Good: Pretty good selection of refractors and plenty of rookie cards.
Bad: The design is really over the top and dark. The brand's lack of innovation is definitely showing signs of catching up.
The Bottom Line: I like Bowman Chrome as much as the next guy, but 2009 Bowman Chrome Football seems uninspired and stale - a big rarity among Topps sports card products. Chromies will still get enough out of it to warrant buying a box, but the rest of us will be much better off spending our money on 2009 Topps Chrome Football, 2009 Upper Deck Heroes Football, or even 2009 Topps Finest Football - all of which are superior to this year's installment of Bowman Chrome.
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I'm not quite sure what Topps was trying to go for when they designed 2009 Bowman Chrome Football. Whatever it was didn't quite work out as the final result more closely resembles something you would find in a futuristic graphic novel then on a football card.
The checklist is strong, featuring the requisite offering of NFL rookie base cards and autographs. There are really no new noteworthy additions or subtractions from the set, save some superficial changes here and there.
Its difficult to label 2009 Bowman Chrome Football as a poor value, simply because it is a strong brand that is available at a reasonable price. Conversely, I would stop short of saying its a good value because the contents feel scripted and underwhelming. It feels like going through a school cafeteria lunch line as a child. The rules were that we could pick 1 entrée, 2 side items, 1 drink, and 1 desert for each meal - no substitutions. The school cafeteria always put enough time and effort into the food to make it edible, but rarely went beyond that to make the food taste good. In essence you got what you got - nothing less, and definitely nothing more. While 2009 Bowman Chrome Football is far more palatable then a school lunch, I can't help but see the parallels between the two. A box of the product will almost without fail yield 1 autograph, 1 box topper, a few refractors and rookie cards, and a large helping of base cards - nothing more, nothing less.
When all is said and done, Bowman Chrome is still Bowman Chrome. Despite its lackluster qualities it made for a fairly enjoyable box break. Expect an experience on par with that of 2007 and 2008 Bowman Chrome Football, albeit with a different cast of characters.
The highlight of my box break was pulling a Matt Ryan orange refractor, which made for a very nice addition to my Ryan collection. Here's a look at my key pulls: