31 July 2013

Pack of the Day 3: 2013 Bowman Football

One would think that this product would be similar to opening a pack of Bowman Baseball, especially after reading the back of the pack, which states odds for an appropriately large number of colored-border parallels, Refractors, parallel colored-border Refractors, and die-cut colored-border parallel Refractors. There are three fewer cards per pack than the baseball version of Bowman. Anyway, on to the cards in this pack.

First up came four rookies. They are shown wearing heavily-airbrushed college uniforms and represented by pro team logos above their names. I pulled the #1 overall pick, Eric Fisher, but he is probably a more exciting pick in the world of real football than in the world of collecting. In fact, the only player I'd really even heard of before the NFL Draft was Marcus Lattimore, and he was a 4th-round pick. Maybe this product would be more exciting in a year like last year, with the higher picks being devoted to the flashy quarterback position.  

After the four rookies came an insert, a mini card featuring another rookie, a Linebacker who seems to have some potential. But again, defensive players and Offensive Linemen don't typically move the needle on cardboard unless they really transcend their position, get into legal trouble, or have long, soft, luxurious hair and the last name Polamalu. It may be unfair, but Quarterbacks, Running Backs, and the occasional Wide Receiver or Tight End get all the press.

Finally, there are a couple of veterans to round out the pack. Their team logos are off to the side of their names, and they don't get airbrushed uniforms, making these cards a bit more attractive than the rookies earlier in the pack.

Overall, there isn't a lot going on in this pack for me. Perhaps if this were last year's product and I got an Andrew Luck, RG III, or Russell Wilson card as a rookie it would have been more exciting. For all the confusion in the baseball Bowman pack, there was at least a lot of different stuff going on visually and it felt much more substantial, even though I had about the same amount of recognition or less than I do for the players featured here. Football is a tough nut to crack. Some positions are inherently more collectible than others, while in baseball it seems like every position has a somewhat equal shot at being in demand. I could just be biased because I didn't happen to pull any Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks. In my opinion, the design is uninspiring, the airbrushed uniforms are cheesy, and when compared to Bowman Baseball, Bowman Football so far just feels like a lot less bang for the buck. As time goes by I guess we will see if this applies consistently when comparing the sports, or if it is limited to this product.

Arguably, given the nature of football careers vs. baseball careers, by the time a football player gets drafted/signed and gets a Bowman card, he has pretty much already 'made it,' while the prospects in Bowman Baseball are much younger and earlier in their career trajectories, making collectors who buy the baseball product more like prospectors than the folks who buy Bowman Football.

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