There are certain years that define your youth. For me, that’s 2004. I started high school. The Curse of the Bambino came to an unfortunate and painful end. I got my first complete set of baseball cards (2004 Topps). It was a big year for me.
That was the year I also became a big NFL fan. I had always watched and seemingly rotated favorite teams but finally settled on the Eagles a few years prior. What took me to the next level of fandom was ESPN NFL 2K5, aka the greatest video game ever. It was affordable (only $20!!) and was a lot of fun to play and run teams as a GM. I had a franchise mode for every single team. My social life was virtually non-existent in high school, so I made up for it with that game.
All that’s to say that early 2000s football holds a special place in my collecting heart — especially 2004. Cards from this year are a bit tougher to find and can run pricey with rookie cards from Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. So when I found blasters of 2004 Score available for $30 a box, I bounced on a few… then a few more… then a few more. It may be 3X the original asking price but I had to do it.
In total, I think I’ve ordered eight boxes. With still two more boxes to sort, I have 260 of the 440 cards in this set with about 109 doubles. I may buy more (probably will) but for now, here’s my best box:
Two Hall of Famers in Randy Moss and Jason Witten… and a rookie Larry Fitzgerald! The Nick Barnett is a glossy.
Again, a pair of Hall of Famers in the base with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Corey Dillon was a huge part of the Patriots ’04 team. Can’t beat a Philip Rivers rookie! And Devery Henderson was one of my favorites in NFL 2K5, so glad to pick up a glossy rookie.
Only one Hall of Famer in this pack in Aeneas Williams (who I’m not sure is talked about a lot). This pack did feature two players whose lives were cut short — Steve McNair and Sean Taylor. The Urlacher is the glossy.
Another Brady card emerges! Torry Holt was a good receiver, and Peter Warrick was…. supposed to be good. Will Smith played for a long time with the Saints (and was also murdered…. geez). The Andre Davis is glossy.
A Hall of Famer in Rod Woodson…. and two solid players back in the early 2000s in Jeremy Shockey and Stephen Davis. Tommie Harris looked like he was going to be a stud as the 14th overall pick and making the Pro Bowl in 3 of his first 4 years, but he fizzled out quickly. Takeo Spikes is the glossy.
Oh, LaMont Jordan. He was…. decent. Reggie Wayne was good, and so was that Brett Favre guy. Ben Roethlisberger’s had a Hall of Fame career. And Ben Troupe is the glossy.
I liked Aaron Brooks as a QB. He brought the Saints up from a mediocre existence into playoff contention. Ickey Woods was well out of the league but he’s still featured in this set as the only ‘legacy’ player. And I wasn’t expecting to pull an auto out of a box so that was a nice surprise. Michael Clayton had a great rookie season but then got hurt. Rashaun Woods (another 49ers’ first-round WR bust… he was supposed to be Terrell Owens’ replacement) is the glossy.
Another rare pack with no Hall of Famers. It does feature a MVP in Shaun Alexander. Trent Green was also good. Robert Gallery was projected to be a Hall of Famer as the 2nd overall pick in 2004 but was a huge bust. The normal base Alexander is actually the glossy one.
We might be back on the Hall of Fame train with Hines Ward, though he’s still on the border of making it. Daunte Culpepper put up some huge seasons but didn’t last long. D.J. Williams had a solid NFL career. And Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez is the glossy parallel.
In the penultimate pack, we get a trio of great receivers in Anquan Boldin, Tim Brown (Hall of Famer!), and Plaxico Burress. Jonathan Vilma is another linebacker who played for a long time and was a key piece of the Saints 2009 Super Bowl-winning team. And A.J. Feeley (whom the Eagles traded for two 2nd-round picks after the 2003 season) is the glossy.
Last pack, one more Hall of Famer in Terrell Suggs. Darren Sharper was a monster off the field in the worst way possible. Lee Evans had a few solid years but is best known for his drop in 2010 that helped send the Patriots to the Super Bowl. And Eric Parker is the glossy… if you haven’t caught on to the system yet.
So in total, 88 cards in this box, with three key rookies and an autograph. Can’t beat that! It’s also refreshing to see a simple set with just three variations of the base — glossy, Scorecard (/625) and Final Score (all low numbered). This box didn’t have any of the numbered, but in other boxes I’ve pulled two or three.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the styrofoam box topper in all of the blasters. There’s nothing notable to it other than you’ll never see that big block in a blaster again. Just funny to note.
Overall, this is a great set and brings back a lot of good memories and names for me. I’ll definitely be buying this again.
Support this blog by browsing through all my cards I have for sale. I’m on COMC here. You can check out my baseball ones here, while football, basketball, hockey, and soccer are located here. For entertainment and various sports ones, check out this eCrater site.