Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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UD Football debuts on eve of NFL draft
Posted Apr 25, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Apr 25, 2012 at 08:09 PM
The NFL draft is finally here, and beginning Thursday night, the speculation ends and the reality begins. Names we’ve been talking about the entire offseason will be linked to teams, and all those mock drafts can be put to rest for another year.
Is there a more appropriate name for speculative selections than a “mock draft”? You draw up your list, then prepare to be mocked.
Just in time for the draft, Upper Deck released its football product on April 24. Upper Deck Football will offer the collector some early looks at players like Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III (Baylor), Trent Richardson (Alabama), Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M) and Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State).
A hobby box will contain 20 packs, with six cards to a pack. There will be star rookies and on-card autographs, which is definitely a plus. Upper Deck is promising three autograph cards per hobby box. The autograph cards will be drawn from the Star Rookies parallel set, Rookie Letterman Signatures, 1993 SP Football autographs and Ultimate Collection Rookie Signatures.
If you are lucky enough to pull a Rookie Stripe exchange card, you will be able to redeem it for 15 autographed rookie cards of the player featured on the redemption card.
The most intriguing card could be the Trade Upper Deck inserts that will be released in gold- and silver-letter versions. Both will be redeemable for a first-round rookie quarterback card, but one will be signed (the gold version) and one will be unsigned (the silver version).
In addition to the new guys, Upper Deck took a step back and is including a 100-card insert set called 1993 SP Football. This insert set will highlight players on a card design from the 1993 SP Football set. There will be autograph parallels for each player featured, including college greats like Troy Aikman (UCLA) and Steve Young (BYU), current professional stars like Drew Brees (Purdue), and many of the top 2012 rookies.
USF fans can rejoice, since now the Bulls’ program is beginning to get noticed by card companies. Upper Deck’s new “College Mascot” manufactured patch subset will include Rocky D. Bull (UD is using the mascot’s “formal” name for the insert). This 60-card set also will feature mascots from the Florida Gators (Albert E. Gator), the Miami Hurricanes (Sebastian the Ibis) and the Central Florida Knights (Knightro). It’s too bad that Upper Deck didn’t go retro and include Knightro’s “girlfriend,” Glycerine (I am not kidding here), who was phased out several years ago (although there are Facebook pages trying to return her to mascot status).
It doesn’t look like FSU will be represented, much to the chagrin of fans of Chief Osceola and Renegade. There are, however, two cards from the University of Georgia — UGA and Hairy Dawg. Ugh.
I am spending a lot of time on the mascot cards, but it’s fun — and isn’t that what collecting is all about?
These patches will be tough to get, as they will be seeded four to a case.
And for those of you who still need that itch for Tim Tebow cards scratched, there will be a special 10-card subset depicting the former Gators quarterback (now with the New York Jets after playing last season for the Denver Broncos). And for Plant High fans, look for cards of Orson Charles, who starred at tight end at Georgia.