bring you everything you need to know about this year’s special event, including preview galleries, participating shop information and more. Bu today, we’re bringing you an exclusive first look at the 2014 Black Friday base set and Rookie Cards, and providing an updated list of participating Panini Roundtable stores.

This year’s multisport base set features 65 cards, including 21 current stars, 29 Rookie Cards (numbered to 499) and 15 Memorabilia Rookie Cards (numbered to 99). The promotion-exclusive release also marks the return of the striking Panini Collection insert, a comprehensive multisport autograph roster, memorabilia cards devoted to the NBA’s top rookies and the NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness and Salute to Service initiatives, and many more surprises that will be revealed in the coming weeks.

via Panini America Provides Detailed First Look at 2014 Black Friday Promotion (Gallery) | The Official Panini America Blog.

Peyton Manning: By The Numbers (from Forbes.com)

The Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers square off on Sunday Night Football with each team a half game out of first place in their respective divisions. The Broncos are seven point favorites at home, and both teams remain among the betting favorites to reach the Super Bowl. The big story Sunday is Peyton Manning’s quest to be the NFL’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns. He currently has 506 TD passes, just two behind Brett Favre. Manning has thrown for at least three touchdowns in four of the Broncos’ five games (he threw two in the other game). The closest active players to Manning are Drew Brees and Tom Brady, who both have 372 career TDs.

Football stats and records don’t hold the same mythical status that they do in baseball. Baseball fans revel in the idea of 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, at least until the steroid era. They can recite hit totals for Ty Cobb (4,191, later revised to 4,189) or Pete Rose’s all-time record of 4,256. Fans know the home run totals of Barry Bonds (763) or Hank Aaron (755). But even your most die hard NFL fans would have trouble rattling off Emmitt Smith’s career rushing record of 18.355 or Marino’s TD mark before this season when it started to get attention with Manning approaching the mark. Manning’s career has been defined by excellence and he has the opportunity to retire with the records for most of the major career passing categories. Here are some of the numbers on and off-the-field that define Manning’s career.

via Peyton Manning: By The Numbers.

Ratings Bonanza for Draft Day

It’s no secret that the NFL drives interest in the sports world, as evidenced by the coverage given to the league year-round.

Fans get college football games, the Senior Bowl, the combine, interviews and Internet coverage to get to know each and every player on the board at the draft. It’s that familiarity that makes the event so compelling.

Don’t expect the boulder to stop rolling down the hill. The draft will only get bigger, the coverage more grand and the fans more prolific.

We hope you enjoy the draft, because you will only see more of it from here on out.

via NFL Draft’s 1st-Round Coverage Nets ESPN and NFL Network Insane Ratings | Bleacher Report.

The Infinite Season and The Network That Feeds The Beast

The NFL season never actually ends. At least, this is what ESPN believes. In Bristol, the NFL year is a continuous strand of fabric to be stretched beyond its physical properties, the limitations of which have yet to be discovered. This is the philosophy which brings us months of draft speculation masquerading as expertise and, Wednesday night, a two-hour schedule release program.

In an effort to generate as much slack from the definition of “entertainment” as possible, four men — Trey Wingo, Tim Hasselbeck, Jerome Bettis, and current Redskins safety Ryan Clark — gathered around a desk to share their thoughts on the 2014 NFL schedule, despite the draft yet to occur and opening kickoff more than four months away.

It’s not as if there’s a Selection Show-esque suspense, revealing opponents or seeding. We have known for months each team’s opponents, just not the order in which they will play. It’s fundamentally impossible to overstate what a non-event this was, and yet, it competed with the NHL playoffs in terms of news coverage and the NBA playoffs in Twitter volume.

Real power is not exhibited by what can be accomplished with sweat, but by what can be done without the slightest exertion. The NFL has tried very hard to dominate the ratings and create an on-field product people seek. But forming a schedule is a logistics exercise. It’s not an event. It never was before. Yet the NFL has gotten so big, so mighty, so demanded, that even the league’s administrative processes have become newsworthy. It’s not even trying anymore, but it’s still working. This is the behemoth the NFL has become, with which all other sports must reckon, and ESPN is only so happy to make a network out of it.

via At ESPN, the NFL season never, ever ends. | SportsonEarth.com : Aaron Gordon Article.

2014 NFL Schedule: Flex games can now start in Week 5 – NFL.com

The potential flex games between Week 5 and Week 10 come with a stipulation. The NFL can’t change the tentative “Sunday Night Football” game every week. The league can flex up to two games total into Sunday night between Weeks 5-10. The rest of the flexible schedule procedures from previous years remains intact. After Week 11, the NFL can flex any Sunday night game.

As before, only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window. Thursday, Saturday, and Monday games are not affected. Flex scheduling allows the league to handpick a game to be moved into the Sunday Night NBC window, avoiding lackluster matchups.

The “cross flex” mechanism will serve a similar purpose. Select games can be flexed between CBS and FOX. In the past, a game with two NFC teams had to be on FOX and a game with two AFC teams had to be on CBS. Now, the league can theoretically move an all-NFC game to CBS or an all-AFC game to FOX in select cases. This will help balance out the television schedule, especially in a week where one network has all the most intriguing games.

via 2014 NFL Schedule: Flex games can now start in Week 5 – NFL.com.