This Just In: Chris Johnson's 2008 National Treasures Football RCs Finally Go Live!

April 10, 2012

A lot has happened in the four seasons since the electrifying Chris Johnson began captivating fans and collectors as a first-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2008. There was that promising 1,228-yard, nine-TD rookie campaign, the CJ2K phenomenon created by his spectacular 2,006-yard sophomore season, another 1,364 yards in 2010 and last-season’s holdout-hindered 1,047-yard, four-TD effort.
Through it all, the one glaring omission from Johnson’s stunning body of work has been live versions of his 2008 National Treasures Football Rookie Cards, originally inserted as redemptions when the product released in late January of 2009.

But 1,166 days, 7,071 total yards and 42 total touchdowns later, that’s about to change in a big way. Panini America officials today announced that they have finally started redeeming Johnson’s most important trading cards following a prolonged roller-coaster ride that included lost originals, long delays, costly remakes and, finally, the oddly saving grace of sticker autographs.
The circuitous path to this point — like any trademark long Johnson scoring jaunt — has been a mesmerizing journey that started with a misplaced original shipment. From there, Panini America officials scrambled to remake the cards only after confirming that there were enough pieces of Johnson-worn jersey remaining from the 2008 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere.
They then waited . . . and waited . . . and waited to reschedule another signing. As it turns out, that process took the better part of two years. But once a signing was agreed upon, the tough decision was made to utilize sticker autographs for these important cards. After all, the prospects of another lost shipment and no more memorabilia likely meant that these cards would never exist.
Today, they do. And this week, they’re being shipped to those patient collectors who’ve been waiting.