This came across the newswire a few hours ago:
The first 5000 fans attending the 4th Annual Under Armour All-American Football Game ( January 5th – Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL), will receive 3 exclusive Topps cards featuring a 2011 All-American. There are 92 different cards in all.
Topps, the official trading card of the Under Armour All-American Football game, photographed the players on Friday and on Monday they were each presented with personal copies of their card. In addition, Topps had each player sign cards which will be shelved and used at a later date (see image).
I’m not going to lie, I don’t really know how the industry works. I always assumed you could not make cards that featured amateur athletes because it would encroach on their NCAA eligibility. Perhaps that is only the case if they are being paid for the use of their name, likeness, and autograph. But if you don’t pay them, isn’t that exploitation?
Regardless the legalities, it is certainly an intriguing set. I can’t see a huge secondary market for the cards, but 3-4 years from now, it would be cool to have an uber-rookie card of one of the NFL’s top draft choices, should one of these kids ever make it big. It’s also got to be exciting for the players to get a copy of the cards. I believe Topps or Upper Deck did this for the Little League World Series champs recently. When I was a kid, I would have been estatic to have my very own Topps card.
The cards themselves aren’t terrible. I know it’s not verbatim, but they do remind me of the lukewarm 2010 Topps Unrivaled set. But wait…*gasp*…Topps DOES know how to use on-card autos.