This is what too many products results in. Yes there are football,basketball, baseball and Hockey, but check out all the crap that is just crap because there were too many slices of the pie.
Most bloggers have come out against the single license, but their reasons are so abstract:
Lack of competition results in no innovation: How do you measure that? Cards are not cars. I thought Topps did a fine job before 81. As one blogger pointed out, this isn't 35 years ago. You are right, but having two companies doesn't really help that because companies put out sets to put out sets, there frankly hasn't been that much quality in the past few years. I think everyone needs to ask themselves when cards went astray. I say it was anywhere between 92 and 94. Now ask yourself what was it about that period that made things suck?