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Bob D’Angelo

Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.

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Collect call: 2012 Crown Royale football

Posted Jan 27, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 09:32 PM

It’s always nice to get an added bonus when opening a box of cards. Whether it’s an extra autograph or relic card, or something as small as an extra base card, it’s part of the thrill of opening new boxes of cards.

That’s what I encountered when opening a hobby box of 2012 Crown Royale football by Panini America. A hobby box sells in the neighborhood of $90, and Panini advertises four packs per box, with five cards to a pack.

My bonus? The box I opened had six cards to a pack. All the extra cards were base cards, but that was fine by me. I managed to pull 10 base cards from those four packs.

Crown Royale’s base set contains 150 cards, plus 100 rookies numbered to 399 and 35 Rookie Silhouettes numbered to 149 or less. A typical hobby box should yield at least two rookies. Mine contained Vikings tight end Rhett Ellison and Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin; plus a silver parallel card of Cardinals wide receiver Gerell Robinson, numbered to 149. Robinson had a rough rookie year, as he suspended four games by the NFL in September for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Base cards also have parallels: silver, numbered to 149; gold (99), green (49), purple (25), and blue (5). I pulled one parallel, a gold card of Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis; and a silver parallel of Bills running back C.J. Spiller, numbered to 149.

The base card layout is horizontal, with a die-cut crown design. The player’s team colors are used as background, and Panini has made the colors rich and deep. It sets off well against the silver foil that makes up the crown. Nice contrast.

The nicest looking card I pulled was the Rookie Silhouette green parallel card of Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles. There is a sticker autograph, plus a generously large swatch of game-used material. This particular card, numbered to 49, had a four-color swatch: white, silver, black and blue. Broyles’ name was in small green foil at the top of the card; the bottom half was dominated by green foil.

The Crowning Glory relic card is a die-cut, and the one I pulled was of Texans running back Arian Foster, numbered to 99. The right-hand side of the card is die-cut and contained a white swatch of uniform material.

The last two big hits were rookie autograph cards, numbered to 245, of Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler and Rams tight end Deangelo Peterson. This layout is vertical, with the die-cut crown smaller at the top of the card. There is plenty of space for the player to sign, and Zeitler added a nice touch by including his number to go with his signature.

The hobby box I sampled contained four different inserts: Pivotal Players, Field Force, Majestic Motion and NFL Regime. Each insert is part of a 25-card set and have a traditional look, rather than die-cuts. Each insert set also contains parallels in red (numbered to 100), blue (25) and green (10).

Collectors opening hobby boxes also have a shot at obtaining a Legendary Silhouettes Signature card, with players like Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon, John Elway, Barry Sanders, Joe Namath, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice among the 30 big-names. Tim Brown is not included in this set, and I suppose given his recent stance, in 10 years he will claim it was sabotage.

All kidding aside, Crown Royale offers some nice rookies and some interesting die-cut designs that football collectors should enjoy.

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