Authentic college football experience, College stats on card backs, BCS patch autographs, Future Watch rookie cards, Substantial amount of on-card autographs, Refreshing change of pace from other 2010 football card products, Balanced product
2010 SP Authentic Football puts to rest any doubts I had as to whether or not Upper Deck could survive without the NFL license. Not only does SP Authentic succeed in it's first season with the NCAA license, it's one of the best products of the 2010 football card season.
Rather than try and guise itself as an NFL product forced to feature NCAA logos, Upper Deck fully embraces all that is college football with SP Authentic. Whether you're a college collector or simply a hardcore football card collector, there's plenty to like in the latest installment of Upper Deck's trademark series. Each $120-$140 hobby box of 2010 SP Authentic Football delivers a total of 3 hits.
From top to bottom, 2010 SP Authentic's card design is nearly identical to past installments. Although the template remains the same, there are a few extremely cool looking NCAA themed additions including autographed mini college jerseys as well as signed cards featuring an embedded BCS bowl game patch.
One thing I found refreshing was seeing players like Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, Michael Vick and other NFL stars in their college uniforms. Sometimes a player's college days get buried by their pro careers. It was fun to recall memories I forgot still existed in my head. Another great thing was that each card back featured college stats, rather than pro stats. I'm a much bigger fan of pro football, but who doesn't love to see stats that they haven't seen in some time?!
The checklist features a seamless mixture of rookies, veterans and legends. The set structure is pretty much identical to past versions of SP Authentic, which includes the ever popular Future Watch rookie cards, including on-card autographs and patch autograph parallels for 2010's big name rookies.
College fans should enjoy the NCAA themed inserts, especially the BCS patch autographs and mini autographed jerseys. The checklist really excels when it comes to selling an authentic college football experience.
Like 2010 SPx, 2010 SP Authentic is thriving when it comes to single card sales on the secondary market. In the sports world, there are two types of fans (or at least prefer one over the other), college fans and pro fans, and college fans are eating up Upper Deck's NCAA licensed SP Authentic. This is a sign that Upper Deck may very well have unintentionally tapped into a market that was thirsty for high quality cards.
The only real complaint I have about SP Authentic is that it feels one hit short of taking things to the next level. There's little to no margin for error when it comes to the Future Watch rookie auto you pull. But, this complaint really borders on nit picking, as SP Authentic is an extremely solid product.
In a season in which every football product seemed identical and interchangeable, 2010 SP Authentic was a refreshing change of pace that delivered an authentic college football experience from top to bottom. The card backs featured college stats for current NFL stars, veterans and rookies and it was really cool to see each player in their college uniform once again, even if they were airbrushed.
In closing, 2010 SP Authentic was one of the most enjoyable boxes I've broken during the 2010 football card season. If you're a college football fan, SPA/Upper Deck fan or simply looking for something slightly different than your run of the mill 2010 football card product, 2010 SP Authentic is well worth looking into, it might surprise you.
Base Cards: 119
- Veterans - 114
- Rookie Authentics - 4
- Autographed Rookie Authentics - 1
Inserts: 2 (both hits)
- Paul Hornung/Rocky Bleier Chirography Dual Auto /15
- T.J. Ward BCS Patch Autograph
Best Card in Box:Paul Hornung/Rocky Bleier Chirography Dual Auto /15
*Review box courtesy of a trusted hobby shop: Billy's Sports Treasures in Savage, MN