The 2013 NFL season is not only going to be a make or break season for many players, it is destined to have a large impact in the collecting world as well.
Last season may well have been the year of the rookie. Players like Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Doug Martin and Andrew Luck highlighted an unprecedented rookie crop. These players showed off their flashy styles and put up big numbers against strong opponents. Football collectors everywhere responded in turn by putting up big numbers of their own. Collectors threw down big money for these new breakout stars. Regular refractors of Griffin and Luck can fetch as much as thirty dollars with their autographs going for a few hundred. It would appear that a new era had dawned in the NFL and fans and collectors were excited to go along for the ride.
However, that was last year. Now everyone is anxious to see if the previous season was the real deal for the now sophomore stars. The expectations weigh heaviest on Robert Griffin III, who is coming off surgery for a torn ACL. It seemed like Washington acquired all the right pieces for their young quarterback to thrive this season but he has struggled in the first two weeks. Griffin's draft day counterpart, Andrew Luck, does not have as much pressure this year, playing for what many consider to be second-rate Colts team. Still, while Luck may not be expected to win, collectors still are hoping for impressive numbers to justify their rookie card purchases.
So now players like Luck, Griffin, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are entering the 2013 season with large amounts invested in their cardboard likenesses. If last year was the year of the rookie, will this be the year of the sophomore slump? Anyone who has bet on these promising stars is certainly hoping not.