Preview: 2011 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Football

2011 Upper Deck Sweet Spot football is back with all your favorite players in their college glory.

This year, every pack you open will feature an autograph! With 4 packs per box and 8 cards per pack, you are guaranteed 4 autographs from the hottest rookies of the year to some of the great veterans and retired players of the game.

Back again is the on-helmet autographs embedded into the cards. Though I’m not a huge fan of players signing manufactured materials, I think Upper Deck does it right when it comes to that regard if it HAS to be done. The signings on “By the Letter” patches or on other fabrics just look messy and incoherent. Athlete autographs are already messy and incoherent, like my doctor. At least on a hard and smooth surface these autographs come out nicely. There will be two of these on-helmet autographs in every box with several different helmet variations. Also back again is Sweet Beginnings autographed cards and it looks like they are including Ultimate Collection Rookie Signatures in this product as well combining one of their old products with Sweet Spot.

New this year are two different autographed parallels to change things up a little bit. It appears as if Upper Deck has signed on with Todd McShay and Chris Mortensen of ESPN to feature their likeness on a new subset of Scouting Report inserts. These cards feature a picture of the analyst along with some of the players they have reviewed on their scouting reports. Some of these inserts will have an autographed parallel. While I’m not a huge fan of Mortensen or McShay staring at me from the card, I applaud UD for trying something a little different. I wonder what kind of information will be on the back of the card?

There is also the new Sweet Spot Rivalry booklet featuring two on-helmet autographs in booklet form. From the sound of the set and what I can see, it looks like these will feature some of the biggest rivalries in college football with autographs from each side in the booklet. I hope to see a “Civil War” booklet featuring an Oregon and Oregon State autographed helmet on each side. How could you possibly leave out one of the longest rivalries in all of college football?

In all, at a $100 price point for 4 autographs, it appears to be right around where it should be as far as price goes. I know collectors would rather have an NFL licensed product, however, these cards do look sharp and the autographs are just the same as any other product. Upper Deck is the only NCAA license in town, so for those who love college football and the pros, this should be a fun product to open when it comes out at the end of June. Roll Tide.

Note: Okay, I’m not an Alabama fan but I thank the Bama fans who were chanting “Roll Ducks” during the National Championship game. At least you stand by your team and don’t cheer for the whole conference.

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