Sterling is the top of the Bowman line, providing the biggest “High Risk, High Reward” offering. For 2013 Bowman Sterling Football the single most important element that can spread that risk would be a strong rookie class. While is was obvious this year would not come close to the past 2 years, there is still some emerging talent, but this does become a prospectors year. The one large drawback is the lack of editing of the checklist. For a high end, hit dependent product like this with a release date in November to include hits from a player like Ryan Swope, who unfortunately retired from the NFL back in July, just 2 months after he was drafted, is unacceptable. While I understand production timetables make it difficult to change directions midstream, but at premium prices the task of editing these kinds of situations from the release should happen. Otherwise this is a solid set of cards and if the pitfalls can be avoided, collectors should be happy with their hits.
Bowman Sterling Football comes in at the high end of our premium cards category because of the number of hits in each box. Each hobby box contains 6- 5 card pack. Each box should yield a box topper bonus Rookie Patch card, 2 Auto Relics, 4 Autographs and 6 Jumbo Relic Cards.
Here are some of the cards we pulled.
Peyton Manning, front and back
J.J. Watt, Giovani Bernard, Dez Bryant
Ryan Swope Blue #/99, Colin Kaepernick Gold #/50
Tayvon Austin #/1206, Andre Ellington #/1214
Manti Teo #/1206, Matt Barkley #/1206
Robert Griffin III #/99, Tavon Austin #/50
Box Topper Bonus
Tyler Wilson #/171
Xavier Rhodes, Gavin Escobar
Markus Wheaton #/15
Markus Wheaton #/200, Matt Barkley #/125
LeVeon Bell #/75
This is solid design with plenty to like. All forms of refractors and color parallels look great.
Quality and Variety of Players
When you think of Bowman you think of rookies and you get exactly what you would expect, a rookie centric checklist.
Do the Hits satisfy?
With great design these hits will satisfy with the right player. For the rest of the players, this falls under normal prospecting expectations. If you get a box like we did with multiple hits of the same player, depending on the player, like a pendulum your satisfaction will be swayed in either direction.
Will you keep coming back for more?
This year’s weaker rookie class pushes the justification of the higher price range to the limit, elevating the “High Risk, High Reward” nature of these boxes, but the odds seeming to fall close the normal range for this type of product. While there will be more people that will roll the dice on a single box, or even individual packs from you local card shop that is willing to break a box, deeper pockets will look at multiple box purchases to spread the risk.
3 1/2 out of 5
2013 Bowman Sterling Football is some of the highest end prospecting one can do, which is better suited for the more adventurous collectors out there.