Playbook’s coach ink: Cardboard perfection?



By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

I’ve often found examples of cardboard that make me stop and look — and then ask myself why that was the case.

More often than not, there’s some touch that makes the card great. It could be a photo, a color choice or a perfectly balanced design.

A card that caught my attention Thursday when it was teased by Panini America has all of that and more. It’s this Bill Parcells card to be found in packs of 2014 Panini Playbook football cards, which will arrive in hobby shops next week.

It’s got two great photos, an advanced design and the smartest inclusion of them all — a play drawn up by a coach in a booklet card … in a product called Playbook.

It’s smart and creatively done on all fronts. It makes me want to buy football cards. Tell us what you think in the comments below — and grade this card in our poll.

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. Patrick 16 October, 2014 at 15:01

    It’s a shame it shows him as a Cowboy and not as a Giant. Otherwise the card would be perfect.

  2. Dan 16 October, 2014 at 15:44

    I’d give the concept an A, but disliking Parcells as much as I do, I’d give this specific card an F. Could you imagine a Shula, Lombardi or Halas?

  3. Mike 17 October, 2014 at 06:31

    I agree with both Dan and Patrick. The idea of brining coaches autos back is awesome, but to not make the card of the the team the coach is most recognizable for deals it a big blow. Parcells should most definitely be shown as the Giants coach!! That would be like making a Shula on the Colts instead of the Fins. Or Holmgren as the Seahawks coach.

  4. Jonathan W. Iwanski 17 October, 2014 at 16:16

    Things have to be crazy innovative now, or nobody pays attention out loud. It’s hard for me to be surprised anymore, Chris, and I see less than 0.01% the cards you do. This is another I’ll chalk up to, “Pretty cool, but I’ll never see one in person, let alone own one.” Then I’ll forget about it completely as soon as something cool comes out next week and it’s on this site. I’m not complaining. It’s just hard to care about uniqueness in a market over-saturated with it. Heck, if there were 10+ different subsets to this card it wouldn’t shock me: blue ink running plays, black ink pass plays, gold ink special teams, same play different pictures, same pictures different play, same pictures and play with a different background color, plays that won big games in his career, etc.

  5. chrisolds 17 October, 2014 at 17:06

    Playbook is going to up the ante on the booklet game — there’s a lot more bigger cards than this one. Just wait and see.

  6. Ken M 19 October, 2014 at 16:59

    ( This is not a rant to the commentors on this particular article, this is just a rant after reading numerous comments, no ill will or attacks aimed at anyone!) So feel free to rip this apart all you want! It’s just my thoughts!

    Can any one tell me when did card collectors become so negative? I have read a lot of comments on this site and they are mostly negative. What motivates you to continue collecting sports cards? I remember when there were no innovative cards in the 80’s, and i would flip if I got a rookie card of one of my favorite players (remember Dale Murphy, Crime Dog!). I would read the back of every card and learn about the players and I was happy. If it was worth something then that was the icing on the cake. When did my hobby turn into a stock market?

    It was the love of collecting, not how much a card was worth but just the thrill of collecting and it was almost like getting to know the player. I almost cried when I pulled my first auto of a no name player out of a 90’s pack ( Classic Best four sport I think. Numbered to 2500! OMG) because I had never seen an autograph of a real player let alone a autograph I owned.

    I got out of the hobby in the past couple of years because of deployments in the military etc. , but now I’m thinking of rebuilding my collection with my boy. I honestly think that we as card collectors have been spoiled a bit.. myself included, in that we no longer enjoy the hobby unless it includes the cards being (monetarily) valuable.

    The reason why sports cards are valuable to me is because it is one of the few great memories I have when looking back on my life. I know there are cards that will never be seen by regular collectors either because of lack of funds, rarity etc. but I wish some of you would go into your rooms, break out your cards, and remember how exciting it was when you ripped those packs and found a special card, or finally was able to complete a tough set, or what about the gem of your collection.

    Now imagine not having any of those cards or there were no cards to collect at all, or you couldn’t collect for what ever reason. Trust me some of you would feel an emptiness like none other (I know I do!)

    I just want to say enjoy the cards you have, and if you are collecting cards for any other reason than the enjoyment of a pastime and the sport associated with it then you are wasting your time (I’m talking to you real collectors on that fixed budget). No one knows what the future holds, and no one knows if these cards will be as valuable as they are from one year to the next, or where life may take you (Like me, I’m on my off day in afghanistan right now wishing I could open a few packs of anything! Hey at least i got to see the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders today! LOL) and all you have are memories.

  7. Charlie DiPietro 22 October, 2014 at 08:14

    Hi Ken M,
    First and foremost, thank you for your service. Although I never served in the military (I spent 37 working Civil Service for the Air Force) our family has had long history in the military, including my wife’s 23 years service. I understand your sacrifice.

    In answer to your first question, “When did card collectors get so negative?” I have owned Sports Cards Plus of San Antonio for over 23 years. I know all the collectors in San Antonio and many collectors throughout South Texas. The vast majority (95% by my estimate) are NOT Negative. What you see on the internet are a few ( of the 200,000 collectors) who choose to voice their frustrations about card design or card product content.

    The Hobby needs more collectors like you, but their is room for all those who collect for whatever reason. Don’t let the negative talk get you down. If you are ever in San Antonio, come by and say Hi. I will introduce you to many collectors who love collecting as much as you.

  8. KenM 23 October, 2014 at 11:19

    Charlie thanks for the invite, and thank you for your service! Many people don’t know it but we depend heavily on our DOD civilians for sustainment purposes in order to accomplish the mission. Do you have an online site? the reason why I ask is because I’m headed to Germany when I get back, and would love to buy from a brick and motar instead of other online sites even if it costs more.

    Well i am glad you have great collectors around you and i wish you the best.

    I do understand that there is room for collectors for all types but I believe that is what others need to understand, and some products are intended for certain groups.

    I just don’t get why people think all cards should give you back a profit in return imediately.

    I mean think about it would any one have paid thousands for a Tom Brady rookie imediatly after it’s release? Heck he was the last pick in the draft that year.

    I mean did kids in 1952 think the Topps and Bowman cards they put in the spokes of there bicycles would be worth thousands of dollars later? Heck no! They had cards of their favorite players and that was their enjoyment.

    Do fishermen who buy huge bass boats and expensive gear do it because they want to resell the stuff in order to recoup their money back? Of course not they do it for the enjoyment of the hobby.

    Futhermore you never know what happens in the future when it comes to players, and sometimes it’s great to hold on to cards and as the player gets better the value of their collectibles increases.

    Anyway great writing to you and hopefully I will be back in the hobby soon!

    Take Care,


  9. Charlie DiPietro 24 October, 2014 at 07:53

    Thanks for the kind words. You can click on my name at top of this message and it will take you to my website, facebook and twitter. We post pictures of our customers. Being here in “Military City USA (San Antonio)” many of our customers are military or retired military. My bother was stationed in Germany. You’ll love it.

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