Starting today and getting going tomorrow through Saturday, the top rookies of the year will be in Los Angeles for one of the biggest events of the football card year. For the list of players attending, here is my post from yesterday. Now that we know who will be there, there are a LOT of things that will be going down. Here are some of the things I am most looking forward to seeing.
Player Autograph Quality
The Rookie Premiere is a time where autograph content has almost become more important than taking the pictures for the cards. Each of the rookies will sign over 2500-3000 autographs in a weekend, some even more than that. As a result, we will get to see how much they decide to adjust their autographs to relieve some of the pressure of having to sign so many cards. From what I have gathered, not every rookie is excited about getting a million cards to sign put in front of them, but almost all of them find a way to get it done. Pretty remarkable in a lot of ways.
As mentioned earlier, some of the players have already started to shorten their signatures:
2015 Topps Inception Previews
Every year, there are a few products that are based on content received almost exclusively at the rookie premiere. In my opinion, Inception is at the top of that list, and I am beyond sad that this is likely the last year it will be in production in the same format. It has made a name for itself since 2011 with extremely high end on card content at a point in the year where the competition is just getting the ball rolling. Player collectors go nuts over the inscriptions (as do I), and it looks like there will be a big focus on generating unique content again this year. Cant wait to see how it turns out.
Here are some of my favorites from 2014:
2015 Topps Previews
Unlike Panini, Topps has been really good at showcasing a lot of the cards that will be signed at the premiere. We know that Inception is a big part of it, but the ever popular rookie premiere autos and retro throwback cards are also a big deal. I would guess that this is a time where Topps is going to do their best to set their early products up for success, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store. Being that this will be their last rodeo in a lot of ways, going to be interesting to see if they pull out all the stops.
2015 Panini Previews
Here is the thing. We know relatively nothing about Panini’s offerings at the event, and that really doesnt do much for people who are curious about what is going to be displayed. Im guessing there will be on card elements to Elite and Prestige, but Panini has weird obsessions with having players sign those stupid manu-patch autographs and oversized versions of their ugly Score cards. Last year’s Elite product was easily one of the best of the run, and I am interested to see if they can recreate the lightning in a bottle, or if we are going to see them fuck it up like they have so many times in the past.
Will Panini College Products Be A Focus?
We already know that they didnt really put as much work into Contenders as they should have, rehashing old designs and using sticker autos. Prizm is a bit of a different story, but we havent seen it in real life yet – only mockups. So, it goes without question that Panini is going to want to take their new toy and exploit it like a kid in a sweatshop, thus peaking my interest. Just how far will they go with it? From what we have seen so far, decision making on strengthening brands hasnt exactly been one of their strong suits.
How Much Will Collectors Respond to This Class?
The Premiere is really the first time we get to see the rookies on stage. Last year’s class was front and center, and during this event, they really looked like they were primed for the spotlight. In previous years like 2013, the buzz was almost non-existent. Curious to see how collectors react, and what this might mean for the upcoming NFL card year.
Will Topps Go Out With a Bang?
This is THE question I am looking forward to seeing answered over the course of the year. Topps has been in football for decades and decades. It was the brand I collected when I was a kid, and the same for my dad. To think that Topps is losing the ability to produce NFL licensed trading cards is so depressing that I think this industry will be impacted more than people think. With that in mind, im curious to see if they use this event as the start of their locomotive that will barrel down the track in 2015, or if they are not going to answer the bell for the final round. From previews we have already seen this year, looks like they are not going to go down without a fight.
Collector Reaction to the Event Used Jerseys
Each time the Rookie Premiere rolls around, there are a group of people who pull back the curtain and see what really goes on with the player worn material that is obtained at this event. Yes, we know that the players only wear the jerseys for less than a second, as it has been well documented. It is shocking that there are still people that are part of the online community that have no idea how a rookie jersey is obtained for their card released in July, despite the fact that they havent played in a real game yet? Here is the thing. Game used jerseys are a hot commodity for every player, ESPECIALLY rookies. Some teams dont use more than a few game used jerseys all year. Considering that the NFL has programs to resell the jerseys, as do the teams themselves, that doesnt leave much left for the collectors and the card companies to fight over. Therefore, if you want a patch card of your favorite rookie, the premiere is a necessary method to the madness.
Now, for me, I dont buy event used cards unless there is an autograph on it. Its my policy. I also put very little value in patch colors or logo patches, except for certain circumstances. Other people dont feel the same way. They dont care that the jersey is only worn for less than 5 seconds, and will assign enormous value to a card based on patch content. Whatever floats your boat, as long as you are aware of the methods. Bottom line, I actually like that Mark Ingram picture, because it means he wore the jerseys for a significant amount of time. Not like others who just put the collar over their head and take it right off (yes, that’s what really happens).
Pretty much, if you enjoy event used jerseys because they are player worn, like sausages, best to avoid watch them being made.
This weekend is going to be a treat. Its going to be fun, and there will be lots of action. Follow me @SCUncensored, as I will be following along very closely and adding comments to what is posted from the manufacturers all weekend.