For the record, I know that 2013 Bowman Football is not for everyone. A couple of years ago, it probably wouldnt have been for me either. However, after seeing the disaster that is 2013 Score, and coming to accept that pre-draft pre-rookie premiere products can be a fun break to pass the time before the good stuff comes, I have come to appreciate it. Its not ideal, and if it were released in September, I would freak – but for now, it’ll do. Its better than anything else that’s out there right now, and I am impatient by nature. I need my fix.
Now that we have that out of the way, I want to discuss the two best kept secrets of the product. Even though they arent really “secrets,” the way they are presented is misleading enough that people dont recognize the true value. I have never been so excited for redemptions. In the boxes, there are two programs for two different cards that will feature autographs of the 2013 rookie class in their NFL uniforms. The firstis the “BOWMAN AUTOGRAPHS” redemptions and the second is the “BOWMAN BLACK” redemptions.
Here is what I mean:
2013 Bowman Manti Te’o NFL Uniform Auto Redemption – likely out of less than 25.
These should be the first available hard signed cards of the rookies in their NFL uniforms, and because I love the design of the set so much, I jumped all over them. People question why NFL uniforms couldnt have been used in the live autograph cards, and it all has to do with the desire to use the Chrome stock, which takes forever to produce, and the unavailability of the players to sign them after they are printed. Its a choice Topps had to make. You can either have sticker autos on paper cards like Panini chose (disaster), or on card autos on Chrome, which I definitely prefer. There are no other options at this point in the calendar. People complained that they should have airbrushed in NFL unis on the base cards, but I would not support double zero jerseys more than I already have to.
The Bowman Black cards are the easiest to spot because many of the collectors who pulled them knew the subset from Baseball. What they didnt know is that the NFL uniforms will be used in this set per Topps on Twitter, and they will be on card. The Bowman autograph redemptions are a bit more confusing. The wording on the redemptions was inexcusably misleading, and it made it seem like Topps was issuing redemptions for cards that were live in other parts of the product. In reality, they will be NFL uniform cards that are extremely rare, and as a result a lot of collectors have let them go for waaay too little because they dont know.
I get that Topps has a major problem with redemptions, but this should be a different situation by all accounts. Rookies rarely have issues signing cards, even though there are exceptions, and these should get made quickly. I fully expect these cards to come through in a reasonable timeframe, but there will be a wait. I also understand that pre-premiere products are borderline obsolete now that Upper Deck has the exclusive CLC license, but this spot is open and it is easy money. These products will continue to get made, and at least Topps has found something that works well.