2000 Playoff Contenders Football

We last saw Playoff with Leaf Rookies & Stars where we mentioned that sometimes redemption cards can be a good thing (when they are next season's rookies).  This week we're taking a look at a Playoff product that is being hurt by a few factors, one of which is the dreaded "too many redemptions" tag.  Over the past couple years Contenders has been at the forefront of football card originality, but other manufacturers and products have caught up quickly showing us that it's tough to stay on top.

2000 Playoff Contenders Kurt Warner / Isaac Bruce Dual Jersey/Pants Card
I had to hunt down this card from an auction
as every single jersey card I pulled from
Contenders was a redemption.

When Playoff came up with the autographed rookie card idea two years ago it was a nice bonus to an already cool new set, 1998 Contenders.  That set was filled with leather cards and felt pennants so the addition of autographed ticket rookie cards pushed it right to the top.  Last year there was little letdown as Contenders showed up with more autographs and made them easier to find.  When the short prints were announced some people were sitting on a fortune with relative unknowns like Jeff Garcia in their possession.  This year the idea of autographed rookie cards is simply not enough.  Other manufacturers have jumped on the idea and added numbering, short printing, and even swatches of game jerseys to their autographed rookie cards making Contenders look a bit thin.  To counter this problem Playoff has made the rookie cards easier to find at about three per box (1 in 4 packs).  Unfortunately to do this they had to increase the rookie set size to 90 with 50 of those being from NFL Europe.  This means that a large majority of the autographs are commons and have very little value.  The other problem is pack price.  Local dealers are asking between $9 and $11 per pack so even with good odds on autographed rookies and some really cool memorabilia cards it's tough to buy more than a couple.  I've also had numerous complaints from people who opened a whole box only to find three unknown NFL Europe autographs.  Hopefully for next year Playoff will take this great product and bring it back to the top.

More details can be found on the Playoff website.  

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