As per tweets from the NFL, the rookies are slowly arriving in LA yesterday and today, to start their journey to the field for the upcoming season. This is where it starts, as for most of them, it will be the first time they have ever put on their full pro uniform. Although the event breeds event used jersey cards for the whole season, I have come to embrace the weekend as an opportunity to get cards of the rookies that I desire. See, without this premiere, at least this year, there would be helmet off head shots of rookies up until September, and that just aint alright with me. I get that the event used jerseys complicate things for most of the year despite my need for pro uniform cards, but I would much rather put up with a necessary evil than be forced to wait on rookie cards in full game garb.
Starting today, all three companies will be working with the entire premiere class to get cards signed and get photos taken, though this year there seems to be more of a focus on the public side of the event rather than the private and secret side. This new aspect of the premiere starts today in Oxnard, CA, where Panini will be taking over a Wal-mart with a few rookies attending this weekend. Colt McCoy and Toby Gerhart are the only big names on that list of 15, so im not sure if its worth taking off work to go if you are planning on attending. Its really too bad that they didnt select a better location or a better time, but face time is face time, so go if you have the chance.
On Sunday, there will be a celebrity flag football game at Santa Monica High School, an event that is open to the public, which means that you can come and hang out in the sun and have a good time with more NFL players and local personalities. Should be an interesting event.
Topps and Upper Deck will also have a huge impact on the event with their unparalleled use of social media, which im sure will include pictures of upcoming products being signed and events from the weekend as well. Follow @toppscards and @upperdecksports to get full coverage of the weekend.
Things to watch for:
Topps Rookie Premiere Autographs – These cards are some of the best that come out of the entire weekend because they are the only ones usually available to sign the next day. Upper Deck used to do their “Same Day Signature” cards but there is a good chance that wont be happening this weekend. Topps should have pics on their blog and on twitter at some point.
Donruss Elite Next Day Signatures – These cards are pretty much just Panini’s version of the RPAs from Topps, but I am eager to see if they turn out well. Panini has had a terrible track record of fucking up everything they touch when it comes to on card signatures from the premiere (see the school colors autos from last year), so hopefully they have learned their lesson.
Upper Deck Anything – Upper Deck will be making football cards this year, though they will all be college uniforms to conform to their CLC exclusive. They have the potential to get their entire line of rookie stuff signed this weekend, and I assume that there will be a ton of pictures posted. SP Authentic has been slated for a College comeback this year as well, hopefully we get a look at its new format.
Contests – Last year Upper Deck sponsored the rookie TD dance competition and I assume there will be something similar this year. It seemed kind of lame, but some of the rookies always take the premiere seriously enough to have a good time doing it.
The premiere is always a fun weekend in LA, and I will try to be at some of the events hanging around. If you are going, let me know via email, and ill let you know where we can meet up. I am always eager to connect with other collectors, and hopefully things will turn out well for the companies too.