Because It Was There: A Pack of 2021 Panini NFL Five

I miss being able to wander into a store and buying packs of cards just to see what they look like. In the grand scheme of things these days, that’s a minor kvetch, but it’s still there. Target, of course, doesn’t carry anything MLB, NFL or NBA, and they never have anything else anyway. The Walmart and Walgreens near my house do carry some cards, but there’ never any when I’m there.

So last week I had a doctor’s appointment in another part of town, and this doctor’s office happens to be near a relatively small Walmart, so I went in to see what they had.

What they had was nearly an entire vending box of “NFL Five”, a name which meant ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to me, but I could tell from the wrapper that it is a collectible card game.

“What the hell”, I said, as I took it and a clearance pack of UD Hockey up to the self checkout.

Now as soon as I picked up the NFL Five pack, I could tell that the cards were on pretty thin cardstock. The wrapper says “9 cards”, but from the way it feels I would’ve guessed 4, maybe 5 cards.

Later that day I did some research on NFL Five and was surprised to find that this is the third season of this product. Shows how much I pay attention to football cards these days.

But the pack was there taunting me by… well, by being an unopened pack of a sports-related product. Maybe I’d pull one of my Steelers or get some trade bait for the couple of trading buddies I have who don’t mind getting cards of their favorite teams.

Of course, I also get a blog post for my $4… which was a bit pricier than I’d expected, but I admit I was basing that largely against Topps Match Attax soccer gaming cards.

OK, so let’s run through the pack quickly for anyone who hasn’t already closed the browser tab.

First card, Alec Ingold of the [pauses to make sure he gets it right] Las Vegas Raiders. It took me over a decade to get used to “St. Louis Rams”, and look where *that* got me.

Not bad looking, especially by collectible card game standards.

Here’s the back, should anyone be interested. All the card backs are the same, as it’s a game.

Baltimore Ravens? BOOOOOOO!  (At least they lost to Vegas last night in OT)

This is some sort of gameplay card. There’s a Panini video on how to play this game, but my eyes glazed over about a third of the way through it. The featured player appears to be Nick Chubb, running back for the Browns.

Daniel Jones, NY Giants quarterback. Again, not an exciting photo, but a nice photo… also nicely printed.

So it turns out I did get a Steeler… But it was in this blue shiny card which I *think* is a “Swirl-o-rama” parallel. OK, Panini, whatever you say… The card doesn’t identify the player, but I know it’s linebacker TJ Watt.

It doesn’t show up in the scan, but this is a shiny card. The shiny effect is pretty cool, it’d be nicer if it wasn’t all blue like that… it makes it look like Watt had been attacked by some Apple Bonkers (a quick Yellow Submarine reference for you fans of the movie).

“Today… Pittsburgh turns BLUE” (cue “March of the Meanies” from the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album)

Another gameplay card. I kind of like this one for some odd reason. I have no idea what stadium this is, though. 

Some poor football team collector is going to have to chase this card.

Ooh, another Giant. Don’t know James Bradberry, but I don’t watch a whole lot of the NFC. I’ll freely admit that I’m a fairly devoted Steelers fan, but I’m a sorry-ass NFL fan.

I like how orange this card of Melvin Gordon III is.

And the last card is Derwin James Jr. One of my neighbors likes the Chargers, maybe I’ll see if he’d want this…

And there you go. I wouldn’t buy another pack of this, but that’s mainly because I don’t collect football. It does seem like a nice enough set and if I were thinking of collecting a football set it’s something I’d consider. 326 cards, so it’s not huge… plus there are chase cards and parallels, but nothing crazy like a Patrick Mahomes II auto / relic / DNA sample.

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